Powerlifting America Constitution
The objective of Powerlifting America is to promote and organize the sport of drug tested powerlifting in the United States and support wellness through powerlifting and general strength training. Part of the duty of Powerlifting America is to stimulate cooperation between the members and to represent Powerlifting America at international meetings and events. The work of Powerlifting America shall have a character of ethics, volunteerism, loyalty, and responsibility always focusing on good governance. The primary duty of Powerlifting America shall be to serve the athletes. All sport activity shall be based on fellowship, health, and honesty. Powerlifting America supports diversity and inclusion in its activities.
Powerlifting America is the National Governing Body for the sport of powerlifting in the United States of America. Powerlifting America shall serve as the only IPF approved governing body for the sport of powerlifting in the United States. Powerlifting America is a union of members, clubs, schools, and universities, practicing the sport of powerlifting. Powerlifting America is a member of the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), the North American Powerlifting Federation (NAPF), and once recognized, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Powerlifting America fully accepts and agrees to follow the IPF Anti-Doping rules, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code. Powerlifting America fully accepts and agrees to follow all IPF Technical Rules. Powerlifting America fully accepts and agrees to follow the IPF Constitution, as well as all IPF Codes, Policies and Guidelines.
Powerlifting America and ALL its registered members and non-registered members agree to recognize the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland as the only external body for jurisdictional authority, applying the Code of Sports-Related Arbitration for all disputes which cannot be settled amicably or through local arbitration or mediation. However, all internal legal remedies must be exhausted before referring a matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Powerlifting America shall create and develop activities, state and regional associations, committees, as well as a fully functional accounting and auditing system to meet the requirements of the members, the USOC, the NAPF, and the IPF.
The education and experience of elected volunteers, serving on the Executive Committee, the Board, and all committees should match their assigned responsibilities. Resumes shall be submitted in advance prior to appointing or electing officers and Board members to their positions.
Powerlifting America shall register members, clubs, teams, universities, and high schools practicing the sport of powerlifting which are eligible to join the association, provided they agree to follow the IPF Anti-Doping Rules and the World Anti-Doping Code. All members accepted by Powerlifting America are obligated to follow and comply with the constitution, rules and policies of Powerlifting America and the IPF.
Elected Officers serving on the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, and committee members shall not receive compensation for their work, however they may receive reasonable reimbursement for their documented expenses. Such reimbursement shall be included in the budget and the annual accounts for Powerlifting America.
The General Assembly is the voting membership of Powerlifting America. It is required that the General Assembly meeting be held annually by July of each year.
The Executive Committee shall notify the members no later than one hundred and twenty (120) days before the General Assembly meeting. Proposals, including proposals to amend the constitution must be received by the Law and Legislation Committee no later than ninety (90) days prior to the General Assembly. The Complete Agenda must be sent to all members no later than 30 days prior to the General Assembly. The General Assembly may be held in a virtual format.
No delegate shall have more than one vote as they cannot carry votes for persons that are not present at the General Assembly. There shall be no proxy voting at the General Assembly.
Proposals and Amendments
Proposals to change the Constitution and By-laws of Powerlifting America may be examined if included in the agenda distributed to all members. A constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority of the delegates that were accepted at the General Assembly. All successful amendments accepted will take effect the Monday following the General Assembly if not otherwise stated. While the General Assembly may discuss proposals to change the By-laws, the Board of Directors has full governance over the By-laws and the By-laws may only be changed by a vote of the Board of Directors.
There shall be at least two (2) Scrutineers approved by the General Assembly to oversee the elections and ballot counting.
Delegates with voting rights
All active members of Powerlifting America in good standing who meet the following criteria:
Eighteen (18) years of age or older on the day of the General Assembly;
A U.S. Citizen or permanent resident; and
Primarily affiliated with Powerlifting America vs. another member nation of the IPF.
Any member wishing to vote at the General Assembly must submit for credentialing at least 30 days in advance of the General Assembly meeting.
The agenda of the General Assembly (GA) is:
- Roll Call of Delegates
- Accept the agenda
- Executive committee reports
- Vice President
- Secretary General
- Regional Director reports
- Committee reports
- Discipline Committee
- Law and Legislation Committee
- Technical Committee
- Athletes’ Committee (two co-chairs shall be elected to staggered terms)
- Unfinished Business
- Proposals and Amendments
- Election of the members of the Executive Committee serving staggered terms, for a term of four (4) years. No individual shall serve more than three terms in an officer position. Elections shall occur in even-numbered years.
- Election of standing Committee Chairs for terms of four (4) years serving staggered terms. Committee chair elections shall occur in odd-numbered years. No individual shall serve more than three terms as a committee chair of the same committee.
- New Business
All candidates for officer and committee chair positions must meet the qualification criteria in the respective job descriptions. Resumes shall be screened by the nominations task force within the Law and Legislation Committee.
Although there are term limits for individual offices and committee chair positions, an individual may run for a different position after exceeding the term limits. Example: John Q. Powerlifter sits as vice president for three terms. John Q. Powerlifter may run for president, or another office/committee chair.
A proposal shall be approved by a majority vote. However, Constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority of the delegates accepted at the General Assembly. Other matters shall be approved by a majority vote.
Election of candidates shall be by written ballot if there is more than one candidate for a position. A simple majority shall determine the successful candidate. If no one gains greater than 50 percent, a new election between the two candidates with the most votes shall take place. If the two candidates gain an equal number of votes, a flip of a coin shall be made to decide which candidate shall be elected.
Since the By-laws fall under the authority of the Board of Directors and the Board has full and absolute governance over this document, the General Assembly can only propose amendments to the By-laws to be considered by the Board.
An Extraordinary General Assembly may be called by the President or the majority of the Board no less than thirty (30) days before the date of the meeting. If conducted virtually, it may be called no less than seven (7) days before the date of the meeting. The Extraordinary General Assembly may be held in a virtual format.
An Extraordinary General Assembly shall only deal with issues included in the agenda when called.
The Executive Committee consists of the President, Vice President, Secretary General, and Treasurer. It leads Powerlifting America between sessions of the Board of Directors.
The Executive Committee performs organizational, administrative, and specialist-technical tasks.
The Executive Committee is the executive body of Powerlifting America and performs tasks given by the Board of Directors, the General Assembly, and tasks in its field.
The Executive Committee is the day-to-day leadership body of Powerlifting America between meetings of the Board of Directors. It shall carry out decisions made by the General Assembly and the Board of Directors. It shall carry out daily leadership of the association and represent the association in matters relevant to the daily operation of the association. It shall maintain running control of the expenditures of Powerlifting America, in accordance with the budget approved by the Board of Directors.
An executive committee meeting is called by the President or the majority of the Executive Committee members. A quorum is formed if a majority of the Executive Committee members are present. Decisions are made by a majority vote of the Executive Committee members present. In case of a tie, the President shall cast the deciding vote.
The Board of Directors consists of the following members:
The Executive Committee members;
The standing committee chairs; and
The regional directors
The Board of Directors is the governing body of Powerlifting America. The Board has the following authorities:
Provides direction and oversight to the Executive Director, but communicates to the Executive Director through the President;
When necessary, appoints members to vacant chair seats on committees.
Approves the budget of the association;
Province over the Bylaws, and may change the Bylaws by a majority vote;
Serve as the Appeals Commission for appeals for disciplinary actions imposed by the Discipline Committee.
The President may call a meeting of the Board of Directors as needed. A quorum is formed if a majority of the Board of Directors are present. Decisions are made by a majority vote of the Board of Directors present. In case of a tie, the President shall cast the deciding vote.
Regional Directors shall initially be appointed by the Board of Directors. Following an initial four-year term, Regional Directors shall be elected by each region. Regions shall be set forth in the By-laws.
All standing committees shall consist of a minimum of three members. Standing committee chairs shall sit as members of the Board of Directors. Committee chairs shall initially be appointed by the board. Thereafter, they will be elected at the General Assembly in odd-numbered years with staggered terms. Additional committee members shall be appointed by the Board of Directors for terms of four (4) years.
The chairperson shall be elected at the General Assembly. Additional members shall be appointed by the Board of Directors for renewable four (4) year terms. The committee rules on all disciplinary or ethical infractions of the members of Powerlifting America, except anti-doping rule violations, and shall oversee the disciplinary proceedings and impose penalties. The Committee has the exclusive authority to impose discipline for violations other than anti-doping violations. There shall be a right of appeal from any discipline imposed by the Disciplinary Committee to the Appeals Commission. The Appeals Commission shall be the Board of Directors, which has authority to overturn or modify discipline imposed by the Disciplinary Committee.
Discipline for all anti-doping rule violations nationally will be determined by USADA. All disciplines at IPF International or World Championships will be determined by the IPF Doping Hearing Panel.
The chairperson shall be elected at the General Assembly for a four (4) year term. Additional members shall be appointed by the Board of Directors for renewable terms of four (4) years. The committee shall educate and instruct referees, organize referee clinics, and appoint referees at national and international championships.
Law and Legislation Committee
The chairperson shall be elected at the General Assembly for four (4) year terms. Additional members shall be appointed by the Board of Directors for renewable terms of four (4) years. The chairperson must have a law degree. The committee members shall be made up of members with a legal background, but not requiring a law degree. The committee shall evaluate all new Constitutional and By-laws proposals and amendments and state their conclusions to the Assembly. Further, the committee shall update and maintain the Constitution and By-laws and interpret the content if required. The Committee shall screen all complaints filed about athletes, coaches, referees, members and officers.
The committee shall have co-chairs who shall be elected by the General Assembly for a four (4) year renewable term. Both co-chairs shall sit as members of the Board of Directors. Additional members shall be appointed by the Executive Committee for four (4) year renewable terms. The Athletes’ Committee is made up of active athletes of Powerlifting America and represents the interests of the athletes.
Constitutional amendments are only possible at the ordinary General Assembly or at an extraordinary General Assembly. Such proposals must be included on the agenda when the General Assembly is called and requires approval by a two-thirds majority of the delegates present.
A proposal to dissolve Powerlifting America must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Board of Directors. If a decision is made in favor of a dissolution by a two-thirds majority, an extraordinary General Assembly shall be called no later than 3 months following the Board of Directors’ vote. A two-thirds majority of delegates present at the General Assembly is required for a final decision of a dissolution of Powerlifting America.
The funds of the federation shall come to a superior sport federation or to a charity organization as voted on by the General Assembly.