Typically Open is the most competitive division . . . not always, but typically. I won Master 40-46 in bench for my weight class last year. I didn't enter open as I used the extra entry fee to pay for one of my junior lifters to enter the meet. But my bench would have won Open by about 50 pounds. In fact, sometimes it's Master 40-46 and even 47-53 that's been super competitive in recent years. One of the things that makes WABDL special is the inclusivity of Worlds: we all lift on the same platform, literally and figuratively. If you win first place in any division, you can indeed call yourself a WABDL World Champion. That's what WABDL is about.
I know where you're coming from, Brent. But I'm very sure Gus isn't going to make any changes to the team competition that has the appearance of diminishing the accomplishments of the grass-roots WABDL lifters, most of whom do their competing in their age divisions. IPF and other feds have their rules for team competition, and we have ours. It's true that some clubs seems to go out of their way to locate lifters who will most likely lift uncontested and therefore have easy shots at the 20 first-place points for each lifter. That's the downside of the team rules; the upside is that clubs, states, countries, and schools can be represented, unlike in other feds. The challenge for us when I lived in Illinois was to come up with a roster of Junior, Open, Teen, and a few Master lifters that would be competitive under those rules. We did that and it was a great accomplishment. And I can tell you that all but one of our lifters were uncontested. They had to earn their placings.
I don't think you are suggesting that we totally do away with non-Open teams; that would of course be totally antithetical to all that WABDL is about. If I'm understanding you correctly, you would like to have an Open team competition and then perhaps another team trophy for everyone else. That would essentially separate the teams into major and minor leagues. Again, I think that would violate the egalitarian spirit of WABDL. We are about the grass-roots lifter. We don't elevate any one group of lifters above anyone else and treat them like superstars. Last year we had teams of great lifters from numerous states, a number of clubs, and several countries. The rules are very different from other feds, but we all had a great time competing under those rules. This year I'll be bringing my collegiate team to compete against the best teams in WABDL. My lifters will be in some very competitive teen and junior weight classes, so it will be very challenging. My lifters wouldn't have such an opportunity to represent their university at an IPF or other federation world meet. They don't want to compete for a minor league, non-open team title; they want to compete for the WABDL World team title.
I was disappointed, Brent, that you didn't give any feedback on my bonus point system. In fact, I would encourage your specific feedback on any the points I've made. That's what dialogue is all about.
In fact, just for fun, I'll give you a challenge: put together a roster of your lifters under WABDL team rules and let's see if your team can place above my team at Worlds this year. If you can beat my team, I'll buy you dinner.