The rules below are posted from AKA-Sport.org, which is the American Kettlebell Alliance. The AKA puts on kettlebell sport competitions all over the United States and is responsible for the national event each year, this year in Chicago, which determines who will represent the United States at the International Competition.
Here are some highlights, quoted from AKA-Sport.org
1.1. There are three types of competitions in kettlebell lifting:
- team only
- individual / team
In individual only events, the individual’s score determines his/her place in the competition.
In team only events, the team score determines placing in the competition.
In individual and team events, the individual score determines the placing of that individual. The team score as a whole determines the placing of the team in the competition.
1.2. Events and rules of each competition will be determined by the regulations of IUKL and organizer of said competition.
1.3.Competitions are conducted with kettlebells weighing (kg): 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32
Events in a classic competition include:
- jerk of one (women) or two kettlebells (men) from chest level to overhead position (short cycle)
- clean of one (women) or two kettlebells (men) to chest level, and jerk to overhead position (long cycle)
- snatch of one kettlebell (men and women) into overhead position
- classic biathlon (jerk and snatch)
- team events (relay races) may contain a combination of jerk, long cycle, or snatch events
1.4. The sequence of events in competition will be determined by host organization..
1.5. The winner is defined in each weight category by greatest sum of rises (successful reps overhead). In snatch, the final score is the average of the greatest sum (x) between left and right hand (x/2). In the event of a tie, the winner should be determined by:
- the participant having a lighter body weight before performance,
- the participant having a lighter body weight after performance,
- the participant who performed first according to schedule of flights
1.6. Team placing is determined by the results of individual participants based on rules and regulation of hosting organization.
5. Rules of performance of exercises.
5.1. The participant is invited to the platform at least two minutes prior to the beginning of his/her flight. Five seconds prior to the beginning of the flight the time is counted down in seconds: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. During this time the participant must be on the platform. At the start of the flight the command “start” is given. After the “start” command the participant is obliged to begin the exercise: jerk or snatch or long cycle. In the case that a participant lifts the kettlebell(s) from the platform before a command of “start,” the head judge will give the command “stop and place the kettlebell(s) on the platform and then begin the exercise.”
5.2. The participant who is late to the platform will be disqualified.
5.3. 10 minutes is given as the time limit for competition exercises. The judge-secretary will announce time as each minute passes. After 9 minutes have passed, control time will be announced at 50 seconds, 30 seconds, 10 seconds, 5 seconds, and every second until time runs out.
5.4. After 10 minutes the “Stop” command will be called and the participant must stop performance of exercise.
5.5. Each properly executed repetition is accompanied by a signal of the platform judge. The judge declares the signal as soon as all parts of the body of the competitor become motionless.
5.6. If the competitor conducts a foul or violates any rules of the technical performance, the platform judge can issue a “no count” or “stop set.”
5.7. In the case of any part of the competitor’s body coming in contact with the platform, or in the case that the competitor leaves the platform a “stop” command is given.
5.8. If a competitor cannot completely straighten elbows due to anatomical deviations, or medical condition, he/she should inform the platform judges and/or jury before the beginning of the flight.
5.9. The JERK is carried out from the following starting position: kettlebells are fixed on the chest, arms are pressed to the trunk, legs are straightened. Kettlebells are then launched into the overhead position and arms, trunk and legs should be straightened. Legs and kettlebells should be in line and parallel to the plane of the body. After fixation in the overhead position, the platform judge will issue a point and the participant lowers kettlebells back to starting position.
Important note: fixation is punctuated by a dedicated, visible stop of the kettlebells and the athlete.
5.10. The “Stop” command is issued when:
- a participant conducts a technical foul;
- kettlebells are held in a position lower than the hands (i.e. no cleans or farmer’s carry).
5.11. The “No Count” command is issued when:
- there is additional push (with legs) or additional press (with arms) of kettlebells (the kettlebell must ascend in a continuous manner without stopping)
- absence of fixation in starting and overhead position
5.12. LONG CYCLE: A JERK of kettlebells from the chest with the subsequent lowering of the kettlebells into clean position. In this event the kettlebells can be held in a position lower than the hands (clean), but must be between the legs and in motion (clean action). Kettlebells can not be held motionless in a position lower than the hands. LONG CYCLE uses the same rules as JERK, but the “STOP” command is issued when the kettlebell touches the platform.
5.13. The performance of the Snatch is carried out in one step from the starting position between the legs. The participant should swing the kettlebell in a continuous movement upward into the overhead position and fixate. Fixation is achieved when the kettlebell is in the overhead position and arms, legs and trunk are straightened. The legs and kettlebell should be in line and parallel to the plane of the body. After fixation, the platform judge will issue a point, and the competitor will lower the kettlebell to the starting position between the legs without the kettlebell touching any part of the trunk. Change of hands can be made once in any manner. If the kettlebell touches the shoulder or trunk during the performance of the first hand, this will be considered the transition to switch the kettlebell to the 2nd hand, and a command to “switch” hands will be issued by the platform judge.
* Multiple swings between the legs shall be allowed as long as the kettlebell is motion.
5.14. The “Stop” command will be issued when:
- there is a technical foul;
- the kettlebell touches the shoulder or trunk when held by the 2nd hand;
- the kettlebell touches the platform.
- the kettlebell is held motionless in the position lower than the hip (kettlebell must be in motion during swing phase)
5.15. The “No Count” command is issued when:
- there is an additional press (with arm) of the kettlebell;
- absence of fixation in overhead position
- the free hand touches any part of the body, platform, kettlebell, working hand, legs, or trunk.
Team competitions (relay race)
5.17. The weight of kettlebell(s), exercises, timing, number of legs of the relay are defined in the competition rules and regulations.
5.18. Performance of exercises follows the general rules included in this document.
5.19. Performance of exercises begins with the light weight categories.
The participant is authorized to compete only in one leg of the relay
The order of relay races:
- before the beginning of the relay race participants are line up in teams in order of the relay legs they will participate in. 5 seconds prior to start the control time is announced in one-second increments: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 then the command “Start” is given to participants in the first leg;
– 15 seconds before the start of the next leg the judge allows the next participant to come forward;
– 5 seconds prior to the termination of the leg the control time is announced in one-second increments: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
– Next, the transfer to the next leg and next competitor is made after the “change” command. The participant who has just finished the leg should place the kettlebell(s) on the platform.
– If a participant of the previous leg fixates the kettlebell(s) after the “change” command, the last lift (rep) will not count
– the count for the whole team is shared with a cumulative accruing score.
The winning team is defined by the greatest number of lifts – in cases of a tie between two teams the advantage is given to the team with a lower total body weight of all of the team members.
From AKA-Sport.org, a great source for kettlebell sport in the United States