Several years ago, the IWF made a slight change in the age groups. The “schoolage” age group was considered 16 years old & younger, while the “junior” age group was 17-20 years old. The change increased school age to 17 & younger, making juniors 18-20. USA Weightlifting then followed suit and changed the schoolage classification to 17 & under also.
In our high school meets in Minnesota however, we decided to keep schoolage at it’s original 16 and under, and junior age group at 17 and older. It provided a much more even split in the number of lifters when it came to running meets. Everyone was used to it at that point, so it was easy to just keep it the same. The issue became some confusion, mainly for 17 year olds, when it came to qualifying for state meets and national meets. They were competing as juniors here all season long, but still schoolage for nationals. It also caused some errors in membership with USAW, and with national meet registrations.
This year, we are trying to fix the problem be re-naming the age groups for our high school meets. The “Junior” age group will now be referred to as “Varsity”. “Schoolage” will be known as “VJ” or “Junior Varsity” This also puts weightlifting in line with other high school sports, in terms of levels kids are already familiar with.
Here is the decision as it comes from the minutes of the last coaches meeting:
MN School age, 16 and under, will be renamed: Junior Varsity or JV (16 and under)
MN Junior, 17 and above, will be renamed: Varsity (17 and over)