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World Armsport Federation

XXII WAF Congress Meeting Minutes
December 3, 2001
Gdynia, Poland



1.                  Welcome & Attendance



            Mr. Fred Roy - President                                 Mr. Willy Deneumostier - General Secretary

            Mr. David Shead - Referee in Chief                  Mr. Dave Devoto - Vice - President

            Mr. Rick Blanchard - Canada                           Mrs. Denise Wattles - USA

            Mr. Neil Bell - Australia                                    Mr. Neil Pickup - England

            Ms. Kathy Defeche - Belgium                           Ms. Petra Spatz - Germany

            Mr. Sylvio Bourque - Observer                         Mr. Terry Palaschak - Observer

            Mr. Leonard Harkless - USA                            Mr. Shailender Kadian - India

            Mr. Valeri Babuk - Belarus                               Mr. Igor Shishkov - Uzbekistan

            Mr. Alexander Filimonov - Russia                     Mr. Andrei Petrov - Russia

            Mr. Igor Mazurenko - Poland                           Mrs. Vvokko Naskali - Finland

            Ms. Camilla Kattstrom - Sweden                      Mr. Andy Barker - England

            Mr. J.F. Andre   - Belgium                                Mr. David Eilersten - Norway

            Mr. Joaquin Garrido Laso - Spain                     Ms. Kim Shoesmith - England

            Mr. Fikar Kerimov - Uzbekistan                       Mr. Sergei Mihailov - Kasakstan

            Mr. Olivier Heuse - Belgium                              Mr. Assen Hadjitodorov - Bulgaria

            Mrs. Lise Blanchard                                          Mr. Milan Svoboda – Czech

   Mrs. Eva Grossmannova - Czech                       Mr. Mohamed Elmamoun -  Morocco


Start of meeting 4:30 pm


Mr. Fred Roy welcomed everyone and congratulated Mr. Igor Mazurenko for organizing such a great event.  The numbers for this years Championships promise to surpass any other WAF Championships.  Everyone applauded Mr. Mazurenko


Mr. Roy explained that in order to keep the meeting to two hours he would be staying as close as possible to the agenda.  Everyone was asked to introduce himself or herself.


China - Mr. Guo Qing Hong - sent a letter - saying that they had problems with the  processing of their passports therefore would not be able to attend.


Austria sent their proxy to Mr. Willy Deneumostier.

            France & Switzerland although would be attending the Championships would not make the meeting and have given Mr. Deneumostier their proxy. 

            Mali - has arrived in Poland but would not be attending the meeting.


            Everyone was asked to sign the attendance sheet.


2.            Review of last year’s minutes in Rovaniemi, Poland


Mr. Roy opened for questions.


            Motion to approve as presented:            Proposed:            Rick Blanchard - Canada

                                                                        Seconded:        Neil Pickup - England



3.              Affiliation of new members


Representative for Australia - Neil Bell - Mr. Bell explains that Australia will be working hard in the next couple of years to build the sport of Armwrestling in their country in hopes of someday hosting a World Championship.  He thanks Mr. Roy for his support and supplying them with a table, rules & regulations as well as hosting a Referee Seminar in order to help Mr. Bell with qualifying Referee's in Australia.


            Motion to accept Neil Bell as the Official representative of Australia


            Proposed:       Denise Wattles  - USA

            Seconded:       Kathy Defeche - Belgium



Representative for Morraco – Mohamed Elmamoun  - Mr. Elmamoun would like to express his gratitude in being allowed the opportunity to participate with this Armwrestling Family and ask that the WAF allow Morocco to participate at the 2001 World Championships and to be affiliated into the WAF Family.


            Motion to accept Mr. Elmamoun as the Official representative of Morocco

Proposed:            Assen Hadjitodorov - Bulgaria

                                    Seconded:       Kathy Defeche - Belgium

            ALL IN FAVOR: 20            CARRIED


            Representative from India - Shailender Kadian  -   There have been quite a few allegations on the Internet about two organizations in India.  We did not want to take part in these allegations and asked both parties to come to Poland and make a presentation to Congress.  Mr. Kadian has come with papers from every government body in India stating

  1. Affiliations of new members (continued)


            that his Federation is the recognized entity.    In Finland – 2000 the Executive had voted Mr. Kumar the representative for Asia and gave him a mandate to unify and promote the sport of armwrestling in his country.  Mr. Kadian has papers to prove that this has not happened.  The Executive therefore recommend that we appoint Mr. Kadian for the period of one year the official representative for Asia and India and give him the same mandate given to Mr. Kumar.  Let us give Mr. Kadian the same opportunity and hope for unification in India.


            Motion to accept Mr. Shailender Kadian as the Official representative for India for the period of one year.


                        Proposed by:            Rick Blanchard - Canada

                        Seconded by:            Kathy Defeche - Belgium

ALL IN FAVOR:  20            CARRIED



Representative of Mali will be attending the Championships and have asked to become members of WAF.


Motion to accept Mali as a member of WAF


                        Proposed by:            Kathy Defeche - Belgium

                        Seconded by:            Rick Blanchard - Canada

                                                ALL IN FAVOR:  20            CARRIED


4.            Reports of the President, Vice-President, General Secretary, Referee in Chief and Sub-Committee Members.


Fred Roy & Willy Deneumostier read their reports. A copy is inserted in the Congress book, which was distributed to all present.


            Report from Dave Devoto - North American Vice President

We are very fortunate to have such an organized country to our North such as Canada who seem to lead us through are trials and tribulations.  We have accomplished allot of success in the past few years.  We have about 23 organizations which all belong under our umbrella.  The AAA is the only organization that has not yet joined.  Mr. Harkless has sent them a letter and some negotiations are happening. 


There is not much going on in Mexico, we have some contacts and will continue to work with them.  I encourage you to use our web site at armwrestling.com as much as you would like, to advertise.  We get as many as 225,000 hits per month.  Please let us know what is going on in your area and I will add to the web site.


4.            Reports (continued)              


Report from Umesh Kumar – Asian Vice-President

            We do not have a report from Asia since Mr. Kumar has not been working with us.


            Report from Assen Hadjitodorov - European President

I would like to share some really good news.  Next year the EAF will have only one unified Armwrestling Championships in the Czech Republic. Our Executive Committee was in Italy and we met with the other organization, it was agreed that for the next year on we will work in favor of reunification of the EAF, and when we unify the EAF, the next step will be to unify the WAF, I am optimistic that this will happen.   I would like to ask that you think of our organization as being one.  The Europeans have done a great job this year!  It is my hope that WAF is united by 2003 Worlds.


We have some really good contacts and relations.  We have our regular competition for juniors and senior and we have our International Championship in Europe.  Europe will be the first step in the reunification of our Sport.

Fred, we hope that this will put the pressure on all countries to unite and with this we will have a unified WAF.


            Report from Neil Bell our Australian Vice-President

I have been trying to organize the Australian Federation and we have good contacts in New Zealand and in Fiji.  Step by step we will get organized and would like to host a World Championship in Australia.


Mr. Bell was asked if he has met Mr. Ajami.  He explained that he has tried many times to contact him and that although he has heard many different voices claiming to be him he has not met him.  Mr. Ajami has circulated flyers advertising different competitions and when Mr. Bell has contacted the places where these events were to be held they had never heard of Mr. Ajami.


            Report from David Shead - Referee in Chief

We are very pleased with the results of the refereeing in Finland, we will be continuing as we have done in the past.  We will be hosting a seminar here in Poland.  We need more training in around the World.  If you are interested in hosting a seminar in different countries please contact me.  We will have some proposals with incentives for becoming a referee.


I would like to thank for Italy for having us in Italy and for trying to work with us.  We tried to speak of unification but we where not given the chance to speak.


The referees will have their work cut out for them with so many countries in attendance, but I am confident that the team will do a great job.



  1. Reports (continued)


Motion to approve all reports as presented


Proposed by:                        Neil Bell - Australia

Seconded by:                        Kathy Defeche - Belgium

                                                            ALL IN FAVOR:  20            CARRIED

5.         Filling of vacancies


                        Oceania Representative -  Neil Bell

                        Asian Representative -  Shailender Kadian

                        African Representative – Mohamed Elmamoun


Willy explains that he has a lot of confidence in Mr. Elmamoun.  Mohamed has the passion for the sport we all have.  Their sportsman are strong athletes they just do not have the financial backing in order to travel.  Willy strongly recommends him as the African representative.            Willy has a lot of respect and would like to recommend him as a candidate.


Motion to approve Mr. Mohamed Elmamoun as the African Representative


Proposed by:                        Willy Deneumostier - Belgium

Seconded by:                        Denise Wattles - USA

                                                     ALL IN FAVOR:  20               CARRIED


6.                  Selection of location for the 2004 WAF World Championships and other sanctioned Championships and Seminars.


            Update on the 2002 WAF World Championships to be held in St-Louis, Missouri, USA.


Mr. Tony Picchioldi host of the Worlds in the USA assures congress that the plans for the championships are well under way with 5 television networks interested in filming the event.  He has made arrangements with American Airlines for rebates for everyone and has also secured a rebate for tickets to the RAM games.  Mr. Picchioldi explains that he did not have time to get packages together but will be sending them to each country as soon as they are available.


Russia asks where the Championships are in 2003.


Luke Laporte from Canada – will be the host to the 2003 World Championships in North Bay, Ontario, The 2nd week in November.  Packages will be made available to everyone at the Championships in the USA.  On behalf of Big Luke Laporte, Rick would like to extend an invitation to all countries to attend the Championships.


Mr. Roy asked if we had any bids for the 2004 Championships.  Mr. Andre from Belgium feels that with reunification happening by 2003 we should refrain from appointing the

6. Selection of  location (continued)


2004 Championship.  Mr. Roy feels that the best strategy would be to plan ahead and ask the country bidding for the 2004 event to be aware of the possibility of some changes being made. 


Mr. Neil Pickup from England says that London does have a venue worthy of hosting such an event and would like to opportunity to do so.


Motion to approve England as the Host to the 2004 World Championships.  This is a tentative bid dependant of the unification.


Proposed by:                        Neil Pickup - England

Seconded by:                        Rick Blanchard - Canada

                                                            ALL IN FAVOR:  20            CARRIED


7.                  Modification of statutes, bylaws and rules


            a)            Article 16  Sub section 1


            Will be changed to:  Payments are to be made in cash US dollars only.


Motion to make changes to the rule as presented:


Proposed by:                        Kathy Defeche - Belgium

Seconded by:                        Denise Wattles - USA

                                                            ALL IN FAVOR:  20            CARRIED


b)                 Referee Panel – recommended changes

i)        Mobile phones that are switched on during competition or in Congress meetings will be charged a $10.00 fine.   The Host of the event will be given an exception.


Proposed by:                        Referee Panel

Seconded by:                        Petra Spatz - Germany

                                                            ALL IN FAVOR:  20            CARRIED


ii)      Air horns or any such loud instruments will not be allowed in the audience.


Proposed by:                        Referee Panel

Seconded by:                        no seconder






7.    Modification of statutes, bylaws and rules (continued)



 iii)       Make a small change in the Referee Uniform.  The referee will not be allowed to wear a country flag on his/her shirt.


Proposed by:                        Referee Panel

Seconded by:                        Petra Spatz - Germany

                                    ALL IN FAVOR: 19                        CARRIED


iv)        No competitor may compete out of uniform; no competitor may receive his or her award out of uniform.  If a competitor comes on stage to compete out of uniform they will forfeit that bout.  A country without uniform may request in writing before the start of the competition to the Executive Committee for a solution or leniency.

Proposed by:                        Referee Panel

Seconded by:                        Richard Blanchard - Canada

                                    ALL IN FAVOR:  14  OPPOSED:  5            CARRIED


v)         Any unauthorized competitor or official who come on stage during the event will be charged a $50 fine.

Proposed by:                        Referee Panel

Seconded by:                        Richard Blanchard - Canada

                                    ALL IN FAVOR:  14  OPPOSED: 5            CARRIED


vi)        The referee panel proposes that each of the competitors know the following words.

            Ready go   knuckles   elbows down   wrist   shoulders   stop   warning   winner

            Dangerous position   referees grip   take a grip   back   thumb down   don’t move


Proposed by:                        Referee Panel

Seconded by:                        Denis Wattles - USA

                                                            ALL IN FAVOR:  19            CARRIED


vii)       The word shoulder will be used do describe a dangerous position

Proposed by:                        Referee Panel

Seconded by:                        Neil Bell

                                                            ALL IN FAVOR:  19            CARRIED


viii)      A fee of $50 will be charged to hear a protest, if your protest is up held the $50 is returned to the country, if the protest is denied the country looses the $50.

Proposed by:                        Referee Panel

Seconded by:                        David Eilersten

                                    ALL IN FAVOR:  11  OPPOSED: 8            CARRIED




7.             Modifications (continued)


vix)      A specified area will be secured for the pullers whose class is being run.  The officials will send these pullers to this specified area.

Proposed by:                        Referee Panel

Seconded by:                        Denise Wattles

                                                            ALL IN FAVOR:  19            CARRIED


x)            Leonard Harkless explained this proposal on behalf of the Referee Panel.

                       It is quite difficult to have the top-level referees attend the World Championships when they need to pay for all transportation costs.  By charging the competitors for each arm they compete in the extra money received will be going into a fund held to offset the cost of the qualified referees that we have across the world.  The decision on which referees would be chosen would be made by the Referee Panel and Fred Roy.


                       Motion:  That the competitors pay for each arm they enter for competition.  If they enter one right & one left arm the cost would be $30 each = $60 Total.


            Discussion:  Russia feels that if we start paying for referees that they must have a disciplinary recourse set-up as well.


Proposed by:                        Referee Panel

Seconded by:                        Rick Blanchard - Canada

                                                            ALL IN FAVOR:  19            CARRIED


8.                  New Business


a) Table changes: Canada proposes that we prepare for next year.  We need to be prepared to make proper presentations of the table changes which will be brought forward at next years congress meeting.


b)  Laser point light:  Igor Mazurenko explains that he has a piece of equipment which will help the referees with calls made.  This equipment is a Laser point light, which will leave no discrepancy and will allow for only one referee.  He has spoken to many armwrestlers and they all feel the light helps them set up. 

David Shead points out that he has seen this device and it works very well but he is not happy with the stand for the device and feels it gets in the way of the of the referees and pullers.  He suggests that we wait until we have properly modified the stand.

Neil Pickup has also seen this device and feels there are good and bad points.  He feels we will ruin armwrestling if we try to bring in to much technology and do not leave some discretion to the referees.


It was the consensus of the Congress that the World Championships are not the place to test a new piece of equipment.


Fred Roy would prefer that we train our referees instead of trying to bring in technology that could or could not work.


Motion: That we try the laser light during the Master and the Youth Tournament.  This would allow the masters who are also competitors to be on booth side of the table.


Proposed by:                        Igor Mazurenko - Poland

Seconded by:                        Alexander Filimonov - Russia




David Shead would once again like to remind Congress, that items such as the laser should have been brought to the Referee panel prior to the start of the tournament so that they could have brought their opinions to the Congress Meeting.


c)         Fred Roy reminds Congress of the importance of sending the General Secretary the Minutes of you Annual Meeting, National Results, list of Elected Country Representative as well as a copy of the country letterhead.  The Constitution does state that this must be done prior to the World Championship every year.


These documents will only serve to support all countries as to whom they have as their official representative.


David Shead explains that the Countries who do not comply with the Constitution should not be allowed to vote at the Congress Meeting.


d)         Willy explains that last year we voted to have professional specs brought to this Congress meeting.  The Congress would then vote on some of the proposals; we would then have 4 tables purchased for the WAF.  These tables would be transported to all World Championships.   Leonard Harkless proposes that we wait and see the tables that he has which are portable and then make a decision if these are the ones we would like for the WAF.  He explains that in order to have tables, which break down for transportation, they would not be as stable.  His cost would be approx. $800 us dollars.

            Fred Roy explains that in Canada all our tables come apart for easy transportation in form of suitcase, these table are just as strong and stable as any other table.  Neil bell confers since he has been given a table, which was transported in this fashion.

            Denise Wattles proposes that Canada make and bring their tables (in WAF specs) to the Worlds in USA, we could then decide if these would be the tables to be transported.

            Rick Blanchard suggest that 2 tables be transported in North America and 2 in Europe this will bring down the cost of transportation.


  8.         New Business (continued)


Motion:  That Canada builds the tables (WAF specs) that will be used at the Worlds in the USA.


Proposed by:                        Denise Wattles - USA

Seconded by:                        Rick Blanchard - Canada

                                                            ALL IN FAVOR:  19            CARRIED


e)            Motion: That a qualified referee may be allowed to referee on a day that they are not pulling.


Proposed by:                        Denise Wattles - USA

Seconded by:                        Neil Bell - Australia

                                    ALL IN FAVOR: 20                                                CARRIED


David Shead would once again like to remind everyone that something like this should have been brought to the referee panel prior to congress meeting.


f)            Leonard Harkless would like the chance to introduce a new draw sheet.  Russia seconded USA and the draw sheets were introduced.

            Leonard explains that formal draw sheets have never been approved by Congress and he would like to introduce the sheets that he has designed for the USA, they work very well and would like these to be used for the Worlds in 2002.  He feels the sheets used now are a blank sheet of paper with no design.  His have been tested, and are fair for all competitors.

            Willy explains that the sheets used by the WAF Team at present work very well and he does not see the necessity of changing the system.  Since Lise Blanchard is in charge of the draw sheets he feels that she should be allowed to speak.

            Lise Blanchard explains that she had no idea this was being brought to the table since Leonard had not approached her for her comments or suggestions.  She has been doing these sheets for over 15 years in Canada and for the past 4 years at the World level. They work very well and adapt to any size class as well as being fair to all competitors. As Director of draw sheets she has not been given the opportunity to prepare and present the sheets used at present.  She does not feel that we should be voting on something this important without both methods being properly introduced.  Further discussion was heard by other countries before being brought to a vote.


Motion:            That the draw sheets used by the USA be adopted and used as the official WAF draw sheets.


Proposed by:                        Leonard Harkless - USA

Seconded by:                        Alexander Filimonov - Russia

                                    ALL IN FAVOR = 4

                                    OPPOSED = 16                                    DENIED


8.         New business (continued)


g)  Should the media be allowed to take pictures on stage.  The discussion was that as long as the media does not interfere with the referees and the match they would be allowed on stage.


Proposed by:                       

Seconded by:                       

                                    ALL IN FAVOR:  14     OPPOSED: 6                        CARRIED


            h)  It was brought to Congress attention that we are not offering classes for the Left Disabled.   Igor Mazurenko explains that her has enough awards and these classes will be offered.


9.            Review of audited accounts:


The accounts are shown in the book received by all at Congress Meeting.

Proposed by:                        Assen Hadjitodorov - Bulgaria

Seconded by:                        Rick Blanchard - Canada

                                    ALL IN FAVOR = 19                                                 CARRIED


10.            Appointment of Auditors for 2002


                        Assen Hadjitodorov – Bulgaria and Dave Devoto – USA


11.       Open discussion – No discussion was held


12.            Meeting adjournment


            Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.


Proposed by:                        Richard Blanchard - Canada

Seconded by:                        Denise Wattles - USA

                                    ALL IN FAVOR:   19                                                CARRIED


Everyone was asked to stay for the group pictures.  


                        Fred Roy                                                                        Willy Deneumostier

               WAF – President                                                                WAF – General Secretary



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