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The Item: IFBB Pro League News, Olympia Qualifications, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Just Announced: This week, the IFBB Pro League  (International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness) management issued a press release dated March 13, 2012, which contained the following announcement:

The IFBB Pro League, in conjunction with Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend, announced the creation of the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series, a points-based system that will help determine qualifiers for all six IFBB Pro Olympia divisions.

The IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series will award points to competitors placing in the Top 2 to 5 of all Pro League events. At the end of the Olympia qualifying season, the five (5) competitors with the highest points totals in the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series will qualify to compete at Olympia Weekend.

Since the winner of each competition automatically qualifies, no points will be awarded for first place. Additionally, competitors placing in the Top 5 at the Olympia automatically qualify for the following year.

The IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series will be effective immediately, and point totals for all 2012 contests will be included.  

Points and qualifications in the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series will be awarded as follows:

TIER 1 - ARNOLD CLASSIC
2nd - 8 Points, 3rd - 7 Points, 4th - 6 Points, 5th - 5 Points

TIER 2 - SHERU CLASSIC, ARNOLD CLASSIC EUROPE
2nd - 6 Points, 3rd - 5 Points, 4th - 4 Points, 5th - 3 Points

TIER 3 - NEW YORK PRO
2nd - 5 Points, 3rd - 4 Points, 4th - 3 Points, 5th - 2 Points

TIER 4 - ALL OTHER IFBB PRO LEAGUE COMPETITIONS
2nd - 4 Points, 3rd - 3 Points, 4th - 2 Points, 5th - 1 Point

The "So What?": This new IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series Points System comes soon after the League's recent rule change announced immediately after the 2011 Olympia Weekend and reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report." The aforementioned rule had stated that only the first-place winner of most IFBB Pro League contests would qualify to compete at the Olympia -- with the exception of the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships (Top 3), the IFBB New York Pro Bodybuilding Championships (Top 2) and the IFBB Olympia itself (Top 4).

Andrew Oye's Verdict: The new points system is a definite physique-sports game-changer for IFBB Pro League athletes. It appears the IFBB Pro League is trying to strike a balance between restricting qualifications for the most prestigious contest to the sport's best (such as Sandow-trophy winning and Mr. Olympia title-holding champions IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman, IFBB Pro Lee Haney, IFBB Pro Dorian Yates, IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger, IFBB Pro Frank Zane, IFBB Pro Jay Cutler, IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson, IFBB Pro Phil Heath, IFBB Pro Sergio Oliva, IFBB Pro Franco Columbu, IFBB Pro Larry Scott, among others), without completely stifling opportunities for quality competitors toiling at Olympia-qualifying contests leading up to the "Super Bowl of Bodybuilding."

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