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

The Scoop: Recently Announced: In Advisory Notice 101409, dated October 14, 2009, the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness -- IFBB Professional League -- announced rule changes. The (excerpted) edict reads as follows:

"Please be advised that the following changes to the IFBB Pro Rules were adopted at the annual meeting of the IFBB Pro League, held at The Orleans Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, September 24, 2009.

In Bodybuilding, at the end of the Prejudging, one score will not be awarded and this score will not be doubled...

In Bodybuilding, the posing routine will no longer be scored. This will value the Prejudging and Finals Posedown at 50% each."

The "So What?": As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," for ages, the posing routine has been thought, by some, to be an integral part of competitive bodybuilding. It is the opportunity -- beyond the series of mandatory poses -- for individual athletes to show the hard work put into their bodies in the manner or style they feel highlights an "ideal" physique and, consequently, some feel this aspect should be judged as part their understanding of how a bodybuilder should present a developed physique on stage.

Among fans, some complaints suggest that the IFBB's new rule could potentially decrease competitor motivation to put effort into posing routines and, subsequently, decrease the entertainment value of professional bodybuilding contests as "shows." Some contest promoters, like IFBB Hall of Famer and retired IFBB Pro Shawn Ray, have responded with vows to offer "Best Poser" Awards to reward the efforts of exceptional posers and to preserve what some fear will be a dying art form.  

Andrew Oye's Verdict: The decision to discount free-posing may be initially perplexing, especially as the writer of a series of articles on the significance of presentation in competitive bodybuilding called "The Art of War" -- which highlights the work of some IFBB Pro League athletes like legends IFBB Pro Francis Benfatto, IFBB Pro Lee Labrada, IFBB Pro Ed Corney, IFBB Pro Lee Haney, IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger and notables like IFBB Pro Darrem Charles, IFBB Pro Vince Taylor, IFBB Pro Flex Wheeler, IFBB Pro Tricky Jackson, IFBB Pro Melvin Anthony, Shawn Ray and more. Yet, the art of posing in the context of competition will only be valued to the degree that contest judges and/or IFBB Pro-card carrying athletes themselves voice any strong dissent. Besides, free-posing will still occur at major shows like the Arnold Sports Festival's Arnold Classic Bodybuilding Championships and Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend Mr. Olympia Championships; there just won't be a number placed on it.

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