The British Drug Free Powerlifting Association was formed in 1989 (originally called the BPA) with the express purpose of providing an alternative national platform for Drug Free Competition.
From 1989 to 1999 all competitions were equipped full power only events, however bench shirts were not allowed. The WDFPF Congress decision to start up equipped/unequipped as 2 distinct categories was taken in autumn 1998 in Atlanta and to allow the use of single ply bench shirts. However, there were no competitions in the BDFPA under the new format until 1999. Also in 1999, single lift events were introduced, both equipped and unequipped. Regarding the existing (pre 1999) records, the WDFPF made the decision to list the squat and deadlift full power records under equipped, but the bench press records to be listed as both equipped & unequipped. The BDFPA followed this decision.
Prior to 1999 there were no single lift competitions as such, although there was the odd bench only and deadlift only competition. Again, there were no bench press shirts allowed in bench only competitions, so all single lift bench records prior to 1999 should be unequipped only.
From 1999 onwards full power equipped and unequipped competitions were run, as well as single lift competitions that catered for equipped and unequipped lifters and this continues to this day. Unequipped lifting has now become much more popular and certainly seems to be the trend, however competitions for equipped lifting are still provided for, although the recent decline in equipped lifters has resulted in both British equipped and unequipped full power competitions being combined into a single two day competition.