May 19, 2018
USA Swimming, at its annual House of Delegates meeting in September, will be voting to ban Tech Suits for 12&U swimmers in ALL competition below the Sectional level. The Age Group Development Committee at USA Swimming is behind this proposal and will present the proposal to the HOD for a vote in September.
USA Swimming commissioned the Issac Sport Group to conduct the study for USA Swimming and results were presented at the USAS Board of Directors meeting in May. The high cost of the tech suites is a major factor in many parts of the country as well as keeping the sport accessible to everyone while maintaining a level playing field for all developing swimmers.
Advocates of this ban want to reiterate that age group swimmers should be focusing on skill development and hard work to swim fast versus wearing a high-tech suit to make up for deficiencies in technique and work ethic. There is plenty of time and plenty of meets to wear these high-tech suites when they get older and faster.
All of the swim suit manufactures agree that High Tech suites are not appropriate for 12&U swimmers and they were never designed with 12&U swimmers in mind. In my own humble opinion, a high-tech suit does not help them all that much anyway. They are just a huge waste of money because most 12&U swimmers simply can't swim fast enough to make them worth the expense. The suits were designed to aid high level adult swimmers above a certain speed.
High Tech suits are already banned in Australia for age group swimmers and several more countries are also considering a tech suit ban of their own for young swimmers. In addition, several LSC in USA Swimming have already banned the use of High Tech suits for age groupers for local competition, Southern California and New Jersey to name a few. Potomac Valley has also been asked to look at the issue.
If I were you, I'd hold off on buying that $400-$500 swim suit for your 12&U swimmer because I feel certain that this ban will pass the HOD in September with minimal opposition and will be adopted immediately for the 2018-19 season. Save your money and put it towards an additional day of training for your child. That will help them far more that a swim suit will!