October 9, 2019
USA Swimming Rules and Regulations Chair, Clark Hammond, and Officials Chair, Kathleen Scandary issued a Statement of Clarification on Swimsuit Rules in light of the issues in Alaska Swimming in September 2019. The issues in Alaska concerned high school swimsuit rules.
As many of you are aware,
in September a high school swimming official applied an NFHS rule
at a high
school contest in Alaska resulting in the disqualification of a swimmer based on nonconformance with
the NFHS rule. The disqualification was subsequently overturned, and the official was sanctioned.
Following this widely discussed case, USA Swimming felt this was an important opportunity to have open dialogue with USA Swimming officials, to learn from this event, and to be better informed of analogous USA Swimming rules. While USA Swimming does not have a similar swimsuit coverage rule, our staff continues to monitor the effect of and response to the NFHS rule. USA Swimming rules require that swimsuits worn in competition conform with the current concept of the appropriate:
USA Swimming Rule 102.8.1 D
requires that the swimsuit worn must conform to the current
concept of the appropriate.
USA Swimming officials must
only evaluate this rule as it is written and apply the
“current concept of the
appropriate” standard. Contrary to the guidelines used in the situation in Alaska, USA Swimming does not have a “modesty” rule related to swimsuits. USA Swimming officials must not apply a modesty standard.