Clarification of new swimsuit rules (9/23/2009)

Clarification of new swimsuit rules  (9/23/2009)

We have heard your concerns and confusion over the Amendments to Rule 102.9, regarding allowable swimsuits at USA Swimming competitions. While the October 1 effective date allows us to both avoid interrupting our short course season and protects the integrity of our competitions in the summer of 2010, the abbreviated timetable has also created some challenges.
Specifically, many of our members have expressed confusion over the definition of a “textile” suit. While it would be impossible to provide a complete list of all allowable suits, we have re-worked the language below in an effort to help provide some clarity during this interim period. Please note that we expect FINA will release a comprehensive list of allowable suits in the coming months. When that list becomes available, USA Swimming will immediately make the information available.

We appreciate your patience during this interim period.

Until such time as FINA releases their list of approved suits, the following criteria should be used to determine if a suit is legal for competition:

1.Swimsuits for men may not extend above the navel or below the knee and for women may not cover the neck or extend past the shoulders or below the knee;

2.No zippers or other fastening devices are allowed except for a waist tie on a brief or jammer; and

3.Suits must be of textile material and must not be made of any rubberized type of material such as polyurethane or neoprene.

If the suit meets the above three criteria, it should be assumed to be an approved suit during this interim period.  USA Swimming understands and appreciates the difficulties surrounding this issue and we are trying to do everything we can to expedite the FINA list being published.  Coaches, officials and swimmers are urged to use common sense in this matter.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact Bruce Stratton via e-mail at