12 & Under Tech Suit Ban -- Know What Suit You Can Wear For Competition!

The USA Swimming ban on 12 and unders wear technical suits is in effect. Do you know what suit you can and cannot wear at a meet? How do you check in to find out if your suit is okay to wear at the meet?

 The tech suit restrictions, proposed by the Age Group Development Committee, went into effect for 12-and-under swimmers beginning September 1, 2020. Below are complete lists of the suits that will be restricted for athletes 12 and under, and then a list of those tech suits that will be allowed for athletes 12 and under:

For a detailed breakdown of approved and restricted tech suits by brand, click the links below:

For additional questions, please consult the  FAQ.

102.8 SWIMWEAR  

.1 Design 

F. No Technical Suit may be worn by any 12 & Under USA Swimming athlete member in competition at any Sanctioned, Approved or Observed meet. 

1) A Technical Suit is one that has the following components: 

a. Any suit with any bonded or taped seams regardless of its fabric or silhouette; or 

b. Any suit with woven fabric extending past the hips.
(Note: WOVEN FABRIC-A suit with woven fabric and sewn seams that does not extend below the hips is permitted.) 

(Note: KNIT FABRIC-A suit with knit fabric and sewn seams not extending below the knees is permitted.) 

This rule is in effect for all USA Swimming competitions in the United States, so any manufacturer or vendor selling a suit in the United States is subject to the above rule. No Technical Suits may be worn by any 12-Under USA Swimming athlete member in competition at any Sanctioned, Approved or Observed meet.

A Technical Suit is one that has the following components: 

  • Any male or female suit with any bonded or taped seams is defined as a technical suit regardless of its fabric or silhouette.

Bonded Seam                           

Sewn Seam

Any male or female suit with woven fabric and to the knee or mid-thigh is defined as a technical suit regardless of the type seams: bonded, taped or sewn. (Note: A woven suit with sewn seams and in a male brief or female regular cut not to the knees is not defined as a technical suit and is not restricted).

Woven Fabric                             

Textile Fabric


Compliant Suits

 Any suit that does not have the FINA logo on it is approved for 12-Under use.

There are a handful of suits in the market that have the FINA logo that would be considered legal for age group competition because they do not meet the definition of what is deemed a technical suit. These suits and only these suits will bear an additional check mark logo developed by USA Swimming to indicate that the suit is compliant with the rule. This check mark will be placed to the left or right of the FINA logo on the suit. A picture of the check mark logo is next to this paragraph.

For additional tech suit info for officials, click  here.

Suit Manufacturer Feedback
Suit manufacturers have a vested interest in both this legislation and future growth of the sport. Virtually all the manufacturers agree that the high end/highest cost tech suits are not appropriate for use by younger swimmers. Manufacturers have provided significant input during the process of defining tech suits and have been given a reasonable lead-up time to adjust product lines and have agreed to adapt to the proposed restrictions. All major brands in the USA market were actively involved in this process and 14 manufacturers overall were consulted. 

If you own or purchase a suit that qualifies for use and it has the FINA Approved logo but not the green check mark… Follow these steps before you race:

1. Find the list of qualified suits on USA Swimming’s website. Confirm your suit is on there.

2. Swimmer or coach takes the suit to the meet referee prior to the start of the meet.

3. The tag on the suit has the name of the suit on it and the referee can compare with the list on the website.

4. Referee uses a green Sharpie and places an “X” over the FINA Approved logo.

5. It is up to the swimmer and/or coach to have this approved prior to them swimming the race. If the suit has not been reviewed and marked prior to the start of the meet the athlete could be disqualified if they swim in that suit.


Tech Suit Restriction for 12 and Under Swimmers - by USA Swimming - Monday, August 24, 2020