Frequently Asked Questions PDF
As competition schedules continue to get filled at the local and
national levels, be sure that your swimmers are wearing the proper
suits when they get to the pool.
To help understand what suits are and are not allowed, feel free to
reference these frequently asked questions:
Q: Does a
suit need to have a FINA logo for the referee to approve by marking
with a green sharpie if it does not bear a green check
A: No. Any suit that does not have the FINA logo on it is approved
for 12&Under use.
Q: Do all
approved suits need to have a green check mark to be considered
A: The green check mark will only appear on suits that have the
FINA logo – as we continue to transition the ban rule it will
not be on all approved suits as they may be from inventory before
the suit banned was in place September 1, 2020. If the suit is on
the approved 12&Under suit list and has a FINA logo but no
green check mark, it will need to be approved by the meet referee
prior to competition and a sharpie check mark placed on the FINA
approved suits of the same style and brand have the FINA logo, and
some do not. Are they both approved for 12&Under use?
A: Suits on the approved list for 12&Under use list are
approved regardless of if it has the FINA logo or not. However, an
older stock suit that may have the FINA logo on it but does not
have the green check mark on it will need to follow the “work
around” process (getting the referee mark suit with green
sharpie) to be approved for 12&Under use. If the same suit has
no FINA logo it, it is approved
for 12&Under use.
Q: Can boys
still wear “jammers”? The proposed rule says,
“Any male or female suit with woven fabric extending to the
knee or mid-thigh is defined as a technical
A: Boys can still wear jammers. The key phrase in the proposal is
“woven fabric”. There are plenty of jammer suits
available that are not made of a woven material.
girls still wear suits down to the knees?
A: Girls can still wear suits to the knees. Similar to the question
above, there are plenty of female suits available that are not made
of a woven material.
Q: Can a
12-Under swimmer wear a tech suit at an LSC Championship meet or
A: No. The only meets where a 12-Under will be allowed to wear a
tech suit is one that is in USA Swimming’s Championship
series of meets (Junior Nationals, US Open, National Championships
or U.S. Olympic Trials).
Q: Can an
LSC now make a rule restricting the use of tech suits earlier than
the national restriction that goes into place September 1,
A: The Age Group Development Committee (AGD) spent the last three
years looking at the complexity of this issue from all sides in
terms of markings, manufacturing, cost, officiating, retail and
more to form this recommendation. The AGD strongly recommends LSCs
hold any legislation until the national implementation date. This
will allow for the proper time period for all aspects of the
industry to be ready for the implementation.
LSCs with existing rules “fall in line” with this rule
A: There was unanimous agreement that for this rule to be
effective, it will require consistency nationally. It is the
recommendation of the Age Group Development Committee that LSCs
match this proposal on definition and timing.
Q: How does
USA Swimming plan to educate parents, coaches and swimmers on what
is a technical suit and what isn’t?
A: USA Swimming, with the help of all suit manufacturers, is
planning to create an educational piece(s) on suits and what will
be legal and what won’t. This campaign will include
information to help parents choose the best suit for their young
swimmer that is consistent with the American Development Model. USA
Swimming will also publish a list of restricted
suits. Restriction on Tech Suits for 12-and-Under Swimmers.
Q: What is
the marking system to identify a tech suit?
A: The primary identifier will be any suit that has the FINA logo
will be considered a tech suit. This will address 99% of the issues
today with 12-and-unders and is a marking system that higher-level
officials are accustomed to seeing. It is easily identifiable even
at a busy meet and does not require any additional cost or
production for manufacturers. This will also keep consumer costs
lower without adding additional steps in manufacturing.
there some suits with the FINA logo that could still work for
A: There are currently a small number of suits (less than 5 today)
that have a FINA logo but do not meet the definition of a tech
suit. Those suits will require an additional visual mark (ex. a
bright check mark surrounded by a circle) to signify it is ok for
there suits that don’t’ have a FINA logo, but are still
considered a tech suit?
A: In the event that a manufacturer chooses not to go through FINA
approval on a suit that meets the definition of a tech suit, an
additional mark signifying it is not allowed for 12-and-unders will
be used. Currently, no companies have a suit in this category.
Q: If, for
example, a 12-year-old is entered in an open/senior meet that is
not on the list of exempted meets (i.e. an LSC Senior meet or
an Open Invitational) how would an official know that they
shouldn’t be wearing a technical suit since there isn’t
an age classification for the meet or event?
A: Because most heat sheets list the age of the athlete, it should
be relatively easy at the beginning of the meet for the meet
referee to look through the heat sheet and identify any 12-Under
swimmers entered in the meet/events. The officials would then need
to ensure that those swimmers are not competing in a suit with the
FINA logo on it. The burden is really on swimmers, parents and
coaches to comply with all rule changes.