USA Swimming votes to ban technical racing suits for 12 & unders
A national ban on technical racing suits for 12 & unders has been passed by the House of Delegates at the USA Swimming National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida. The ban will take effect in September of 2020, which was designed to give manufacturers the opportunity to catch up and to adjust inventories ahead of the change. This ruling would affect Sanctioned, Observed and Approved levels of meets. The exceptions to the national ban is only for Junior nationals and higher meets. 12 year old swimmers at Sectionals and Y Nationals would be prohibited to wear tech suits.
Keep in mind Middle Atlantic swimming already has a “Tech Suit Ban” for 10 and unders. At the September, 2017 Middle Atlantic Swimming Board Meeting, the Middle Atlantic Swimming Board approved the following policy in regards to our swimmers aged 10 and under wearing “Tech Suits” in Middle Atlantic Sanctioned Meets. This policy follows many Local Swim Committees (LSCs) in the United States who are reviewing rules on the use of technical swim suits in age group competitions. The main reason is that these suits can cost as much as $500 per suit versus traditional fabric suits that cost much less
Currently Middle Atlantic swimming does NOT have a “Tech” suit restriction for swimmers age 11 and over. This will change as we move closer to the September, 2020 date
Here is some “Q and A” from Age Group Vice Chair Brian Elko to assist with the understanding of this policy:
- Paroling this is going to be up to the Coaches and officials. Coaches need to educate their teams and be willing to speak up if they see a swimmer with a suit on at a meet. Officials will be DQing swimmers if they see a swimmer aged 10 and under compete in a Tech suit.
- We are defining a “Tech” suit as: “any suit with bonded seams, Kinetic tape, or meshed seams”
- Referees and officials will know about this rule and will have the ability to DQ a swimmer wearing a suit.
- Referees will not be checking all suits, but if a swimmer swims and an official sees a FINA tag on the suit they have the right to DQ the swimmer.
- The list of suits that will NOT be permitted will be updated as needed.