February 16, 2010

“My swimmers have been asking if they can wear their LZRs at nationals in May. Can they wear those and other tech suits at nationals in May?”

Yes, swimmers can wear their LZR suits and other tech suits that were legal during the 2009 season at the 2010 USMS Short Course National Championships in May. The month of May will be the last time that USMS swimmers can wear suits on the 2009 FINA-approved suit list for short course yards pool competition. As of June 1, 2010, tech suits can no longer be worn in USMS sanctioned or recognized competition. As of this date a swimmer can wear only a suit that is either on the 2010 FINA-approved list or meets the FINA swimsuit specifications (102.14.4; textile fabrics, navel to not-below-the-knee for men and shoulder to not-below-the-knee [no sleeves] for women, no zippers or other fasteners except for waist ties on briefs or jammers, and no modesty/privacy wear, including jock straps, under the competition suit). The new swimwear rules are in effect now for all meters competition in pools.

“Can swimmers wear traditional suits? I don’t see all of those suits on the FINA list.”

Yes, swimmers can wear traditional racing suits such as lycra/polyester briefs for men and hip-to-shoulder suits for women if they meet the FINA swimsuit specifications listed above.

“What about the “beach suits” or cruise type swimwear that my new swimmers wear?”

If those suits meet the FINA swimsuit specifications listed above, swimmers can wear them in competition. However if there are any fasteners, such as a metal clasp on a strap across the back or on a strap around the neck, those will not meet the FINA swimsuit specifications. The suit must also be made entirely of textile fabrics.

For any questions about rules contact Kathy Casey, USMS Rules Chair, rules@usms.org

For any questions about open water swimwear contact Heather Hagadorn, USMS Long Distance Rules Chair, longdistance@usms.org.