Coach Pete

Expert advice for Swimmers, Triathletes, and Coaches

Fina’s Recent Ruling on High-tech Suits Raises Questions

This post is the opinion of a swim mother from the Ozark Swim Team. Her name is Michelle Cox, she is a 41 year old swim mother who is deeply concerned about the use of these new high-tech swim suits at swim meets….here is her post…Please let me know what is your opinion on this matter?


Michelle Cox,  concerned  swim mom

As is the case with most governing bodies, and as is the case with most decisions made by governing bodies, FINA’s ruling Tuesday in Dubai on High-tech racing suits leaves as many questions as answers.

This article goes into more detail, stating:

“After reviewing 348 swimsuits from 21 manufacturers,” FINA said in a statement, “the FINA Executive decided the following: 202 swimsuits approved, 10 swimsuits rejected for not passing the tests of buoyancy and/or thickness.”

FINA said 136 other swimsuits needed to be modified to meet the requirement that “swimsuit material shall not be constructed to or include elements/systems which create air/water trapping effects during use.”

FINA said the manufacturers had until June 19 to “resubmit the same swimsuit for FINA approval, with the corresponding corrections.”

My personal interest is that my daughter has a Blueseventy, which is not on the approved list. It is among the among the suits on the list that need to be modified. Blueseventy released this statement about the ruling. So I have a lot of questions:

  • Can Blueseventy appeal the ruling?
  • If Blueseventy makes the modifications to their suit and gets it approved by FINA, what happens to all the suits already purchased (at a hefty price tag, I might add)? Will Blueseventy replace those suits? Pay to modify those suits? Give a credit toward a modified suit?
  • Is this ruling effectively immediately? In other words, can swimmers who own suits not on the approved list wear them until all of the appeals, etc., are complete?
  • I have a friend who recently bought a Nike Swift — also not on the approved list — can that swimmer wear that suit at summer long-course meets?

Of course, on a more “local” level, USA Swimming has yet to make a ruling on this other than the ruling it made last fall.  Ozark Swimming, our swim club’s Local Swim Committee or LSC, adopted the same rules regarding high-tech swimsuits (aka Speedo LZR, Blueseventy) as USA Swimming.  Here is the wording that was adopted by USA Swimming at the 2008 House of Delegates:

Swimsuits worn for all 12 & under age group defined competition shall not cover the neck, extend past he shoulder, nor past the knee.

You can read this ruling  from last fall here.

I suspect USA Swimming, and thus, Ozark, will wait until all the dust settles and all the appeals and modification deadlines are passed before making any new rulings on the suits. That makes sense, but again, it leaves room for lots of questions regarding the summer swim season. Do the current USA Swimming/Ozark rules stand, which means our swimmers who own Blueseventy’s can wear them in summer competition, particularly big meets like Championships, Sectionals and Zones?

Interestingly, FINA approved the Speedo Lzr, worn by Michael Phelps and several other swimmers who set world records in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

I’ve written a lot about the Blueseventy controversy on this blog, and at my previous blogging site. If you choose to comment on this topic, please do so on this site, as I no longer write at the previous site or moderate comments there.  I will approve comments that leave a valid email address’s (which won’t be published, but is simply requested for verification). I will not, however, publish comments that are personal attacks on my family. Unfortunately, this issue has brought out the very worst in some people, so this clarification is necessary.

May 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment