BlueSeventy Suits Back on the Approved FINA List

22 06 2009

As of this morning Blue Seventy suits are back on the approved FINA list. BlueSeventy has made their argument that their suits do not trap air and FINA has listened and approved some of their suits.

FINA Executive held a meeting in Lausanne Switzerland on June 19, 2009 to consider the swimsuits approvals under the transitory regulations in accordance with the Dubai Charter.

The Executive reviewed the recommendations of the Swimsuit Commission issued on June 18, 2009 in connection with the swimsuits subject to re-examination further to the first Commission Meeting on May 19, 2009.

The Manufacturers have re-presented their swimsuits with modifications. In certain cases, the Manufacturers have submitted arguments regarding the fact the construction or material of their swimsuits would not create air trapping effects.

The Executive approved the swimsuits as per attached list.

Regarding the application of the criteria, the Executive found that the evidence of “in use” air trapping effect is complex and that it would require considerable time to create and implement comprehensive control mechanisms and test methods which would permit to establish the effect with absolute certainty in connection with particular swimsuits. In a transitory period where the industry had little time to anticipate the requirements, it is also important to take into account that the outcome of the approval process can have substantial impact on existing production and stocks. Therefore, in cases where there was a reasonable doubt as to the effect, such doubt had to be taken into account in the decision concerning the respective swimsuits.

To secure a level-playing field, the swimsuits approved will be available to all swimmers at the World Championships in Rome.

The approved swimsuits will be labelled and will be checked in Rome prior to competition.

The rules regarding shape, use of only one swimsuit and no taping will be strictly applied and controlled in the first call room.

FINA will continue the process of controlling the evolution of swimsuits and will issue new rules including new criteria for 2010.

Here are the FINA Approved BlueSeventy swimsuits: 

Blueseventy Ltd Nero Seamless Bodyskin full
  Nero Seamless Kneeskin full – knee
  Nero 10K Bodyskin full
  Nero Comp Bodyskin full
  Nero Open Back Bodyskin full
  Nero Comp Kneeskin full – knee
  Nero Open Back Kneeskin full – knee
  Nero Legskin pants – long
  Nero Jammer pants – short
  Pointzero3+ Long Leg / Calf full
  Pointzero3+ Kneeskin full – knee




blueseventy Addresses FINA’s Suit Approvals

20 05 2009

Here is the statement from blueseventy:

New Zealand — May 19, 2009 — Today FINA released its list of approved suits for the World Championships in July. FINA rejected 10 high-tech racing suits and approved 199 others with 136 swimsuits to be modified in accordance with the “Dubai Charter”.

blueseventy submitted 11 models of suits for FINA approval, including tights and jammers.  At this time, blueseventy suits are not listed on FINA’s site as approved models, but one of the 136 that need to be modified, and this includes the models that had previously been submitted (in late 2007) and had received approval.

blueseventy is stunned by this omission.  “As a company, and personally, we were very comfortable with the criteria for testing that FINA had outlined, our suits passed well under the threshold for buoyancy and thickness proposed by them,” stated blueseventy’s Global Marketing Manager, Dean Jackson.  “We have had confirmation that our suits passed the independent laboratory testing for both of these tests.”

Officially blueseventy is classified as one of the suits that ”may cause significant air trapping when worn by the swimmers.” However, there are several other similar brands with suits that use exactly the same fabric, with a similar construction, that have passed without a problem.  This confusing situation has led the company to seek clarification directly from FINA and blueseventy is awaiting their response.

blueseventy has 30 days to make modifications to the suit so that it no longer traps air, but the system around this is unclear since trapping air is not a measurable value and the subjective nature of this “testing” is not black or while. Initially the Dubai Charter and resubmission of these suits was in order to gain acceptance for the Rome World championships and it is blueseventy’s understanding that previously approved suits remain legal for all competitions.

“We are dedicated to working on the best solution to the short-term situation and will work closely with FINA on this process,” said Roque Santos, blueseventy Vice President of Swimming. “Most importantly, we care about swimmers, we care about our company and we care about fair play for all brands in this process.”





The First Step in Regulating the Speedo LZR and Blue Seventy Nero

16 03 2009

 

FINA meet this weekend and drafted the Dubai Charter which is the first step in regulating the controversial swimming suits like the Speedo LZR Racer, TYR Rise, Blue Seventy Nero, and the Aqua Zone Renegade. FINA is laying the ground work for new regulations that will start popping up in the next few months and years to come. The idea is to insure that the sport of swimming remains fair and that the playing field or pool is equal for all swimmers.

 

 

DUBAI CHARTER on FINA requirements for swimwear approval

As the world governing body for aquatic sports, FINA has the authority and responsibility to issue regulations applying to its five disciplines. This includes the determination of the specifications applying to sport equipment. In the context of the discussion in connection with swimsuits development and their alleged impact on sport, FINA reaffirms that it will continue monitoring the evolution of the sport equipment with the main objective of keeping the integrity of the sport.  

In doing so, FINA wishes to recall that the main and core principle is that swimming is a sport essentially based on the physical performance of the athlete. This is the fundament which FINA has and will continue to preserve as its main objective and priority. FINA brings together athletes from around the world to compete on equal conditions and thereby decides the winner by the athlete who is physically the best.  

This does not however imply that swimming, like all other sports, should not integrate the natural progress and improvements in technology where this helps, bettering the conditions under which the athletes compete and optimising their athletic performances. 

FINA also acknowledges the significance of the contributions manufacturers are bringing to the sport at all levels, including to the federations, athletes, coaches and event organisers. This co-operation is essential to continue to develop and remain a major sport worldwide.  In a rapidly evolving world, regulations need to progress as well to address new emerging issues. Before any discussion arose, FINA had initiated a process in view of adapting the equipment regulations. To improve their quality and credibility, FINA has not only consulted the manufacturers but has also sought the support of independent scientific experts of worldwide reputation who will notably assist in the determination of meaningful tests.  

With the support of independent experts, FINA will set up a long term monitoring project with the mid/long term objective to allow an ongoing control on equipment development.  

The FINA Bureau, after considering the conclusion of the meeting with the Swimsuit Manufacturers held in Lausanne (SUI) on February 20, 2009, where the full support from the FINA Athletes, Coaches and Legal Commissions was also received on this matter, has decided to revise the requirements for swimsuit approval with the aim of making them more clear, simple and transparent. 

1. Amendments to existing FINA requirements for swimwear approval (valid until December 31, 2009) 

a. DESIGN: The swimsuit shall not cover the neck and shall not extend past the shoulders nor past the ankles. 

b. MATERIAL:  

  • i. When used, the material shall follow the body shape; 
  • ii. The application of different materials shall not create air trapping effects. 

c. THICKNESS: The material used shall have a maximum thickness of 1 mm. The measurement method is in accordance with ISO Standard 5084 for textiles. 

d. BUOYANCY: The swimsuit shall not have a buoyancy effect of more than 1 Newton (100 gr). 

  • The value to be observed applies to all swimsuits sizes. 

e. CONTROL: FINA has established its own independent control/testing programme. Scientific testing on thickness and buoyancy will be conducted by a neutral team led by Prof. Jan-Anders Manson, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and Laboratory of Polymer and Composite Technology. 

f. CONSTRUCTION: Any system providing external stimulation or influence of any form (e.g. pain reduction, chemical/medical substance release, electro-stimulation, or others) is prohibited. 

g. CUSTOMISATION: All swimsuits of an approved model must be constructed in an identical fashion with no variation/modification for individual swimmers from the samples submitted for approval. Any modification before use is prohibited; it is clarified that an adaptation of size does not constitute customisation.  

h. USE: The swimmer can only wear one swimsuit (FINA Rule GR 5.3). 

i. SWIMSUITS TO BE SUBMITTED: All swimsuits to be used during the period of application shall be submitted, even if previously approved. The only submission deadline under these rules is March 31, 2009. 

j. APPROVAL: Approvals issued under these rules remain valid until December 31, 2009. Manufacturers must indicate the approval on the product in use through a method to be implemented by FINA. The purpose is to check that the swimsuits used in competition are approved models.  

In addition to the amendments valid until December 31, 2009, the FINA Bureau approved the following: 

2. FINA requirements for swimwear approval (valid from January 1, 2010) 

a. SWIMWEAR SUBJECT TO APPROVAL: Any swimwear used in FINA competitions and Olympic Games shall comply with these new rules and shall be a model approved by FINA in accordance with these new procedures. It is further clarified that results achieved in other competitions may only be recognised as world records by FINA if approved swimwear has been used. 

b. PERMEABILITY: In addition to the thickness and buoyancy scientific independent tests already included in the previous requirements, FINA will define the use of non-permeable materials based on a ‘permeability value’ test. The non-permeable material can only be used for a maximum 50% of the total surface of the swimsuit for full-body models. For these models, the maximum surface of non-permeable material to be used on the upper and lower part of the swimsuit shall be respectively 25% on each part. Non-permeable material shall be distinguishable.  

c. SUBMISSION DATES: The first submission deadline under these rules is November 1, 2009, followed by a submission on August 1 every year (example: August 1, 2010; August 1, 2011). Submission to approval 12 months in advance of the forthcoming FINA World Championships or Olympic Games. Moreover, the approved model shall be available on the market at least 6 months prior to the forthcoming FINA World Championships or Olympic Games. 

d. LIST OF APPROVED MODELS: FINA will publish a list of approved models. The publication is without prejudice to the fact that criteria and conditions of approval must be effectively met by products in use.  

e. APPLICATION: These new rules are applicable from October 1, 2009. They are applied to swimwear to be used in competition from January 1, 2010. Further amendments, if necessary, shall be issued by the FINA Bureau.  

3. FINA Monitoring Programme on swimwear

FINA will continue monitoring the evolution of the sports equipment and watch innovations in shape, material and other elements which may need to be addressed. 

FINA will consult with its National Federations, its Athletes, Coaches and Legal Commissions, Swimming Committee and manufacturers on any further developments in this respect. 

FINA will consolidate the independent scientific support from Jan-Anders Manson and his team, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and Laboratory of Polymer and Composite Technology.








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