Official FINA Rules for Swimwear

28 07 2009

The following is the official ruling from FINA regarding swimwear that was released today July 28, 2009. As with every ruling that FINA has released this year expect this to change within the next few days. These changes are set to go in effect on Januray 1, 2010; however, we have already heard from a swimsuit brand that the latest ruling will not go in effect until July-August of 2010.

FINA Statement:

On its first meeting held today in Rome (ITA), the 2009-2013 FINA Bureau fully complied with the decision of the FINA Congress, held on July 24, 2009 related with the procedure concerning swimwear approval. As it was also decided by the Congress, these rules are now By-Laws rules, which allow the Bureau to further control, update and correct any deviation to the process or to proceed with any necessary adjustment related to the development of the swimsuit technology.

The FINA Bureau decisions on swimsuits include:

MATERIAL
– The material of the swimsuits will definitively be constituted only by textile fabric(s). The definition of “textile” will be made by a group of scientific experts chosen by FINA and led by Prof. Jan-Anders Manson, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne (SUI). This definition will be available to manufacturers by no later than September 30, 2009. The first definition of “textile” to be further confirmed by this group is: “Material consisting of, natural and/or synthetic, individual and non consolidated yarns used to constitute a fabric by weaving, knitting, and/or braiding.”

SHAPE – For men, the swimsuit shall not extend above the navel nor below the knee, and for women, shall not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder, nor extend below knee. Furthermore, no zippers or other fastening system is allowed.

USE – In the regulation approved by the Congress, the swimmer can only wear one swimsuit and no taping is allowed.

TESTS – Only measurable scientific tests will be performed within the frame of the swimwear approval procedure. For thickness, the 1mm limit will be adjusted to 0.8mm, for buoyancy the present value of 1 Newton will be reduced to 0.5 (FINA will even consider the limit of 0 Newton), and for permeability the material(s) used must have at any point a value of more than 80l/m2/second. Permeability values are measured on material with a standard multidirectional stretch of 25%. These parameters will be further considered by the above mentioned scientific group.

CONSISTENCY – Swimsuits effectively manufactured and used shall correspond to and be fully consistent with submitted samples. Any modification before use (including impregnation) is prohibited. Moreover, there shall be no variation/modification for individual swimmers.

APPLICATION
– Considering the time needed for manufacturers to produce their swimsuits, the submission dates and the implementation of the rules are applicable from 2010 only in Swimming competitions.

In addition to these decisions, the FINA Bureau also approved the new FINA Committees and Commissions for the period 2009-2013.

Finally, it was also established that the Diving Qualification event for the 1st Youth Olympic Games (August 2010 in Singapore) will be held in Mexico City (MEX), in April 2010.





FINA Bans Racing Suits for 2010, Goodbye to the LZR and blueseventy

25 07 2009

On Friday the governing body of swimming – FINA voted to ban the controversial racing suits for 2010. The final vote will take place this coming week but all reports are that the vast majority of the suits on the market will soon be banned by FINA. This includes the Speedo LZR Racer, BlueSeventy Nero, Aqua Zone Renegade, Jaked, and the new TYR A7 racing swim suits. The FINA list (RULE SW10.7) of banned swimsuits should be released by the end of September. Reports are that there will be no material allowed below the knees and no material on the arms for both men and women. The men’s suits cannot go above the waist and the most important ruling will be textiles only. This will outlaw all of the non-permeable material swim suits.

In the mean time the suit companies will be appealing the decision and jocking for a position on the approved list of swimsuits. Speedo has already started with the following statement:

Speedo is fully committed to safeguarding the reputation of the sport of swimming at every level and for this reason we will await a confirmation from FINA about their final decision regarding approved swimwear rules for 2010 before making further comment.

However, we would like to re-iterate that Speedo has always operated within the rules of the sport and will continue to do so, investing in research and development to ensure that we continue to lead the way in high performance swimwear that meets the approval of both the governing body and the most important people, the athletes themselves.

As a forward thinking company, that has invested millions in R&D, we believe that technology “properly monitored and adhering to guidelines – does have a place in all sport. Any move which seems to take the sport back two decades“ such as a possible return to the traditional female swimsuit and male jammer – is a retrograde step that could be detrimental to the future of swimming.

We recognise the catastrophic effect and controversy that the introduction of fully non-permeable wetsuits by certain manufacturers has had on the sport of swimming in recent months. Speedo has always believed that there is no place in the sport for buoyancy aids. We were and remain highly supportive of FINA’s Dubai Charter which recommended the banning of these suits from January 2010, whilst allowing some elements of non-permeable materials.

The Speedo LZR Racer suit, which was developed in strict accordance with FINA rules and regulations and fully approved by FINA in 2007, has had an unprecedented positive impact on the sport of swimming since its launch. Developed over a three year period with the input of over 400 swimmers, coaches and experts, the swimming community by and large welcomed the benefits the suit brings whilst recognising that it upheld the integrity of athletes as it does not aid buoyancy.

For over 80 years, we have taken a lead role in supporting the sport from grass roots all the way to elite levels. We have been responsible for every major ‘legal’ innovation in swimwear since 1928. Speedo remains totally dedicated to the sport of swimming at every level.








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