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.





US Masters Statement about Swimsuits

16 06 2009

NOTICE TO ALL U. S. MASTERS SWIMMING MEMBERS

June 1, 2009

The following U.S. Masters Swimming’s official interpretation of Swimwear rule 102.14 was published March 26, 2009. These USMS interpretations have not changed and will remain in place until further notice. While USA Swimming chose to modify their rules, U.S. Masters Swimming has chosen to maintain its rules and interpretation until FINA has completed its processes and informed us of its interpretation as it applies to Masters Swimming. While our policy remains unchanged during this interim period, there is new information in the questions and answers following the interpretations.

 #1. USMS SWIMWEAR INTERPRETATION

FINA approval or rejection of new swimsuits introduced after September 30, 2007, will be accepted by U.S. Masters Swimming for USMS sanctioned and recognized competition.

 The following interpretation regarding the use of two suits during competition was also published March 26, 2009.

 #2. USMS SWIMWEAR INTERPRETATION

For purposes of Article 102.14 of U.S. Masters Swimming Rules of Competition, Swimwear, the use of more than one swimsuit at a time during any USMS sanctioned or recognized competition is prohibited.

 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:

1. Question: Can I wear a regular racing suit that is not a body suit?

Answer: Yes, suits introduced prior to September 30, 2007, are legal for U.S.M.S. competition.

2. Question: Can I still wear my LZR or TYR Tracer at meets including long course meters meets?

Answer: Yes, because at least some of the LZR and the TYR Tracer models are on the new list of FINA-approved suits that was published May 19, 2009, and none of these suits are on the not-approved list. All LZR and TYR suits are legal at least until the retesting is completed. (We have not seen the official list of suits being retested, so we don’t know if there are models of these suits included.)

3. Question: Why don’t I see the new suit I bought on the new list of FINA-approved suits?

Answer: There are 136 suits that are currently being retested by FINA. The target date for those results is June 19, 2009. The suits are being retested under the new system for buoyancy (no more than 1 Newton), material (no thicker than 1 mm), and construction (no trapping of air), just to mention a few criteria. At the point of publication of those results, the USMS Rules Committee will consider those test results.

4. Question: How will this impact Masters competitors?

Answer: That suit you bought after September 30, 2007, is legal at this moment, but it could be reconsidered by the USMS Rules Committee after the next FINA-approved swimsuit list is published. Regardless of the upcoming new list, that old Fastskin or similar suit that you have will be legal since it was introduced prior to September 30, 2007.

5. Question: My coach is forcing me to swim the 1650 Free as a training swim. Can I wear a drag suit over my jammers?

Answer: No. Although wearing an extra drag suit may not be perceived as having an advantage, the interpretation is that only one swimsuit is permitted.

6. Question: Does “one suit for competition” mean I can only wear one suit for the whole meet?

Answer: No. You can change suits during the meet, but you can only wear one suit at a time. This restriction applies only to the actual races (competition). You can wear more than one suit during warm-up and warm-down. This restriction applies to all types, makes, and models of swim suits, but it is not intended to apply to athletic supporters or modesty type wear (a single pair of “briefs” or “bikini bottoms or top” or a sports bra worn to ensure modesty and privacy).

 Kathy Casey, Chair

U.S. Masters Swimming Rules Committee





Fina Ruling on Approved Racing Swimsuits

19 05 2009

Judgement day has come for the swimsuit industry. FINA has made a ruling on legal and illegal swimsuits. See the FINA ruling below:

The FINA Commission in charge of the swimwear approval, formed by representatives of the FINA Executive, FINA Technical Swimming Committee, FINA Coaches Commission, FINA Athletes Commission, and FINA Legal Councillor had a meeting on May 18, 2009 in Lausanne (SUI) and after reviewing 348 swimsuits from 21 manufacturers forwarded its proposal to the FINA Executive, who decided the following:

-    202 swimsuits approved;

-    10 swimsuits rejected for not passing the tests of buoyancy and/or thickness;

-    136 swimsuits to be modified in accordance with “Dubai Charter” rule 3.1 c), as they don’t fulfil the requirement stating that “swimsuit material shall not be constructed to or include elements/systems which create air/water trapping effects during use”. The manufacturers have now a deadline of maximum 30 days (until June 19, 2009) to resubmit the same swimsuit for FINA approval, with the corresponding corrections (“Dubai Charter” rule 4.3 d).

The complete list of approved swimsuits (valid until December 31, 2009) can be found on the FINA official website at http://www.fina.org

Meeting FINA/Swimming Coaches
On May 19, 2009 FINA and a group of swimming coaches coming from 18 countries met at the EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Lausanne (SUI), where Prof Jan-Anders Manson, Director of the Laboratory of Polymer and Composite Technology, presented the procedures of the testing process defined on the FINA swimwear approval regulations.

The exchange of opinions was very constructive and the direction to be taken on the swimwear approval process is certainly better understood.








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