Swimsuit Ban Will be Enforced on January 1, 2010

Swimsuit Ban Will be Enforced on January 1, 2010

The swimming gods have spoken and the Speedo LZR, BlueSeventy Nero, Aqua Zone Renegade, Jaked, and Arena swimsuits will all be banned starting on Janurary 1, 2010. FINA made the enforcement ruling on Friday. The Associated Press broke the story yesterday.

Fina Statement released 7/31/2009:

The FINA Bureau met today in Rome (ITA) and approved the final list of FINA Commissions and Committees for the period 2009-2013. For each of the technical committees of the five FINA aquatic disciplines, the number of members was increased from 12 to 15. This new composition is aimed at supporting the development of FINA sports in the five continents and is due to the improvement of the number of affiliated FINA National Federations worldwide, which is actually of 201.

These new technical committees will meet before the end of the year to establish their four- year plan of activities, to be presented at the next FINA Bureau meeting on January 15-16, 2010 in Bangkok (THA).

Moreover, the Bureau reconfirmed its position in relation with the requirements for swimwear approval, reinforcing the decision of the Congress on July 24, 2009. These rules include the following conditions for swimwear approval:

Surface covered: Men swimsuit shall not extend above the navel nor below the knee and for women shall not cover the neck or extend past the shoulders nor shall extend below the knee.

Type of material: The material used for swimsuits can be only “Textile Fabric(s)” defined for the purpose of these rules as material consisting of, natural and/or synthetic, individual and non consolidated yarns used to constitute a fabric by weaving, knitting, and/or braiding.

Surface treatment of the textile fabric: Any material added on to the surface of the textile fabric (e.g. coating, printing, impregnation) shall not close the original open mesh structure of the base textile fabric. The treated material shall further comply with all requirements in particular in regard to thickness, permeability and flexibility. This part of the rule does not apply to logos and labels. This applies to both the manufacturing level and the actual use of the swimsuit.

: the material shall be flexible and soft-folding.

Regular flat material: The material shall be regular and flat. The material shall not form outstanding shapes or structures, such as scales.
Outside application: No outside application shall be added on the material.

Variety of materials: Different materials may be used in one swimsuit provided they are textile fabrics as defined above and they comply with all other criteria including notably thickness and permeability (measures to apply to total layers). Combination of materials shall further not create outstanding shape(s) or structure(s). Layered materials must be completely attached/bound/stuck together except where required to protect sensitive parts (“privacy layers”).

Thickness: The material used shall have a maximum thickness of 0.8mm. It is clarified that this maximum thickness does not apply to seams as far as they are functional and their thickness and width result from their natural function.

Buoyancy: The swimsuit shall not have a buoyancy effect above 0.5 Newton measured after application of vacuum.

Permeability: Material(s) used must have at any point a permeability value of more than 80 l/m2/second. Permeability values are measured on material with a standard multidirectional stretch of 25 %. However, measure on material which cannot be significantly stretched will be effected on unstreched flattened material.

: No zippers or other fastening system is allowed. Seams shall be limited to functional systems and shall not create outside shapes.

External stimulation or influence: Swimsuits which include any system providing external stimulation or influence of any type, including pain reduction, chemical/medical substance release, electro-stimulation etc. are prohibited. 

Consistency: Swimsuits effectively manufactured and used shall correspond to and be fully consistent with submitted samples. Any modification before use (including impregnation) is prohibited.

Customisation: There shall be no variation/modification for individual swimmers from the models corresponding to the samples submitted for approval.

The new requirements for swimwear approval will be enforced from January 1, 2010. The list of approved swimsuits by FINA Executive on June 19, 2009 and published on the FINA website, is valid until December 31, 2009.

Approval of swimwear in the future will be done at least 12 months before the next FINA World Championships (50m) or Olympic Games. Moreover, the manufacturers will have the responsibility of making those models available on the market (available on sale to Federations and competitors) at least six months prior to the next coming FINA World Championships or Olympic Games.

As announced by FINA President Dr Julio Maglione, the Bureau appointed a Commission led by Prof. Jan-Anders Manson (from EPFL in Lausanne, SUI) and formed by scientific experts and an athlete’s representative to control the swimwear approval process and to monitor the development of the swimsuit industry based on the rules established by the FINA Bureau and the measurable scientific tests on buoyancy and permeability.

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