The SwimSuit War: Current Status


Here are the facts:

  1. FINA has published its initial list of “approved suits” based on the Phase One Criteria. The list can be found on FINA’s website. These are suits approved for use in Rome and this summer.
  2. On or about June 19, FINA will publish a list of any supplemental suits that will be allowed for this summer. (this list would come from suits rejected in round one, and given a chance to come back with a re-engineered suit.) Indications are that not many if any suits will be on this list.
  3. FINA will check all suits for exact compliance for use in Rome. Any suits used for records outside of Rome will also be checked.
  4. In later summer, FINA will publish the rules that will be in place for Jan. 1, 2010. Indications are that this list of rules for suits will include a clause that eliminates all non-permeable materials from all suits. No rubber, no plastic, nothing by fabric. This will place us “back in time” around 2007. Future suits will have a “chip” imbedded at creation to prove compliance to the rules that can be checked in the ready room with a hand held device. (like your iPhone.)
  5. In late summer, but before Sept. 1, 2009, we expect the NCAA Rules committee to indicate the rules for the use of suits in NCAA competition for the 09-10 season including all qualifying and championship competition. Likely that they will follow the FINA lead.
  6. During 2010, debate will take place on further rules. Recommendations from coaches world-wide are very similar…no zippers, no outside fasteners. (climb into your suit) and for me, Knees to Navel coverage only and for women, hips to shoulder straps only. Limiting coverage limits the ability to “engineer” suits.

Those are facts at this time.

All the Best, John Leonard

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