FINA To Allow Wearable Technology in Races Starting Jan 1st 2023

In the SwimSwam Podcast dive deeper into the sport you love with insider conversations about swimming. Hosted by Coleman HodgesGarrett McCaffrey, and Gold Medal Mel Stewart, SwimSwam welcomes both the biggest names in swimming that you already know, and rising stars that you need to get to know, as we break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

Last week’s FINA Technical Congress saw the passing of a proposed change to rule SW 10.8. As of Jan. 01, 2023:

“The use of technology and automated data collection devices is permissible for the sole purpose of collecting data. Automated devices shall not be utilized to transmit data, sounds, or signals to the swimmer and may not be used to aid their speed.”

This means wearable technology to collect data for research, education, and entertainment is legal. However, that data cannot be used in real-time – in swimming races – to aid a swimmer’s speed.

The impact of this FINA rule change will impact the sport for a generation. I think we will all look back at this moment in history, noting it as a pivotal turning point.

One of the few companies in a position to maximize this new FINA ruling is technology company and behemoth TritonWear. Today we have Tristan Lehari, CEO of TritonWear, to help us fully understand what this FINA rule change means to our sport.

SwimSwam has been a TritonWear partner since 2014. The partnership for us is two-fold. TritonWear supports our news division, and TritonWear supports our continuing education in data collection for training and performance purposes.

Music: Otis McDonald

Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

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lil swimmy jr.
1 year ago

I just saw on Instagram that Boston University’s swim team had their WHOOP Day. The entire team get their own personal WHOOPS. I wonder if in future meets we’ll see them wear them in races in order get valuable race data. Looking forward to see if they have them on at their Patriot League Championship this year.

Piss Pooler
1 year ago

Big spaz parade below me.

phelps swims 200 breast rio
1 year ago

follow the money

Limited Delays
1 year ago

Why doesn’t every touch pad have an embedded race clock built in? How does allowing a swimmer to see their time create an artificial advantage akin to a rubber tech suit or PED’s? Every runner at every world track competition has a finish line view of the race clock. In the end, the swimmer has to swim the race as the runner must run. The clock doesn’t increase buoyancy, reduce drag, or speed recovery. If it inspires faster swimming based on effort alone, why is that a bad thing?

Reply to  Limited Delays
1 year ago

We can’t even get touchpads to work without errors and needing a plunger in most meets you want to add more electronics to it?

1 year ago

Well this is a slippery slope if I’ve ever seen one…
Since of course this will turn into tech being allowed that does assist swimmers. I’m opposed to that. That’s the point of diligence in training. You’re supposed to train your brain and body to be in sync by the time the meet rolls around, not depend on tech to replace your brain. Period.

Last edited 1 year ago by swimfast
Pater velski
Reply to  swimfast
1 year ago

Of course everybody remembers and fears the notorius tech-suits, but not all changes are bad, and not everything today is the same as things were 20 years ago, in terms of performance enhancers.

For example, allowing mid-distance swimmers to use a metronome or a timer during races sounds like an unfair methods of acheiving better times, but so does building higher, better diving blocks or using vitamins and nutritianists which swimmers did not have 30 years ago. This is part of the reasons why world records keep falling, and the sport has been evolving like that since thr very beginning (imagine what would swimming be like if goggles were banned??)

In my opinion, as long as it doesn’t risk the… Read more »

1 year ago

The Chinese and Russian swimming federations must be laughing out loud!
Another opportunity to “assist” their swimmers.
Where is the DDR when you really need them?

1 year ago

You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think western countries will be trying to cheat using this as well

Reply to  Sub13
1 year ago

Individual western swimmers, maybe. Countries, no.

Obese Legend
Reply to  Meeeee
1 year ago

Cheating at any level is cheating.

1 year ago

So swimmer cannot wear a bandaid or a tape, as in any other sport, if they are hurt but can wear technology. I don’t get it.
Some big money involved somewhere 🥴

1 year ago


Reply to  PFA
1 year ago

The latest Whoop includes feedback in the form of vibration. Given the rule states no feedback, Whoop is unlikely to be included on the approved list whenever it is released.

Reply to  TritonWear
1 year ago

Wonder if this also affects the ones that don’t vibrate as well. Im only assuming they just won’t allow the brand based off this.

Reply to  PFA
1 year ago

I would suspect it would just be by brand, as trying to police specific versions of a product would be very difficult. But it’s not up to us, so can’t say for sure what they will do.

Piss Pooler
Reply to  PFA
1 year ago

There it is.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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