New Jersey Bans Tech Suits for 12 & Unders

by Torrey Hart 40

October 07th, 2017 Club, National, News

New Jersey Swimming announced in a tweet this morning that its House of Delegates voted today to ban tech suit use for swimmers ages 12 & under.

A group of New Jersey coaches proposed the ban to Admin Vice-Chair Kip Hein and he drafted legislation while the group was at the USA Swimming Convention in September. The convention included a Coaches’ Forum on banning tech suits for age groupers, attended by both Hein and New Jersey Swimming Age Group Chair Pat Collins.

“I have always believed in the progressive, long-term development model for our sport,” Collins told SwimSwam. “I will not wade into the discussion about cost nor accessibility, but rather take this on from a philosophical standpoint. I believe this will best serve our younger athletes and give them something to look forward to and strive for when they are older.”

The LSC’s Technical Planning Committee met last week and voted to recommend the following legislation to the house. The legislation was proposed to the House of Delegates and passed. The official proposal is as follows:

NEW JERSEY SWIMMING AGE GROUP TECH SUIT RESTRICTION POLICY
1. Swimmers 12 years old and younger may not compete in a “Tech suit” (ie Bonded or mesh seamed suits) in a New Jersey Swimming, Inc. sanctioned or approved meets *Age is determined by the 1st day of the meet*
2. There is no “Tech” suit restriction for swimmers age 13 & over.
3. A “Tech Suit” is defined as a suit that has bonded seams, Kinetic Tape, or Meshed Seams, and or have the FINA approved tag verifying the suit. (The list of suits below are in this category, and a more comprehensive list will be posted online next week)
4. Rule Enforcement and Penalty: Swimmers that race in a restricted suit will be disqualified from that event. Swimmers who are wearing restricted suits will not be permitted to compete in said suit. However, they are able to change into an acceptable suit to swim. No extra time before their race will be given to change suits. If there is any question about a suit, it should be addressed to the meet referee prior to the start of the session.
5. Implementation for meets prior to the effective date of January 1, 2018 will be as follows; Swimmers in restricted suits will get a warning for the 1st event that is swum in a restricted suit, and both swimmer and coach will be notified. The swimmer will not be disqualified. For all events after this warning event in the meet-they must be in a non-restricted suit or they will be disqualified or not allowed to swim.
6. Coaches and Officials will be responsible for monitoring this Policy. Coaches need to educate their teams and be willing to speak up if they see a swimmer with a suit on at a meet. Officials should have the list of restricted suits available as a reference.

The final proposal will be posted on the New Jersey Swimming website this week. 

Restricted Tech Suit List

  • BLUE SEVENTY: NERO
  • JAKED: J12 WATER ZERO, LIMITED EDITION J11 STEEL, J11 WATER ZERO, JKATANA, JKEEL, JRUSH
  • SPEEDO: LZR X, LZR ELITE, LZR ELITE 2
  • TYR: TRACER SERIES, AVICTOR, AVICTOR PRELUDE, AP12
  • COMPRESSION NIKE SWIM NG
  • ARENA: POWERSKIN OPEN BACK, ALL CARBON SERIES (AIR, PRO, ETC)
  • DOLPHIN: TITANIUM
  • AQUASPHERE MP EXPRESSO
  • FINIS: VAPOR
  • HUUB: FINA TECHNICAL

Non- RESTRICTED Tech Suit List: (classic hip cut or knee skin)

  • SPEEDO: AQUABLADE (male & female), POWER PLUS (female), FASTSKIN 2/FSII (male & female), LZR PRO (male & female)
  • ARENA: POWERSKIN ST (male & female), POWERSKIN XP
  • TYR: FUSION 2, THRESHER
  • DOLPHIN: GRAPHLITE SERIES, LTF PRO SERIES, PLATINUM 2PRO

New Jersey is the newest member of a growing movement within LSCs to ban tech suits in youth swimming, which already includes Southern California, Maine, New England, and Iowa, as well as Australia’s Swimming Victoria and the Brazilian Swimming FederationUSA Swimming has hired an outside consulting firm to determine whether a national policy should be implemented, with the report due in November.

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40 Comments on "New Jersey Bans Tech Suits for 12 & Unders"

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This better stick to only 12 and unders

Wow speedo kept a lot

Throwback to 2009 when Speedo got FINA to ban all other super suits except the LZR for a month or so before even FINA had to show reason and ban all of them.

Steve Swims

I’m so glad they banned these suits from 12&Unders. In the article, it says that it’s not about the cost, but the pressure for parents to buy their 10 year old a $150 suit is unethical. I also agree that it gives swimmers something to look forward to when they get older. I hope that all states adopt this ban!

There’s no pressure their kid just needs to get good

$150 – maybe for boys – these suits are $300 for girls. Seeing 10yo girls in super tight suits, and/or kneeskin suits, has gotten ridiculous. Some coaches and parents put too much pressure on these young kids to “make cuts” and wearing tech suits to theoretically help in that goal. This good new rule will help tone that down and focus on proper swimming development, which is a long term strategy, not a short one.

Good Decision, NJ Swimming!

But what about people who already had suits and literally waisted their money.

The entire point here was to ensure that families/kids which can’t easily afford $150-$300+ aren’t prejudiced. I’d concur this isn’t for best for all the parents which may have economically stretched to purchase one.

I’d suggest toes parents make friends with other parents that have 13 year olds about the same sizing as their kid. Factor or return them. It would be a good look for the brands to offer exchanges if unworn. (Do kids really wear these to all meets or just season-end ones?)

This is a good move. I hope other state organizations follow it.

>Do kids really wear these to all meets or just season-end ones?

Oh, yes, in Texas too. You can see 9 and 10 year olds wearing them every single meet. And they are not fastest kids either, just parents want them to be little faster. This ban does not go far enough… I would ban all suits above speedo endurance level for 12 and under.

MustangsDad

At TAGS, 90% of the 12 and unders have Tech suits. It is simply unreasonable to ban them in Texas since parents have already spent hundreds of dollars already. It is my perogative to spend the money for my daughter who has worked hard for those times. You don’t have to buy a tech suit for your daughter if you feel so strongly against tech suits.

So, let;s assume your daughter and my daughter are seeded with same time for TAGS and your daughter beats her by 0.1 because she had tech suit and my daughter had Aquablade. Would you feel okay knowing your daughter won just because you have more money that I do? Wouldn’t you feel like you bought that first place for her? Or, is just winning the most important, although nobody cares what time or place your daughter took except you and her, and in 2 years she might be way down being beat by same swimmers she beat with her tech suit.

Mustangsdad
I agree with you that most most parents are doing their kids a disservice for wearing tech suits at random meets. My point is that TAGS is not just a meet — it is the fastest meet for age groupers in Texas. Let’s go back to your hypothetical. If my daughter won first place in TAGS, then a $300 tech suit was well worth the cost. I’ve talked to parents in other sports (hockey, tennis, gymnastics, baseball, etc.) and they spend more than $300 on equipment. The time standards are all based on swimmers who wear Tech suits. If they made TAGS time cuts slower, then maybe we can be in agreement to ban tech suits 🙂
>If they made TAGS time cuts slower, then maybe we can be in agreement to ban tech suits If your daughter is barely making TAGS with a tech suit, she is not going to final in TAGS. If so, what is the point of buying a tech suit? Anyway, whatever works for you. Our 10 year old was in last LC TAGS in an Aquablade. She will be in an Aquablade in next SCY TAGS unless she is seeded top 3 with 0.1 from top seeded, for example. In that case, I will have to think hard – I am not sure I want to see her sad look if she loses by 0.05. She never talks about tech suit,… Read more »
Mustangsdad

Good luck to your daughter for short course season. I know you will do what is best for her, and I will try to do the best for my daughter. Hopefully you guys can make it up to GSW or COR Classic and they can race against each other then. Maybe my daughter can be in an Aquablade to make it fair 😉

What ethical principle has been violated?

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