Swimming West Australia (Swimming WA) is the latest organization to enact a tech suit policy for its young athletes. In the interests of athlete development and retention, Swimming WA says banning the technical suits outside of specifically named competitions is another initiative to ‘remove competitive pressure on young swimmers at a crucial development phase of their swimming journey.’
Developed in consultation with Swimming Australia and the SWA High Performance Competition and planning Committees, the new rules going into effect as of May 1st, 2018 state that swimmers aged 12 years will no longer be permitted to wear technical/performance race suits at any Swimming WA sanctioned competition, except for specific meets as follows: Swimming WA State Age Short Course Championships, Swimming WA State Open Short Course Championships, SunSmart State Age Long Course Championships, Hancock Prospecting Western Australian Long Course Swimming Championships and SunSmart End of Summer Sensation.
For swimmers aged 11 years and under, they will no longer be permitted to wear technical/performance swimsuits at any Swimming WA sanctioned meet. You can read Swimming WA’s policy in its entirety here.
The rule falls in line with what Swimming Victoria enacted as of July 2017, whereby the organization now prohibits the use of technical/performance suits for athletes 11-years-old and under.
Several LSC’s within USA Swimming have also implemented their own tech suit bans, leading USA Swimming to commission a study on tech suits in age group swimming. Among the highest profile was the hotbed of Southern California, though others like Maine and Arkansas have also implemented such bans. Results of the study are expected to be released in February 2018.