USA Swimming’s ban on certain tech suits for swimmers in the 12 & under age group goes into effect on September 1 – one week from today.
A newsletter from USA Swimming lays out the specifics of both restricted and approved suits under the new rules.
The suit ban was actually passed two years ago. The delay between the passing of the ban and its effective date allowed suit manufacturers to adjust their suit options and inventories. We dug in on some of the key details of the ban itself in a story you can read here. A few key details about the ban:
- Any suit with bonded or taped seams is considered a tech suit and banned, regardless of its fabric. (Seams must be sewn to be allowed in the 12 & under age groups).
- Suits with “knit” fabrics are still allowed (provided they don’t have bonded or taped seams), but suits with “woven” fabrics are banned in the lower age groups
- 12 & under swimmers can still wear tech suits at certain national-level competitions: Junior Nationals, Pro Swim Series, U.S. Open, Nationals, YMCA Nationals and Olympic Trials
USA Swimming released more brand-specific guidelines for suits this week, including lists of both restricted and approved suits. You can follow that link for very specific, brand-by-brand looks at which suits are approved and restricted, but a high-level look is available in the two documents below:
The guidelines also came with an instructional video narrated by U.S. National Teamer Leah Smith, which highlights a lot of the very visible differences between restricted and allowed suits:
Also a notable rule of thumb: the vast majority of suits with the FINA-approved logo on them would also be restricted suits under the age group tech suit ban. Suits with the FINA logo that are approved for age groupers under USA Swimming’s ban (and there aren’t many of them) will also have a logo with a green check mark.