US 12 & Under Tech Suit Ban Goes Into Effect Next Week; Approved Suits Revealed

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:

USA Swimming 12 & Under Restricted Suits

USA Swimming 12 & Under Approved Suits

The guidelines also came with an instructional video narrated by U.S. National Teamer Leah Smithwhich 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.

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9 months ago

How can we make the approved suits faster and sell them for $500? Yummy yummy more money.

9 months ago

Do they make knee cut suits for girls that sent tech suits?

Reply to  Xman
9 months ago

I believe the Arena Girls’ Powerskin has a knee length version that is approved. A lot of stock photos still show the older versions without the checkmark though.

Reply to  Xman
9 months ago

Perhaps you will find your answer in the link above!

Reply to  Xman
9 months ago

Xman all the companies make a knee suit that will work. Speedo has their new Vanquisher suit and for TYR the Thresher meets the guidelines.

9 months ago

Per instructional video, 12&U can only wear tech suits at JrNat and above competition. No mention of Sectional or Futures (contrary to article’s third key detail).

Reply to  Icanfreezetime
9 months ago

will be tough for them to make those meets without being able to use a tech suit in a lower level meet. Only the truly young and gifted will be at those meets.

Reply to  meeeee
9 months ago

And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. As a swimmer who peaked early and then plateaued, I probably would have been better off not going to high level meets at 13 and saving that for when I was 15 or 16. I swam in the pre-tech suit era (aquablades and FS1s were as high tech as it got), so those didn’t get me to higher level meets, but I think delaying kids attending those meets generally isn’t a bad thing. Those that are true talents and are likely Olympic bound will make it to that level without tech suits.

Reply to  dmswim
9 months ago

didn’t say it was bad or good. Just stating the reality.

Reply to  meeeee
9 months ago

The reality is that even with tech suits, I don’t think there were more than a handful of 12-years-olds at Juniors anyway.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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