When Should Your Child And Age Group Swimmer Wear A Tech Suit?

by SwimSwam Contributors 24

March 28th, 2017 Lifestyle

Courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham

When should age group swimmers wear tech suits? In Southern California, the LSC has banned tech suits in specific situations:

Southern California Swimming’s House of Delegates voted unanimously to prohibit the wearing of Tech suits in Age Group competition at committee level (BRW), invitationals, dual/tri and intrasquads.  Tech suits will be permitted at Winter Age Group Invitationals (WAG), June Age Group Invitationals (JAG) and Junior Olympics (JO) meets.

The HoD also voted a ban on Tech suits for swimmers 5-10 years old for all Southern California Swimming sanctioned meets.

The effective date for both is January 1, 2017.

The list of restricted suits may be found in the attached .pdf  The list will be updated as needed.”—from the Southern California Swimming website

When I first read this new rule, I was strongly in favor of it and wrote about it here. I understand why our LSC would make this rule and I admit it used to bother me to see eight-year-olds at BRW meets wearing tech suits. It made me question whether I needed one for my young swimmer, too. I also believe too much emphasis can be placed on the magic suitrather than technique, going to practice regularly and effort.

Ive heard a few other people talk about when children should wear tech suits and there doesnt appear to be a consensussome strongly agreewhile others are against the decision. Listening to several discussions, I wonder if there should be exceptions?

One coach, who lives in an area without tech suit rules, told me that families leave their teams over suit rules. Plus, he doesnt like playing the suit copat swim meets. He lets parents and swimmers make the decision, but puts his ideals and preferences out there for everyone to know.

Another coach said hed never dream of putting a 10-year-old in a tech suit, but then he had a young swimmer going for a NAG record. Did the swimmer get the record because of the suit? The coach said of course it wasnt just the suit, but he believes it helped. Also, another exception would be for older age group swimmers, who dont have JO or Sectional times. Maybe a tech suit could make the difference for them at an age group meet where they could get those cuts. But with the current SCS rules, the suits wouldnt be allowed at BRW meets.

There are many opinions, pluses and minuses to tech suit rules. On one hand, everyone is on a level playing field and swimming is more affordable. Or, is this a decision thats best left up to coaches, parents and swimmerson an individual basis?

What do you think about tech suit rules for age group swimmers?

Elizabeth Wickham volunteered for 14 years on her kids’ club team as board member, fundraiser, newsletter editor and “Mrs. meet manager.” She’s a writer with a bachelor of arts degree in editorial journalism from the University of Washington with a long career in public relations, marketing and advertising. Her stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Parenting and Ladybug. You can read more parenting tips on her blog: http://bleuwater.me/.

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4 years ago

I don’t think they should ban them at all. Maybe they can recommend that teams have a policy about using them less.

4 years ago

Age group swimmers and tech suits are bs. I’m not for or against it but I can tell you not many people care what you do when your 10. 10% of the 10u nag top 10 swimmers in each even make it on the list when they’re 18.

Swim Pop
Reply to  Swim
4 years ago

Seen this stat used forever. In a sport where hundredths separate the top, using top 10 out of of tens of thousands swimmers and saying that 10 or 12yr old performance doesn’t have any predictive power in top swimming when they are 18 is just a horrible understanding of statistics. How many of those in the top 10 at 18 were B or BB level swimmers when they were12? I’m guessing by 12 they were already AA or better. Love someone who has the time and resources to come up with a better stat.

FWIW, I think 10yr olds wearing tech suits is ridiculous but unless it’s handled at the LSC you will hard pressed to convince me that the… Read more »

El jeffe
Reply to  Swim
4 years ago

*you’re 10 not your 10

4 years ago

We have pretty strict policies regarding tech suits on our club. Swimmers are required to wear an Aquablade team suit at all regular competitions. At championship meets swimmers in our 3 senior groups are allowed to wear tech suits. Swimmers in our Age Group and Novice programs are not allowed tech suits. We stress that the suit does not make the swim and that they are completely unnecessary for younger kids. Sometimes parents complain, but they get on board after a little while.

4 years ago

Seeing AG swimmers with cupping marks is even more concerning!

Reply to  SwimMom
4 years ago

We can all agree on that. At least tech suits are proven to help you swim faster.

Ay lmfao
4 years ago

Wearing a tech suit at those smaller meets should be banned unless it is towards the end of the year to get that cut to make the bigger meets.

Reply to  Ay lmfao
4 years ago

Even then, you should just wear a really old tech suit and wait for the BIG meets (winter/summer juniors, US Open, trials, etc.) to shell out the money

Chris Brown
4 years ago

Our rule is you needed certain cuts to wear tech suits under 15; and only at season ending champ meets. It would be hard to see other teams wear suits at all meets. But the rule was a good one and easy to enforce.

bobo gigi
4 years ago

Mike in Dallas, you’ve said it all.
Technique, technique and technique for kids.
I also add fun, fun and fun.

4 years ago

I like the policy. So Cal also has a senior meet scheduled every 4 to 6 weeks that doesnt have a suit restriction so there is always a meet available to suit up and chase cuts.