This email was sent out to state high school associations this week:
"The NFHS Swimming and Diving Rules Committee, along with your NFHS staff, continue to monitor the evolution of new findings and policies in the swimming world regarding the new technical swim suits that debuted a little over a year ago. These suits are being developed and placed on the market at a rapid rate.
As you may be aware, FINA, the international governing body for swimming, took its first steps last week to regulate the high-tech suits that may be worn in FINA competition. By way of review and approval of individual suit models, the first list of suits that may be worn for FINA competition has been made public. An additional 100 plus suits are pending possible approval if modifications to the suits are made and found to be in compliance with FINA standards. This list is valid only through December 31, 2009 and will continue to be updated during this time period. There will likely be changes in suit requirements to be eligible for use in FINA competition in the new year. In other words, these suits and regulations continue to frequently change.
Through the scientific testing being conducted by FINA, the rule codes of other organizations may be impacted by the findings. The NFHS, at this time, is not adopting an approval list of high-tech suits, similar to that of FINA. Our position remains that the NFHS does not perform scientific tests on any specific items of equipment or apparel. Based on the information available to the NFHS at this time, the high-tech suits are not currently prohibited under Rule 3-3-2. Individual state associations may consider more restrictive action at this time if deemed appropriate for your state. The NFHS continues to monitor this situation and any change in our position on the high-tech suits and/or rule changes shall be communicated immediately to our state associations."
I guess I can understand why they might hesitate until FINA has finished their process before deeming anything illegal. It is basically the same stand that USMS is taking. My biggest concern with that is: are high school times no longer going to be allowed in the SWIMS database? I really doubt that USA officials are going to show up at our conference and state meets with barcode scanners to determine who had a "USA legal" swim. I am sure it will be all or nothing, because if a state does not decide on it's own to adopt the USA Swimming policy wording on suits they will not be granted an approved high school meet sanction. It will be all or none regarding times that can be used as qualifiers for USA meets. I hope that this difference in policies doesn't extend into the fall and beyond. This could be tough on a lot of kids.