Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Little Clarification on the USA Swimming Suit List

USA Swimming recently released their approved suit explanation with the following info:

The suits included on this final list were all submitted to and approved by FINA. In addition to the suits included on this list, FINA has indicated that “older suits” are also acceptable for competition. Although the term “older suits” was not specifically defined, it generally refers to suits made from nylon or Lycra that meet the following criteria:

  1. Swimsuits for men may not extend above the navel or below the knee and for women may not cover the neck, or extend past the shoulders or below the knee;
  2. Material used for swimsuits can be only textile material which is defined as materials consisting of natural and/or synthetic, individual and non-consolidated yarns used to constitute a fabric by weaving, knitting, and/or braiding. Simply put, this would generally refer to suits made only from nylon or Lycra that do not have any rubberized material such as polyurethane or neoprene; and
  3. No zippers or other fastening devices are allowed except for a waist tie on a brief or jammer.

Although the “older suits”, as defined above, are acceptable for competition, they will not be allowable for purposes of establishing World Records, as qualifying times for FINA World Championships or Olympic Games, or for world rankings. Only suits listed on the FINA Suit List may be used for these purposes.

Effective immediately, with the exception of our USA Swimming Championship Meets as defined in Article 207 of the USA Swimming Rulebook (U.S. Open, National and Junior National Championships and Trials Class Meets), swimsuits allowable for use in USA Swimming sanctioned or approved competition must either appear on the attached FINA Suit List or meet the definition of an “older suit” as defined above.

For purposes of our USA Swimming Championship Meets, the “older suits” are not allowable and only suits appearing on the attached FINA Suit List are acceptable for use in competition.

To clarify: While they are still legal for typical meets, you now can't wear any of these suits at USA Nationals or set a world record while wearing them at any meet*:

*but don't you dare wear a lycra brief under any of them. :)


  1. I feel this is a great way to make sure people buy and wear these suits at all levels. Fear tactics always work. 'You can wear that suit if you want, but if you want to swim at this really super important meet, you gotta wear one of these'

    So if I want to qualify for the Olympics, does this mean Olympic Trials? That is the only way to qualify for the Olympics, to make a trials cut. Do I have to make the trials cut in a FINA approved suit? Same for WC or Jrs, do the qualifying times have to be in FINA approved suits or can they be in older suits?

    Very interesting indeed, because none of the suit manufacturers submitted their training/fun design suits on the list for approval. Only the tech-iest suit you can have within current FINA rules. That is certainly not a coincidence.

    F-in' F-ers!

  2. As for the picture of your dog, just because you can doesn't me you should.