Chicago, Illinois -- At its annual convention 9-20 Sept in Chicago, USA Swimming said over 400 delegates, representing swim clubs from all 50 states, "voted overwhelmingly for early implementation of a ban on high-tech swimsuits."
The legislation, which will go into effect on 1 Oct, regulates swimsuits worn in all USA Swimming-sanctioned competitions.
USA Swimming used the terminology from international swimming body FINA on how suits should be made to comply with the new ruling: "All swimsuits shall be made from textile materials. For men, the swimsuit shall not extend above the navel nor below the knees, and for women, shall not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder, nor extend below the knee."
Textile fabric is defined as material consisting of natural and/or synthetic, individual and non-consolidated yarns used to constitute a fabric by weaving, knitting and/or braiding.
A later clarification on materials added that suits "must not be made of any rubberised type of material such as polyurethane or neoprene." Also, no zippers or other fastening devices are allowed except for a waist tie on a brief or jammer. USA Swimming said that the ruling takes effect in the US three months before FINA is expected to implement the same rule for international competition.
"As an organisation, we have been working with FINA and other swimming nations to find a solution that will ensure a fair and even playing field for all swimmers, and that will ultimately advance the best interests of our sport," said Chuck Wielgus, USA Swimming executive director, in a 19 Sept statement.
Welgin added that the membership vote "sent a clear message that it wanted this action taken sooner, rather than later. We hope that this action will put the emphasis back where it belongs - on our athletes, their training and hard work."
The regulation will apply to all levels of USA Swimming meets.
PIC: An Adidas polyurethane coated suit worn by Britta Steffen of Germany: such suits are to be outlawed 1 Oct for competitive swimming in the US and will soon be banned globally.