PVS News

USA Swimming Rule Changes on Swim Suits

Last Updated: 10 October 2009

There has been a lot of information from USA Swimming this year about rule changes relating to swim suits worn in US Swimming sanctioned competition. This page will attempt to bring all the information together for swimmers, parents, coaches and officials.

Rules for the 2009-2010 Season

In late July 2009, FINA issued a ruling concerning the shape and material allowed for suits beginning Junuary 1, 2010.

In August 2009, the NFHS (High School governing body) issued a rule change for the 2009-20 season to come into line with the FINA rule change. The NCAA issued a proposed rule change with similar language.

On September 19,2009 USA Swimming adopted a Ban on Full-Body Suits Effective October 1, 2009.

On September 21, 2009 the USA Swimming Rules & Regulations Chairman issued the following Letter to Members explaining the new swimsuit rules.

On September 23, 2009, USA Swimming issued a clarification of the swimsuit rules.

On September 29, 2009, USA Swimming issued this List of Allowable Suits. Since FINA has not yet issued their list of allowed suits, USA Swimming (in conjunction with the suit manufacturers) developed this list of suits that appear to meet the FINA criteria. It was updated on October 5, 2009

On October 8, 2009, the PVS Officials Committee issued its Guidelines for Referees concerning the swimsuit rule changes.

Rules from the 2008-2009 Season

This series of changes began at the September 2008 USA Swimming Convention where a rule change was passed relating to the style of swim suits for 12&U competition, which went into effect on May 15, 2009. The links below include guidance and interpretation from USA Swimming.

From the 2009 USA Swimming Rulebook (effective May 15, 200), section 102.9.1A: "Swimsuits worn for all 12 & under age group defined competition shall not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder, nor past the knee"

On January 19, 2009, the USA Swimming Rules & Regulations Committee issued an Interpretation of the rule that includes a mechanism for applying for an exemption for medical or religious reasons.

On March 18, 2009, USA Swimming issued a Rules Interpretation that a swimmer may wear no more than one swimsuit during competition.

Then on March 24, 2009, USA Swimming issued Further Clarification of the interpretation of the one swimsuit rule.

In May 2009, FINA, the international governing body of swimming passed a rule restricting swim suits for competition to an approved list. USA Swimming followed suit (no pun intended!) with a rule change following the FINA lead. The links below are related to this rule change.

On June 1, 2009, the USA Swimming Rules & Regulations Committee issued a rule change to conform to the FINA approved swimsuit list.

Then on June 3, 2009, the Chair of the USA Swimming Officials Committee, issued some Guidance to USA Swimming officials in implementing this rule change.

On June 11, 2009, USA Swimming released the Swimsuit Evaluation Process to be used at the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships and World Championship Trials, July 7-11, in Indianapolis. The also released a Letter to Swim Suit Manufacturers.

On June 22, FINA issued an updated list of approved swim suits. It includes the Blueseventy suits that are in heavy use in the U.S. USA Swimming said they will use the updated list.

On June 25, 2009, the USA Swimming Rules & Regulations Committee issued an update to include the new FINA approved swimsuit list.

USA Swimming has issued a notice about swim suits at the 2009 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships. (last updated 6/29/09)

Finally, here is a link to the USA Swimming Rules and Regulations page