U.S. Masters Swimming Rule Change

Swimwear Rule Questions and Answers

Question: Can I wear a regular racing suit that is not a body suit?
Answer: Yes, suits introduced prior to September 30, 2007, are legal for U.S.M.S. competition.

Question: Can I wear my LZR at nationals in May?
Answer: At this point questions about suits (those introduced after September 30, 2007) for nationals cannot be answered because the new list of FINA-approved suits has not been published nor is there a set date for publication of that list by FINA.  Until FINA publishes the new list of approved suits, the current status of approved or rejected suits is in effect; therefore, your LZR is currently approved for competition until the new FINA list is published.  However, should U.S.M.S. officially receive information that any of currently marketed suits introduced after September 30, 2007, have been rejected by FINA, those suits will no longer be considered legal.

Question: Why can’t questions about suits for nationals be answered now?
Answer: According to the Dubai Charter (published by FINA 03/15/09), manufacturers must resubmit their suits for approval by March 31, 2009.  The suits will be retested under a new system for buoyancy (no more than 1 Newton), material (no thicker than 1 mm), and construction (no trapping of air), just to mention a few criteria.  At the point of publication by FINA of newly approved suits, the questions about legal suits for nationals can be answered.

Question: How will this impact Masters competitors? 
Answer: That LZR, TYR, or Blueseventy suit you bought after September 30, 2007, is legal at this moment, but it could be illegal after the new FINA-approved swimsuit list is published.  Regardless of the new list, that old Fastskin that you have will be legal since it was introduced prior to September 30, 2007. 

Question: My coach is forcing me to swim the 1650 Free as a training swim. Can I wear a drag suit over my jammers?
Answer: No. Although wearing an extra drag suit may not be perceived as having an advantage, the interpretation is that only one swimsuit is permitted.

Question: Does “one suit for competition” mean I can only wear one suit for the whole meet?
Answer: No.  You can change suits during the meet, but you can only wear one suit at a time. This restriction applies only to the actual races (competition). You can wear more than one suit during warm-up and warm-down. This restriction applies to all types, makes, and models of swim suits, but it is not intended to apply to athletic supporters or modesty type wear (a single pair of “briefs” or “bikini bottoms or top” or a sports bra worn to ensure modesty and privacy).

For further clarifications, contact:
Kathy Casey
Chair, U.S. Masters Swimming Rules Committee
rules@usms.org