USMS posted an “urgent notice” to the homepage today regarding speed suits in competition (read the whole thing here).
Here’s the long and short of it… USMS is adopting the new rules from FINA and they have no idea which suits are going to be legal for Nationals in May because the FINA approved suit list doesn’t exist yet. The deadline for manufacturers to resubmit their swimsuits to FINA for testing is 31MAR09. In the meantime everything that has been legal remains to be legal until decided otherwise.
One rule that I find contentious is the 1 suit rule. I think you should only be able to wear 1 speedsuit, that’s totally reasonable to me. But I think you should also be able to wear a brief underneath a speed suit, or a regular training suit for the ladies for modesty/privacy. I’ve seen a lot of holes in the rear ends of speedsuits and some are notorious for becoming see-through so I think allowing a small suit underneath is kind of necessary. The notice on the USMS website references the one suit rule repeatedly but also mentions the usage of a modesty suit. I’ve sent an e-mail to the rules chairperson to get an official clarification on this matter.
UPDATE: I e-mailed the Rules Chairperson and she got back to me very quickly, thank you! She told me that as long as the suit worn underneath another suit is for modesty only and not for additional compression or flotation it is allowable. So for example it is ok that I wear a basic speedo brief underneath my Tracer Light.