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.

2 Responses to “How the Dubai Charter Affects Masters Swimming”

  1. EricT says:

    “modesty only and not for additional compression or flotation it is allowable”

    I think getting into intent is a dangerous area for exceptions to the rules. How would they measure differences in compression? How can you verify someone’s underlying motivation to wear or not wear a suit underneath. It’s a grey area at best.

    Your example is good, because you can say “obviously” a brief underneath would be for comfort not for performance–but is there a definite line that can be crossed? Jammer underneath? Legging underneath?

  2. Rob D says:

    Eric- I agree it can be a little murky. Since we’re talking intent, I think they were just trying to outlaw stacking speedsuits and wrote the rule stricter than they meant to.

    Personally I don’t see how much measurable advantage a brief style suit can give you unless it were made of like neoprene or bubble wrap or something ridiculous like that. If you start venturing into jammers or shortjohns I think you’ve gone too far. You should be able to wear enough to keep your private regions covered in the event of an epic suit failure. More than that and you’re outside of the intention of a “modesty suit.”

    Ultimately this rule is going to need to be written much more concisely and a finite line drawn. Instead of letting us all debate they should make it clear that as a modesty suit brief = ok, jammer = no, short john = no, bodysuit = no. It cuts out the ambiguity.