Australia Joins Mounting Pressure Against Speedsuits

SYDNEY, Australia, December 19. SWIMMING Australia has joined the recent calls from USA Swimming and European Swimming to put a brake on the explosion of speedsuit technology, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Swimming Australia instituted a ban on full bodysuits for age group swimming where, "Under the new laws, male swimwear will be limited ‘to one swimsuit that covers, at most, the body surface from hips to knee. It must not extend above the waist or below the knees', while female swimwear ‘shall be limited to one swimsuit that is of 'open back' and 'open shoulder' designs that may extend down to the knee but not below'. Zippers and other types of fastening systems have also been banned."

"What we are doing with the age group swimming is very important and something we felt needs to be addressed," Australian head coach Alan Thompson told The Sydney Morning Herald. "It needs to have an equal playing field in the age group area. Up in Queensland this week at the state championships, there were 12-year-olds wearing full-length suits, and it's just not what is necessary in this sport.

"The age group part of the sport is about participation and making sure everyone can race on an equal footing, and I think this by-law change goes a long way to doing that, and while it's a Swimming Australia by-law, I hope all the states pick it up and accept it and put it in place as soon as possible," Thompson continued. "We first started noticing this was a problem with the availability and cost of these swimsuits [a full Speedo LZR Racer suit without arms cost $880], and we don't want to price people out of our sport."

On top of instituting the ban within Swimming Australia's age group ranks, the organization has asked that FINA "not to approve any further swimsuits and ban the use of "multi-layer" swimsuits in competition."

Full text of The Sydney Morning Herald article.