College Swim Coaches Say Extend the Ban on New High-Tech Suits

ATLANTA, Georgia, September 30. BUCKING the trend by most of swimming's governing bodies to accept the new high-tech swim suits, the board of directors of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) voted to oppose the NCAA's recent decision not to extend the moratorium it had imposed on the use of these suits in collegiate competition.

It is the position of the board of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America that the moratorium that was in place for the NCAA Championships for 2008 should be sustained.

The moratorium prohibited the use of any suit not commercially available prior to January 1, 2008, primarily because the suits were not readily available to all schools and their athletes.

It is the opinion of the CSCAA Board of Directors that those conditions have not changed significantly and that the moratorium should be sustained at least through the 2008-9 NCAA competitive collegiate season.

In addition to the factor of availability, ending this moratorium after operational budgets for the 2008-09 season have already been implemented, may have a similar effect on availability for qualifying and competing at the 2009 NCAA Championships. Given that there has been a major increase in the cost of the new suits when compared with the previous generation of suits, many schools will not be able to purchase them this season thereby limiting availability. One additional year of the moratorium will allow schools to build the new cost into their budgets for 2009-10.

The CSCAA also expressed concern that the suits may, in fact, aid in flotation and enhance performance — both explicitly prohibited by FINA and NCAA rules. Independent scientific testing, currently under way, should resolve that issue within the next few months.

To date, other than the CSCAA, the only other major swimming body in the USA to take the position that the suits should not be allowed is the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA). Last weekend, USA Swimming banned the suits from age group competition only.

Special thanks to the CSCAA for contributing this report.