New England Limits Tech Suits for 10-and-Under Swimmers

Photo Courtesy: Swimming World

New England Swimming has announced that 10-and-under swimmers will be restricted in what high-tech suits they can wear at meets, effective immediately.

According to a document posted on the LSC’s official website, “Swimmers 10 years old and younger may not compete in a “Technical Suit” in a New England Swimming, Inc. sanctioned or approved competition.”

However, some suits that may be considered “tech suits” were not banned. New England Swimming issued a list of suits acceptable and unacceptable for 10-and-under swimmers. Certain suits from Speedo, Arena, TYR and Dolfin will still be allowed. Suits containing inetic tape, bonded seams and meshed seams are all prohibited.

The document adds that there are no restrictions for any swimmers aged 11 and older (age determined on first day of a meet), and parents, swimmers, coaches and officials are responsible for knowing the policy.

USA Swimming is in the midst of a national study determining whether tech suits should be legal at the lower age group levels. The organization has hired Stu Isaac to oversee this operation in figuring out what the impact of tech suits is for young swimmers and how the high prices of these suits can impact swimmers and their families financially. Check out a video interview with Isaac from the ASCA World Clinic.

(It’s worth noting that the suits that will be allowed by New England Swimming for 10-and-unders are among the cheaper versions on the market.)

A recent Swim Poll of the Week showed that a majority of Swimming World readers are in favor of restricting tech suit use for age groupers.

Read the full policy update from New England Swimming by clicking here.

39 Comments

39 comments

  1. Jocelyne Humbert O

    Should be until a swimmer reaches college or national meets. Age swimmers don’t need that suit to excel.

    • Cathy Chamberlain

      Amanda Beard made the Olympics at 14. She is the sort of swimmer who might require such a suit.

      • avatar
        Avery

        Yeah but then it becomes political of who makes the list to wear a suit or not

    • Maggie Hunt

      There are oodles of 14 year olds and HS students trying to make Junior National times across the country. Those tech suits do make a difference for those kids trying to make those college teams. We all know .01 seconds maybe get as we’ll be 2 seconds and if a suit is going to give a teenage swimmer that edge to drop that .01 than go for it.

  2. Lisa Hanf

    Good news. Young swimmers shouldn’t be wearing tech suits.

  3. Gregory T. Marinelli

    A waste of money & pointless pre-puberty/less than state level meets.

  4. Cathy Chamberlain

    Technique makes a swimmer faster. The suit only gives an edge.

  5. Michael Murphy

    That’s crap. Ban them for one , you band them for all. If the child needs those few extra millisecond, they might need to either work a bit harder or look at what they are doing and maybe change it. Plus the bigger they get, the more expensive the suit get. So why only younger kids. The article says that swimmers, parents and coaches need to know what is and isn’t banned. What about the marshall, they already have to check for the one piece rule, now they have to know which is, and is aloud. Seriously simply things, don’t make them harder

  6. Michael Lawrence

    Donald P. Spellman The Crucible 😉📖😱

  7. Ed Eckels

    Again, which of the volunteer officials are going to check a couple hundred swimmer’s suits at the start of each session?

  8. Matthew Lowe

    They’re bloody children. Competition outcomes are a secondary concern, with the primary focus being mastery of racing skills and then aerobic conditioning when they get older.

  9. Dick Beaver

    It’s about time somebody woke up. US SWIMMING should be ahead of the curve on this.

  10. Aimee Trout-Foster

    No reason why an 8’and under should be wearing a tech suit. Absurd.

  11. Nikki Humphrey

    This is great, but needs to be all USA sanctioned meets all over country!

  12. Bob McNeil

    Suits don’t win the race … I guarantee the same kids will still win whether they are in their pajamas or tech suits …

  13. Donna Sizemore Hale

    Good love. Love the sport first for who you are as a swimmer.

  14. Sarah Cappelli

    Every $wim parent $ay$ Thank You New England $wimming !!!

  15. avatar
    Alison Apodaca

    So Cal Swimming put that rule on to effect I believe the beginning of 207 too!

  16. David DiBella

    Given the cost of the suits and the speed these kids grow out of things this sounds like sanity has come to age group swimming with some relief for the parents’ pocket books.

  17. Maggie Hunt

    I agree that a tech suit is not going to help a swimmer 10 and under but why does there have to be a rule? If a parent is willing to spend $400 plus on a suit that isn’t going to do anything but maybe give their kiddo a mental boost let them waste their money. I don’t see the point of adding more work to our VOLUNTEER officials.

  18. Sheryl Burt

    Emily Hanson … I kinda think the rest of the world needs to hop on this

    • Emily Hanson

      Arkansas already is! The kids were wearing them at every meet…

  19. Robert Gabrielson

    I think parents are idiots to be paying that kind of money for tech suits for their swimmers who are under national level competition…
    That being said there have always been improvements throughout time on suits and equipment that give the current swimmers advantages over swimmers in the past. I also think that the younger swimmers that really train to their limits can prevail over spoiled swimmers with tech suits anyways👍

  20. Donald Jensen

    Ban tech suits for all under college level. Use common sense. Damn suits are way too expensive and under 18 grow out of them too fast.

    • avatar
      SwimMom

      A savvy shopper can get some tech suits at fairly reasonable prices.

  21. avatar
    SwimMom

    SO if we are banning tech suits because of social justice, or whatever, what is next? Are we going to ban kids from having personal trainers or private lessons because some people can afford it and some people can’t? What is the validity of banning something that is FINA approved?

  22. avatar
    SwimMom

    I’m surprised that New England would impose this ban before the USA swimming study is completed on this issue. What is the basis of their decision? If the argument is cost, do the facts support their premise? As the interview above points, some kids wear second hand tech suits or the less expensive tech suits. Also are the tech suits really driving kids out of the sport? What evidence is there?

Author: David Rieder

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David Rieder is the host of Swimming World TV and a staff writer. A contributor to Swimming World since 2009, he has covered NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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