Swimming World Magazine Endorses Swimsuit Restrictions in February Issue

PHOENIX, Arizona, February 2. IN the February A Voice for the Sport column, Swimming World Magazine endorses swimsuit restrictions heading into a speedsuit summit taking place on Feb. 20 in Switzerland.

Click play below for a multimedia look Inside Swimming World Magazine as presented by The Morning Swim Show's Peter Busch:

A Voice for the Sport, February 2009
On April 10 last year, Swimming World Magazine first reported that a genie, wearing a black, full-body, custom-fitted swimsuit, had left its bottle and that Pandora's box was found open next to wet footprints.

The "genie" represented swimsuit technology, while "Pandora's box" obviously represented all the issues surrounding the approval, regulation and implementation of the genie's technology.

Since then, athletes using the new racing suits have broken an unprecedented 108 world records! In addition, countless national, meet and club records have been shattered during the same time period.

It is not an overstatement to say that the new swimsuits have singlehandedly accelerated the natural progression of record setting and has created a new class of swimmers whose times cannot be fairly compared to past performances.

Equally, it is not an understatement to say that the history of the sport—from a time performance perspective—has been disconnected. It is as monumental as B.C. separates A.D. in world history or the New Testament vs. the Old Testament. 2008 will always be seen as a demarcation point for the sport of swimming.

Turning back the clock is impossible. However, we can adjust the clock going forward so that times are relative to an athlete's ability and not to his or her attire.

To further this end, Swimming World Magazine endorses USA Swimming's proposal to FINA, the world governing body for international swimming, to regulate swimsuit technology in competition. USA Swimming wants FINA to amend the amount of material that covers an athlete's body.

Currently, the coverage rule allows for a swimmer to compete in the element of water while 95 percent of his or her body never gets wet. Swimmers should be one with their element.

The proposal asks that swimsuits "not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder nor past the knee."

Currently, there is no rule that limits the number of swimsuits that an athlete can wear in competition. Therefore, a growing number of athletes are wearing multiple suits to combine different technologies. One suit is often worn as a first layer to provide compression technology. A second suit is layered to recruit muscle groups and a final layer to provide streamline benefits.

Combined, the three suits exploit the current rules to enhance a swimmer's performance in the water even further.

The new proposal strictly limits an athlete to one suit in competition. If passed, it will effectively close this loophole.

USA Swimming concludes its proposal by requesting that any new technology be available to all competitors 12 months before the start of the Summer Olympic Games.

Additional proposals may come forward prior to an important upcoming meeting, Feb. 20, in Lausanne with swimwear manufacturers, coaches and FINA officials—some of which may be separate standards for open water swimsuits and pool competition swimsuits, defining compression and redefining buoyancy.

Compression has no definition within current FINA swimsuit rules, and research to verify buoyancy is non-existent. Also, products approved for open water competition have now made their way into the competition pool.

Open water competition is a different animal whose outcome is based on placement and not on a final time. The need for different material properties and coverage may have merit. However, to bring all these standards within one rule for both competitions may do a disservice to both. It is our hope and the hope of many in the swimming community that FINA will vote to amend its rules prior to the World Championships in Rome.

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February 2009 Issue
Contents of The February issue:

6 CELEBRATING 50+ YEARS IN AQUATICS: 1960-64 by John Lohn
As we celebrate 50+ years in aquatics, Swimming World Magazine will be taking a trip through history, highlighting some of the top moments of the magazine's existence.
8 OUR FOUNDING FATHERS by John Lohn
Robert Kiphuth and Peter Daland not only made their mark as two of the most esteemed swimming coaches in history, but they are also the two men responsible for starting what would eventually become today's Swimming World Magazine.
10 MAKING A DIFFERENCE by Greg Mescall
Brenda Villa is one of the most decorated women ever to play the game of water polo, but it is her position as a role model and ambassador for the sport that sets her apart from the others.
12 WINTER INVITATIONAL ROUNDUP by Jason Marsteller
There were many notable short course performances in the U.S. during December, including USA Swimming's senor and junior nationals, the Texas Invitational and the Husky Invitational.
15 ENDING 2008 WITH A BANG by Jason Marsteller
December's European Championships put an exclamation point on a year that saw more that 100 world records broken.
54 NAG TOP 10 (LONG COURSE)

DEPARTMENTS:
4 A VOICE for the SPORT
38 CAMP DIRECTORY
51 FOR THE RECORD
59 CALENDAR

In the Swimming Technique portion of the magazine you will find the following:

24 Q&A WITH COACH CHUCK BATCHELOR by Michael J. Stott
26 HOW THEY TRAIN: Elizabeth Beisel by Michael J. Stott
27 DEPTH OF SWIMMING PERFORMANCES IN THE USA by Genadijus Sokolovas
30 USSSA: Experience the Magic by Marla Blauman
Everybody can learn to swim — and love the water with magical help!
32 THE BENEFITS OF OFF-EVENT SWIMMING by Michael J. Stott
Swimming off events can help swimmers stay mentally and physically fresh.
34 DVD REVIEW: Richard Quick's "Faster Fast Sprint Freestyle"
reviewed by Michael J. Stott

In the SWIM portion of the magazine you will find the following:


17 THE POOL'S EDGE: Backstroke as Easy as 1-2-3 by Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen
19 LANE LEADERS: Erik Hochstein by Emily Sampl
20 THE WORKOUT CARD: Energy-Conscious Swimming by Terry Laughlin
22 DRYSIDE TRAINING: Dryland Tips for Better Freestyle by J.R. Rosania

In the Junior Swimmer portion of the magazine you will find the following:
35 HIGH SCHOOL ROUNDUP: Off to a Fast Start by Sarah Eckersley
36 SPEEDO AMERICAN RELAY by Judy Jacob
37 TYR AGE GROUP SWIMMER OF THE MONTH: Madison White

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