USA Swimming’s 12 & Under Tech-Suit Ban to go Into Effect September 1

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

USA Swimming’s tech-suit ban for 12-and-under athletes will go in effect on September 1, 2020 as the decision was voted on two years ago at the USAS Convention.

The board made one amendment to the decision, to allow the use of tech suits to 12-and-younger swimmers who have qualified for the USA Junior National Championships or the National Championships.

The use of tech suits by younger swimmers has been debated for years as coaches and officials worked to figure out what was best for youth athletes.

A technical racing swimsuit, or tech suit, is a specialized swimsuit designed with bonded/meshed seams or kinetic tape. In simpler terms, tech suits don’t even appear to have seams – coaches often tell swimmers that if they can pinch the side of their tech suit, it isn’t tight enough.

  • (Note:  WOVEN FABRIC – A suit with woven fabric and sewn seams that does not extend below the hips is permitted.)
  • (Note:  KNIT FABRIC – A suit with knit fabric and sewn seams not extending below the knees is permitted.)

Here is a video of Olympic medalist Leah Smith explaining the specifics of the USA Swimming tech suit rule:

Below are complete lists of the suits that will be restricted for athletes 12 and under, and then a list of those tech suits that will be allowed for athletes 12 and under:

For a detailed breakdown of approved and restricted tech suits by brand, click the links below:

This rule is in effect for all USA Swimming competitions in the United States, so any manufacturer or vendor selling a suit in the United States is subject to the above rule. No Technical Suits may be worn by any 12-Under USA Swimming athlete member in competition at any Sanctioned, Approved or Observed meet.

Any suit that does not have the FINA logo on it is approved for 12-Under use.

USA Swimming contributed to this report.

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