High-tech swimsuits banned in prep events effective immediatelyThe Minnesota State High School Board of Directors Executive Committee approved a rule amendment Wednesday that bans high-tech swimsuits at the high school level. The high-tech suits have been linked to record performances at all levels of competition over the past couple of years.
The Minnesota State High School Board of Directors Executive Committee approved a rule amendment Wednesday that bans high-tech swimsuits at the high school level. The high-tech suits have been linked to record performances at all levels of competition over the past couple of years.
The new rule will be in effect for the upcoming 2009 swimming season for girls and for the 2009-2010 swimming season for boys in Minnesota.
Under the rule, swimmers shall be limited to one swimsuit that shall be constructed of a woven/knit textile material, permeable to water and air, constructed so as not to aid in buoyancy, and it shall not contain zippers or other fastening systems.
In addition, the suit shall be constructed so that the style/shape for males shall not extend above the waist or below the top of the kneecap and for females shall not extend beyond the shoulders or below the top of the kneecap, and it shall not cover the neck.
The Red Wing boys swimming program benefited from high-tech swimsuits at the 2009 state tournament. Wearing Speedo FS-PRO Bodyskin suits — which were made of the same fabric used to construct the Speedo LZR racing suits worn at the 2008 Summer Olympics — the Wingers finished third overall and first among the public schools.
“These high-tech suits had fundamentally altered the sport and had become more similar to equipment rather than a uniform,” said Becky Oakes, the National Federation of State High School Associations assistant director and liaison to the Swimming and Diving Rules Committee. “The rules of swimming have always prohibited the use or wearing of items that would aid in the swimmer’s speed and/or buoyancy. The technical suits and styles had evolved to a point where there was little, if any, compliance with these basic rules.”
The MSHSL adopted the policy set forth by the NFHS.
The NFHS Swimming and Diving Rules Committee approved changes to Rule 3-2-2 on Tuesday that will make the high-tech swimsuit illegal for swimmers at the high school level.
The NFHS Board of Directors subsequently approved the committee’s recommendations.
The NFHS decision comes after FINA, swimming’s international governing body, announced last month that it will ban the record-breaking bodysuits starting Jan. 1, 2010.