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John C Smith
July 30th, 2009, 09:54 PM
If the full body rubber suits do end up getting banned, why should USMS follow their lead on this issue? (i.e. assuming the suits would continue to be manufactured).

Isn't Masters mostly for each individual to pursue what they want and the level they want out of the sport?

If the full body suit is preferred by many USMS participants, why not satisfy the base by keeping it available?

What's really the point of forcing old USMS swimmers out of their girdles if FINA bans them?


John Smith

jim clemmons
July 30th, 2009, 10:37 PM
If the full body rubber suits do end up getting banned, why should USMS follow their lead on this issue? (i.e. assuming the suits would continue to be manufactured).

Isn't Masters mostly for each individual to pursue what they want and the level they want out of the sport?

If the full body suit is preferred by many USMS participants, why not satisfy the base by keeping it available?

What's really the point of forcing old USMS swimmers out of their girdles if FINA bans them?


John Smith

Should have had a poll for this one, John.

I agree. We should be left to our own "devices". I think USMS could come to terms with some guidelines that would allow existing technology. And just stop it at this point if that's desired by the majority. I think the few folks wanting to go back in time are few and far between.

gshaw
July 30th, 2009, 10:53 PM
I am not sure if John Smith is kidding or serious, but I was thinking along the same lines. Why should Masters swimmers not continue to use the tech suits? It might make Masters competitions stand out and be more attractive to younger swimmers who think the suits will help them swim faster. So, we might get more young elite competitors who want to compete in a Masters meet where they can use a tech suit. Fine with me.

Then there is the aesthetic element. We are older. Our bodies sag more. We are simply not the perfectly sculpted folks we see racing at the Olympics (sure, there are exceptions but...). Frankly, I think that people over 40 look significantly better in the full body suits. They look great AND help us swim more efficiently. We are not going to set Olympic records, so who cares if we decide to continue allowing the tech suits? I would be interested to see how a Jaked or an X-Glide feels in the water. It's fun. Masters is supposed to be fun.

There has been so much posturing in Rome; folks taking everything WAY too seriously and hypocritically (Bowman the prime example), but Masters do what we do because we love swimming, racing, and having fun; the tech suits ARE fun and they make us look and feel good. I say keep them.

jim clemmons
July 30th, 2009, 11:24 PM
I am not sure if John Smith is kidding or serious, but I was thinking along the same lines. Why should Masters swimmers not continue to use the tech suits?

Yes, I wasn't quite sure if he was being serious either. The "rubber suits" and "girdles" comments made me pause for a moment but I decided to consider the questions literally.

I have faith, however, in the girdle statement. I'd consider that to be a mandatory requirement for Masters. :)

jim thornton
July 30th, 2009, 11:27 PM
I am sure.

He was being snide.

--a girdle enthusiast

hornHead
July 30th, 2009, 11:45 PM
Maybe we should take a page from the Bowman play book and refuse to swim internationally if FINA imposes their will on Masters. There was a time when Masters was not under FINA control, so maybe we should turn the clock back to BF (Before FINA).

knelson
July 31st, 2009, 12:34 AM
Yes, USMS should follow suit [pun intended].

elise526
July 31st, 2009, 12:36 AM
Yes, USMS should follow suit [pun intended].

I agree.

Muppet
July 31st, 2009, 01:28 AM
Would there really be much impact if USMS said F-u to Fina and permitted bodysuits? The worst they can do is tell us that our swims won't count for Fina Top Ten - which affects a very small fraction of our membership.

Charge
July 31st, 2009, 01:37 AM
I'm not sure world records would count wither, would they?

For me it's a money issue, I can't justify $500 for a suit. So I hope we go with FINA's new rule, would level the pool for me.


But I'm biased and just looking out for myself!

scyfreestyler
July 31st, 2009, 01:38 AM
Would there really be much impact if USMS said F-u to Fina and permitted bodysuits? The worst they can do is tell us that our swims won't count for Fina Top Ten - which affects a very small fraction of our membership.

IMHO, it's not so much what FINA would do to us, it's what we would be doing to ourselves.

meldyck
July 31st, 2009, 08:22 AM
Yes, USMS should follow suit [pun intended].

USMS should follow FINA's lead and change the rules every few days.

I agree with Mr. Positive above that we should ignore FINA, even though Mr. Positive is probably poking fun at us again.

thewookiee
July 31st, 2009, 08:59 AM
Yes, USMS should follow suit [pun intended].

USMS should follow what is the best interest of it's membership, not FINA. If the majority want to follow FINA rules(whatever they are that day) fine. If the majority would like for USMS to allow tech suits, then that is what should be done.

stillwater
July 31st, 2009, 09:12 AM
USMS should follow FINA's rulings on suits and PEDs.

If not, when told of a swim time, my first question will be, "What suit did you wear and who gave you your injection?"

Tech suits are a bane to swimming legitimacy.

qbrain
July 31st, 2009, 09:17 AM
I am for whatever keeps the suit controversy the primary topic for new threads. It would absolutely SUCK if we started using the swimming forums to discuss swimming again.

Leonard Jansen
July 31st, 2009, 09:35 AM
Go with FINA's rules, assuming that they ever actually get around to defining any that last more than 5 minutes.

Just a thought experiment: Suppose that USMS goes its own way and allows tech suits while FINA/USS does not. Suppose MASTER swimmer X swims a time in a USMS certified/sanctioned meet that qualifies her for a race (USS nationals, trials, whatever) that is held under FINA rules. Furthermore, X was in a FINA-LEGAL suit. Question: Has X qualified for the FINA rules meet?

On the face of it, the answer seems to be "yes." However:
1) Will there be a mechanism in place to certify that X was in a FINA legal suit?
2) Given that there is a mechanism, what burden does this place on the meet directors?
3) Suppose that in X's heat, some of the competitors were wearing FINA-ILLEGAL suits. Does this potentially constitute an illegal pacing situation. e.g. If someone jogs next to a racewalker, that is illegal pacing since they are not conforming to racewalking rules.

Finally, and not related to the above: If FINA/USS bans tech suits and masters does not, will this be a large enough base for suit manufacturers to continue making tech suits?

-LBJ

Robert Strand
July 31st, 2009, 09:43 AM
Without a doubt FINA is just staggering around with this issue right now. Jammers only for men is ridiculous. I do not want to be put in a place where I have to loose weight just to look reasonable. The first thing that my wife will suggest is I stop drinking wine (Mel what do say about that-it would be a disaster}. On a very personal "male" level I think the women look awesome in their Jaked's and Arena suits and "us boys" have got to demand that they be allowed at our master's meets. You know there is a little more going on in Rome then just the suits I think it is the confluence of a lot of things, better training, tremendous monmentum which stokes everyone, beautiful pool and surroundings, great weather on and on. Let me, at least, keep my B70 from neck to knees. Hey here is a novel idea for FINA lets let the swimmers decide. Phelps can act all distressed about the new suits (what does he make a year from Speedo??)

meldyck
July 31st, 2009, 09:45 AM
Finally, and not related to the above: If FINA/USS bans tech suits and masters does not, will this be a large enough base for suit manufacturers to continue making tech suits?

-LBJ

Leonard,

my personal observation is that USMS members were WELL ahead of the rest of swimming in the use of the faster suits. I first used the Aquablade and Victor in the summer of 1999, when almost no one at the college or high school level was using them in meets that I attended. I can remember talking to one college swim coach who told me that there were no real advantages in terms of physically measurable quantities but that everything was purely psychological. He saw no reason to try to fool his swimmers into using an uncomfortable suit.

So, the answer to your question above, form my experience, is that at least one manufacturer (Victor = Jerry Greenberg) was willing to start production for the master's community. I don't know what Speedo's motivation was.

John C Smith
July 31st, 2009, 09:46 AM
USMS should follow FINA's lead and change the rules every few days.

I agree with Mr. Positive above that we should ignore FINA, even though Mr. Positive is probably poking fun at us again.

Truth be told "meldyck", I would love to erase the full body rubber suit chapter entirely from the history of the sport. I started swimming again after my surgery about 3 weeks ago. I plan on showing up in my first masters meet in November in either a classic small speedo suit or jammers from now on. I've had enough. I tried a rubber suit in Austin in 2008 when they were new (for curiosity and a joke against Mr. Killeen). The technical advantages are quite obvious. I will always be of the same opinion there is a reason aluminum bats are not allowed in professional baseball. But I really don't care if other people wear one in the lane next to me. It's just masters swimming. Handicaps are fine and just not an issue.

But getting back to my questions....... what are the rammifications of ignoring FINA on this issue? Other than refusing to allow World records set in the rubber suits, what can they do to force USMS to comply or otherwise retaliate?

I wonder if other country's masters swimmers want to leave them as an option or not.


John Smith

Redbird Alum
July 31st, 2009, 09:48 AM
Leonard makes a good point about administrative issues that will result from different governing bodies taking different stances.

If USMS wants the tech suits, USMS needs to speak with one voice to convince FINA and USS that they are legit, but these forums suggest that even within USMS there is no common ground on the issue. The suit manufacturers undoubtedly have lobbied their positions already (with funding or the lack thereof, I'm sure).

IMHO, USMS governing body would be remiss to ignore the regulations of the international and USS governing bodies.

Leonard Jansen
July 31st, 2009, 09:57 AM
So, the answer to your question above, form my experience, is that at least one manufacturer (Victor = Jerry Greenberg) was willing to start production for the master's community. I don't know what Speedo's motivation was.

A good point of information. I do wonder, however, if the original manufacturing of tech suits, aside from master's using them, wasn't really more about "mind-share" and gambling that these might become the wave of the future. I forget the stats of USMS membership and what percent actually compete, but I wonder how many USMS types actually have a tech suit. That number, when spread across several manufacturers who will get no potential "mind share"/sales into the larger youth market, feels a bit small to justify the R&D, design, etc that goes into one of these suits.

-LBJ

aquageek
July 31st, 2009, 10:06 AM
But getting back to my questions....... what are the rammifications of ignoring FINA on this issue? Other than refusing to allow World records set in the rubber suits, what can they do to force USMS to comply or otherwise retaliate?

I'm glad Mr. Negasmith has finally posted a good topic, and this is interesting.

Does USMS have enough members and clout to stand on our own without FINA? That seems to be the question. I don't see any real reason to be so tethered to FINA. If you want to do a FINA meet, wear their approved suits. If FINA says they will not recognize USMS swims due to our stance on suits, big whoop. USMS is an adult fitness organization and I really don't see why we need to be as controlling on what adults spend their money on as the kiddies and pros do. It's all very heavy handed.

thewookiee
July 31st, 2009, 10:08 AM
IMHO, USMS governing body would be remiss to ignore the regulations of the international and USS governing bodies.

Unless FINA states that masters swimming will be allowed to use bodysuits. I would believe that some of the suit makers would be willing to produce bodysuits for masters swimming is allowed to keep them.

Redbird Alum
July 31st, 2009, 10:12 AM
Unless FINA states that masters swimming will be allowed to use bodysuits. I would believe that some of the suit makers would be willing to produce bodysuits for masters swimming is allowed to keep them.

But why would FINA agree to this concept?

The Fortress
July 31st, 2009, 10:13 AM
But why would FINA agree to this concept?

Well, FINA has already stated that it's previous ban did not apply to masters and that it never intended to regulate masters.

Redbird Alum
July 31st, 2009, 10:20 AM
Well, FINA has already stated that it's previous ban did not apply to masters and that it never intended to regulate masters.

True, but I thought that was another of their "temporary insanity" moments. Masters represents a very large, international venue in swimming that increasingly has a large cross-over to USS and FINA events. It makes no sense that they would just cut masters loose to do their own thing.

knelson
July 31st, 2009, 10:26 AM
I think if we allow the suits and everyone else bans them then it turns USMS into the equivalent of a beer league. Maybe some people think this is fine, but not me. Why is this such a big deal? I like wearing paddles in practice, too, but I'm not advocating their use in meets. The sport has become a laughingstock due to these suits.

The Fortress
July 31st, 2009, 10:27 AM
True, but I thought that was another of their "temporary insanity" moments. Masters represents a very large, international venue in swimming that increasingly has a large cross-over to USS and FINA events. It makes no sense that they would just cut masters loose to do their own thing.

Perhaps not. But I was under the distinct impression that we were not even on their radar screen at the moment.

Also, and this is only my sense, it appears that the Europeans are even more attached to their tech suits than USMS members. Lots of suit manufacturers and very fast swimmers outside the US ...

Kirk, I don't agree that the "sport has become a laughing stock because of the suits." The suits are fun, cool and exciting. I think the current crisis is caused by FINA and its stupidity and inability to gradually roll out and/or otherwise regulate suit technology.

Dennis Tesch
July 31st, 2009, 10:29 AM
Even if USMS decides to continue with allowing these suits I really doubt the manufactures will continue making them. My understanding from selling suits as a retailer is that none of the manufactures will ever make a profit on these suits and reducing their levels of suits manufactured to a small portion of 40,000 plus swimmers wouldn't be, in my opinion, a wise business decision.

I already struggle getting these suits to colleges and national level swimmers let alone a few masters swimmers around the country once or twice a year. I really doubt your local swim shop will carry these suits in stock in the future. You are going to have to buy them on line or directly from TYR, Speedo, Jaked, etc... and hope you get them in time for your meet.

Tim L
July 31st, 2009, 10:43 AM
I am with John. I am not wearing them anymore, but I could care less if someone else in masters swimming wears them. The one caveat is if swimmers that I think I should be able to stay with start flying by me and I can't compensate by training better, then maybe I will finally fully concede and join the rubber age.

FINA is the worst sports governing body in the world. They will probably change their mind multiple times between now and January 1st. I have full confidence that the rubber age is here to stay and I think there will be many other beneficial changes. They are going to move the line for underwaters out to 20 to 25 meters and you will be able to wear whatever suit you want. They will also allow flip turns in breaststroke and butterfly and any transition turn in the IM. Phelps will break a 49 in the 100 fly within a year and everything will be fine. What is the point with all these rules? No one enforces them anyway and they just slow people down which makes no sense. I haven't seen a DQ in major competition in the last 10 years. We don't need all those people on the deck looking down at the swimmers like they are actually trying to enforce the rules. We could save costs and make things faster, a double bonus! We just need a starter, one person at the other end to make sure people touch the wall with some part of their body, and a person in the middle of the pool making sure people break the surface at the 25 meter mark. On second thought at least 2 of those jobs aren't needed because they could be replaced by touch pads and a laser at the middle of the pool. I mean, heck, in track and field they don't tell you how to run, they just tell you how far and what your lane is. They don't tell people how they have to get over a hurdle, you can get over it anyway you want. The only rules in breaststroke should be that you have to recover your arms underwater and together and anything else goes (unlimited flutter or dolphin kick, whatever is fastest - it almost looks like Soni does a dolphin kick now or she isn't far from it). The breastroke kick is bad for some peoples knees so this is just to protect the athletes, right. Personally, I love it that Kitajima is out of the record books, that great "innovator". Maybe Kitajima should be the head of FINA and implement my evil "almost anything goes" plan. Maybe that dude from the WWF could do the commentary with Rowdy too.

Bowman is such a purist. Boo, hiss! There is no room for him in this sport unless he changes his ways.

Tim

John C Smith
July 31st, 2009, 10:43 AM
I think if we allow the suits and everyone else bans them then it turns USMS into the equivalent of a beer league. Maybe some people think this is fine, but not me. Why is this such a big deal? I like wearing paddles in practice, too, but I'm not advocating their use in meets. The sport has become a laughingstock due to these suits.


Kirk,

That's kind of the issue here. For me and big ugly Paul, Masters is a "beer" league and it is for fun. For others it is more serious. The mixture of participants and their needs is not going away. Hence..... why not let people wear what they want to wear all across USMS. I mean everyone knows the approximate advantages of the suit. If you don't want to wear one, (like me), then just don't wear one.

I truly think that the girdle (or cosmetic) effect on older swimmers helps them mentally and in the water. If this is what they want to compete with ..... let'em have the suit! I'm serious.

I don't see the advantage of following FINA backward on this issue for USMS...... (for USA swimming.... I have a different opinion).


John Smith

gull
July 31st, 2009, 10:44 AM
I think if we allow the suits and everyone else bans them then it turns USMS into the equivalent of a beer league.

We should also institute the following measures:

1. Drug testing at major competitions
2. Proof of QTs when registering for nationals
3. Fly swum with a legitimate dolphin kick only
4. All starts from the blocks, no exceptions
5. Teams defined as swimmers who train together in the same pool

knelson
July 31st, 2009, 10:46 AM
Even if USMS decides to continue with allowing these suits I really doubt the manufactures will continue making them. My understanding from selling suits as a retailer is that none of the manufactures will ever make a profit on these suits and reducing their levels of suits manufactured to a small portion of 40,000 plus swimmers wouldn't be, in my opinion, a wise business decision.

But what about a manufacturer such as blueseventy? I think they got into the pool swimming market because of their expertise in making wetsuits and realized they could make a "wetsuit like" pool legal suit. When FINA puts in place the new rules will they even continue to make suits? It's hard for me to imagine why they would want to make a textile jammer, but if there's still a decent market (in masters) for a full-body suit, then maybe they will continue to produce the Nero or some new variant of the Nero. Possibly same thing for Jaked, although they are still a tiny player in masters--at least in the U.S.

RuffWater
July 31st, 2009, 10:51 AM
This question wipes out the wetsuit/non-wetsuit debate, don't you think?

knelson
July 31st, 2009, 10:53 AM
That's kind of the issue here. For me and big ugly Paul, Masters is a "beer" league and it is for fun.

But winning is also fun. Can you deny that when you swim in a meet you want to win? If you're wearing briefs and the guy next to you is wearing a Jaked your chances are greatly reduced. Obviously you and Paul are talented swimmers, but even you two aren't going to beat a fast swimmer if you're in briefs and he's in a Jaked.

aquageek
July 31st, 2009, 10:54 AM
That's kind of the issue here. For me and big ugly Paul, Masters is a "beer" league and it is for fun.

Well, actions speak louder than words, much much louder. As I recall a certain "team" was assembled of ultra fast elite level USMS swimmers solely for the purpose of breaking a record. This completely nullifies any "beer" league statements or "we don't take it seriously" comments. Further, no beer league I know has participants who regularly get up before 5 am to practice.

I do agree it is fun, especially when I can mock Paul from afar and he can't chase me down and sit on me.

John C Smith
July 31st, 2009, 10:59 AM
Gull,

Point 5.) has never been something that has been strictly required by AAU, USS or USA Swimming throughout the years. One merely needs to look at the teams assembled by Mission Viejo in the 1970s or Cinc. Pepsi Marlins later in the 1980s to see team participants showing up at nationals from all over the country that have never even met.

At least the teams in Masters events that have done this (like Team TYR) all know each other from prior lives and friendships. Swimming at meets with old friends is a great way to encourage others to participate in USMS. Contrary to Mr. Geek's opinion that these were purely formed for record breaking attempts, the fact is, we all did it for fun and to be together.

Might I point out my old 11-12 year old relay I assembled at the Ft. Lauderdale nationals. There were no records set in this event.



John Smith

aquageek
July 31st, 2009, 11:03 AM
Wow - Mr. Negasmith you sure got very serious in a very serious hurry about defending your lack of seriousness when it comes to breaking records with fellow "teammates."

John C Smith
July 31st, 2009, 11:04 AM
But winning is also fun. Can you deny that when you swim in a meet you want to win? If you're wearing briefs and the guy next to you is wearing a Jaked your chances are greatly reduced. Obviously you and Paul are talented swimmers, but even you two aren't going to beat a fast swimmer if you're in briefs and he's in a Jaked.


You are correct.... given swimmers of relatively equal speed, the suit will determine the winner. Yes it is fun to win a race.... even at my ripe age of 47. But really, Kirk,........ it's just masters swimming. Perhaps you need to join Paul and I for a beer next nationals. The discussions are usually better than the meet itself.

knelson
July 31st, 2009, 11:05 AM
We should also institute the following measures:

1. Drug testing at major competitions
2. Proof of QTs when registering for nationals
3. Fly swum with a legitimate dolphin kick only
4. All starts from the blocks, no exceptions
5. Teams defined as swimmers who train together in the same pool

I can think of valid reason for each of these. The only reason I can think of to allow tech suits when every other organization has banned them is because "people like them" and, sorry, I just don't think that's a good enough reason.

I'll go along with whatever decision FINA finally decides to make regarding the suits, but I feel USMS should also adhere to this ruling.

JimRude
July 31st, 2009, 11:05 AM
Wow - Mr. Negasmith you sure got very serious in a very serious hurry about defending your lack of seriousness when it comes to breaking records with fellow "teammates."

Word. Sounds like calling it a beer league for fun is just hedging bets in case one gets "lit up" at a meet by a less-worthy swimmer.

John C Smith
July 31st, 2009, 11:07 AM
Wow - Mr. Negasmith you sure got very serious in a very serious hurry about defending your lack of seriousness when it comes to breaking records with fellow "teammates."

I will continue to "whore" out my talents to relay teams that are the most fun to be with..... this means swimming with old friends.

Back to the topic Mr. Geek. What would happen if USMS had the guts to tell FINA to "pound sand" on this rubber suit issue?


John Smith

knelson
July 31st, 2009, 11:09 AM
But really, Kirk,........ it's just masters swimming. Perhaps you need to join Paul and I for a beer next nationals.


You're on. But which one am I? Obama, Gates or Crowley? :)

And by the way, what's your take John? You've hinted that you think masters swimmers should be able to do whatever they want, but you also said you'd like the whole rubber suit chapter eliminated from the sport. Let's hear your definitive answer to your own question.

gull
July 31st, 2009, 11:11 AM
I can think of valid reason for each of these. The only reason I can think of to allow tech suits when every other organization has banned them is because "people like them" and, sorry, I just don't think that's a good enough reason.

I'll go along with whatever decision FINA finally decides to make regarding the suits, but I feel USMS should also adhere to this ruling.

Why? So that we will be seen as a serious swimming organization? NQTs are a joke. If we are just a beer league, then anything goes.

chaos
July 31st, 2009, 11:12 AM
What would happen if USMS had the guts to tell FINA to "pound sand" on this rubber suit issue?


John Smith

guts? this is making the assumption that the majority of masters want to don rubber........
(i prefer hanging out with folks who are into leather)

aquageek
July 31st, 2009, 11:14 AM
Back to the topic Mr. Geek. What would happen if USMS had the guts to tell FINA to "pound sand" on this rubber suit issue?

I don't know the fallout but I'm sure there would be some with the more serious competitors but at the top level, not sure. Maybe Rob Butcher could weigh in on this option, that would be interesting. I assume there are some politics involved with our organization and FINA, as with any organization.

Are we self sustaining without FINA?

knelson
July 31st, 2009, 11:15 AM
Why? So that we will be seen as a serious swimming organization? NQTs are a joke. If we are just a beer league, then anything goes.

Yes, that is exactly why. Sports without rules cease to be sports. I hate to use the slippery slope argument, but really, if we go a different direction than FINA on the suit issue why not allow one-handed touches in fly and breast, allow false starts, etc.? As things stand now there is no masters rule that gives us an advantage over non-masters--OK, assuming you're not doping, that is.

Chris Stevenson
July 31st, 2009, 11:18 AM
Well, FINA has already stated that it's previous ban did not apply to masters and that it never intended to regulate masters.

Well clearly they "regulate" masters in some senses. If USMS allowed stroke modifications that other national bodies did not (eg, you could do a forward start in backstroke, kick as far underwater as you want, do flipturns in butterfly, two pull-outs in breaststroke, etc), I doubt any of our times would be accepted for inclusion in FINA Top Ten or as WRs.

I think what they said is that, just as they do not enforce PED prohibitions through a drug-testing program in masters, they don't intend to regulate swimsuits in masters. I got the impression that it was partly a logistical thing, they didn't want to worry about suit inspections at the masters levels (like they do at the top international meets).

That was then, of course; I don't think it beyond the realm of possibility that they may change their mind... :)


But getting back to my questions....... what are the rammifications of ignoring FINA on this issue? Other than refusing to allow World records set in the rubber suits, what can they do to force USMS to comply or otherwise retaliate?

I wonder if other country's masters swimmers want to leave them as an option or not.

Ramifications that I can think of:

-- FINA might not accept any times from USMS meets for inclusion in Top Ten lists or as WRs. I suppose we could have some sort of verification that a "FINA legal" suit was used but that would be a hassle to do for all possible TT swims or WRs, and FINA might decide not accept it anyway.

-- USA-S may decide not to accept any USMS times into the SWIMS database. Right now you can give prior notification for your intention to do so, but going against USA-S on the suit issue (especially since they initiated the current proposal) might be pushing it.

These two ramifications do indeed affect many of our members.

Like John, I am thoroughly sick of the new suits and all the associated baggage. Unlike him, it would bother me just a little to swim in jammers next to a competitor who was wearing cellophane (oops, I meant Jaked).

But it would bother me more than a little to basically have USMS strike out on our own. I would like, as closely as possible, the rules that we swim under in USMS to mirror those that Phelps, Lochte and co. compete with both nationally and internationally. I'd like to feel like we are doing the same sport, though obviously at completely different levels. I simply see no great compelling reason to part ways on this issue, but obviously I am not as attached to the suits as others.

Anyway, I think it is mostly a moot point. I don't think the suit manufacturers are going to make these suits just for masters swimmers. If/when FINA gets rid of them (and unlike Tim L, I think the rubber suits will soon be gone for good), I think that for all practical purposes they will be gone from masters competitions once the current stock gets used up, though that may take some time.

knelson
July 31st, 2009, 11:23 AM
I think that for all practical purposes they will be gone from masters competitions once the current stock gets used up, though that may take some time.

Ricky Berens has a slightly used Jaked he'd probably be willing to sell for cheap. :banana:

scyfreestyler
July 31st, 2009, 11:39 AM
I would like, as closely as possible, the rules that we swim under in USMS to mirror those that Phelps, Lochte and co. compete with both nationally and internationally. I'd like to feel like we are doing the same sport, though obviously at completely different levels. I simply see no great compelling reason to part ways on this issue, but obviously I am not as attached to the suits as others.



Very well said.

The Fortress
July 31st, 2009, 11:48 AM
Well clearly they "regulate" masters in some senses. If USMS allowed stroke modifications that other national bodies did not (eg, you could do a forward start in backstroke, kick as far underwater as you want, do flipturns in butterfly, two pull-outs in breaststroke, etc), I doubt any of our times would be accepted for inclusion in FINA Top Ten or as WRs.

I think what they said is that, just as they do not enforce PED prohibitions through a drug-testing program in masters, they don't intend to regulate swimsuits in masters. I got the impression that it was partly a logistical thing, they didn't want to worry about suit inspections at the masters levels (like they do at the top international meets).

That was then, of course; I don't think it beyond the realm of possibility that they may change their mind...


Ramifications that I can think of:

-- FINA might not accept any times from USMS meets for inclusion in Top Ten lists or as WRs. I suppose we could have some sort of verification that a "FINA legal" suit was used but that would be a hassle to do for all possible TT swims or WRs, and FINA might decide not accept it anyway.

-- USA-S may decide not to accept any USMS times into the SWIMS database. Right now you can give prior notification for your intention to do so, but going against USA-S on the suit issue (especially since they initiated the current proposal) might be pushing it.


These two ramifications do indeed affect many of our members.

Like John, I am thoroughly sick of the new suits and all the associated baggage. Unlike him, it would bother me just a little to swim in jammers next to a competitor who was wearing cellophane (oops, I meant Jaked).

But it would bother me more than a little to basically have USMS strike out on our own. I would like, as closely as possible, the rules that we swim under in USMS to mirror those that Phelps, Lochte and co. compete with both nationally
and internationally. I'd like to feel like we are doing the same sport, though obviously at
completely different levels. I simply see no great compelling reason to part ways on this issue, but obviously I am not as attached to the suits as others.

Anyway, I think it is mostly a moot point. I don't think the suit manufacturers are going to make these suits just for masters swimmers. If/when FINA gets rid of them (and unlike Tim L, I think the rubber suits will soon be gone for good), I think that for all practical purposes they will be gone from masters competitions once the current stock gets used up, though that may take some time.

Uh, I just meant that FINA had stated that it had no current intent to ban or regulate tech suits for masters. Who knows what it will do going forward?

I'm thoroughly sick of hearing how the sport has been "ruined" by innovative gear.

Tim L
July 31st, 2009, 11:48 AM
If/when FINA gets rid of them (and unlike Tim L, I think the rubber suits will soon be gone for good), I think that for all practical purposes they will be gone from masters competitions once the current stock gets used up, though that may take some time.

The cynical part of me just thinks that for FINA going backwards will be very painful for the sport. What do you do with the records set in the rubber suits or I guess any tech suit? Now that they are going back to the mid-90s, do you set the world records to only include swims in jammers or less to be standing world records? If you keep the current world records are you willing to have the next world championship and Olympics with maybe only a handful of world records and will that have a negative effect on participation in the sport? How will some swimmers feel about continuing swimming if their times increase a lot? How will sponsorships be impacted? TV ratings for the Olympics? All these things are painful and sources of conflict and FINA seems to like to avoid that at all costs so my guess is they are going to flip-flop on this issue again. FINA obviously listened to the purists for their current decision, but now they will have to listen to the realists who will emphasize that you can't go backwards.

The thing with FINA is that you can't rely on them being consistent or well reasoned even after it appears they have made a decision.

However, I think it would be very interesting to go back to jammers to determine the real benefit of the tech suits and who benefited the most.

Tim

Paul Smith
July 31st, 2009, 12:54 PM
I will continue to "whore" out my talents to relay teams that are the most fun to be with..... this means swimming with old friends.

Back to the topic Mr. Geek. What would happen if USMS had the guts to tell FINA to "pound sand" on this rubber suit issue?


John Smith

And what really cracks me up is you two idiots swimming on Rowdy's team this fall....talk about whores!! JS, do you an extra Mark Spitz Stars & Stripes Speedo you can loan your little buddy?

Even more important is will Geekster pony up the $100 entry/winner take all "retro" 50 back event you're organizing?

"retro" = comy goggles, toes over the edge start, no SDK and John Naber "bucket turns"?

beireland
July 31st, 2009, 01:01 PM
I'm split on all of this. I do know that the tech suits are faster than "standard" suits. I also know that FINA isn't a great role model when it comes to rule-making or well-reasoned decisions. I also recognize that USMS doesn't have to follow FINA rules.

But USMS has rules for swimming equipment that blocks traditional wetsuits from being worn in open water and pool competitions--I always presumed that those rules were in place because the wetsuits gave an advantage to swimmers who were wearing them. Doesn't that same rationale argue for regulating other swim suits that give advantages? Isn't the logical extension of that to regulate the playing field so all competitors are wearing the same equipment--and keeping the costs down seems like another benefit as well. Shouldn't people swim faster because they are better swimmers who are in better shape(which does not include me in either category)as opposed to being able to purchase a better swim suit?

I don't want to over-emphasize the role of the suit. If I was wearing a Jaked, and a real world class swimmer was wearing a three-piece suit with cummerbund, top hat and shoes, I'm pretty sure I'd be getting whopped. So its not just the suit. But I do like the idea of the competitive advantage in USMS competition going to the better swimmer and not the better equipment.

Hoosier
July 31st, 2009, 01:03 PM
I think the current situation is kinda cool... lets say you like the suits, think we should have them...well for a few days you are happy, then a week or two later, you are sad, then a week or two later, you will be happy again, then a week or two later......... this way, no one wins, and no one loses completely...Political correctness has made its way to swimming. I am slow, in the new suits or out of them, so makes me no mind.:banana:

gull
July 31st, 2009, 01:06 PM
Well, actions speak louder than words, much much louder. As I recall a certain "team" was assembled of ultra fast elite level USMS swimmers solely for the purpose of breaking a record. This completely nullifies any "beer" league statements or "we don't take it seriously" comments.

Simply a bunch of friends getting together to splash around in the pool. It just so happens that all of the Smith brothers' friends are elite/world class swimmers. Who own expensive tech suits. And shave down.

orca1946
July 31st, 2009, 01:08 PM
It's the cost issue for me as well. My wife likes the way I look in the tech suits !! How about NO Floatation for starters ? To the knee textile suits for men & women with a cost of under $200 would have the suit makers rethink how much technology to put in them.

bcm119
July 31st, 2009, 01:10 PM
I don't know much about the new tech suits, but I hear they are $200, even $500?? That is enough in my mind to ban them. Swimming is one of the few "pure" sports, where you don't need the latest equipment to be competitive. Or so I thought.... I guess you do now. I guess I'm already a curmudgeon at 32 years of age. And I think we should go a step further: all Masters competitors must wear an old Arena banana-hammock, one size too big.

Seriously, there's no way I'm dropping even $100 on a swim suit. It just seems to go against what swimming is all about. Plus, if we're all wearing $500 suits, we can't make fun of the triathlon guys with all their toys anymore.

Paul Smith
July 31st, 2009, 01:22 PM
Simply a bunch of friends getting together to splash around in the pool. It just so happens that all of the Smith brothers' friends are elite/world class swimmers. Who own expensive tech suits. And shave down.

I can see the torches and pitch forks coming out now...string those elitist bastard old swimmers up by their Jaked's!

aquageek
July 31st, 2009, 01:49 PM
I can see the torches and pitch forks coming out now...string those elitist bastard old swimmers up by their Jaked's!

Well, what goes around comes around, Pablo from Pueblo. Maybe a few people didn't like being told from the "I'm not serious but I like breaking records" elite crowd how seriously the rest of us should take the sport and train.

Paul Smith
July 31st, 2009, 02:09 PM
Well, what goes around comes around, Pablo from Pueblo. Maybe a few people didn't like being told from the "I'm not serious but I like breaking records" elite crowd how seriously the rest of us should take the sport and train.

I've seen your bike and I know how you feel about the suits Mr. Team Blu Frog Sergeant at Arm's....so I know how serious you are.

John C Smith
July 31st, 2009, 04:14 PM
I can see the torches and pitch forks coming out now...string those elitist bastard old swimmers up by their Jaked's!


Ahhh yes.... the old "elite" vs. the average "john smith" swimmer argument. The great divider in masters swimming. You're either one of us...... or your one of THEM.

What a bunch of crap.


John Smith

gull
July 31st, 2009, 04:23 PM
Ahhh yes.... the old "elite" vs. the average "john smith" swimmer argument. The great divider in masters swimming. You're either one of us...... or your one of THEM.

What a bunch of crap.


John Smith

No, the "bunch of crap" is how we're told that the Smith brothers don't take their swimming seriously.

John C Smith
July 31st, 2009, 04:29 PM
No, the "bunch of crap" is how we're told that the Smith brothers don't take their swimming seriously.

Probably not as serious a some.... that is true.

..... which is part of my point in this thread. There are many levels of competitiveness in USMS. Why not just allow those who want to use the rubber suits. It's not that big a deal.

lefty
July 31st, 2009, 04:36 PM
Probably not as serious a some....

That is true, but what is also true is that you take it alot more seriosly than you want to let on!

scyfreestyler
July 31st, 2009, 04:37 PM
Probably not as serious a some.... that is true.

..... which is part of my point in this thread. There are many levels of competitiveness in USMS. Why not just allow those who want to use the rubber suits. It's not that big a deal.


Aren't there also varying levels of competitiveness in USA Swimming as well?

John C Smith
July 31st, 2009, 05:17 PM
I find it interesting that so many who support the use of this new technology to "further the sport" the last year and a half are now thinking it is better to side with FINA (even though they have little respect for FINA's decision process) to ban the suits.

I myself have opposed them from USA Swimming events day one, now feel they are no big deal for use in USMS events.

Amusing that a piece of clothing can divide opinions so easily.


John Smith

gull
July 31st, 2009, 05:21 PM
Amusing that a piece of clothing can divide opinions so easily.

You elite swimmers are easily amused.

TRYM_Swimmer
July 31st, 2009, 05:28 PM
But I really don't care if other people wear one in the lane next to me. It's just masters swimming. Handicaps are fine and just not an issue.


I agree with Average on everything, especially the above. I have enjoyed the friendships and competition off and on since 1972, and will not be going beyond jammers, no matter what. And I couldn't beat Bob Strand, Allan, or Frostie unless they were wearing a suit of armor and then it would still be close!

I know I could use a little core work, and don't want to use a suit to help me forget what is holding me back at this point. Come on, Mel, don't leave us for a piece of clothing. With all of the good things you have done for Masters, a few rule disagreements shouldn't drive you away.

Keep the good discussions coming and see you in the pool.

Bob Husson (making like a frog since 1955)

knelson
July 31st, 2009, 05:36 PM
I think swimming in briefs vs. someone in a Jaked is sort of like playing tennis where you must hit into the singles court but your opponent gets to hit into the alleys. Yeah, if you're really good you will still win, but it's a hell of an advantage for your opponent.

gull
July 31st, 2009, 05:46 PM
I think swimming in briefs vs. someone in a Jaked is sort of like playing tennis where you must hit into the singles court but your opponent gets to hit into the alleys. Yeah, if you're really good you will still win, but it's a hell of an advantage for your opponent.

More like playing with a wooden racket when your opponent is using graphite.

gshaw
July 31st, 2009, 05:59 PM
I think swimming in briefs vs. someone in a Jaked is sort of like playing tennis where you must hit into the singles court but your opponent gets to hit into the alleys. Yeah, if you're really good you will still win, but it's a hell of an advantage for your opponent.

No. It's like someone playing with a state of the art graphite tennis racket against someone who plays with a wooden racket (perhaps because he feels that the new fangled rackets have ruined the sport). Same court, same measurements, etc. but different equipment. I like the new equipment (tech suits) and don't quite grasp why some folks think it's almost immoral to wear them, that they have "ruined" the sport, etc. (I remember last year how Phelps was praising how great the LZR felt coming off the wall...they were all behind them then). I think folks find swimming more interesting now than they ever have. Much of that has to do with Phelps but some of it has to do with the excitement generated by the new suits and the speed. BTW, I think that even if Masters allow tech suits the manufacturers will stop making them if they are banned from international competition and from college athletics (for economic reasons as L. Jansen explained).

As to competition, seriousness, etc., what we ought to remember is that if we don't "try" to win and come prepared to do our best then it is less fun. When we get beat we praise the winner because s/he won the race. If we win or set a record we feel stoked. It's supposed to be fun. It IS fun. That's how I understand the Smiths "beer league" statement; it may be fun, a beer league, whatever, but that doesn't mean I won't train my ass off and try to swim as fast as I can. The work is what makes it fun!

The Fortress
July 31st, 2009, 06:51 PM
I don't quite grasp why some folks think it's almost immoral to wear them, that they have "ruined" the sport, etc.

Me neither ...

And I haven't even been able to "amuse" Mr. Neg, as I haven't voted in the suit poll.

scyfreestyler
July 31st, 2009, 06:56 PM
I'm not a tennis player and am not really familiar at all with it's rules, but I think to make an accurate comparison between swimming/suits and another sport you really need both sports to be timed events that take place within the confines of a controlled environment.

gull
July 31st, 2009, 07:22 PM
The point is that most other sports have incorporated new technology and have done so without compromising the spirit or integrity of the sport, and their respective federations/governing bodies have managed to regulate said technology without turning back the clock twenty years.

aquageek
July 31st, 2009, 07:30 PM
Tennis is an interesting example. At the very highest level the graphite rackets with their huge sweet spots and incredibly light weight have turned the men's, and increasingly, the women's game, into a battle of 120+ mph serves versus serve and volley. But, on the other side, as analogous with USMS, the new technology has kept older players quite competitive and the game exciting for them. Two of my friends are open division tennis players in their 40s and love the rackets versus those of their youth. But, as gull says, let's turn back the clock 20 years in swimming.

scyfreestyler
July 31st, 2009, 07:31 PM
I guess what I am asking is, what other sport has introduced technology that has played a role in significantly dropped times at the elite level, resulting in WR's dropping like flies?

Sure, you can make tennis equipment made from unobtanium and it allows you to hit the ball harder and with more accuracy. But at the end of the day, it's still just people on either side of the net and one side wins. Right?

John C Smith
July 31st, 2009, 07:32 PM
The point is that most other sports have incorporated new technology and have done so without compromising the spirit or integrity of the sport, and their respective federations/governing bodies have managed to regulate said technology without turning back the clock twenty years.

True..... but there's can still be a trade-off. Cycling may have weight limits on their bikes, but the differentiating and advanced technology has taken the form of supplements instead of equipment.

gull
July 31st, 2009, 07:46 PM
In 1896 the Olympic record for the pole vault was 10'6" using a bamboo pole. Today, with a carbon fiber pole, the record is 20'1 3/4". Better put an asterisk next to that one.

The Fortress
July 31st, 2009, 07:49 PM
In 1896 the Olympic record for the pole vault was 10'6" using a bamboo pole. Today, with a carbon fiber pole, the record is 20'1 3/4". Better put an asterisk next to that one.

This is the second time today I've burst out laughing. The first was when I saw Geek's new avatar.

I wonder if tech suit support among masters breaks down by age? The 40+ geezers, absent John & co, embrace the suits and the youngsters disdain them?

scyfreestyler
July 31st, 2009, 07:50 PM
In 1896 the Olympic record for the pole vault was 10'6" using a bamboo pole. Today, with a carbon fiber pole, the record is 20'1 3/4". Better put an asterisk next to that one.

Very funny. How about some technology introduction that results in the magnitude of records that have fallen over the past 2 years in swimming? I'm not suggesting an example does not exist, but using your example which spans in excess of 100 years is not exactly what I am looking for.

Rich Abrahams
July 31st, 2009, 08:10 PM
Very funny. How about some technology introduction that results in the magnitude of records that have fallen over the past 2 years in swimming? I'm not suggesting an example does not exist, but using your example which spans in excess of 100 years is not exactly what I am looking for.

What about the introduction of "clap" skates in speed skating about a decade or so ago. All older records quickly wiped out by this new technology.

John C Smith
July 31st, 2009, 08:17 PM
Then what keeps aluminum bats from entering professional baseball?

Chris Stevenson
July 31st, 2009, 08:18 PM
I won't go nearly so far as to say that the tech suits have "ruined" swimming. But yes, I don't think they are a good thing, and not because of the expense or the time drops or the fragility of the suit, although these are not necessarily insignificant things. (By the way, Beren's suit malfunction is the cause of a number of hilarious comments on the Huffington Post...go over there are read them when you get a chance, there are 700+ and counting. I wouldn't be surprised to see him on Letterman!)

The reason is simple: the choice of suit is having a big impact on the results of a race.

Call it nostalgia if you want, but I really miss the days when the choice of suit -- like the choice of goggles or cap -- was a matter of personal preference and was not likely to have any measureable influence on the race.

Sure it was nice that Speedo allowed its athletes to wear another suit if they want -- Phelps didn't take them up on it, and he can be questioned for that decision.

But Speedo certainly didn't have to do that.

It isn't so hard to imagine that an entire team is forced to wear a particular suit that is far inferior to the competition's; indeed, that has already happened. Imagine being a member of the German Olympic team, having spent most of four years training for that moment...and then giving up SECONDS to your competitors because you can't wear a LZR.

When an athlete or team accepts money from the company, they agree to abide by their rules, and the most basic of these is promoting their product. There may even be some unwritten rules: "sure you can wear another suit!" but I can't imagine that Speedo would be very happy if Phelps so publicly switched to a Jaked right now, in answer to Cavic's challenge. I think Phelps is wise to resist that challenge.

I don't see FINA changing this sponsorship model; legally, I'm not even sure that they can. So they are forced the regulate the nature of the suits instead, to ensure that they do not enhance performance greatly and that the variation between them is not large.

I have spoken to a dozen local coaches about the swimsuit issue, and not a single one opposes a ban. Why should they? A single unwise choice or unlucky rip can undo a season's worth of work.

Professional swimmers are in the same boat. SO MUCH rides on such small decisions: legs or body? Tyr or Speedo? And sometimes they are unlucky enough to be on a team who choses its sponsor unwisely.

So while Craig Lord rubs me the wrong way -- a lot -- I do understand and reluctantly agree with his rants against an "equipment-based" sport. Because that is what swimming has now become, and all the analogies in the world with tennis or cycling or baseball are not very convincing that this has been a good thing.

aquageek
July 31st, 2009, 08:22 PM
Then what keeps aluminum bats from entering professional baseball?

At present, safety is an overriding concern with alum bats, at all levels. There was a Real Sports episode about this a while back after the death of a first or third base coach. The speed at which the ball comes off the bat back at the pitchers and infielders does pose some danger apparently.

John C Smith
July 31st, 2009, 09:02 PM
Geek,

I give you "A" for effort and "F" for reality. If player safety was tantamount in the MBA, Andro and steroid testing would have put the game on"hold" years ago.

The reason aluminum bats are outlawed in professional baseball is you can't hide them. It's a blatant use of technology to artificially enhance performance.

Paul Smith
July 31st, 2009, 09:03 PM
Imagine being a member of the German Olympic team, having spent most of four years training for that moment...and then giving up SECONDS to your competitors because you can't wear a LZR.

I'm very disturbed that a scientist would go on record that there was a specific measurable performance enhancing effect to a specific suit without showing the emperical data that said suit resulted in "SECONDS" dropped in swimming times.

Shame on you.

Chris Stevenson
July 31st, 2009, 09:52 PM
I'm very disturbed that a scientist would go on record that there was a specific measurable performance enhancing effect to a specific suit without showing the emperical data that said suit resulted in "SECONDS" dropped in swimming times.

http://www.floswimming.org/blogs/blogger/Clbrammer/6033-part-iii-predictive-modeling-of-swim-performances-at-the-us-olympic-trials

Paul Smith
July 31st, 2009, 09:58 PM
http://www.floswimming.org/blogs/blogger/Clbrammer/6033-part-iii-predictive-modeling-of-swim-performances-at-the-us-olympic-trials

that proves nothing...where are the test results?????

DPC
July 31st, 2009, 10:29 PM
Geek,

I give you "A" for effort and "F" for reality. If player safety was tantamount in the MBA, Andro and steroid testing would have put the game on"hold" years ago.

The reason aluminum bats are outlawed in professional baseball is you can't hide them. It's a blatant use of technology to artificially enhance performance.

I also think the impact of how "traditional" or insular MLB is, keeps the bats wood - aluminum bats would change the culture of the game, and most players prefer wood. Personally I hate aluminum bats in baseball - at any level. Plus baseball has a lot more ways to win than the big hit - so I think we maybe over estimating aluminum bats impact on the game. As for safety a coach was killed a year ago, but that may have happened if the ball came off a wood bat - just a tragic accident. A number of years ago a pitcher, Bryce Florie, was hit in the face with a line drive - he never made a comeback.

As for PED - well that is a huge hidden problem.

jim thornton
July 31st, 2009, 10:45 PM
I can't swear to this, but I am pretty sure that the predictive model that Chris linked to was done by our very own USMS colleague, Joel Stager, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at U. Indiana's Councilman Center for Swimming Science.

If this is the study he told me about, he and his colleagues took the data from previous Olympics and number crunched the trajectory of ever-improving times over the years to predict the likely times at the (then upcoming) Beijing Olympics.

They had also done this for the previous Olympics and were able to predict, with quite a bit of precision, what the actual times turned out to be. The suit technology at that time was still pre-LZR--not sure it if it was FSPro yet or the FS1 or FS2, but these suits did not bust the predicted curves, leading the researchers to conclude they did not provide a ludicrously unfair advantage to those that used them. In fact, some interpretators of this previous study used it to indicate that the earlier tech suits didn't do much, and may even have been sort of placebos disguised as swimming costumes.

Not so for the LZR/B70 generation of suits. These allowed swimmers to swim much faster in most events than the predicted improvement that swimmers had been showing for decades of Olympics.

Chris is probably in a better position to explain all this than I am. And Joel Stager is certainly in a better postion to do so. (He will be at LCM, and I can ask him.)

But in terms of your question--"where is the data?"--the "data" are the Olympic winning times for each event over X number of past Olympics (not sure how far they went back); these times are then fitted onto a graph and the equation that best describes its change over time is then applied to predict the next Olympics; and finally the actual times and the predicted times are compared.

In most cases, the actual improvement in times with the suits at Bejing proved to be more than a full standard deviation better than the mathematical model (which had been heretofore accurate for decades) predicted they should be. The idea they were nothing more than placebos no longer remotely applied. These suits caused the smooth, ever descending line on the graph to take a sudden and steep bend in the direction of hell! (The final resting place, as FINA officials would soon enough discover, for all Faustian bargains.)

That's the data.

The sad part for those of us who actually like the suits, if for no other reason that they allow us to avoid body shaving, is that Speedo could have had a nice little market.

But then they contacted NASA and got the rocket scientists involved.

Nothing good comes when the rocket scientists start mucking around in pool water.

jim thornton
July 31st, 2009, 11:05 PM
Okay, I was partly right. The study was done by Joel Stager. I may have screwed up some of the details.

You can read a much better explanation here:

http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/research-examines-elite-swim-times-youth-sports-age-groups-21796.html

An excerpt:

The study does not identify what caused the bias but describes the statistical modeling that has successfully predicted swim times during the previous Olympics, aside from the Olympic Games in 1996, when times were slower than predicted. The average error in predictions for 2008 Olympic swim times was three to six times greater than the errors in previous Olympics, said Joel Stager, professor in the Department of Kinesiology and director of the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming....

...No new advances in swimming techniques or training can account for the improved time, Stager said, so technology, such as swimsuits, or pharmacology could be responsible.

"Do we, as a community, want 'assisted performance?'" he asked.


---------

Jim's answer to Joel's rhetorical question:

No, we, as a community, do not want 'assisted performance.' But I, as an individual, sure as hell do.

Paul Smith
July 31st, 2009, 11:44 PM
Okay, I was partly right. The study was done by Joel Stager. I may have screwed up some of the details.

You can read a much better explanation here:

http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/research-examines-elite-swim-times-youth-sports-age-groups-21796.html

An excerpt:

The study does not identify what caused the bias but describes the statistical modeling that has successfully predicted swim times during the previous Olympics, aside from the Olympic Games in 1996, when times were slower than predicted. The average error in predictions for 2008 Olympic swim times was three to six times greater than the errors in previous Olympics, said Joel Stager, professor in the Department of Kinesiology and director of the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming....

...No new advances in swimming techniques or training can account for the improved time, Stager said, so technology, such as swimsuits, or pharmacology could be responsible.

"Do we, as a community, want 'assisted performance?'" he asked.


---------

Jim's answer to Joel's rhetorical question:

No, we, as a community, do not want 'assisted performance.' But I, as an individual, sure as hell do.

Jim...I was being sarcastic...time and time again Chris has tried to tell us there has never been a study done that proves the suits improve times...

Chris Stevenson
August 1st, 2009, 07:17 AM
Jim...I was being sarcastic...time and time again Chris has tried to tell us there has never been a study done that proves the suits improve times...

Oh, I knew you were being sarcastic. Plenty of "studies" going on, what I suspect you mean is one in which variables are controlled carefully so that cause & effect are more clearly indicated. Even the link I provided is just a gussied-up correlative study and doesn't absolutely prove causal connection (as the author was careful to say: "does not identify what causes the bias") though it is obviously pretty suggestive.

And yes, I would love for more systematic studies done about how the suits work so that we can quantify their effects more easily and regulate them better, if that's what we want to do; determine the effects of coverage; identify what types of swimmers are aided the most; that sort of thing.

I'm "skeptical" or "open minded" about the suits because I try not to be unduly influenced by a few individual eye-popping swims. And it rubs me the wrong way when the community immediately assumes it is the suit based on such swims.

The fact that almost every WR has been broken in Rome is certainly pretty strong evidence that the suits are having an effect; I'm not mule-headed about it. But I will point out that, by their very nature, setting WRs is a biased way to look at the suits effects. We obviously do not see counter-examples, situations where a swimmer goes no faster, or even slower, with the suits. Because such a person is generally not going to be in the finals and isn't going to set a record. One obvious example of this is a "Berens-style" mishap, but I have definitely talked to swimmers who (for example) did not benefit from using a LZR.

Another thing that bugs me is lumping together suits of different types: legskins, body and jammers. So we might be told that Piersol broke the WR with an Arena but neglecting to mention that it was legs only; I have to think that makes a difference.

While I think there is some value in putting on the suits in practice and testing them, there are limits too. Ultimately I think they need to be tested in races where the outcome matters (and against shaved skin) and it is really hard to do that. I have done it twice in a shaved trials/finals meet and been surprised by the results both times, going as they did against prevailing wisdom (which, if I'd been less "skeptical" I would have just accepted as fact).

pwolf66
August 1st, 2009, 08:13 AM
I find it interesting that so many who support the use of this new technology to "further the sport" the last year and a half are now thinking it is better to side with FINA (even though they have little respect for FINA's decision process) to ban the suits.

I myself have opposed them from USA Swimming events day one, now feel they are no big deal for use in USMS events.

Amusing that a piece of clothing can divide opinions so easily.


John Smith

I support the suits only to the extent that FINA creates a logical, consistent and comprehendable standard for thier construction. Has FINA done this? No so far. Instead FINA has come out with, by my count, seven different rulings over the last 12 months, each ruling countermanding the previous one in scope or timeline.

Has this suit escalation gotten completely out of hand? yes, it surely has. But let's look at other sports where this has happened and the governing bodies have managed to come up with enforcable standards. Tennis and golf are the first two that come to my mind. Both sports experienced a rush of technological advancement. Both had a crisis as a result but both managed to overcome this by creating a standard and not by burying thier heads and pretending it never happened, as FINA appears to be doing.

IMO, what FINA should have (and still can) is establish a line in the sand where all racing suits that were legal for World Champs in 2007 can be used for competition. Then FINA has to, not should, but HAS to come up with enforceable standards for composition, coverage and bouyancy. Compression is going to be nearly impossible to create a unifying standard as compression relies heavily on the physiology of the swimmer wearing the suit. But compression can be controlled thru the composition and coverage standards.

To address concerns at the age-group level, perhaps a 2 tiered rule for what can be worn in competition? Limit swim apparel for non-National/International level meets to no more than standard tanks and jammers that meet composition and bouyancy guidelines and then break out the 'good' stuff that meets FINA established guidelines for elite level competitions.

Hoosier
August 1st, 2009, 09:15 AM
"Call it nostalgia if you want, but I really miss the days when the choice of suit -- like the choice of goggles or cap -- was a matter of personal preference and was not likely to have any measureable influence on the race."

This and everything else Chris posted is exactly how I feel...great job Chris....I am so glad I am so slow it doesnt matter much to me, I just swim because it feels great. Open water events= glad I was able to finish. I am waiting for the new suit that covers the foot, with a little fin over toes... ..oh and for the "data" that proves the point....have you not looked at the results from the "worlds"? I wonder how hollow a new WR must be if you realize that without a special suit, that the record holder didnt have, was the difference? I say lets go back to swimming in the nude, then we are all on equal ground equipment wise, and my pace would improve in the coed events. (although me in the nude may cause USMS to loose membership)

Ripple
August 1st, 2009, 09:49 AM
Auto manufacturers have been using special dummies to test crash-worthiness for decades. Maybe someone could create something similar to test suits for Fina. It could be designed with characteristics as close to a human body as possible for buoyancy, etc., then dressed in a suit and pushed off on a glide test down a pool with marks every meter. If the dummy glides more than X meters, or rises more than Y centimeters above the water line while wearing a particular suit, it's considered too performance enhancing.
Or, there could be two different levels of swim competition, "stock" and "super-modified".

Daaaave
August 1st, 2009, 10:54 AM
The fact that almost every WR has been broken in Rome is certainly pretty strong evidence that the suits are having an effect; I'm not mule-headed about it. But I will point out that, by their very nature, setting WRs is a biased way to look at the suits effects. We obviously do not see counter-examples, situations where a swimmer goes no faster, or even slower, with the suits. Because such a person is generally not going to be in the finals and isn't going to set a record. One obvious example of this is a "Berens-style" mishap, but I have definitely talked to swimmers who (for example) did not benefit from using a LZR.

Another thing that bugs me is lumping together suits of different types: legskins, body and jammers. So we might be told that Piersol broke the WR with an Arena but neglecting to mention that it was legs only; I have to think that makes a difference.


Love this post. People (e.g., Craig Lord) have been selective in the examples they use to support their argument. The evidence that the suits help is so strong, but even this strong argument gets eroded when people conveniently ignore evidence to the contrary.

The other point that has been making me crazy is "the suit helps different body types/techniques/events/strokes more than others." This may be true, but it's just being used by those with vitriolic hate for the suits as a plug to make whatever case they want when the evidence doesn't quite support their stance.

And your point about suit type is spot-on. If the times progression became statistically anomalous once the LZR, Jaked, X-Glide, etc. were introduced, why are we banning suits used when times were projecting as expected based on historical evidence? Why is the FSII getting lumped in with the Jaked? Legs? if air-trapping and girdling are the issues, why are full legs going to be banned?

Not that I'm expecting FINA to act rationally at this point (bunch of damn goldilocks-es: this suit is too small, this one's too long...this one's just right!). But there has to be a solution that is fair to the athletes, doesn't produce silly results, and allows the manufacturers to innovate, make money, and support our sport.

How about approving a short list of raw materials that can be used to make suits? The manufacturers can only choose from a short list of approved textiles from certified suppliers, but can then innovate on how to put it together, make pretty colors, or whatever. I agree that the swimmers should not be in a position where suit choice is as important as how many sdk's to take off each wall, but if the alternative is eliminating choice altogether, that's not any better, IMO.

Stevepowell
August 1st, 2009, 12:11 PM
Disclaimer: I've never worn a tech suit, but someday I will be fast enough that it matters to me.

<tongue slightly in cheek>

Pro's and con's:

Swim faster (probably)
Don't need to shave
Look better (girdle effect)

Costs more $$
Agonizing over which suit (More an elite thing)

Apples and oranges:

Baseball; doesn't allow metal bats;, shoes, gloves, glasses matter but not much of an issue.

Golf - all about tech, hell they even rebuild the courses to accomodate longer drives...

Track; They don't run barefoot, some kind of jammer may help, not an issue that I've heard of.

Football; Slippery jerseys, helmets and neck injuries

Basketball; Ask Nike if it matters what shoe a player wears


Rocket scientists need to eat too, better they design swimsuits than nukes!

meldyck
August 1st, 2009, 10:02 PM
Auto manufacturers have been using special dummies to test crash-worthiness for decades. Maybe someone could create something similar to test suits for Fina. It could be designed with characteristics as close to a human body as possible for buoyancy, etc., then dressed in a suit and pushed off on a glide test down a pool with marks every meter. If the dummy glides more than X meters, or rises more than Y centimeters above the water line while wearing a particular suit, it's considered too performance enhancing.
Or, there could be two different levels of swim competition, "stock" and "super-modified".

Rhoda,

you may not be aware that the crash-test dummies are now serving on the board of governors for FINA. They must have undergone at least 10 crash tests and survived to qualify. The dead ones have all gone to USAS.

DPC
August 1st, 2009, 10:32 PM
Nothing good comes when the rocket scientists start mucking around in pool water.

or anywhere out side of space -that's how we got Tang and freeze dried ice cream. Nothing good comes of either of those.

I just wish they (FINA) would make rational decision - I know that would be the first time. I can't afford a full body of any of them (TYR, Speedo, Arena) even the first or secong gen suits - plus I'm simply not fast enough to warrant using one. But I think they shoula allow legs versions of whatever permeable textile suit they come up with - maybe something in a worsted wool.

knelson
August 2nd, 2009, 12:30 AM
But I think they shoula allow legs versions of whatever permeable textile suit they come up with - maybe something in a worsted wool.

Worsted wool, huh? OK, you can wear legs in worsted wool. I think I'll stick to briefs in that case :)

M_Tyson
August 2nd, 2009, 04:57 AM
I'm sure everyone knows that FINA Masters rules have differences from FINA rules. We could petition that the suit rule be different as well.

I don't think that USMS would do well to have a different suit rule from FINA Masters.

I'm a bit torn about the whole issue. Of course I'm unhappy with NBC, FINA, Phelps, and Bowman being hypocritical about suits this year "ruining the sport" versus their stand in 2008 about Speedo's (and Michael's) LZR. I feel the part of the new Bowman-Phelps FINA rule to disallow full body suits is strange. Of course it fits that fact that Phelps seems to prefer leggings.

Masters swimmers will rarely if ever have professionals or those on teams that provide suits. The Masters swimmers will generally have to buy the suits themselves. Having expensive swim suits that allow swimmers perform faster furthers the division into haves (and willing to spend) and have-nots (or not willing to spend).

I (a male) bought a full body suit 10 years ago or so. I can't say how much it improved my times, but it did give some advantages. (1) For nationals, I no longer had to shave my torso. (2) It streamlined or compressed the extra fat that older swimmers tend to have. I would miss being able to swim in a full-body suit.

The new rules have
"SHAPE For men, the swimsuit shall not extend above the navel nor below the knee, and for women, shall not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder, nor extend below knee. Furthermore, no zippers or other fastening system is allowed."

A suggestion for FINA -- you might consider this full coverage Phelps Rule:
For men, the swimsuit shall extend to at least the top of the hips and not extend above the navel nor below the knee...

jeremyc
August 3rd, 2009, 06:19 PM
I vote against the suits, even though I wore a Tyr Tracer Rise at Nationals and placed in three events. Of course all my competitors were also wearing tech suits, so it was necessary.

And the suit is already falling apart after one meet. That's an expensive meet for me: hotel room for four days and a suit that cost twice as much as the hotel.

I'll bring up the dreaded words: Corporate Sponsorship.

Now that Blue Seventy has become a major sponsor of USMS, is that going to affect decisions about what suits are legal?

scyfreestyler
August 3rd, 2009, 06:23 PM
I vote against the suits, even though I wore a Tyr Tracer Rise at Nationals and placed in three events. Of course all my competitors were also wearing tech suits, so it was necessary.

And the suit is already falling apart after one meet. That's an expensive meet for me: hotel room for four days and a suit that cost twice as much as the hotel.

I'll bring up the dreaded words: Corporate Sponsorship.

Now that Blue Seventy has become a major sponsor of USMS, is that going to affect decisions about what suits are legal?

Good question. It's my understanding that USA Swimming was pushing for the suit coverage limitations and they are sponsored by Speedo, so who knows.

jim clemmons
August 3rd, 2009, 11:26 PM
And the suit is already falling apart after one meet. That's an expensive meet for me: hotel room for four days and a suit that cost twice as much as the hotel.


One of the disadvantages of "textile" suits.

jim clemmons
August 3rd, 2009, 11:31 PM
One of the disadvantages of "textile" suits.

Oops, my bad. I was thinking of a different suit and launched my comment too soon.

Sounds similar to a B70 Nero in construction so what's the issue, Jeremy?

Leonard Jansen
August 4th, 2009, 07:48 AM
I guess what I am asking is, what other sport has introduced technology that has played a role in significantly dropped times at the elite level, resulting in WR's dropping like flies?


FYI, it has happened several times in the pole vault event in track and field.

-LBJ

scyfreestyler
August 4th, 2009, 10:39 AM
FYI, it has happened several times in the pole vault event in track and field.

-LBJ

Met with similar protest as we are seeing in swimming or just applauded?

jeremyc
August 4th, 2009, 12:34 PM
Hi, Jim!

The issue is:

As the O'Jays said,

Money, money, money,,,,,money!

(p.s. thanks for being a year younger than me so I didn't have to race you this year)

jim clemmons
August 4th, 2009, 12:39 PM
Hi, Jim!

The issue is:

As the O'Jays said,

Money, money, money,,,,,money!

(p.s. thanks for being a year younger than me so I didn't have to race you this year)

Hi Jeremy,

I meant the issue of "where is it falling apart"? I'm kinda tracking which suits have what type of problems and you're the first to chime in with a Tyr Tracer Rise.

As some may say, it's only money and we can't take it with us.

thewookiee
August 4th, 2009, 12:40 PM
Has USMS put out anything on the suit issue since FINA's last statement? If not, wonder when we will hear something from them.

Leonard Jansen
August 4th, 2009, 01:01 PM
Met with similar protest as we are seeing in swimming or just applauded?

In general there was a brief period of unrest, but usually among the athletes more than the fans. For example, when steel poles gave way to fiberglass (1960's) it changed the paradigm for the athletes. A steel pole favored vaulters who were extremely strong in the shoulders and back since you had to "muscle" your way around the fact that the pole was stiff and didn't aid you like more flexible materials. The fiberglass poles placed more of a premium on gymnastics-type skills as the pole stored alot more energy by bending more, but that meant it needed to be finessed more.

With the current state of the poles, speed and gymnastics are the primary skills needed.

The fans, other than some purists, usually LOVED it - they liked seeing people go higher and higher. However, keep in mind that pole vaulting has always been viewed as a bit of a "synthetic event", so I don't think technology changed were as jarring to the fans.

Perhaps a better analogy in T&F is when Dick Fosbury introduced the "flop" style of high jumping. Even though it did not involve any technology changes, many people were against it, for various reasons (safety concerns, aesthetics, purity, etc.) The athletes, however, loved it if they could master it. There hasn't been a world class non-flopper in close to 30 years.

-LBJ

jeremyc
August 4th, 2009, 01:30 PM
Hi Jeremy,

I meant the issue of "where is it falling apart"? I'm kinda tracking which suits have what type of problems and you're the first to chime in with a Tyr Tracer Rise.



The "plastic" is separating from the backing at the seams. There are also little cracks in the plastic at various parts of the suit.

The Fortress
August 4th, 2009, 01:37 PM
Has USMS put out anything on the suit issue since FINA's last statement? If not, wonder when we will hear something from them.

Perhaps USMS is waiting for FINA to make a(nother) statement about the applicability of its ban to masters?

BillS
August 4th, 2009, 01:52 PM
Perhaps USMS is waiting for FINA to make a(nother) statement about the applicability of its ban to masters?

Exactly. Kathy Casey posted this over on the Nationals forum:


Regarding the FINA swimsuit rules, the FINA Executive Director and one of the FINA Masters Technical Commission members said those were not meant for Masters. However, we are waiting to hear an official statement from the FINA Masters Technical Committee as a whole about how these swimwear rules impact Masters.
__________________
Kathy Casey

I think USMS should do what the NCAA just did: Screw FINA, and adopt its own rule. With the possible exception of the permeability standard (who cares whether jammers are permeable anyway?) the NCAA rule looks pretty easy to implement and judge.

At this point, I no longer care what rule USMS adopts, but I see no reason to wait around while FINA stumbles and bumbles along.

jim thornton
August 4th, 2009, 02:12 PM
I know that I am not supposed to tout my blog on this thread, so I will not include a link. However, if there is ONE blog that FINA officials absolutely should read before issuing their final declarations regarding masters swimmers and body suits, it is today's posting:
FINA's Body Suit Ban: Unintended Consequences

orca1946
August 4th, 2009, 04:16 PM
NCAA on mon stated that basically men wear jammers & women wear one piece shoulder to hip suits !

lonecow
August 5th, 2009, 03:31 PM
I agree, I have had major surgery as I am sure many other Masters swimmers have had and the suits really help hold in any painful incision repairs.

Chris Stevenson
August 5th, 2009, 10:11 PM
I am a little surprised at the number of people who say we should go our own way. The question isn't whether you like the suits -- many do; it is whether we should part ways with a pretty significant chunk of the swimming universe.

FINA has ruled that they are banned as of Jan 1 at the urging of USA Swimming. This ruling has the support of every coach I have talked to or heard from (over one dozen) and numerous prominent swimmers, including some who have benefited from them (such as Biedermann, who no doubt would like to beat Phelps and not have it credited to the suit). Other than masters swimmers I haven't heard any swimmer say they disagree with FINA, though doubtless there are some.

This isn't a matter of whether to put counters in the pool, or concessions to the elderly: this is about devices that potentially allow people to swim up to 4% faster than what FINA and USA Swimming and the NCAA have decided to allow. You might as well move the bulkheads a little closer to the starting blocks while you're at it: it really is a different sport.

I realize that many like the suits and are very disappointed by these decisions. But if USMS says anything goes wrt to the suits...well, that really does smack of beer softball to me. But perhaps many here really and truly believe what I have always found to be a somewhat condescending phrase: "it's only masters."

rtodd
August 5th, 2009, 10:21 PM
I agree Chris with your statements.

Perhaps USMS can allow suits in their meets and swimmer's can get a time, but it won't be included in the final results? This will help include those who need to cover up for whatever reason. Just a thought.

jeremyc
August 5th, 2009, 10:24 PM
I like to go back to a pool where I swam in the past and see how my swimming now compares to how it was then.

I like that occasionally a Masters swimmer qualifies for USA Nationals or even the Olympic trials.

I like it when top swimmers just out of college show up at Masters meets.


When I swam iin high school, the AAU and NCAA (whose rules the high schools followed) had different rules for freestyle turns and false starts. That was confusing.

One sport=one set of rules.

KEWebb18
August 6th, 2009, 08:15 AM
One sport=one set of rules.

Very simple. I like it. :)

DPC
August 6th, 2009, 12:22 PM
One sport=one set of rules.

What about boxing? - what are there 3 or 4 (WBC, WBA, IBC, IBA, WWE) and they have differing rules in some fashion (# of rounds, glove weight, IQ of announcer, who side God is on) - but the core rules are similar - hit the other guy as hard as possible. Even Olypic rules have a scoring component that the professional don't have. So you can have one sport, but modified rules that make each level complementary to the other levels.

I guess FINA has been such a cluster that people are frustrated and couldn't care less if they are the "main governing body" for swimming's universe.

Personally if USMS allows the suits - fine - if they don't - also fine. Just tell us what types of suits are in and which ones are out so the suits companies can spend their marketing dollars telling me which suit I absolutely need to buy, must have and will set the most records in - if I ever get fast enough to set them.

jeremyc
August 6th, 2009, 12:32 PM
boxing is a pretty crummy example.

who is the world champ? who knows?

DPC
August 6th, 2009, 12:56 PM
boxing is a pretty crummy example.

who is the world champ? who knows?

Boxing is crummy - period, but look at other sports

Look at basketball - three point line, size of the lane paint area.
baseball - aluminum bats vs wood bats, home run champs (Oh vs Aron vs Bonds).
Canadian Footbal vs American Football - size of field, players in motion, etc
many examples but they all have their records and championships and "world champions".

John C Smith
August 6th, 2009, 02:07 PM
........ I realize that many like the suits and are very disappointed by these decisions. But if USMS says anything goes wrt to the suits...well, that really does smack of beer softball to me. But perhaps many here really and truly believe what I have always found to be a somewhat condescending phrase: "it's only masters."

Chris..... c'mon. Masters isn't really a mirror of USA Swimming to begin with. You know as well as I do that in the final heat at masters nationals in each event you have people like me, who do enjoy racing, but just don't train enough or are competitive enough to deserve to be there. Then you also have people in that heat who work very hard as a it is a significant personal goal to improve.

USA swimming doesn't have that kind of variety of attitudes at US Nationals. Everyone in the final heat in US Nationals is DEAD serious and extremely competitive. The variety of effort levels and goals in masters is MUCH broader than in USA Swimming and it will always be that way. Some use it as a "beer" league and some use it as a mini US Nationals performance.

This suit discussion is merely a reflection of the variety of needs and differences b/n usms and usa swimming.


John Smith

rtodd
August 6th, 2009, 02:33 PM
John,

How many times and how many yards do you swim a week?

Paul Smith
August 6th, 2009, 02:55 PM
John,

How many times and how many yards do you swim a week?

A hell of a lot less than he did when he was at Texas and went 1:35 for 2nd place in the 200 free at NCAA's.

ande
August 6th, 2009, 03:34 PM
evil smith
you picking on a gimp?


A hell of a lot less than he did when he was at Texas and went 1:35 for 2nd place in the 200 free at NCAA's.

orca1946
August 6th, 2009, 03:44 PM
I'm glad I have a bag of old jammers to use till they make another statement!

Allen Stark
August 6th, 2009, 08:55 PM
Another thread says FINA says the suit rule doesn't apply to Masters.To me that means that the suits must stay,otherwise we are at a competitive disadvantage to the rest of the Masters world.

Chris Stevenson
August 6th, 2009, 09:48 PM
Chris..... c'mon. Masters isn't really a mirror of USA Swimming to begin with. You know as well as I do that in the final heat at masters nationals in each event you have people like me, who do enjoy racing, but just don't train enough or are competitive enough to deserve to be there. Then you also have people in that heat who work very hard as a it is a significant personal goal to improve.

USA swimming doesn't have that kind of variety of attitudes at US Nationals. Everyone in the final heat in US Nationals is DEAD serious and extremely competitive. The variety of effort levels and goals in masters is MUCH broader than in USA Swimming and it will always be that way. Some use it as a "beer" league and some use it as a mini US Nationals performance.

This suit discussion is merely a reflection of the variety of needs and differences b/n usms and usa swimming.

I don't see what "level of seriousness" has to do with the desire to have one set of rules. Except that maybe people who don't practice so much would like to convince themselves they are thinner and faster than they really are? :)

Bottom line: the suits are an aid to speed, one that has been banned by the "major" powers. Allowing it in masters competition is -- yes -- akin to moving the 3-pt or free throw line a little closer to accomodate those "lesser masters athletes."

If that is truly the will of the people, so be it: let's just not kid ourselves about it. These are not modesty suits for people embarassed by their bodies; just ask Ricky Berens or Paul Smith. (Not sure Ricky has much to be embarassed about. Ummm, you too Paul.)

Two other points, which have been made elsewhere:
-- I don't think USMS should have stricter rules than other masters federations. That's not fair to our athletes, even though it makes the USS-USMS gulf a little larger.
-- The suits will soon be gone, no matter what USMS decides. I may be mistaken, but I don't think masters swimming can support the likes of Jaked, Arena, Speedo, B70 making those suits or coming up with new ones. USMS' decision about the suits will just determine how abrupt/clean to make the separation. Cold turkey or not?

I find it a little interesting that USMS hasn't taken a parallel stance as USS with FINA wrt the suits. Think about it: the organization could strongly recommend to FINA that the identical rules be adopted for masters swimming on an international scale. We haven't done so and I'm pretty sure we won't, at least anytime soon. Does that reveal anything? I don't know.

chaos
August 6th, 2009, 09:53 PM
i saw lots of point zeros in CA. i would like to see the same ban for open water competition, but there hasn't been much talk one way or the other about it.

Allen Stark
August 6th, 2009, 10:09 PM
Another thread says B-70 would continue making them if they are Masters legal.I suspect Jaked may be able to make money in a Masters only market also.Speedo and Arena are too big to care about us I suspect.

rtodd
August 6th, 2009, 10:11 PM
A hell of a lot less than he did when he was at Texas and went 1:35 for 2nd place in the 200 free at NCAA's.

So maybe 3 times a week say around 1800 yards?

John C Smith
August 7th, 2009, 09:26 AM
So maybe 3 times a week say around 1800 yards?


rtodd,

Well, I've been out for a year due to shoulder problems, but, when I am wearing my halo and doing a routine, I get in around 2,500 (1 hour) 3 days a week. If I can get it in gear to go to a masters nationals, I will add a 4th day during each week the last month.

If Paul and Laura come to town and work out with me, I act like I'm in better shape than I am. No sense letting him have the upper hand.... :-) I did 3 workouts with my kids in 2008 to see if I could handle it. Went 4,500 a few times and couldn't function the rest of each day so I threw in the towel on that approach.

I do the same workout every day because I am too lazy to think of another one (which pisses off Paul), and I always take a month or two off after a masters nationals.

But..... to answer your question more directly..... <10,000 a week.... does not a 200 make. Which is why I swim the 50.


Chris,

You are losing me a bit on the logic. You seem to say that you want parallels with FINA and USA swimming on one hand for these rules, but you don't think personal motivational difference by participants between the organizations is relevant.

I mean..... why do you really care if you get beat by a guy in the lane next to you at masters nationals if he is wearing a rubber space suit and you are not? You know very well the approximate benefit of the suit. Isn't knowing enough? My son is 14 and swimming at the Western Zone championships this week in Hawaii in regular Fastkin Pro leggins against kids in full-body rubber wonder suits. He knows the value of his swims, and so does everyone else at the meet.

I do agree however that the suit companies don't have sufficient base in partcipants to stay alive on masters swimming sales alone.


John Smith

rtodd
August 7th, 2009, 10:15 AM
John,

I guess that is not alot when compared to some, but enough to keep your feel for the water in order to swim fast. Maybe more kicking and maybe more breastroke to help the shoulders.

You are amazing in showing how something attained early in life (through rediculous hard work I might add) is difficult to deal with for someone picking up the sport late in life. I get frustrated a bit by that, but it's still fun.

Daaaave
August 7th, 2009, 01:41 PM
http://www.theonion.com/content/files/images/Shattering-World.jpg

http://www.theonion.com/content/from_print/shattered_world_records

mctrusty
August 7th, 2009, 01:54 PM
http://www.theonion.com/content/files/images/Shattering-World.jpg

http://www.theonion.com/content/from_print/shattered_world_records

ROFL

orca1946
August 7th, 2009, 02:13 PM
re a turning point with suits. Soon, I hope, we will all have resolved this issue.

Chris Stevenson
August 7th, 2009, 03:55 PM
You are losing me a bit on the logic. You seem to say that you want parallels with FINA and USA swimming on one hand for these rules, but you don't think personal motivational difference by participants between the organizations is relevant.

I mean..... why do you really care if you get beat by a guy in the lane next to you at masters nationals if he is wearing a rubber space suit and you are not? You know very well the approximate benefit of the suit. Isn't knowing enough? My son is 14 and swimming at the Western Zone championships this week in Hawaii in regular Fastkin Pro leggins against kids in full-body rubber wonder suits. He knows the value of his swims, and so does everyone else at the meet.

Let me put it this way. Because you only train 10,000 a week, should we allow you to do one-handed turns -- or flipturns -- in breast and fly because you aren't "serious?" It would enable you to go faster, after all. Who cares if it isn't exactly what Phelps & co are doing; it's only masters and has only some resemblence to "real" swimming.

As far as "why do I care if I get beat by a guy who wears X"...well, I don't like to get beat. Period. I'm sure you are the same way, protestations of "seriousness" to the contrary. But this is not a major reason for my position. I can always wear a suit if the thought of losing b/c I didn't wear one is too much to bear. Right now I'm fine with jammers.

We all have some thinking to do about what serves our members best, depending how circumstances unfold. I'll enjoy the result no matter what happens.

To reiterate my original reason for posting in this thread: I guess I am somewhat alarmed at how many people seem ready to say "screw FINA" if they decide that their new rules apply entirely or in part to masters swimming. The suits are certainly addicting, I guess.

But I think all of this noise is really addressing the question, "what should FINA do about the suits for masters?"

An honest question form me, which I believe is more in line with the OP, is: what do you think would serve USMS best if FINA decides the suits should go? Keep the suits and maybe no US swimmer is eligible for WRs and FINA Top Ten? The majority of masters swimmers do not set WRs or get FINA TTs, after all. Or should we comply with FINA?

knelson
August 7th, 2009, 04:02 PM
I think trying to rationalize "I would have beaten that guy if I were wearing a suit" pales in comparison to actually beating the guy!

shahboz
August 7th, 2009, 04:05 PM
-- The suits will soon be gone, no matter what USMS decides. I may be mistaken, but I don't think masters swimming can support the likes of Jaked, Arena, Speedo, B70 making those suits or coming up with new ones.

You are forgetting about the legions of deep-pocketed triathletes who spend large amounts of dough for performance. I have been seeing quite a few TYR Soyaronas at tri events.

pwb
August 7th, 2009, 04:15 PM
I find it a little interesting that USMS hasn't taken a parallel stance as USS with FINA wrt the suits. Think about it: the organization could strongly recommend to FINA that the identical rules be adopted for masters swimming on an international scale. We haven't done so and I'm pretty sure we won't, at least anytime soon. Does that reveal anything? I don't know.

Blueseventy sponsorship anyone? People (me included) about corporate buyoffs by Speedo, but everyone plays the same game to a different degree.


To reiterate my original reason for posting in this thread: I guess I am somewhat alarmed at how many people seem ready to say "screw FINA" if they decide that their new rules apply entirely or in part to masters swimming. The suits are certainly addicting, I guess.

I hold these possibly contradictory opinions in my mind:


I think USMS and masters' federations around the world should follow FINA, but ...
... on this issue I think FINA's about the most bumbling political body out there (our Congress included!)
I like the full body suits and, despite many elite swimmers and coaches protestations, I think they love them too ... AND
... I think the tune might change next year to "bring back the rubber" if there are virtually no world records set and you have a whole season of disappointed swimmers who aren't lowering their times.
I'll race in whatever is the fastest legal suit appropriate for my level of commitment to training. This means I'm still wearing a B70 through SCM season!

knelson
August 7th, 2009, 04:38 PM
I think the tune might change next year to "bring back the rubber" if there are virtually no world records set and you have a whole season of disappointed swimmers who aren't lowering their times.

Jeez, I would hope not. It seems like the primary reason to ban the suits is too many records being set. If no records are set next year this would be achieving exactly what they're going for. I'm sure nearly everyone out there realizes they're going to swim slower when they go from a rubber suit to a textile jammer.

ehoch
August 7th, 2009, 05:11 PM
We have to keep the suits going, otherwise we might as well close down the discussion board. They may make you about 2-3% faster but they easily generate 50% of the comments on the site ...

There is no way USMS can or should have a different rule than FINA. It's already bad enough our main championship is in yards :badday: --- there is an idea. We can allow anything for yards meets, because nobody outside the US really understands or cares and we follow FINA for the real swimming.

Not sure if FINA may allow the suits for Masters. I don't think it's the "it's just Masters" attitude. I think it goes more along the lines that the suits help people to swim closer to their former times - or for new swimmers, they just make them faster. 99% of Masters swimmers do not train at the maximum possible workload. It's some sort of trade-off > "I am swimming a great 100 Free, within 3 seconds of my all time best, based on training four 60 min workouts a week". You know that adding 4 more workouts + dryland would improve the times by another second or more, but you trade that for family, work and other interests. So the suits will cut that time by quite a bit and I think it will keep more swimmers in the sport.

I do think the current manufacturers would keep producing the current suits just for Masters - we would not get many new designs, but I think the Masters demand could be big enough for them.

I am back and forth personally - I don't like not having a true comparison to past times. I love being able to swim fast in season - I hate shaving - I like swimming close to PRs or setting PRs - even when I know about the benefit of the suit.

pwb
August 7th, 2009, 05:52 PM
Jeez, I would hope not. It seems like the primary reason to ban the suits is too many records being set. If no records are set next year this would be achieving exactly what they're going for. I'm sure nearly everyone out there realizes they're going to swim slower when they go from a rubber suit to a textile jammer.

Knowing it intellectually in advance and then dealing with it emotionally in real-time are two very different states of mind. What's going to happen to the TV ratings when the headlines are all about how slow everyone's swimming, how Michael & Milorad are both depressed cause they can't crack 50 any more, how Speedo's threatening to pull Bowman's contract because the golden boy's 'washed up' ... call me a skeptic or conspiracy theorist but I think people haven't fully considered the emotional and non-rational implications of this choice.

I think we humans have a very hard time accepting a retrograde in technology in any aspect of our lives ... AOL dial-up anyone? ... and don't imagine we'll deal well with this collectively.

What will be cool, though, is if Biederman still beats Phelps in the 200.

ehoch
August 7th, 2009, 06:05 PM
... call me a skeptic or conspiracy theorist but I think people haven't fully considered the emotional and non-rational implications of this choice.


I totally agree -- the question will be if the swimmers will progress further and if we will see at least a few records in the next 4 years.

I always look at track and field - especially the women's events. They now have a much cleaner sport. It was not even technology, it was PEDs causing all these ridiculous world records -- so fans should be more excited to have great performances by (hopefully) clean athletes. But I am not watching track any more -- I don't want to watch the women's long jump winner failing to clear 7 meters. The men's high jump has been at the same height for 25 years. By the way - does anybody think Usain Bolt is clean ? I would bet anything that he is not .....

Paul Smith
August 7th, 2009, 06:27 PM
My son is 14 and swimming at the Western Zone championships this week in Hawaii in regular Fastkin Pro leggins against kids in full-body rubber wonder suits. He knows the value of his swims, and so does everyone else at the meet.

He also hates his father for it...

AND...the 6' 5" 130lb 13 year old just went 57+ 100 fly & 1:58+ 200 free...long course.

Thanks God he has his mothers genes...

John C Smith
August 7th, 2009, 11:02 PM
[quote=Chris Stevenson;190306]...... Because you only train 10,000 a week, should we allow you to do one-handed turns -- or flipturns -- in breast and fly because you aren't "serious?"

...... I'm sure you are the same way, protestations of "seriousness" to the contrary.


Chris...... some would say one-handed turns or flip turns in breast are merely future variations of what has already happened to the sport. Do you think it was a poor path for FINA to allow a dolphin kick on a pullout? We don't touch the wall on back turns anymore and now there is a ridiculous track and field mechanism working its way onto the blocks. Dude ! It is what it is. It's not the same sport any more. Some people call it cheating, some people call it advancement. They're all changes to the sport that FINA initially rejected as illegal and then did an about face and accepted. I say leave the old people alone and let us chose what we want to wear. Breaking from FINA on one little decision doesn't bother me in the least. FINA has always been reactive, not proactive. Lately, they seem like their decision process is broken or questionable at best. What serves USMS members best is choice.

As for my "seriousness"..... You are making assumptions.

John C Smith
August 7th, 2009, 11:16 PM
...... I always look at track and field - especially the women's events. They now have a much cleaner sport. It was not even technology, it was PEDs causing all these ridiculous world records -- so fans should be more .....

Ehoch,

Women's track and field hardly seems that "clean" to me.

http://grg51.typepad.com/steroid_nation/2009/08/doping-in-track-is-alive-and-well-five-brazilian-track-athletes-named-as-drug-cheats.html

http://grg51.typepad.com/steroid_nation/2009/07/uk-800m-champ-jemma-simpson-looking-for-redemption-and-weighing-in-on-doping.html

John C Smith
August 7th, 2009, 11:26 PM
There is no way USMS can or should have a different rule than FINA. It's already bad enough our main championship is in yards :badday: --- there is an idea. We can allow anything for yards meets, because nobody outside the US really understands or cares and we follow FINA for the real swimming.


Ehoch,

Interesting statements about US short course swimming.

Yes.... I suppose all these student athletes from around the world coming to the US dont' care or understand these foolish old American pools. They have no desire to emphasize speed work, walls and turns.

Here's one for you to chew on. Short course yards swimming (especially the NCAAs) is the core and backbone for the majority successes of US swimming dominance in the sprint events and relays at the Olympics and World Games for the last 6 decades. It's a phenomenon that Europeans have little experience with (unless of course they came to the US for their education). De-emphasizing the short course nationals for USA Swimming as was recently done by moving it in the calendar year has actually hurts US sprinters.

Short Course is great for masters swimmers who don't have time to train that much.

GGinn
August 7th, 2009, 11:30 PM
Well I swam in one meet this year and that was last week. EVERYONE had on a body suit, except for me and a few others. I won't ever wear one of those things unless FINA says ok to the USMS group since I started the masters thing for the first time in 11 years. I don't think I will make any top ten national times due to the bulk of swimmers wearing the suits for one last hurrah. That's totally fine with me. Masters swimming should be about the fun. I hope FINA allows us to use them but in the interim, I will stay jammer bound.

Atlanta will be the time to make this whole thing rest once and for all. Should be interesting to see the reaction of swimmers once they've touched the wall without the suits on. I tend to think the results will be rather startling. :afraid:

gull
August 7th, 2009, 11:50 PM
Atlanta will be the time to make this whole thing rest once and for all. Should be interesting to see the reaction of swimmers once they've touched the wall without the suits on. I tend to think the results will be rather startling. :afraid:

Yes, that is exactly what we need in Masters swimming--a good dose of reality.

Chris Stevenson
August 8th, 2009, 04:50 AM
some would say one-handed turns or flip turns in breast are merely future variations of what has already happened to the sport. Do you think it was a poor path for FINA to allow a dolphin kick on a pullout? We don't touch the wall on back turns anymore and now there is a ridiculous track and field mechanism working its way onto the blocks.

And to date the elites and masters have gone lock-step on every change. Why be different now?

gull
August 8th, 2009, 06:08 AM
And to date the elites and masters have gone lock-step on every change. Why be different now?

Because it is just Masters swimming. Because FINA doesn't care. Because nobody in the world outside of Masters swimming will care one way or the other. Why are Masters world records recognized for arbitrary five year age groups?

Mr. Negative
August 8th, 2009, 09:07 AM
Because it is just Masters swimming. Because FINA doesn't care. Because nobody in the world outside of Masters swimming will care one way or the other. Why are Masters world records recognized for arbitrary five year age groups?

Hate to say this Gull, but no one but swimmers care about swimming in the end. It's just a fact.

Mr. Positive
August 8th, 2009, 09:56 AM
We can allow anything for yards meets, because nobody outside the US really understands or cares and we follow FINA for the real swimming.



Precisely. Suits allowed for yards. Yes.

On the other hand...Meters meets, where FINA rankings count, should be swum according to FINA guidelines.

Unless there is specifically a meet disclaimer saying that it's an American style meters meet where rooting and tooting is welcome, and so in turn are the outlaw suits.





Yippee Eye Oh Kie A.
Cows Rule

michaelmoore
August 8th, 2009, 11:52 AM
FINA has ruled that they are banned as of Jan 1 at the urging of USA Swimming.

From the top: FINA is made up of about 200 swimming federations. The governing federation for the United States is United States Aquatic Sports, two of it is members are USA Swimming and US Masters Swimming. (When the Masters nationals are held next year in Puerto Rico, we will be in the swimming federation of Puerto Rico) Every four years FINA has a congress or legislative body that makes the rules for swimming. Any federation may submit legislation for the congress to consider.

US Aquatic Sports submitted a proposed rule about the length of men's suits and women's suits. It was voted on by the congress and accepted.IT WAS OUR FEDERATION THAT PROPOSED THE RULE!!

You can yell and scream about FINA, but it was our friends in Colorado Springs that pushed the issue.

US Masters swimming is part of FINA, I can see no set of circumstances where we will leave it. It is in our interest to be part of the world governing body for aquatic sports. The US does have an affect upon the rule making body and other federations look to the US to see what is happening here. And the followed our lead when the vote came on the swimming suit.

A new FINA Masters Committee was appointed and Nancy Ridout is again on the committee. It will be interesting to see what happens with regards to the rule on swim suits. Personally, I like the B70 and hope that we can continue to compete in the long suits.

To have two sets of rules for FINA distances regarding suits would be a nightmare for the records and tabulations committee as well as the meet ref who has to sign off on any records. (what suit was that person wearing?) We will have to see what happens with regards to the SCY rules about swim suits.

-michael

jeremyc
August 8th, 2009, 12:18 PM
Thanks, Michael.

ehoch
August 8th, 2009, 01:35 PM
John - I did mention USMS and not US or college swimming - we as Masters swimmers should see the light and finally agree that the metric system is better - even if it would mean that those silly Euros got it right.


Short course yards swimming (especially the NCAAs) is the core and backbone for the majority successes of US swimming dominance in the sprint events and relays at the Olympics and World Games for the last 6 decades.

I would disagree in a big way -- let's say the NCAAs would be Long-course meters for the next 20 years (I know that's not possible - but just go with it) - do you really think that would be a bad thing for US success in the Olympics ??? How would the training change at Texas and Auburn ?

Also - what dominance in the sprint events are you talking about ? The US is simply larger - that is the reason for the success, a bigger pool of swimmers. You should compare the US to Western Europe and see what happens to the dominance.

Peter Cruise
August 8th, 2009, 04:22 PM
Going from SCY to LCM is already a brutal transition. If SCY were 'anything goes' for tech suits & LCM conform to new FINA standards the relationship between the two courses would resemble that between miniature golf and regular golf.

Spock
August 8th, 2009, 11:42 PM
I much prefer miniature golf. :)

Redbird Alum
August 10th, 2009, 02:07 PM
...

I would disagree in a big way -- let's say the NCAAs would be Long-course meters for the next 20 years (I know that's not possible - but just go with it) - do you really think that would be a bad thing for US success in the Olympics ??? How would the training change at Texas and Auburn ?

...

If NCAA's went to LCM, even more colleges would have an excuse to hack swimming from their programs and divert the funds to other sports. A great many high schools would follow suit, since their venues would be out-dated. I think this would really kill swimming in the USA for quite a while!

jeremyc
August 10th, 2009, 02:20 PM
It's simple, we apply for federal stimulus funds to build 50 meter pools at every college and high school in the country.

DPC
August 10th, 2009, 02:26 PM
It's simple, we apply for federal stimulus funds to build 50 meter pools at every college and high school in the country.

Swimming's version of the cash-for-clunkers?

Herb
August 10th, 2009, 11:02 PM
Personally, I would be far more embarrassed wearing a tech suit trying to break 1:00 in the 100 free than I would be by letting my beer gut hang out. In this case, I guess I have the fortune of being a mediocre Masters swimmer that has missed out on the last 25 years of competitive swimming. The whole idea of spending $500 on a tech suit for Masters seems completely ridiculous to me, but I suppose if I was trying to break records I would have done the same thing. As it is I am completely unaffected by the suit issue at my level.

I'm afraid it makes the most sense in the long run to get rid of them. Why take a simple sport and create a division? The advantage is so great that it would eventually become a standard piece of equipment at the age group level on up. Big picture, the suits have to go. It may hurt in the short run but will be better for swimming overall.

gull
August 11th, 2009, 09:06 AM
The whole idea of spending $500 on a tech suit for Masters seems completely ridiculous to me...

What about the idea of spending that much (or more) on a driver, or several times that much on a bike?

jeremyc
August 11th, 2009, 11:08 AM
I'm riding a $500 bike....that I bought 15 years ago.

The $500 suit lasted ONE meet.

Leonard Jansen
August 11th, 2009, 11:39 AM
I'm riding a $500 bike....that I bought 15 years ago.

The $500 suit lasted ONE meet.

Capitalism at its best: The best thing to do is vote with your dollars and don't buy one until they figure out a way to make them last longer.

Here's a modest proposal for the group: If we are going to split with FINA on this, then make anything legal as a suit as long as it does not offer active mechanical leverage advantages (e.g. webbed gloves, flippers, etc.) Passive mechanical advantages (e.g. buoyancy, streamlining, drag reduction, etc) are fine. This means that you can wear a wetsuit or similar, a tech suit, an "old school" suit, jammers or swim naked. Why not? It seems that this can of worms would be opened anyway if we split with FINA. By that I mean, if we allow what are called "tech suits", what constitutes a "tech suit" and are there limits on their features? If FINA is out of the mix, no one will be testing the various suits that may be produced (USMS is in no position to do this). That means that it's all a gray area, so just open it up and get rid of the rat's nest of technicalities that we seem to be setting up for ourselves. As a bonus, a wetsuit is cheaper than the $500 tech suits, is fast and lasts a long time.

I'm wearing my Tyr Durafast polyester jammers to open water races regardless of the above, since they meet MY personal needs of what I want out of swimming, but you are welcome to ride the latest tech wave if that's what you want.

-LBJ

gull
August 11th, 2009, 12:07 PM
That means that it's all a gray area, so just open it up and get rid of the rat's nest of technicalities that we seem to be setting up for ourselves. As a bonus, a wetsuit is cheaper than the $500 tech suits, is fast and lasts a long time.

Apparently there can be no middle ground where we accept technology but place reasonable restrictions on it (material, thickness, coating, etc). If the USTA had adopted that approach, we would still be playing with wooden rackets (which were quite cheap, by the way).

I have worn my Blue Seventy in three meets thus far, and it is holding up very well. Whether is was worth the cost (my wife would say no, but then I don't agree with all of her purchases) is an individual value judgment.

Jeff Commings
August 11th, 2009, 01:25 PM
I'm joining this conversation late, but I've noticed an omission in the postings that I thought I might raise:

Our current USMS administration has tried very hard to bridge the gap between USAS and USMS. The dual sanction concept is the biggest way they are doing that. If USMS says "anything goes" regarding the swimsuits, no Masters swimmer will want to attend a dual sanction meet because they cannot wear the rubber suits (USA Swimming rules prevail in dual sanction meets). Thus, the dual sanction concept becomes meaningless because Masters swimmers will be afraid to race in jammers, or know that they can swim a Masters-only meet and go faster and get a higher top 10 placing or even contend for records. And all the work Rob and others have done so far will go out the window. I have loved the chance to compete in a USA Swimming meet for the racing opportunities they continue to offer, and have my times count for Masters records, both world and national. I've taken advantage of that for the past three years and love it every time.

I have my own thoughts about the high-tech suits and I won't elaborate fully on them here, but rules are rules. I will wear my high-tech suit once more in December, to see if I can swim faster high-tech suit times this year than I did last year in the same suit (apples to apples). Then, I'll put that suit away in storage. At my first competition in 2010, I'll make sure the pair of jammers I got in 2006 are not frayed or loose-fitting, then train just as hard or harder in the pool with the time I have available so I can attempt in 2010 to swim faster than I did in 2009. Whether or not it's possible is irrelevant. It'll be fun to try.

Tangent: In between the release of the first list of approved suits and the release of the final list, I shaved and tapered for a meet and didn't swim well. I blamed it on the way I had been training, not the fact that I couldn't wear by B70 and was "relegated" to my TYR jammers. Next summer, I look forward to swimming much faster because I'll be smarter about my training and not thinking about what could have been if I had been able to "suit up."

If FINA and USMS say that high-tech suits will be allowed in 2010, I'm not sure what my response will be.

Yes, "it's just Masters," but if you're a competitive swimmer, you do not choose to do so thinking laziness will get you to the goals you wanted to achieve. Should we be allowed to wear what we want because some people are too lazy to train like they know they should or are embarrassed by their beer guts? I teach swim lessons to adults who want to swim like the best swimmers in the world. And they mean Rebecca Soni, Michael Phelps and Ous Mellouli, not David Guthrie, Mike Ross or Jeff Erwin (no offense at all meant to these great Masters gods). If you want to swim like Michael Phelps, a suit is not going to help you. Getting yourself in the pool regularly will do that. If you're embarrassed by your beer gut or love handles and think wearing a rubber suit will hide them ... think again. The suit just makes them more noticeable.

If "it's just Masters," then what's the point of having records? What's the point of even starting a watch or having times displayed on a scoreboard if it doesn't really matter? Why do you need the high-tech suit, if "it's just Masters"? Most people here say it doesn't really matter, but it really does when they step up on the block, regardless if you're in the slowest heat or the fastest heat.

If the best swimmers in the world finally get to go back to stepping up and depending on their training to finish a race and stop the clock first (not just touch the pad first) then why can't Masters be held in the same regard? Because we're older and whine about soreness and pain more?

Someone posted this: "One sport=one rule." I heartily agree. We're all swimmers, regardless of age or ability.

Leonard Jansen
August 11th, 2009, 01:32 PM
Apparently there can be no middle ground where we accept technology but place reasonable restrictions on it (material, thickness, coating, etc).

Actually, there can be. However, it is predicated on several things:
There must be a standard of "reasonableness" that exists either as a regulated standard by an organization empowered to do so and enforce it or as a de facto standard agreed upon by the majority, and "enforced" by the majority.
If the organization is empowered, it must be able to convince the majority that it's decision is "reasonable." If they can't, you end up with the majority circumventing or actively opposing said decision, effectively nullifying it. Example: The death of "amateurism" in sports like Track and Field. Further, the organization must have the means to accurately distinguish between those things that meet the definition and those that do not. The fiasco that FINA recently found itself in is a good example of what can happen even if you (potentially) have the means/ability.
If the majority puts forth a de facto standard, it has no real recourse to enforcing it (short of lynching/shunning) and likely little ability/resources to determine what fits the standard. Example: Some of the open water races in this part of the world draw a strong majority of people who don't think you should do an open water race in a wetsuit. Some of the people in the race do wear them. The majority has no say in the matter, however, since it has nothing behind it.

USMS can set whatever rules they like and they can enforce the most obvious things, but they have neither the ability or resources to enforce the finer points. Example: Who will determine if the coating on a suit is actually a legal coating if they both look, smell, etc alike. Even more so is the case where technology evolves and USMS is stuck with trying to decide if a new material meets its standards, is better or worse than some thing that is illegal, etc, etc, etc. I'll nominate you to that USMS committee, but I want no part of it.

FINA took an interesting tact in their most recent decision by effectively saying "We can't distinguish what fits a more technological approach to swimming equipment, so we are rolling it back to a level that we think we can distinguish what fits the rule and what doesn't."

If we decide to break with the mother country, go to the other point of distinction (this is not an extreme -it is a point where decision-making is pragmatic) Throw out the passive mechanical changes, since there is no mechanism in USMS to enforce them anyway and stick with the things you can enforce.

Just look at how fractured the opinions are within this group about this topic and the subtle, and in some cases not so subtle , differences. Is 1 mm thickness of material X "better" than 1.1 mm of Material Y? Why is 1 mm thickness of material X "good", but 1.1 mm of Material X "bad?" How to decide this and how to enforce this?

However, take comfort in the fact that Tech suits come and Tech suits go, but Polyester jammers are forever.

-LBJ

gull
August 11th, 2009, 01:42 PM
Should we be allowed to wear what we want because some people are too lazy to train like they know they should or are embarrassed by their beer guts?

I respectfully disagree with this statement. I would argue that the majority of Masters swimmers investing in and wearing technical suits are anything but lazy. Personally, even if I had the time to train more than six days/week, I don't believe that my body could handle the yardage. Fifty may be the new thirty, but even Dara is facing yet another operation on her aging body.

Chris Stevenson
August 11th, 2009, 02:05 PM
Nice post, Jeff. And going back to jammers is not instant doom, I still managed two masters PBs with jammers this past weekend.

I also think Leonard brings up a good point. If we divorce ourselves from FINA we don't get to take advatage of their testing. I like the simplicity of being able to police things by looking for the FINA-approved logo.

For the suit-supporters: what is wrong with wearing a wetsuit? Or two suits? I have never understood where this line is crossed: it is just a question of degree, after all. Jakeds may well be just as performance-enhancing as wetsuits, after all.

Jeff Commings
August 11th, 2009, 02:20 PM
I respectfully disagree with this statement. I would argue that the majority of Masters swimmers investing in and wearing technical suits are anything but lazy. Personally, even if I had the time to train more than six days/week, I don't believe that my body could handle the yardage. Fifty may be the new thirty, but even Dara is facing yet another operation on her aging body.

I don't know if I can ever hear from the majority of Masters swimmers, but I heard this actually come from two different Masters swimmers earlier this year who don't know each other:

"I haven't put in the pool time this year, but that's OK because I'll wear my (high-tech suit)."

One guy went slower in all his events in Clovis, saying the weather was the problem. The other guy did a Masters PB in one event recently but went relatively slow in his two best events.

These two guys used to be hard workers in the pool, and I don't think they had a reason to slack off this year, other than laziness (one is single and gainfully employed, the other is married with kids but he is semi-retired and gloats about the limitless chances he has to train).

In elite swimming, the top swimmers worked hard even though they had the suits (even Paul Biedermann, as I've read about his workouts). In Masters, the suits, more often than not, I fear, will become an excuse to back off in workout.

The Fortress
August 11th, 2009, 04:50 PM
Our current USMS administration has tried very hard to bridge the gap between USAS and USMS. The dual sanction concept is the biggest way they are doing that. If USMS says "anything goes" regarding the swimsuits, no Masters swimmer will want to attend a dual sanction meet because they cannot wear the rubber suits (USA Swimming rules prevail in dual sanction meets). Thus, the dual sanction concept becomes meaningless because Masters swimmers will be afraid to race in jammers, or know that they can swim a Masters-only meet and go faster and get a higher top 10 placing or even contend for records. And all the work Rob and others have done so far will go out the window.

People willing to swim in USA meets are not generally "afraid."

And, at least for me, this is inaccurate. I just swam in a USA meet after the first FINA ban in an old suit. I likely would have been faster and had a higher ranking in my B70, but I'm not losing any sleep over it. I've also swum in a poly tank at a USA meet as well. I'm sure people could manage.

The Fortress
August 11th, 2009, 04:53 PM
I respectfully disagree with this statement. I would argue that the majority of Masters swimmers investing in and wearing technical suits are anything but lazy. Personally, even if I had the time to train more than six days/week, I don't believe that my body could handle the yardage. Fifty may be the new thirty, but even Dara is facing yet another operation on her aging body.

Totally agree with Gull. Yeah, there are always a few like the ones Jeff mentions. But I definitely don't think they are the majority by any measure. Most people wearing these suits train pretty hard. (Well, not Hulk, ;), but most others.). Indeed, the people on my team that rarely compete work their asses off.

gshaw
August 11th, 2009, 09:42 PM
In my first Masters meet I didn't use goggles to race; I never had before and didn't know how to dive in without losing them. We all wear googles now when racing and "back in the day" we never used them. Is it an advantage? Yes, especially on turns; and it is generally better for the eyes. But it is definitely an advantage and I suspect we are faster because of them. Let's keep them. And if FINA banned them I would still want to keep them.

The tech suit issue got exaggerated in Rome because Phelps got beat by Biedermann and Bowman seemed to suggest that it was because of Biedermann's suit as compared to Phelps' "inferior" LZR. FINA seemed unsure of when to move on the ban until Bowman threatened to hold out his star swimmer until they ban the suit that caused Phelps to lose. I thought it was bs. I think Biedermann is a great swimmer and likely would have beat Phelps if they swam naked and without goggles.

Now, Jeff says that tech suits give lazy Masters swimmers an excuse not to train as hard. News to me. I had injuries last year and a half so I couldn't train hard enough to do 200's in competition but hoped I could still compete in the 100's. I got a Blue Seventy and loved the way it felt but even with that great suit I wasn't able to get my best times because I simply hadn't trained hard enough. The suit won't swim it for us. And I think they have the opposite effect that Jeff suggests. The notion that I could go even faster in this suit makes me want to train harder so I can get my best times. It's what a lot of us swim for--to get our best ever times. If other things cause us to train less: injuries, family, job, we may jokingly say the "tech" suit will pull us through, but no one who really trains and races seriously thinks that is true, because it isn't. Suits don't swim. We do.

And personally, I'd like to swim like Mike Ross although I am happy to watch Phelps on TV.

psyncw
August 11th, 2009, 10:13 PM
I find that I agree with Jeff and Chris on this. I'm totally expecting to swim in jammers in 2010 and hope that usms is going to follow fina.

Jeff Commings
August 12th, 2009, 11:46 AM
The suit won't swim it for us. And I think they have the opposite effect that Jeff suggests. The notion that I could go even faster in this suit makes me want to train harder so I can get my best times. It's what a lot of us swim for--to get our best ever times. If other things cause us to train less: injuries, family, job, we may jokingly say the "tech" suit will pull us through, but no one who really trains and races seriously thinks that is true, because it isn't. Suits don't swim. We do.

I agree with you 100 percent on this, Greg, but after hearing the two people I mentioned earlier -- two hard workers in the pool -- say they expect the suit to make them faster got my goat. After they didn't swim fast they still had faith in the suit.

I'm very happy to see people disagreeing with me. I am glad that there are Masters swimmers who work hard to swim fast, no matter what they are wearing. I know those two people who bowed to the glory and honor of the rubber suits have changed their tune after watching world championships.

knelson
August 12th, 2009, 12:19 PM
We all wear googles now when racing and "back in the day" we never used them. Is it an advantage? Yes, especially on turns; and it is generally better for the eyes. But it is definitely an advantage and I suspect we are faster because of them. Let's keep them. And if FINA banned them I would still want to keep them.

I just don't think goggles are directly comparable. The primary purpose for using goggles is so you can see better and to protect your eyes from chlorine. The purpose of goggles isn't really to make you swim faster. This may be a consequence of these other factors, but it isn't their primary purpose. Full-body, rubberized suits, on the other hand, are clearly primarily intended to make you swim faster.

scyfreestyler
August 12th, 2009, 12:25 PM
I just don't think goggles are directly comparable. The primary purpose for using goggles is so you can see better and to protect your eyes from chlorine. The purpose of goggles isn't really to make you swim faster. This may be a consequence of these other factors, but it isn't their primary purpose. Full-body, rubberized suits, on the other hand, are clearly primarily intended to make you swim faster.

As I see it, suits increase ones aquadynamic efficiency (at least that is the intended purpose), goggles do not.

jim thornton
August 12th, 2009, 12:28 PM
Jeff, Greg, Leslie, et al,

I am not sure that the tech suits affect training discipline per se, and if they do, it's probably a variable and idiosyncratic range of effects.

I find my own training intensity waxes and wanes throughout the season, often paralleling such factors as my job workload, family obligations, travel schedule, injuries, and time in a given season.

For example, I just got back from Nationals feeling inspired to work really hard. But my shoulder is extremely sore from racing, I have a giant deadline at work, my son got rousted by the cops last night, etc. These things will have much more effect on training intensity than whether or not I can wear a tech suit next year.

What I do fear is going to happen to some of us is major disappointment when our times get much worse in jammers vs. B70s. Maybe with everyone's times getting worse, the blow will be cushioned. Maybe there will be some kind of conversion utility invented so that we can compare our post-B70 times with our pre-B70 times (and convince ourselves we haven't suddenly developed massive congestive heart failure and/or sarcopenia of aging). Maybe we will simply discover a previously unsuspected ability to HTFU resides in our obsessive swimmer's aging souls?

Who knows.

But I can see it being a little bit de-motivating, for me at least, to go from close to lifetime bests at 56 to more predictable performance of a geriatric with one blanched toe almost already in the grave.

Leslie proposed that the suits may be more valued by those over 40 than those under 40. I would have to agree with this. The illusion of eternal youth is clutched more rapaciously by those of us who see it fast slipping away!

BigNoodler
August 12th, 2009, 12:42 PM
But I can see it being a little bit de-motivating, for me at least, to go from close to lifetime bests at 56 to more predictable performance of a geriatric with one blanched toe almost already in the grave.


It was demotivating for me to realize that without the tech suits I was significantly slower. This realization messed up one of my seasons as a result. I got over it eventually. Nothing like taking off the beer goggles and seeing harsh reality.




Leslie proposed that the suits may be more valued by those over 40 than those under 40. I would have to agree with this. The illusion of eternal youth is clutched more rapaciously by those of us who see it fast slipping away!

I think the suits are also pretty highly valued by swimmers of any age who swim distance or large line ups in masters meets. The suits provide speed but also recovery during and after races.

gshaw
August 12th, 2009, 01:02 PM
I just don't think goggles are directly comparable. The primary purpose for using goggles is so you can see better and to protect your eyes from chlorine. The purpose of goggles isn't really to make you swim faster. This may be a consequence of these other factors, but it isn't their primary purpose. Full-body, rubberized suits, on the other hand, are clearly primarily intended to make you swim faster.


Kirk, you are right. Goggles are not a good comparison. What made me think of them was entirely personal. When I was introduced to racing for the first time with goggles I was also introduced to my first Arena Powerskin. So, I suppose I was lost in my private world there. I agree with you.

Bottom line. I like swimming fast and don't want to go slower. I also get a kick out of putting on a kind of superman or spiderman suit as a part of that. Maybe a theatrical streak.

jeremyc
August 12th, 2009, 01:09 PM
two points:

In many open water competitions, there are two sets of results, one for regular suits and one for wetsuits.


I just told my wife that some masters swimmers like technical suits because it hides their bellies. she said, "yeah, but the downside it that it makes you look like a stuffed porpoise."

bbpolhill
August 12th, 2009, 01:46 PM
The reason to ban tech suits from any form of competition, I believe, is simple. Use of high tech suits probably affects fairness.

I suspect and have heard many theorize that certain body types benefit more from these suits than others. In a sport that is already dominated by taller people, have the suits widened the gap between the taller (or bigger) swimmers vs. their smaller foes by exacerbating the advantages of having a large frame and by alleviating some of the penalties of having a large frame?

I am certainly no scientist, but I would be interested in hearing how wearing the suit affects a 5"6" 150 lb swimmer contrasted with a 6"6" 235 lb swimmer. What studies are out there (if any) that relate to the suits and one's body mass, height, weight, etc.?

In addition, the suit no doubt helps remove the profound effects of poor stroke mechanics by providing buoyancy. A swimmer with excellent form loses much of the advantage that they have EARNED through practice and dedication.

I'm not sure that I understand the argument in favor of high tech suits and this is coming from a slow, overweight, novice swimmer that has more to gain in terms of performance by using one than most. While it won't help me to catch the John Smiths of the swimming world, it just may help me to beat somebody in my age group who is a better swimmer and has worked harder.

pwolf66
August 12th, 2009, 03:40 PM
Most people wearing these suits train pretty hard. (Well, not Hulk, ;), but most others

Nice.

This one's going up on the 'fridge. Right below this:

May, 2010. Atlanta, Ga.

thewookiee
August 12th, 2009, 04:05 PM
Nice.

This one's going up on the 'fridge. Right below this:

May, 2010. Atlanta, Ga.

Make sure to put above both of them "Get in the pool"

pwolf66
August 12th, 2009, 04:10 PM
Make sure to put above both of them "Get in the pool"

Actually, it's going right above the 'Kick Wookiee's A$$ in the 200 Breast at Zones'

thewookiee
August 12th, 2009, 04:13 PM
Actually, it's going right above the 'Kick Wookiee's A$$ in the 200 Breast at Zones'

How about a gridge in the 200 fly too

pwolf66
August 12th, 2009, 04:17 PM
How about a gridge in the 200 fly too

Um, you can't do pullouts in fly, right??


Then nope. Nuh-uh. Nein. Nyet. HFN.

thewookiee
August 12th, 2009, 04:18 PM
Um, you can't do pullouts in fly, right??


Then nope. Nuh-uh. Nein. Nyet. HFN.

What are you? Man or Geek?

pwolf66
August 12th, 2009, 04:20 PM
What are you? Man or Geek?

neither

but I ain't crazy.

I don't do 2 consecutive lengths of Fly in practice. I'm sure as heck not gonna go EIGHT in a ROW.

Chris Stevenson
August 12th, 2009, 06:11 PM
Wow this thread went south in a hurry. :)

To address Jim's question about post-suit letdown: yes, as in giving up any expensive, unhealthy addiction cold turkey, there will be some pain. Pull the band-aid right off, say I! Then you can join me and former smokers in the ranks of the righteously (annoying) smug holier-than-thous.

JimRude
August 12th, 2009, 06:24 PM
Wow this thread went south in a hurry. :)

To address Jim's question about post-suit letdown: yes, as in giving up any expensive, unhealthy addiction cold turkey, there will be some pain. Pull the band-aid right off, say I! Then you can join me and former smokers in the ranks of the righteously (annoying) smug holier-than-thous.

Let me preface my comments by saying that I am a huge fan of the tech suits; I think they have given people something to talk about besides MP's bong hits, they are generally regarded positively by those who have tried them (and are probably derided generally by those who have not), and the cost is probably only really an issue for age-groupers. I also think that arguments like "unfair playing field", air-trapping, buoyancy, etc are red herrings.

Having said that, the suits have made times relative. I know that I am not just a few percent slower at 45 (and 185 lbs) than I was at 22 (and 170 lbs) - the suits make a difference. How much? Well, I will likely find out next year.

But for me, masters swimming is less about the times and more (much more) about racing. The times are just a way to "keep score". So, having stunk up the Indy pool in my B70, I will commit to racing in textile jammers from now on.

I can only hope that messrs Guthrie, Blank, Weissman, Dicks et al will join me...:help:

The Fortress
August 12th, 2009, 06:28 PM
Wally is a purist of the highest order. He didn't even wear his B70 at Y Nats.

pwb
August 12th, 2009, 06:30 PM
Pull the band-aid right off, say I!

No way, man. The slow transition for me: I just got a decently priced (I think) pair of B70 legskins in the mail today (All American Swim) and will compete in those this fall. I'll then switch to jammers for SCY. Unless, of course, FINA reneges again; then I'll try to quickly scoop up a full body suit for SCY season.:)

The Fortress
August 12th, 2009, 06:58 PM
No way, man. The slow transition for me: I just got a decently priced (I think) pair of B70 legskins in the mail today (All American Swim) and will compete in those this fall. I'll then switch to jammers for SCY. Unless, of course, FINA reneges again; then I'll try to quickly scoop up a full body suit for SCY season.:)

I'm with Patrick! Kicking and screaming ...

Methinks Mr. Holier Than Thou should go on an immediate caffeine detox. Just pull that bandaid off, baby! :)

jeremyc
August 12th, 2009, 07:38 PM
I wore a high-tech suit at USMS nationals. I went really fast. I didn't even get wet. :)
The 9 people who finished ahead of me all also wore the suits and they went really faster.
The finish results probably would have been the same if we were swimming in sweat suits. (my age group coach had me do practices like that).

It was nice to be able to brag that my time hasn't changed in three years, but that's really not true and we all know that.

Chris Stevenson
August 12th, 2009, 10:06 PM
Methinks Mr. Holier Than Thou should go on an immediate caffeine detox. Just pull that bandaid off, baby! :)

While I admit AM coffee is part of my pre-meet ritual, I can take it or leave it wrt caffeine. I would never -- to pick an example COMPLETELY at random -- take Jolt gum to a meet... :)

Allen Stark
August 12th, 2009, 10:34 PM
I like the simplicity of the " old" suits.They don't explode and you don't have to worry that your competition has a better one where as your is a week old and all ready out dated as well as worn out.

The Fortress
August 12th, 2009, 10:41 PM
While I admit AM coffee is part of my pre-meet ritual, I can take it or leave it wrt caffeine. I would never -- to pick an example COMPLETELY at random -- take Jolt gum to a meet... :)

Didn't have any at Nats. Gave it to a teammate swimming the 2 fly! And what about that all day Pepsi habit of yours, eh?

Suits aren't "unhealthy;" they're just (very recently) controversial.

BigNoodler
August 13th, 2009, 08:34 AM
Suits aren't "unhealthy;" they're just (very recently) controversial.

Theoretically I agree.

But kicking the tech suit habit was worse for me than kicking caffeine, alcohol, or other vices. It was more depressing perhaps? It felt more psychologically "unhealthy." And I've not successfully completely kicked any of these things 100%.

"Kicking and screaming" along with some crying and "whinning" is right on.

shouldyswimmer
August 13th, 2009, 09:17 AM
I remember reading an article when this "Controversy" first started that talked about the full body suit popularity really coming out of masters swimming. So if the popularity originated with us why would we want to change it?

jeremyc
August 13th, 2009, 11:30 AM
Ian Thorpe began wearing a full body suit in the 2003 world championships. His suit also covered his arms.

I don't know why no one ever talks about this, especially when mentioning his "unbeatable" records, one of which Biedermann broke.

here's a picture: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2004/20040830/olympics/winners/images/wi6.jpg

and an article: http://www.gizmag.com/go/2071/

thewookiee
August 13th, 2009, 11:53 AM
Ian Thorpe began wearing a full body suit in the 2003 world championships. His suit also covered his arms.

I don't know why no one ever talks about this, especially when mentioning his "unbeatable" records, one of which Biedermann broke.

here's a picture: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2004/20040830/olympics/winners/images/wi6.jpg

and an article: http://www.gizmag.com/go/2071/



Hmmmm....you information isn't correct. Thorpe started wearing the addidas full body suit in 2000 around the time of the Aussie olympic trials. He wore it in the finals of the 400 free at the olympics, where he set the world record, then proceeded to wear it during the 400 free relay final, his 3 swims in the 200 free and the 800 free relay.

He wore it in every major meet since then, including his swims in the 100 back at the commonwealth games and the 200 IM at the 03 worlds.

jeremyc
August 13th, 2009, 11:59 AM
sorry about that.
That makes it even more amazing to me that no one talks about this. History seems to have been revised to list the LZR suits as the start of this mess.

thewookiee
August 13th, 2009, 12:07 PM
sorry about that.
That makes it even more amazing to me that no one talks about this. History seems to have been revised to list the LZR suits as the start of this mess.

S'alright. There was a big stink about the suits in 2000 but nothing like now.

Chris Stevenson
August 13th, 2009, 12:09 PM
And what about that all day Pepsi habit of yours, eh?

Suits aren't "unhealthy;" they're just (very recently) controversial.

Pls: it is Coca-Cola. And, as often as not, decaf. Coffee too. Caffeine can make me too jittery.
One can argue that any addiction is unhealthy in a sense. I will gladly stick to water/gatorade for an entire Zones or Nats meet if you stick to textile, even if rubber is still legal.

chaos
August 13th, 2009, 12:13 PM
Pls: it is Coca-Cola.

phewww!
thanks for clearing that up.

shouldyswimmer
August 13th, 2009, 12:59 PM
Ian Thorpe began wearing a full body suit in the 2003 world championships. His suit also covered his arms.

I don't know why no one ever talks about this, especially when mentioning his "unbeatable" records, one of which Biedermann broke.

here's a picture: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2004/20040830/olympics/winners/images/wi6.jpg

and an article: http://www.gizmag.com/go/2071/


Ian Thorpe at the Olympics is the first thing that came to my mind too. I also have a very hard time reading quotes from Grant Hackett talking about this since he wore the fastskin full body when he set most of his records.

Jeff Commings
August 13th, 2009, 01:18 PM
Though most people are adding the fact that wearing a full bodysuit is too much of an advantage, the major argument is the material put on the suit.

FINA, from my understanding, scaled back to jammers for men to make sure the manufacturers don't try anything sneaky with the full suits, in addition to the fact that it was hard to quantify if a full bodysuit trapped air and/or water.

When FINA announced it was going to jammers and after people said that the records should be stricken back to Feb. 2008, people started pointing to Ian Thorpe's swims as the reasons not to put asterisks next to records. No one complained that he won so many Olympic medals covered 95 percent with fabric because they never thought full bodysuits were the issue.

ande
August 13th, 2009, 01:46 PM
Heard a rumor that Thorpes body suit with arms was so tight he wore another tech suit under it to help slide it on. Bet there were some swimmers stacking suits years ago before FINA was even aware that it was an issue.

FINA & USA swimming needs to do something about reframing the real records, I have a feeling it's going to be a long time before we see a male in a jammer break 21 in the 50 LCM free, there's comparisons in every event. I'm curious to see what times will be in 2010 (especially mine)

Paul Smith
August 13th, 2009, 02:11 PM
But for me, masters swimming is less about the times and more (much more) about racing. The times are just a way to "keep score". So, having stunk up the Indy pool in my B70, I will commit to racing in textile jammers from now on.

100% agree....may be the first time ever between me and Le breastroker/teddy bear boy!

The quote "it's only masters" has been used over and over again with everyone seeming to have their own opinion as to how it relates to themselves...I'll add to that by saying Jim's statement above plays on my thoughts about "it's only masters" in that IMHO those who measure themselves based on records and times are going to have a much harder time than those that simply love to race...regardless of what they are wearing, how old they or even male vs. female (I got my ass kicked by my wife in a 2k recently for example).

thewookiee
August 13th, 2009, 02:45 PM
FINA & USA swimming needs to do something about reframing the real records, (especially mine)

The real records? WTF? All the records have been done according to FINA rules, so they are the real records.

pwb
August 13th, 2009, 02:46 PM
The real records? WTF? All the records have been done according to FINA rules, so they are the real records.

To rip off Jim Rude's oft-repeated comment, WORD.

david.margrave
August 14th, 2009, 02:00 AM
Neither option is going to please everyone. So I like the idea of following FINA for meters, and do whatever we please for yards.

Chris Stevenson
August 14th, 2009, 07:45 AM
Neither option is going to please everyone. So I like the idea of following FINA for meters, and do whatever we please for yards.

I don't know if it is a good idea or not -- guess it would depend on how it would affect participation -- but it wouldn't be the first time there were different rules for yards and meters.

Mark Savage
August 14th, 2009, 08:54 AM
Heard a rumor that Thorpes body suit with arms was so tight he wore another tech suit under it to help slide it on. Bet there were some swimmers stacking suits years ago before FINA was even aware that it was an issue.

FINA & USA swimming needs to do something about reframing the real records, I have a feeling it's going to be a long time before we see a male in a jammer break 21 in the 50 LCM free, there's comparisons in every event. I'm curious to see what times will be in 2010 (especially mine)

I think there will be about a 4-5% difference(maybe a little more) on average between jammers and speed suits.

Tim L
August 14th, 2009, 10:14 AM
I think there will be about a 4-5% difference(maybe a little more) on average between jammers and speed suits.

I think about half of that and maybe less for some. A 4%-5% increase in time is a huge difference to attribute to the suit only. Has anyone had a 5% time decrease by wearing a tech suit while training the exact same way?

Tim

jeremyc
August 14th, 2009, 10:22 AM
the difference for me was .5 seconds for a 50 and 1 second for a 100.
At my speed, that's about a 1/60 or 1.6 % difference.

Calvin S
August 14th, 2009, 10:15 PM
since I swim in both USA and USMS meets, I need to break out the old fast banana hammocks again. on that note, does anyone know where one might be able to obtain a paper suit? or is it even still possible to purchase them from somewhere?

Allen Stark
August 15th, 2009, 11:53 AM
since I swim in both USA and USMS meets, I need to break out the old fast banana hammocks again. on that note, does anyone know where one might be able to obtain a paper suit? or is it even still possible to purchase them from somewhere?

Speedo FS Pro is essentially a paper suit.It comes in Jammers and I suppose in briefs though I haven't checked.Tyr Tracer Light is similar.

jim thornton
August 15th, 2009, 12:07 PM
the difference for me was .5 seconds for a 50 and 1 second for a 100.
At my speed, that's about a 1/60 or 1.6 % difference.


I am not certain if I am doing the math correctly here, but last season, I swam a 52.90 for the 100 free in a B70. I can't be absolutely sure of this, but I might be able to do a 54.9 in jammers (though I'd be very surprised if I could go this fast.) The difference is a minimum of 2 seconds, though probably more.

Here's where the math becomes challenging. Which 100 time do you use for the denominator?

If you use the faster time, i.e., 52.90, then 2 seconds represents a 3.78 percent increase in time without the suit.

If you use the slower time, i.e., 54.9, then 2 seconds represents a 3.64 decrease in time with the suit.

Either way, I anticipate going almost 4 percent slower without the speed suit, and quite possibly 5 percent or more. This is just for the 100. I wonder if the change might be even more exacerbated for longer distances, or, for that matter, the 50?

Here's what I propose: some math wizzard on these forums take Phil Arcuini's excellent Finnish Formula calculator http://n3times.com/swimtimes/ and add a further fudge factor for B70 body kayaks-to-polyester jammer conversion, and guys like me will have some way to convince ourselves that the sudden plummeting in our swimming performance post B70 era is not necessarily the result of a heart myxoma or occult leprosy.

Chicken of the Sea
August 15th, 2009, 01:53 PM
Agonswim sells paper suits for women. Not sure about the men's line. I love paper fabric

Calvin S
August 15th, 2009, 02:04 PM
Speedo FS Pro is essentially a paper suit.It comes in Jammers and I suppose in briefs though I haven't checked.Tyr Tracer Light is similar.

worn or felt all of them, and none of them felt quite like a paper suit. I had people tell me the LZR was basically a paper suit too, again, it did not feel the same to me.


Agonswim sells paper suits for women. Not sure about the men's line. I love paper fabric

^this...I will check it out and see if they have a mens line too.

knelson
August 15th, 2009, 02:11 PM
Here's where the math becomes challenging. Which 100 time do you use for the denominator?

You're trying to find out how much slower you'll go with a non-tech suit, so your baseline is the tech suit. The calculation would be 2/52.9 = 3.8%

Conversely, if you wanted to know how much faster the tech suit is compared to jammers it would be 2/54.9 = 3.6%.

jim thornton
August 15th, 2009, 09:15 PM
Thanks, Kirk, it looks to the simple minded that I am losing more than I gained.

But I suppose it's like the stock market.

If you lose 50 percent in one year, and regain 50 percent the next year, you are still down a hell of a lot of money, right?

Example: a $2 million portfolio loses 50 percent in 2008. Amount in account now: $1 million.

The $1 million portfolio gains 50 percent in 2009. Amount now: $1.5 million.

Net loss: $1/2 million.

Now, apply the same basic math but start with my own portfolio, worth $117 in 2008.

I think women must really like me for me.

But somehow, I am once again slipping away from the moorings of the original topic.