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August 12th, 2009, 12:20 PM
High school swimming disqualifies advanced suits
By Thomas O'Toole, USA TODAY

High school swimmers will be banned from wearing high-tech suits under a rule announced Tuesday by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

The change, effective immediately, mirrors a recent decision by the sport's international governing body and puts more emphasis on the ability of the swimmer instead of the quality of the suit. Suits now must be of a woven/knit textile material, permeable to water and air and cannot aid buoyancy.

Boys suits can't go above the waist or below the top of the knee.

Girls suits can't go above the shoulders or below the top of the knee and can't cover the neck.

"Wow. It's a big deal," said David Marsh, coaching director and CEO at SwimMAC Carolina in Charlotte and a former coach at Auburn University. "Most purist coaches like myself are happy to hear that you are able to judge a swimmer by the performance of the athlete himself."

To emphasize his point, Marsh said all he had to do Tuesday was look around the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way, Wash., site of the Speedo Junior National Championships.

Many of the top high school swimmers are there, and the meet is scouted by hundreds of college coaches. He said he asked one coach if he was noting which suits the swimmers were wearing and was told yes.

High-tech suits generally prove more helpful to lower-level swimmers than Olympians. "Absolutely," said Marsh. He said college coaches need to know how much of a difference the suit makes when they "are looking at investing the amount they are investing in these high school swimmers.

"They are adding unnatural flotation to their bodies. The suit kind of covers technique flaws. It affects how you use your energy. You don't have to kick as hard. But the biggest thing might be the psychological impact of wearing them."

The ruling pertains to 250,000 swimmers at 13,000 schools nationwide.

"These high-tech suits had fundamentally altered the sport and become more similar to equipment, rather than a uniform," Becky Oakes, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the swimming and diving rules committee, said in a statement. "The rules of swimming have always prohibited the use or wearing of items that would aid in the swimmer's speed and/or buoyancy. The technical suits and styles had evolved to a point where there was little, if any, compliance with these basic rules."

Oakes added that the rule "will help guarantee fairness in competition."

According to Bruce Howard, spokesman for the national federation, state associations "in the strictest sense," don't have to follow the national rules, but they generally do. Howard said he believes that "because of the significance and nature of this rule" all the states will follow it.

Club teams such as Marsh's generally work with top high school athletes as well as Olympic-caliber swimmers. He said that puts him in a tricky position.

"Dialing back the rules in my purist sense is probably a good thing," he said. "In my efforts to coach elite swimmers, those guys are having fun in those suits."

from http://www.usatoday.com/sports/preps/2009-08-11-advanced-suits-ban_N.htm

bbpolhill
August 12th, 2009, 12:56 PM
Finally, some sanity.

Zurn
August 12th, 2009, 02:52 PM
"High-tech suits generally prove more helpful to lower-level swimmers than Olympians."

Enough said, ban all the high tech suit and make it fair for everyone. Even master swimmers…:D:afraid::bolt::dedhorse:

gull
August 12th, 2009, 03:33 PM
"High-tech suits generally prove more helpful to lower-level swimmers than Olympians."

Enough said, ban all the high tech suit and make it fair for everyone. Even master swimmers…

And is it fair that some of us will always be mediocre no matter how much we train?

That having been said, it is a relief to know that as a result of the ban we will not be seeing lower level swimmers with flotation problems edging out elite swimmers for a spot on the Olympic team.

bbpolhill
August 12th, 2009, 03:41 PM
And is it fair that some of us will always be mediocre no matter how much we train?


Actually, yes.

gull
August 12th, 2009, 03:48 PM
Actually, yes.

Thanks for clearing that up.

I could be mistaken, but the last time I checked their website, it appeared to me that Blue Seventy would sell one of their suits to anyone.

Alexander Hughes
August 12th, 2009, 03:49 PM
I only got a season and a half out of high school swimming before an inguinal hernia took me out. This was before tech suits though, males wore jammers and briefs, females wore one pieces.

Personally I'm going to swim because I love to swim. I want to know that my speed in relation to another person's depends solely on the difference in training, nutrition, and motivation.

If I had to deal with swimming my heats in high school and being the only person not in a tech suit it would have been very upsetting. My family didn't have a lot of money, $550 for a LZR would have been much better spent on food for the house.

I think this decision really levels the playing field for kids looking to pursue their love for swimming, and furthering their education that may not be as fortunate as others with their financial background.

pwolf66
August 12th, 2009, 03:57 PM
Enough said, ban all the high tech suit and make it fair for everyone. Even master swimmers…:D:afraid::bolt::dedhorse:

And is it fair that some get to train in high tech, state of the art facilities while I train in a shallow outdoor pool covered with a forced air bubble?

Drop the fairness argument, it fails in so many ways.

bbpolhill
August 12th, 2009, 03:57 PM
Thanks for clearing that up.

I could be mistaken, but the last time I checked their website, it appeared to me that Blue Seventy would sell one of their suits to anyone.

First of all, anyone who can afford it. High School swimming is full of people who cannot afford $500 for a swim suit.

Regardless, your comment was about fairness and there is a great possibility that a high tech swimsuit has a very different effect on different swimmers and different body types. I think the goal is to keep the playing field as level as possible and reward those who are able to figure out the intricacies of the swim strokes through their talent and hard work.

Why not just let people wear fins? It will make them swim faster, some more than others.

gull
August 12th, 2009, 04:03 PM
Regardless, your comment was about fairness and there is a great possibility that a high tech swimsuit has a very different effect on different swimmers and different body types...Why not just let people wear fins? It will make them swim faster, some more than others.


Where is the proof that the tech suits aid certain swimmers more than others?

The "why not just let them wear fins?" argument is getting old, a version of the "slippery slope" line of reasoning. We are talking about swim suits, some form of which we all agree should be worn.

Midas
August 12th, 2009, 04:13 PM
And is it fair that some get to train in high tech, state of the art facilities while I train in a shallow outdoor pool covered with a forced air bubble?


Sucks for you I guess but I think it is fair. I don't think we are looking for pure equality, or everybody would swim the exact same times. I think we are just looking to put one human up against others and see who can make it to the other end of the pool the fastest. The suits detract from that and it's good to see them go, as much as I love mine and love swimming faster because of it.

thewookiee
August 12th, 2009, 04:16 PM
How many of us(masters) will use their tech(b70, xglide, jaked) or full body suit(fs pro, arena powerskin, tyr suits) until Jan. 1?

How many of us will start using a jammers/briefs at their next meet?

bbpolhill
August 12th, 2009, 04:18 PM
Where is the proof that the tech suits aid certain swimmers more than others?


I am not aware of any scientific evidence. I only suspect that it helps some swimmers more than others. I am only theorizing and reasoning from the many examples that I have seen through watching age group swimming. It is logical, though, that not everybody will be affected in the exact same manner given the various body types, stroke mechanics, etc.

Why take the chance that you are excluding so many from the sport based on income and a person's physical size? Why take the chance that you are creating an unfair or biased competition? A rubber suit enhances buoyancy from everything that I have read. How that buoyancy affects various body types should be analyzed. If by some miracle, it affects everyone the same way, then we are still left with the economic issue.

The governing bodies of the sport are responsible. Every suit should have to be approved for competition after a thorough unbiased scientific review...just the way every golf ball or every golf club is approved by the USGA.

DPC
August 12th, 2009, 04:19 PM
Anyone hazard a guess that the suit issue would pretty much go away if they were $35 -$50 a pop instead of $300-$500.

pwolf66
August 12th, 2009, 04:22 PM
Sucks for you I guess but I think it is fair. I don't think we are looking for pure equality, or everybody would swim the exact same times. I think we are just looking to put one human up against others and see who can make it to the other end of the pool the fastest. The suits detract from that and it's good to see them go, as much as I love mine and love swimming faster because of it.

So how is unfair if you and I race in B70s? Where is the unfair advantage in that race?

bbpolhill
August 12th, 2009, 04:28 PM
So how is unfair if you and I race in B70s? Where is the unfair advantage in that race?

I think the issue is that we don't know that it is fair for 2 swimmers to have the same exact buoyancy aiding suit on. We don't know if that additional buoyancy affects one swimmer differently than it does another. From what I have seen, it seems to benefit some more than others.

Novaova
August 12th, 2009, 04:31 PM
Anyone hazard a guess that the suit issue would pretty much go away if they were $35 -$50 a pop instead of $300-$500.
Ssh! You're saying sensible things. That won't do here! :D



(races in a $30 Yingfa bodysuit)

SLOmmafan
August 12th, 2009, 04:32 PM
And is it fair that some get to train in high tech, state of the art facilities while I train in a shallow outdoor pool covered with a forced air bubble?

Drop the fairness argument, it fails in so many ways.

I don't think quality of the facility you train in will necessarily make a major difference. I've seen fast swimmers come out of teams that train in 40+ year old pools with cracked bottoms and missing lane-lines. I would say major competitions should be done in pools that meet some type of standardized specs (lane lines, depth, etc.); which for the most part they already do.

I grew up in a small farm town south of Fresno, CA - I know a thing or two about training in bad pools. Some of them where so shallow you could hardly do a safe flip turn at one end - and getting off the blocks was a matter of life or death it seemed!

Novaova
August 12th, 2009, 04:33 PM
I think the issue is that we don't know that it is fair for 2 swimmers to have the same exact buoyancy aiding suit on. We don't know if that additional buoyancy affects one swimmer differently than it does another. From what I have seen, it seems to benefit some more than others.
Logical fallacy detected: appeal to ignorance (http://www.fallacyfiles.org/ignorant.html). The burden lies on you to prove the assertion that the suits are of unequal benefit to different people, and even if that were proven, it would then be necessary to prove that this is unfair.

gull
August 12th, 2009, 04:34 PM
I think the issue is that we don't know that it is fair for 2 swimmers to have the same exact buoyancy aiding suit on. We don't know if that additional buoyancy affects one swimmer differently than it does another. From what I have seen, it seems to benefit some more than others.

Andy Roddick has the fastest serve in tennis. The graphite racket seems to benefit him more than everyone else. Makes you wonder why USTA would allow such an inequity rather than banning the rackets altogether.

Alexander Hughes
August 12th, 2009, 04:37 PM
Anyone hazard a guess that the suit issue would pretty much go away if they were $35 -$50 a pop instead of $300-$500.

I haven't been following it for very long, but it seems like the issue started at the elite level (olympic level swimmers), and has had a trickle down effect.

If there wasn't a trickle down, and tech suits were the same cost as a traditional suit I doubt there would be as many, if any issues at the lower levels of competition.

The pro athletes, and their coaches though have raised a lot of issues over the use of tech suits. If they give an edge to one athlete over another then naturally competitors at lower levels will seek that same edge. Unfortunately for many people the cost of the tech suit with such a limited life span is just not feasible.

djacks
August 12th, 2009, 04:43 PM
There is no way to level the economic playing field for everyone. Some will have access to better facilities, coaching, etc. Others will prevail in spite of not having these advantages. One thing that can be "leveled" is the suit. I think the new requirements are a logical step in correcting a situation that got wildly out of control due to bureaucratic snafus.

bbpolhill
August 12th, 2009, 04:50 PM
Logical fallacy detected: appeal to ignorance (http://www.fallacyfiles.org/ignorant.html). The burden lies on you to prove the assertion that the suits are of unequal benefit to different people, and even if that were proven, it would then be necessary to prove that this is unfair.

The burden lies on me? The burden lies with the governing bodies of the sport who have access to the appropriate science.

Frankly, I give up. If no one here thinks it's possible that one swimmer could be affected differently than another, then I am not going to try and convince you because I don't know.

Serving a tennis ball at a high speed may not be an equivalent argument, since the fastest server doesn't always win (in fact rarely). The fastest swimmer does and we are not sure whether or not that was because of the swimmer or the suit.

Swimmy83843
August 12th, 2009, 04:55 PM
The "why not just let them wear fins?" argument is getting old, a version of the "slippery slope" line of reasoning. We are talking about swim suits, some form of which we all agree should be worn.

Why is this argument getting old? I do not understand the difference between using the wet suits and using flippers or hand paddles. In another thread someone called the suits a 'Passive mechanical advantage' but I don't quite recall what he called paddles/fins. I would think a mechanical advantage is still a mechanical advantage. So it's ok to have a little advantage, wet suit. but it's not ok to have a little bit bigger one, fins.

gull
August 12th, 2009, 04:55 PM
So if Phelps, in his LZR, had defeated Biederman, in his Arena X-Glide, would FINA still have decided to ban tech suits rather than place restrictions on them as announced previously?

Swimmy83843
August 12th, 2009, 05:00 PM
Andy Roddick has the fastest serve in tennis. The graphite racket seems to benefit him more than everyone else. Makes you wonder why USTA would allow such an inequity rather than banning the rackets altogether.

I'm just realized I keep quoting gull. I'm just tired of the comparisons to other sports. Tennis is defined as using a racket to hit a ball over the net. Swimming was originally defined as who could swim the fastest unaided. but the unaided has been removed by the suits. I just don't think the amount of WR we saw at world was a good thing. WR should be something special, not expected in prelims then beaten again in finals.

gull
August 12th, 2009, 05:00 PM
Why is this argument getting old? I do not understand the difference between using the wet suits and using flippers or hand paddles.

In the first place, they are not wetsuits. Secondly, what's a flipper?

Swimmy83843
August 12th, 2009, 05:02 PM
In the first place, they are not wetsuits. Secondly, what's a flipper?


Let me correct my mistype, FINS. not budging on the wetsuit.

Midas
August 12th, 2009, 05:06 PM
So how is unfair if you and I race in B70s? Where is the unfair advantage in that race?

None. It's just that both of our times are suspect because the suits likely made us faster. I don't want people saying "Paul and Keith had a great race, but they only went as fast as they did because of the suits."

Having said that, if we just permitted the suits I would guess that within a couple of years (maybe less) they probably would become part of the status quo and nobody would be making such a big fuss over them any more. I presume that is what you are advocating.

I understand that other innovations in our sport, such as starting blocks, wave canceling lane lines, goggles, etc. both impact my performance and are already part of the accepted status quo. My view is that, unlike those other innovations, everything was working just fine before the tech suits and there's no reason to change the status quo for them.

But that's my opinion. Fortunately for me, many governing bodies appear to share my viewpoint. I would like the governing body that I am a specific member of (USMS) to adopt a similar viewpoint. I understand that you are advocating for the opposite approach.

But most importantly, I'm looking forward to having this issue resolved and getting back to discussing training, racing techniques, swimming techniques and who Michael Phelps is or isn't dating.

gull
August 12th, 2009, 05:07 PM
I just don't think the amount of WR we saw at world was a good thing. WR should be something special, not expected in prelims then beaten again in finals.

As the rate of technological innovation in suit design began to slow, so too would the progression in world records, particularly if FINA had placed restrictions on material, thickness, and coating as originally planned.

Swimmy83843
August 12th, 2009, 05:14 PM
As the rate of technological innovation in suit design began to slow, so too would the progression in world records, particularly if FINA had placed restrictions on material, thickness, and coating as originally planned.

I understand that. I was always taught that swimming was about who could swim the fastest, UNAIDED. If it is not about unaided, just who can swim the fastest with aid, then lets see how fast we can really go and really open up the technology with fins, monofins, paddles, wetsuits, anything else anyone could think to use to make themselves faster.

gull
August 12th, 2009, 05:24 PM
I was always taught that swimming was about who could swim the fastest, UNAIDED.

As it has been mentioned multiple times on this forum, we are aided by many factors that we accept as part of the status quo--including pool design ("fast pools" vs "slow pools") and lane ropes, goggles and caps. Surprisingly, no one had addressed swim suit design in decades.

Novaova
August 12th, 2009, 05:27 PM
I just don't think the amount of WR we saw at world was a good thing. WR should be something special, not expected in prelims then beaten again in finals.
Every time there's a change to the basic equipment in any sport, it is accompanied by a seemingly tumultuous period in which many records fall in a short span of time. Soon after, the records find a new equilibrium and the frequency of record-setting performances returns to the usual. We are in a period of tumult, but it will pass.

Didn't something like this happen with the introduction of goggles?

Midas
August 12th, 2009, 05:35 PM
As it has been mentioned multiple times on this forum, we are aided by many factors that we accept as part of the status quo--including pool design ("fast pools" vs "slow pools") and lane ropes, goggles and caps. Surprisingly, no one had addressed swim suit design in decades.

All other innovations had a reasonable primary purpose other than purely to make people faster.

Problem--Solution

Problem--Swimming causes wake and makes the water choppy. This is no fun. Solution--Deeper pools, better gutter design and better lane lines. Fringe Benefit--People swim faster, but this seems legit.

Problem--Chlorine hurts people's eyes and underwater is very blurry. Solution--Goggles. Fringe Benefit--people can swim faster because they can see where they are going, but this seems legit.

Problem--I love my hair but it gets in my eyes and definitely causes drag. I can shave my head, but that sucks. Solution--Caps. Fringe Benefit--People swim faster, but fair enough. They could have accomplished this by shaving their heads and that seems lame.

Problem--Diving off the side of the pool is awkward. There's nowhere to grip, etc. Solution--Starting blocks. Fringe Benefit--Makes people faster, but seems legit. By the way, the fact that swimming races start from a dive is SO ingrained in the history of the sport at this point as to be unassailable. Sure, we could start races from in the water, but that debate needed to happen in the 1800s or very early 1900s.

Problem--I just want to swim faster than I otherwise could. Solution--Jaked, Arena X-Glied, Blue Seventy, Speedo LZR, etc. Fringe Benefit--Makes swimsuit companies richer and swimmers poorer. Seems illegitimate to many.

quicksilver
August 12th, 2009, 05:36 PM
Where is the proof that the tech suits aid certain swimmers more than others?



Putting all the physical benefits aside. If you think you will be faster with a suit, you just might go a little faster.



"They are adding unnatural flotation to their bodies. The suit kind of covers technique flaws. It affects how you use your energy. You don't have to kick as hard. But the biggest thing might be the psychological impact of wearing them."

Novaova
August 12th, 2009, 05:39 PM
Problem--I just want to swim faster than I otherwise could. Solution--Jaked, Arena X-Glied, Blue Seventy, Speedo LZR, etc. Fringe Benefit--Makes swimsuit companies richer and swimmers poorer. Seems illegitimate to many.
(Emphasis added.)

You had a good thing going until the final two sentences. :blah:

Novaova
August 12th, 2009, 05:41 PM
Putting all the physical benefits aside. If you think you will be faster with a suit, you just might go a little faster.
So psychological boosts must be eliminated? Also soon to be outlawed: lucky pre-meet meals, teammates cheering you on, and a hug from your mom.

gull
August 12th, 2009, 05:44 PM
So psychological boosts must be eliminated? Also soon to be outlawed: lucky pre-meet meals, teammates cheering you on, and a hug from your mom.

Better check out what's on their iPods too.

bbpolhill
August 12th, 2009, 05:45 PM
So psychological boosts must be eliminated? Also soon to be outlawed: lucky pre-meet meals, teammates cheering you on, and a hug from your mom.

Pretty funny.

elise526
August 12th, 2009, 05:48 PM
:applaud: I'm sure there will be many happy parents out there relieved that they no longer have to shell out several hundred dollars for their kids to have the best racing suits.

wookiee - My plans to go to LC Nationals were thwarted as was my chance to wear my B-70 in a race. Just to get my money's worth, I plan to wear mine as long as it is allowed in masters competition. I'm slightly tempted not to wear it as the times done will be unrealistic standards in the future.

Midas
August 12th, 2009, 05:51 PM
(Emphasis added.)

You had a good thing going until the final two sentences. :blah:

Hah. Of course, those two sentences are absolutely true.

Novaova
August 12th, 2009, 06:01 PM
Hah. Of course, those two sentences are rabble-rousing populist nonsense.

I fixed that typo for you. :D

Swimmy83843
August 12th, 2009, 06:18 PM
deleted my post, It was funnier in my head. And I'm not trying to make anyone mad.

Sorry

Midas
August 12th, 2009, 06:31 PM
I fixed that typo for you. :D

Please explain how, at $400-$500 a pop the suits are not making the manufacturers richer and swimmers poorer? Would you have felt better if I said "and swimmers who buy them poorer (if purely from a cash flow perspective as the suits must have an a utilitarian benefit to the purchasers or they would not have bought them (assuming that the purchasers are rational and they do not feel compelled (wholly or in part) to purchase the suits in order to remain competitive))"? In any event I agree that sentence is a bit of rabble rousing and has little to do with my principle argument, which is that tech suits have no other purpose than to make people faster and are therefore distinguishable from other improvements to our sport which have the fringe benefit of making people faster (and THEREFORE tech suits are not a legitimate innovation and it is reasonable to ban them).

And while we're on that topic, please explain how, given that FINA, USA-S and now high school swimming have all banned the tech suits, my statement that many people find the suits illegitimate is nonsense. If anybody's statements are "rabble rousing nonsense" I would say that yours so far qualify for that distinction much more than mine...:shakeshead:

Mark Savage
August 12th, 2009, 06:34 PM
We all recognize that not all training is equal and all pools are of similar quality. However, I like the idea of returning the sport to a time when the emphasis was on the ability of the swimmer instead of the quality of the suit. When a world record was broken, it was because a swimmer had improved on another swimmer’s past performance. And as Marsh said, “…happy to hear that you are able to judge a swimmer by the performance of the athlete himself."

chaos
August 12th, 2009, 07:05 PM
there is nothing wrong with the fancy suits just as there is nothing wrong with hitting a ball with a racquet ...... but don't call it handball.

start a new league and call it suit swimming or wear anything swimming or competitive swimming for the amish (yes, long sleeves required)

Novaova
August 12th, 2009, 07:09 PM
Would you have felt better if I said "and swimmers who buy them poorer (if purely from a cash flow perspective as the suits must have an a utilitarian benefit to the purchasers or they would not have bought them (assuming that the purchasers are rational and they do not feel compelled (wholly or in part) to purchase the suits in order to remain competitive))"?
That would have been awesome. I like this version much better. Thanks for taking the time to lay it out there.

In any event I agree that sentence is a bit of rabble rousing and has little to do with my principle argument, which is that tech suits have no other purpose than to make people faster and are therefore distinguishable from other improvements to our sport which have the fringe benefit of making people faster (and THEREFORE tech suits are not a legitimate innovation and it is reasonable to ban them).
This argument contains the underlying assumption that the intent to increase a swimmer's speed is sufficient justification for banning. This assumption is not shared by all. (Also: rabble rabble!)


And while we're on that topic, please explain how, given that FINA, USA-S and now high school swimming have all banned the tech suits, my statement that many people find the suits illegitimate is nonsense. If anybody's statements are "rabble rousing nonsense" I would say that yours so far qualify for that distinction much more than mine...:shakeshead:
Setting aside the ad hominem fallacy contained within, the fact that this forum has been absorbed by this topic for months indicates clearly that the common opinion is far from unanimous.

aquageek
August 12th, 2009, 07:25 PM
Swimming was originally defined as who could swim the fastest unaided.

Really, where? How do goggles fit into that unaided argument?

Midas
August 12th, 2009, 07:56 PM
Really, where? How do goggles fit into that unaided argument?

See my post above on why goggles were introduced and why they are an acceptable innovation to the basic premise of getting across the pool fastest.

aquageek
August 12th, 2009, 08:58 PM
See my post above on why goggles were introduced and why they are an acceptable innovation to the basic premise of getting across the pool fastest.

So you legitimize one device for getting across the pool quicker but not another, and therein lies the whole tech suit hypocrisy. I'm with wookie - a $35 tech suit and this whole argument goes away pronto.

tdrop
August 12th, 2009, 09:05 PM
How many of us(masters) will use their tech(b70, xglide, jaked) or full body suit(fs pro, arena powerskin, tyr suits) until Jan. 1?

How many of us will start using a jammers/briefs at their next meet?

I'm going back to competing in briefs/jammers right away...I think. I'm a little worried that USMS may not make their decision as quickly as the rest of the leagues.

USMS might let it ride a little longer...but I certainly have no idea. I am ready to stop wearing the suits...it was fun but ultimately simplicity is more important to me.

what I do not know is this...if masters doesn't impose the ban for the short course season, then i'm not sure I can race in briefs/jammers if everyone else is wearing tech suits.

I didn't think I cared but I found out recently that I don't really like racing others in tech suits when I'm wearing briefs. I guess I'm still competitive enough for that to bother me.

whatever though, I'm tired of this whole suit frenzy.

isobel
August 12th, 2009, 09:10 PM
Personally I'm going to swim because I love to swim. I want to know that my speed in relation to another person's depends solely on the difference in training, nutrition, and motivation.



Can you please post on the nutrition thread (non-swimmer thread place) what you consider good nutrition for swimming?

Thanks.

BigNoodler
August 12th, 2009, 09:26 PM
I'm going back to competing in briefs/jammers right away...I think.

Ditto.



I didn't think I cared but I found out recently that I don't really like racing others in tech suits when I'm wearing briefs.


Same here again. Understatement of the century. I think I'll seed myself with my practice times as opposed to my tech suit times so as not to get blown out of the water.

The Fortress
August 12th, 2009, 10:09 PM
Why is this argument getting old? I do not understand the difference between using the wet suits and using flippers or hand paddles. In another thread someone called the suits a 'Passive mechanical advantage' but I don't quite recall what he called paddles/fins. I would think a mechanical advantage is still a mechanical advantage. So it's ok to have a little advantage, wet suit. but it's not ok to have a little bit bigger one, fins.

This argument is so old it practically makes me ill!

There is not even a remote comparison between fins and a tech suit. How do I know this? Because, unlike most others (especially purists), I use both ALL THE TIME. If I could swim meets in my fins, I would be breaking records right and left. There is no "little bit bigger" about fins. Yeesh!

I actually think it's reasonable to impose limits on high school athletes. But, in general, to stymie technological innovation, pretend regulation is impossible, and send the sport back to the caveman era seems ridiculous. Having good suit gear is totally legit, and is in no way comparable to adding fins.

chaos
August 12th, 2009, 10:35 PM
There is not even a remote comparison between fins and a tech suit.

both change the way one swims. both alter your feel for the water. even legskins have that effect.

the only fair solution to this suit dilemma is to create a separate division... as stated by someone above; its really not fun to race people wearing tech suits (or wet-suits for that matter) when one is not.

Chris Stevenson
August 12th, 2009, 10:37 PM
I'm with wookie - a $35 tech suit and this whole argument goes away pronto.

I don't think price was the main reason. FS-Pros, Tracer Lights and their immediate predecessors weren't exactly cheap either.

Once the LZR was introduced WRs started falling at a pace that was too rapid for some. New versions of suits were introduced quite rapidly that seemed significantly better. Suddenly what suit one wore became an important piece of information. When a new WR was set (often in-season) it was the first question people asked.

I simply think many were not ready for swimming to be so gear-focused.

It is a legit question whether FINA jumped the gun. It may be that the suit manufacturers' pace of innovation would slow and pretty much all the suits would be equally performance-enhancing.

stillwater
August 12th, 2009, 11:08 PM
Qualifing for nationals is about to get a bit tougher.

Since qualifing times are based on past years times, many won't qualify due to the fact they can't make the cut off time without the wetsuit.

Will there be more whinning?

Swimmy83843
August 13th, 2009, 12:16 AM
This reminds me of the hour record in track cycling. There were a lot of people coming from left field with bike designs and different aerodynamic seating. The record was changing hands right and left. The UCI finally stepped in and broke the record into three divisions. I don't know if that's the answer, but reading through all the posts, its obvious there is a divide within the masters community regarding the use of tech suits. I have one opinion. Others have their opinion. I guess thats why almost all the threads end up on the tech suit issue. Guess I should have just kept lurking and not opened my big mouth.:blah:

thewookiee
August 13th, 2009, 07:58 AM
it.

Will there be more whinning?

If there is, we will let you do it...you are good at whinning.


As for things more important, I think I agree with Seth on his thinking. I will probably start using jammers again pretty quickly.

Dolphin 2
August 13th, 2009, 10:59 AM
Darn it!!! Looks like the Tech Suit Bashers Club Of America (TSBCA) has scored yet another victory!!! :bliss:
Boy, we're really on a roll!!! :bouncing:

Dolphin 2

mctrusty
August 13th, 2009, 11:40 AM
both change the way one swims. both alter your feel for the water. even legskins have that effect.

the only fair solution to this suit dilemma is to create a separate division... as stated by someone above; its really not fun to race people wearing tech suits (or wet-suits for that matter) when one is not.

I disagree. I find it especially fun in OW when I beat wet suiters.

Calvin S
August 13th, 2009, 12:13 PM
All other innovations had a reasonable primary purpose other than purely to make people faster.

Problem--Solution

Problem--Swimming causes wake and makes the water choppy. This is no fun. Solution--Deeper pools, better gutter design and better lane lines. Fringe Benefit--People swim faster, but this seems legit.

Problem--Chlorine hurts people's eyes and underwater is very blurry. Solution--Goggles. Fringe Benefit--people can swim faster because they can see where they are going, but this seems legit.

Problem--I love my hair but it gets in my eyes and definitely causes drag. I can shave my head, but that sucks. Solution--Caps. Fringe Benefit--People swim faster, but fair enough. They could have accomplished this by shaving their heads and that seems lame.

Problem--Diving off the side of the pool is awkward. There's nowhere to grip, etc. Solution--Starting blocks. Fringe Benefit--Makes people faster, but seems legit. By the way, the fact that swimming races start from a dive is SO ingrained in the history of the sport at this point as to be unassailable. Sure, we could start races from in the water, but that debate needed to happen in the 1800s or very early 1900s.

Problem--I just want to swim faster than I otherwise could. Solution--Jaked, Arena X-Glied, Blue Seventy, Speedo LZR, etc. Fringe Benefit--Makes swimsuit companies richer and swimmers poorer. Seems illegitimate to many.

your whole problem--solution model is completely skewed. for instance, the first problem should read:

Problem--Swimming causes wake and makes the water choppy. This is makes swimming faster difficult. Solution--Deeper pools, better gutter design and better lane lines. Fringe Benefit--there is no fringe benefit. lane lines were created to help swimmers swim faster. period.

as was stated elsewhere, equilibrium would be reestablished given some time. in my opinion, FINA should have just drawn a line in the sand where we are at now (or maybe they should have when speedo released the LZR) by allowing all the suits currently in existence, or limiting the amount on non textile material in the suits.

people who spout these comparisons about how "oh it would be like letting everyone wear fins or hand paddles" accomplish little more than those who try to compare this situation to other sports. all you need to do is look at the history of the sport to see that technological advances have been generally accepted without much gripe. it just so happens suits were the final frontier of advancement in this sport.

DPC
August 13th, 2009, 01:36 PM
Problem--I just want to swim faster than I otherwise could. Solution--Jaked, Arena X-Glied, Blue Seventy, Speedo LZR, etc. Fringe Benefit--Makes swimsuit companies richer and swimmers poorer. Seems illegitimate to many.

I guess the swimsuit companies found us like the tobacco companies found their target market - get them hooked some how and we'll get rich – although most suit makers I would guess don’t pull huge profits. Tech suits have become an "addiction" of sorts - they obviously work to some degree and apparently more for some, at least anecdotally. And frankly if I were at the top echelon of my age group and within striking distance of a WR, I’d consider plunking down the money, once I weighed all the cost v. benefit. Because maybe moving to a new program, or to a coached workout makes that difference – but those costs are not insignificant either.

But wasn't it always the case with suits? You got a new suit for the big meets and state’s and regional championships. I always remember that toward the end of the season we all either bought or received a new suit - for me it was a "paper" suit for the specific reason that it was a "faster" suit, and along with shaving I would be faster. Those suits were more expensive, not to the degree we see today but the premise was the same - they were specialty equipment. Maybe those old suits were far more psychological than physiological in nature. Maybe shaving, taper and the general excitement of racing in those meets made more of a difference.

Again, if the suits were in the $50 range we'd all be talking about how many we have and in what colors - not about "fairness" or the haves and have nots and we'd all be excited about WRs when ever they get broken. Maybe the real solution is to drive the cost down to that range.

Zurn
August 13th, 2009, 03:24 PM
Wow, look at what I started. I wasn't kidding when I said: :dedhorse:
I think it’s fair at a high school level to ban tech suits. Most high school kids can't afford a $500 suit so why would it be fair to let some compete in them and some not because they can't afford one? Or maybe one of the suit manufacture needs to step up and sponsor every one who qualifies for state and give them a tech suit so no one individual has an unfair advantage.

If master swimmers want to continue wearing tech suits, I don’t really care. I won’t be wearing one, I already spent $300 for a wet suit this year and I was not happy spending $40 on a pair of jammers to compete in. I will never spend $250 or more on a “racing” suit.

On a different note, I totally agree with Chaos: “the only fair solution to this suit dilemma is to create a separate division”. In open water swimming we have two categories, wetsuit and non-wetsuit. Why can’t we have that in swimming? Have a category for tech suits and non-tech suits. I think this makes the most scene since most people can’t agree. That way all the people that want to wear a tech suit can and we can keep the playing field “even.”

hofffam
August 13th, 2009, 03:36 PM
This thread is very far off track from the original post.

High school swimming in general is much more focused on leveling the playing field than USA-S swimming or FINA. In Texas the list of events is small (nothing but 100s in the strokes) and athletes are limited in the number of events they can swim. They do this so a team with a few superstars can't dominate a meet or two by swimming every event.

With the FINA changes, USA-S concurrence, and the NCAA buyin - it was a natural for high schools to act now and follow suit (!).

As a parent of a high school swimmer I am slightly disappointed my son won't get a few more swims out of his B70 (which he helped pay for). But all things considered this rule change isn't a surprise.

SwimRobin
August 16th, 2009, 02:24 PM
:I'm slightly tempted not to wear it as the times done will be unrealistic standards in the future.

This is exactly why I have not purchased and worn one of the newer model high tech suits. I don't want to set a standard for myself that I cannot reach in the future.

tjrpatt
August 16th, 2009, 02:45 PM
I initially decided not get these tech suits until or if I was at Lifetime PBs(in Yards). Now, they might be gone and I saved a couple hundred bucks in the process. Yeah, me.

frankiej
August 16th, 2009, 08:54 PM
Mind as well race naked now. I mean, it's only fair.
You'll really be able to tell the athletic ability of boy/girl then.

Plus, I'm sure it'd bring more attention to the sport as well :)

orca1946
August 18th, 2009, 01:35 PM
Spray on suits are in the future !:D

Dolphin 2
August 18th, 2009, 04:26 PM
Spray on suits are in the future !:D

Actually back in the 70s and 80s, there was a spray on water softener for use as a swimming aid called "Time Off" and it was simply a concentrated surfactant like that used in shampoo.

A surfactant breaks the surface tension so that water flows more smoothly and swimmers would shampoo with the stuff or put a huge blob on their hair under their cap. Once in the water, the surfactant was released and dispersed into the water around the swimmer's body.

However when FINA got wind of the trick, they classified Time Off (or any other personally applied surfactant) as a banned substance.

I've personally tested common surfactants for their effectiveness in reducing water friction by adding a measured quantity to a whirlpool tub and measuring the current of the pump motor. Two tablespoons in 25 gallons of water will reduce the motor current by about 20%.

If "mechanically aided" swimming is now going to be accepted, "virtual tech suits" made from applied surfactants are definitely something to consider. Imagine no more hassle of putting on a tight Blue 70 or an LZR!!! :agree:

Dolphin 2

gull
August 18th, 2009, 05:59 PM
Actually back in the 70s and 80s, there was a spray on water softener for use as a swimming aid called "Time Off" and it was simply a concentrated surfactant like that used in shampoo.

A surfactant breaks the surface tension so that water flows more smoothly and swimmers would shampoo with the stuff or put a huge blob on their hair under their cap. Once in the water, the surfactant was released and dispersed into the water around the swimmer's body.

However when FINA got wind of the trick, they classified Time Off (or any other personally applied surfactant) as a banned substance.

I've personally tested common surfactants for their effectiveness in reducing water friction by adding a measured quantity to a whirlpool tub and measuring the current of the pump motor. Two tablespoons in 25 gallons of water will reduce the motor current by about 20%.

If "mechanically aided" swimming is now going to be accepted, "virtual tech suits" made from applied surfactants are definitely something to consider. Imagine no more hassle of putting on a tight Blue 70 or an LZR!!! :agree:

Dolphin 2

Could be the damn heat (we have had 58 days of 100 degree weather here), but I actually thought this was an interesting post.

I like the idea of a virtual tech suit. The manufacturers could even keep the same names.

Novaova
August 19th, 2009, 12:54 AM
Spray on suits are in the future !:D
I find this idea intriguing.

orca1946
August 20th, 2009, 06:13 PM
Glad I returned my Speedo F S II

Drmst6
August 20th, 2009, 07:20 PM
So, now we have:

1) the current FINA rules (which differ from the new NFHS rules);
2) the new FINA rules which begin 01/01/10;
3) the new NFHS rules which begin immediately;
4) the even newer NFHS rules which will go in effect, once the new FINA rules begin on 01/01/10 (if FINA ever decides on specific, quantifiable guidelines, which is highly unlikely); and finally,
5) 2010 USMS rules which are still up in the air.

I'm sure glad we finally cleared that up! Rest assured that, whatever decision FINA finally makes, it will be the wrong one.

...and we are not going back to wooden tennis rackets, either.

Rich Abrahams
August 21st, 2009, 12:43 PM
I've personally tested common surfactants for their effectiveness in reducing water friction by adding a measured quantity to a whirlpool tub and measuring the current of the pump motor. Two tablespoons in 25 gallons of water will reduce the motor current by about 20%.



Dolphin 2

This informal experiment, if accurate, brings up some interesting possiblities. Exactly what substance was added to your pool? It is very expensive to design a pool to be fast. What can pool designers do next? If adding a common surficant to pool water @ approximately 300 parts per million (equivilant to 2 tablespoons in 25 gallons) would have the same result as the above experiment, could pools be made appreciably faster with such a simple technique? There wouldn't be a question about an even playing field. I know of pool operators who use surficants to increase the surface tension to reduce evaporation and thus save on heating costs. Would your substance have an opposite effect, i.e. reducing the surface tension?