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View Full Version : What should USMS do about the suits?



Allen Stark
September 17th, 2009, 02:41 PM
I started a similar poll before,but time has changed things and I thought since USMS is going to have to do something definitive so they should have some input from the forumites

The Fortress
September 17th, 2009, 03:00 PM
I just heard USMS voted at convention to follow FINA and USS Swimming and ban the tech suits ... trying to confirm. Maybe it was only a committee recommendation?

Our input, even if wanted, could be too late. I voted for following the international masters consensus.

Anyone else heard anything?

pwb
September 17th, 2009, 03:10 PM
My points on this subject are here: U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums - View Single Post - FINA to allow bodysuits in Open Water

jim thornton
September 17th, 2009, 03:21 PM
I just heard USMS voted at convention to follow FINA and USS Swimming and ban the tech suits ... trying to confirm. Maybe it was only a committee recommendation?

Our input, even if wanted, could be too late.

Anyone else heard anything?


My inside source, who I think might have been the indirect source for Leslie's info, wrote at 12:44 pm "suit rules will follow fina guidelines to go into effect jan 1 2010.

When I asked for clarification, i got this at 12:48 pm "Masters elected to follow fina guidelines."

I don't know what this means vis a vis yards, since fina doesn't have any guidelines about yards meets. it seems to me unlikely that they would let us swim yards meets this fall early winter, and stockpile times for top 10 consideration WITH the suits, then outlaw the suits for SCY championships in the spring.

This would give a definite advantage to those cheaters in California, with their fancy outdoor pools, endless meets, etc.

Those of us confined to Amish mudholes in the Pittsburgh area, which will probably be frozen over soon and in any event are almost impossible to saction for USMS official meets, well, it just ain't right!

aquaFeisty
September 17th, 2009, 03:31 PM
probably an incredibly dumb question, but what exactly is the 'international masters consensus?" does it comprise USMS, Canada Masters, masters bodies of other countries? for some reason I thought FINA was the over-reaching organization?

The Fortress
September 17th, 2009, 03:55 PM
I don't know what this means vis a vis yards, since fina doesn't have any guidelines about yards meets. it seems to me unlikely that they would let us swim yards meets this fall early winter, and stockpile times for top 10 consideration WITH the suits, then outlaw the suits for SCY championships in the spring.

Maybe USMS can exempt the rest of the SCY season as a sop to their likely-to-be-pissed-off sponsor, B70 ...

Heard from someone else too, Jimby. Rec, not vote.

Dolphin 2
September 17th, 2009, 03:55 PM
I started a similar poll before,but time has changed things and I thought since USMS is going to have to do something definitive so they should have some input from the forumites

[X] Option 5
None of the above. Go back to the rules for suits in effect in 1975. :anim_coffee:
Dolphin 2

thewookiee
September 17th, 2009, 03:59 PM
[X] Option 5None of the above. Go back to the rules for suits in effect in 1975. :anim_coffee:
Dolphin 2

You must wake-up everyday wanting to be back in the 1970's for some reason. Do you miss the disco area or do the clothes you wear only look good in that decade?

Again, why do you care what suits we wear?

jim thornton
September 17th, 2009, 04:12 PM
You must wake-up everyday wanting to be back in the 1970's for some reason. Do you miss the disco area or do the clothes you wear only look good in that decade?

Again, why do you care what suits we wear?


I think there are certain people who enjoy looking at men in Speedos.

The colloquial term for these are "chubby chasers."

Rykno
September 17th, 2009, 04:15 PM
probably an incredibly dumb question, but what exactly is the 'international masters consensus?" does it comprise USMS, Canada Masters, masters bodies of other countries? for some reason I thought FINA was the over-reaching organization?

LEN the Euro swimming body has made a statement that basically states the dubai charter doesn't cover masters swimming.

mermaid
September 17th, 2009, 04:16 PM
USMS will adopt the suit rule "uniformly" even though FINA technically does not have jurisdiction over SCY.

The wording includes, but is not limited to:
100% permeable
made from "textile/fabric material"
no zippers

DONT SHOOT THE MESSENGER!

pwb
September 17th, 2009, 04:25 PM
LEN the Euro swimming body has made a statement that basically states the dubai charter doesn't cover masters swimming.

Soooo ... can we all don our B70s for World Champs next summer or will the USMS swimmers competing in Sweden be wearing jammers? Can of worms opened wide now.

amswimmer
September 17th, 2009, 04:33 PM
We are not training for the Olympics. FINA should not be writing the rules for Masters. And just as USMS has not adopted the FINA rule on age (i.e. your age is as of Dec 31st) we should not adopt this rule either.

swimmieAvsFan
September 17th, 2009, 04:52 PM
We are not training for the Olympics. FINA should not be writing the rules for Masters. And just as USMS has not adopted the FINA rule on age (i.e. your age is as of Dec 31st) we should not adopt this rule either.

then who should be writing the rules for masters??? and i mean that seriously...


(and actually, USMS has adopted the fina rules for age, at least in the courses that we share with the rest of the world...)

i'm honestly kind of shocked that LEN took the "dubai charter doesn't apply to masters" comment to heart, seeing as how it came from a press secretary, and not someone with actual power with in fina... i know that's all we've heard from fina regarding masters and suits, but seriously, a press secretary?!?

Allen Stark
September 17th, 2009, 05:00 PM
Soooo ... can we all don our B70s for World Champs next summer or will the USMS swimmers competing in Sweden be wearing jammers? Can of worms opened wide now.

This is a can of worms.Does this mean times from Worlds may not be eligible for USMS records or TT or is this mean we should go to Sweden and wear our Jakeds.

Midas
September 17th, 2009, 05:06 PM
I voted to follow FINA on the elites and it sounds like my view won. I would have lived with shoulders-to-ankles textile suits too, but that wasn't a choice and was only my compromise view any way. I know this will be hard for many of us that have owned tech suits (myself included) but I will be happy to have this behind us and to compete on a more "pure" level.

jim thornton
September 17th, 2009, 05:40 PM
DONT SHOOT THE MESSENGER!

What about just gently disciplining the messenger?

Ken Classen
September 17th, 2009, 05:43 PM
I voted to follow FINA on the elites and it sounds like my view won. I would have lived with shoulders-to-ankles textile suits too, but that wasn't a choice and was only my compromise view any way. I know we don't know the whole story yet, but I wonder why pre 2006/7 textile body suits wasn't a option? I don't have an issue going back, however based on this board but also what I have heard on my team and especially among older masters swimmers in Colorado that without the textile body suit they will no longer compete. If they no longer compete they won't need to be a member of USMS, which is not really a growth strategy.

orca1946
September 17th, 2009, 06:01 PM
I'm still not buying a suit yet!

The Fortress
September 17th, 2009, 06:28 PM
I will be happy to have this behind us and to compete on a more "pure" level.

I can understand wanting FINA and USMS and USS to all have the same rules ... I can understand, to some degree, the expense issues, especially with age groupers (an easy group to have regulated) ... I can understand that maybe technology "happened" too fast, creating a furor (something that could have been avoided by regulation) ... I can understand swimmers preferring to swim without the suits because they like the "feel." BUT, I absolutely hate the fact that certain folks somehow think swimming without a tech suit is "more pure." It is not more pure or morally superior. It is just a halcyon preference.

I wonder when FINA itself will issue a proclamation? It would indeed be odd (as Patrick and Allen) if Europe and FINA said the tech suit ban doesn't apply to masters and we imposed this ban on ourselves to be consistent with USS swimming (in which virtually no masters compete) ... I'm likely not going to Worlds, though I've considered it as it's in August. But I would likely wear my tech suit and forego USMS rankings and such if FINA says they're legal.

cjr
September 17th, 2009, 06:40 PM
FINA does not have jurisdiction over SCY. Thus the ruling will only apply to Short & Long Course meters at this present time.

It will be interesting to see what direction USMS will take.

Midas
September 17th, 2009, 08:55 PM
I can understand wanting FINA and USMS and USS to all have the same rules ... I can understand, to some degree, the expense issues, especially with age groupers (an easy group to have regulated) ... I can understand that maybe technology "happened" too fast, creating a furor (something that could have been avoided by regulation) ... I can understand swimmers preferring to swim without the suits because they like the "feel." BUT, I absolutely hate the fact that certain folks somehow think swimming without a tech suit is "more pure." It is not more pure or morally superior. It is just a halcyon preference.

I wonder when FINA itself will issue a proclamation? It would indeed be odd (as Patrick and Allen) if Europe and FINA said the tech suit ban doesn't apply to masters and we imposed this ban on ourselves to be consistent with USS swimming (in which virtually no masters compete) ... I'm likely not going to Worlds, though I've considered it as it's in August. But I would likely wear my tech suit and forego USMS rankings and such if FINA says they're legal.

Hate is such a strong emotion! I guess I should "hate" it when people think my view is not a legitimate one to hold as well. Sorry chief. I think the suits detract from my "pure" ability to get across the pool as fast as "I" can in a way that I can't justify. All the suits do is make a person go faster (and maybe look cool?). Is that the reason why you like them? Well, it's the the reason why I don't. Pure and simple. Save the hate for something that deserves it! You can certainly "hate" the fact that you won't get to wear the suit and have your times "count".

Peace.

Midas
September 17th, 2009, 09:05 PM
I know we don't know the whole story yet, but I wonder why pre 2006/7 textile body suits wasn't a option? I don't have an issue going back, however based on this board but also what I have heard on my team and especially among older masters swimmers in Colorado that without the textile body suit they will no longer compete. If they no longer compete they won't need to be a member of USMS, which is not really a growth strategy.

I just meant it wasn't a choice in the poll! :) That's exactly why I would be willing to accept that compromise.

Midas
September 17th, 2009, 09:08 PM
By the way, before the FINA committee can come to a view, each of the member organizations needs to come to a view. So it may be premature to say we are stuck with USMS's view. This might just be USMS's proposal for the greater FINA masters leadership to consider, similar to the way that USA-S proposed no more body suits for the "elite" swimmers. My guess is that we may still end up following the international Masters consensus if that consensus is something different than USMS's initial view.

The Fortress
September 17th, 2009, 09:10 PM
Hate is such a strong emotion! I guess I should "hate" it when people think my view is not a legitimate one to hold as well. Sorry chief. I think the suits detract from my "pure" ability to get across the pool as fast as "I" can in a way that I can't justify. All the suits do is make a person go faster (and maybe look cool?). Is that the reason why you like them? Well, it's the the reason why I don't. Pure and simple. Save the hate for something that deserves it! You can certainly "hate" the fact that you won't get to wear the suit and have your times "count".

Peace.

I'm fine with "hate" as my word choice. I was objecting to the seemingly ubiquitous denunciation of tech suits/tech suit users as impure and immoral. I think that's ridiculous and, now, tedious. I don't castigate those who prefer not to use tech suits or otherwise claim their opinion is not legitimate. (I can "peaceably" disagree.) Unlike some, I am simply not opposed to technological advancement in the sport, and I feel perfectly pure partaking in it.

Apart from the possible negative psychological effect of slower times, I don't think the lack of tech suits will have that much impact on most swimmers. If virtually everyone raced in them previously and no one does in the future, the race outcomes will likely be much the same. It may discourage some from competing, as we've heard, which would be unfortunate. I guess it could also potentially undermine the efficacy of the SDK.

As an aside, I actually think B70s are significantly more economical than Pros. I appreciate fabric that is durable and doesn't rip easily. That's a key reason why I "like" the tech suits, though the speed is nice as well. The durability allows me to swim year round in them in all courses without breaking the bank. I don't see how they look any "cooler" than previous incarnations of body suits.

The Fortress
September 17th, 2009, 09:13 PM
By the way, before the FINA committee can come to a view, each of the member organizations needs to come to a view. So it may be premature to say we are stuck with USMS's view. This might just be USMS's proposal for the greater FINA masters leadership to consider, similar to the way that USA-S proposed no more body suits for the "elite" swimmers. My guess is that we may still end up following the international Masters consensus if that consensus is something different than USMS's initial view.

Thanks. Makes perfect sense.

However, FINA, having issued some "purist" statements itself may be happy to hear USMS's view. USMS has to be one of the more powerful member organizations. I guess we have to hear how the other international members weigh in ...

rodent
September 17th, 2009, 10:31 PM
Since FINA has yet to define "textile" and is apparently still considering permitting chest coverage for men, USMS doesn't really know what they voted for. FINA may require all suits to be made out of lead for all we know.:bow:

Peter Cruise
September 18th, 2009, 12:58 AM
My strength is as the strength of ten because my suit is pure...

Gdavis
September 18th, 2009, 06:53 AM
As masters swimmers we have a major issue with FINA and many other swimming federations where masters are represented as a small part of aquatic sports generally - as a result, masters are an afterthought, and not taken very seriously in comparison,eg, with elite. In contrast USMS is a very large and exclusively masters organization. Therefore I believe it is important that USMS takes a strong lead internationally representing masters swimmers' views on the suits, perhaps starting with a survey to strengthen the case being made.

gull
September 18th, 2009, 09:53 AM
As masters swimmers we have a major issue with FINA and many other swimming federations where masters are represented as a small part of aquatic sports generally - as a result, masters are an afterthought, and not taken very seriously in comparison,eg, with elite. In contrast USMS is a very large and exclusively masters organization. Therefore I believe it is important that USMS takes a strong lead internationally representing masters swimmers' views on the suits, perhaps starting with a survey to strengthen the case being made.

Agreed, although even saying that masters swimming is an afterthought gives FINA too much credit. Consequently, I remain unconvinced that USMS should unquestioningly adopt the new regulations, particularly in light of the fact that FINA's handling of the tech suit controversy has been and continues to be inept. As for USA Swimming, Mark Schubert was the one who advised the American swimmers to switch to the LZR in the spring of 2008: "I'm not saying this just because they pay part of my salary. I'm all about performance and I believe in the product." And what about Bob Bowman, also paid by Speedo, who had this to say: “Everything in the world evolves. You just can’t go back to that simpler time.”

dsyphers
September 18th, 2009, 10:36 AM
And what about Bob Bowman, also paid by Speedo, who had this to say: “Everything in the world evolves. You just can’t go back to that simpler time.”

This is the problem I have with trying to put this particular genie back in the bottle. Unless your rules on fabrics are going to stipulate which materials the suits can be made of, AND the fabrication process by which they are assembled, AND the fabrication process by which the materials are made, AND the exact stoichiometry for the material, etc., etc., then you will have a rule that stipulates only part of the picture. Technological innovation is incredible when it comes to finding a way around rules that are not completely defined in the way described above.

Example: When is nylon not nylon? I see no reason why I couldn't (in principle) come up with a process that makes nylon with a small impurity in it (< 0.0001% -- probably some nanoparticle) which just happens to end up on the surface due to the fabrication process. It turns out this just happens to be hydrophobic, and better yet - when subjected to temperatures of something like 180 Fahrenheit while under compression, just happens to form very strong bonds with any similar filament it is in contact with. Couple this with an innovative kind of weave that is still very thin, and voila -- you have the illegitimate descendant of the fabric used in the Blue70. But it's just nylon with a small impurity - possibly more pure than the nylon used to make "regular" suits.

My point is that once technology is let out of the bag, it's here to stay. The only way to stuff it back into the bag is to have the kind of specificity in the rules governing suits that any organization is highly unlikely to make, and probably doesn't have the technical background to conceive of in the first place.

They can go ahead and make the rules, but technology is very adept at finding a way around the rules.

Allen Stark
September 18th, 2009, 11:06 AM
This is the problem I have with trying to put this particular genie back in the bottle. Unless your rules on fabrics are going to stipulate which materials the suits can be made of, AND the fabrication process by which they are assembled, AND the fabrication process by which the materials are made, AND the exact stoichiometry for the material, etc., etc., then you will have a rule that stipulates only part of the picture. Technological innovation is incredible when it comes to finding a way around rules that are not completely defined in the way described above.

Example: When is nylon not nylon? I see no reason why I couldn't (in principle) come up with a process that makes nylon with a small impurity in it (< 0.0001% -- probably some nanoparticle) which just happens to end up on the surface due to the fabrication process. It turns out this just happens to be hydrophobic, and better yet - when subjected to temperatures of something like 180 Fahrenheit while under compression, just happens to form very strong bonds with any similar filament it is in contact with. Couple this with an innovative kind of weave that is still very thin, and voila -- you have the illegitimate descendant of the fabric used in the Blue70. But it's just nylon with a small impurity - possibly more pure than the nylon used to make "regular" suits.

My point is that once technology is let out of the bag, it's here to stay. The only way to stuff it back into the bag is to have the kind of specificity in the rules governing suits that any organization is highly unlikely to make, and probably doesn't have the technical background to conceive of in the first place.

They can go ahead and make the rules, but technology is very adept at finding a way around the rules.

True,thats why the size restrictions are important as long as they want to limit technology.For men there is just not that much difference that a Jammer can make.

pwb
September 18th, 2009, 11:15 AM
True,thats why the size restrictions are important as long as they want to limit technology.For men there is just not that much difference that a Jammer can make.

True ... but, really, why are they even allowing Jammers if their intention is to have suits be truly about modesty only and not performance enhancement? A jammer will have a slight performance enhancement over a brief.

shouldyswimmer
September 18th, 2009, 12:08 PM
True ... but, really, why are they even allowing Jammers if their intention is to have suits be truly about modesty only and not performance enhancement? A jammer will have a slight performance enhancement over a brief.

Good point. There is a lot of talk about the "purity of the sport" but how are jammers part of this? The didn't even become popular until tech suits started to come out in 2000. So then the only thing that would be "pure" is a brief. Or maybe the wool farmer john that my grandpa wore!

Chris Stevenson
September 18th, 2009, 01:54 PM
Why are they even allowing Jammers if their intention is to have suits be truly about modesty only and not performance enhancement? A jammer will have a slight performance enhancement over a brief.

Standards of modesty have evolved a little since I was a kid. This summer my son had a decent case of poison ivy on his thighs and was complaining that his jammer was aggravating it. I offered to run out and buy him a pair of briefs before his meet later that day. He gave me a horrified look and said "no way!"

Chris Stevenson
September 18th, 2009, 02:06 PM
Okay, I have an update from Convention about the suits.

The FINA Masters Technical Committee is meeting Sept 25-26. USMS decided to send a recommendation (thru our umbrella organization USAS) and it was due this morning. The recommendation was, I believe, crafted by the USMS Rules Committee. To sum up:

-- textile only (to be defined later, I guess)
-- same coverage for men and women: knees to shoulder, no sleeves or neck
-- zippers allowed
-- limits of thickness (0.8mm) and buoyancy (0.5N) and permeability of material (80L/m^2/s)

Here is the process. The FINA committee might accept this, might amend it, might disregard it, or whatever. Then somebody in USMS (I think the Board of Directors and the Rules Committee, but I might have that wrong) will decide whether to accept FINA's ruling and when to implement it. Implementation will probably be sooner rather than later (ie, certainly before SCY nationals, perhaps even before the end of the year). They won't wait until next Convention, for example.

The suit itself isn't what I would have chosen -- I am okay with zippers but not with bodysuits for men -- but at this point I am mostly concerned with the process itself. At no point did the House of Delegates have an opportunity to discuss or vote on anything, nor will they if the process I described is how it works out. In the pre-convention packet, there was basically no mention of the suits, for example. A relatively small number of people will make this decision for USMS without formal feedback from the hoi polloi. Some of this is probably because of the timing of FINA's meeting. (Before the meeting, I had thought that the HOD would at least have some voice in the nature of USMS' recommendation.)

One of the Rules Committee members I talked to had an interesting comment about FINA. He said that they regard masters swimming as a completely different sport from "regular" swimming, just like diving and water polo and synchro swimming (and yes, open water swimming) are different sports. This is their mentality in approaching regulations for masters and OW swimming.

psyncw
September 18th, 2009, 02:35 PM
Thanks Chris for the update. It's not my ideal choice either as it differs from usa-swimming and fina. I'm surprised that its going straight from committee to fina rather than including all of the delegates.

Tim L
September 18th, 2009, 02:40 PM
The recommendation was, I believe, crafted by the USMS Rules Committee. To sum up:

-- textile only (to be defined later, I guess)
-- same coverage for men and women: knees to shoulder, no sleeves or neck
-- zippers allowed
-- limits of thickness (0.8mm) and buoyancy (0.5N) and permeability of material (80L/m^2/s)


It sounds like a pretty reasonable recommendation. I think USMS should do whatever FINA does, but I think FINA ultimately will adopt something along the same lines as this recommendation.

Thanks for the update,

Tim

thewookiee
September 18th, 2009, 02:41 PM
Any mention of legskins for guys?

dsyphers
September 18th, 2009, 03:04 PM
I'm not surprised at the knee-to-shoulder part for both men and women. After all, why should women be the only ones who get to have some compression of that ubiquitous stomach flab? (Did I hear someone say "speak for yourself"?) In the end it's probably an equity issue which has staying power.

And then I'm back to the role of technology -- it may be taking a temporary vacation until the materials specialists re-tool, but it's not going away unless the specifications are unimaginably detailed (which I doubt). If you can improve performance and be within the rules, then there is money to be made, so people will probably try, and probably succeed.

Allen Stark
September 18th, 2009, 04:00 PM
I voted for international consensus because that seems fairest,but I really hope the rules go to jammers for men.I'd not vote that way because the reason I'd like it because it is to my advantage.Swimming in a techsuit is like swimming in a shorter pool.I do better relative to my main competition in LCM than SCY and anything that "lengthens" the pool is to my benefit.I bring this up because the suits are not neutral in that they benefit some more than others.That said if they remain legal I will buy the fastest one I can.

JimRude
September 18th, 2009, 04:58 PM
I voted for international consensus because that seems fairest,but I really hope the rules go to jammers for men.I'd not vote that way because the reason I'd like it because it is to my advantage.Swimming in a techsuit is like swimming in a shorter pool.I do better relative to my main competition in LCM than SCY and anything that "lengthens" the pool is to my benefit.I bring this up because the suits are not neutral in that they benefit some more than others.That said if they remain legal I will buy the fastest one I can.

I believe you own every tech suit ever made!:)

Gdavis
September 18th, 2009, 05:07 PM
Thanks Chris S for the update. Very interesting. My two cents:

Masters swimming has a different constitutency and distinct considerations from elite or age group swimming and therefore should not necessarily follow FINA/USAS rules for elite swimming. :oldman: Encouraging participation and having fun are key goals – suit policy could (and arguably should) reflect, inter alia, these goals. If the policies turn out to be different, as per the recommendation, the purists and "elites" of masters will remain free to compete in suits which conform to the FINA rules for elites (if they want time comparability with "real" swimming) or in masters rules suits if they want competitive parity. (Many already compete in USAS.)

It would be good to have an understanding of the views across masters swimming (and competing) community as a basis for the recommended policy.

Net, I am in favor of the "compromise" rules as put forward by USMS (notwithstanding the "purity" of the Luddite counter - revolutionaries.;) )

As far as defining the textile materials, I am inclined to think a simpler set of parameters would lead to better regulation. I would suggest weight and dry displacement be limited.

Jeff Commings
September 18th, 2009, 07:06 PM
Rob Butcher came to the Swimming World.TV studio here at the USAS convention and told us about the recommendation USMS (via USAS) is giving to FINA. What Chris detailed is exactly what Rob said.

The interview with Rob will be part of "The Morning Swim Show" Saturday morning on www.swimmingworld.com and also available on Swimming World.TV (http://www.swimmingworld.tv).

The Fortress
September 18th, 2009, 07:55 PM
Here is the process. The FINA committee might accept this, might amend it, might disregard it, or whatever. Then somebody in USMS (I think the Board of Directors and the Rules Committee, but I might have that wrong) will decide whether to accept FINA's ruling and when to implement it. Implementation will probably be sooner rather than later (ie, certainly before SCY nationals, perhaps even before the end of the year). They won't wait until next Convention, for example.

One of the Rules Committee members I talked to had an interesting comment about FINA. He said that they regard masters swimming as a completely different sport from "regular" swimming, just like diving and water polo and synchro swimming (and yes, open water swimming) are different sports. This is their mentality in approaching regulations for masters and OW swimming.

Their timeline is so vague ... How soon after the Sept 25-26 meeting will FINA make its announcement of masters rules? Will USMS then convene a meeting and make their own announcement? What do you mean by implement precisely? That the "suit rule" will be effective at the time of announcement? So the suits may NOT be legal through the end of the year for masters even though they are for USS swimmers? I have to admit I'll be pissed if I can't wear/wear out my tech suit through the end of the year and SCM season while the rest of Europe does ...

Interesting "process" ...

I'm not terrifically impressed with the"compromise" proposal ... So we ideally want to be a kinda like a USS swimmer but not really?

Chris Stevenson
September 19th, 2009, 01:40 AM
Their timeline is so vague ... How soon after the Sept 25-26 meeting will FINA make its announcement of masters rules? Will USMS then convene a meeting and make their own announcement? What do you mean by implement precisely? That the "suit rule" will be effective at the time of announcement? So the suits may NOT be legal through the end of the year for masters even though they are for USS swimmers? I have to admit I'll be pissed if I can't wear/wear out my tech suit through the end of the year and SCM season while the rest of Europe does ...

Interesting "process" ...

I'm not terrifically impressed with the"compromise" proposal ... So we ideally want to be a kinda like a USS swimmer but not really?

The timeline is vague b/c no one is sure how soon FINA will act after their meeting. And, again, there is no guarantee that they will follow the USAS recommendation. It isn't as if they've been entirely predictable to this point.

In the afternoon meeting with the Rules Committee the big concern was SCY. After all, it is the longest season and we are not obligated to follow FINA's rules for SCY. People are concerned if there will be a couple months of swims with the suits, followed by a ban. Recommendations included ran the gamut: ban them now, allow them for the whole season, and everything in between. No consensus was reached.

The general consensus (Rules and Coaches) was that USMS will probably do whatever FINA recommends, certainly for LCM/SCM and probably also for SCY. (Personally, I think the rules should be uniform.)

I did learn that there are currently rules in place whereby we automatically adopt FINA and USS rules, unless we specifically specify otherwise. Currently USS is going for a Jan 1 deadline (though this is "soft" right now too).

I also really believe that the Rules committee -- who are EXTREMELY conscientious -- didn't like having to bypass the HOD but were constrained to do so by the timeline.

As far as the nature of the suggestion itself...I think it is a fairly "Solomon-like." The purists won't be completely happy and neither will the tech-people. Probably the sign of a good compromise.

Gdavis
September 19th, 2009, 07:32 AM
I also really believe that the Rules committee -- who are EXTREMELY conscientious -- didn't like having to bypass the HOD but were constrained to do so by the timeline.

As far as the nature of the suggestion itself...I think it is a fairly "Solomon-like." The purists won't be completely happy and neither will the tech-people. Probably the sign of a good compromise.

:agree:

nyswimmer
September 19th, 2009, 11:08 AM
Chris, I'm a little confused by the Rules Committee's proposal (I understand the post's a summary, not the full text). "Knee to shoulder" is the maximum coverage -- they're not saying that body suits would be mandatory, right? They're not saying no briefs and jammers allowed?

(I really don't care what anybody else wears, but I don't want to wear a body suit -- I'm not against them, I just don't like them for myself.)

Chris Stevenson
September 19th, 2009, 01:12 PM
Chris, I'm a little confused by the Rules Committee's proposal (I understand the post's a summary, not the full text). "Knee to shoulder" is the maximum coverage -- they're not saying that body suits would be mandatory, right? They're not saying no briefs and jammers allowed?

(I really don't care what anybody else wears, but I don't want to wear a body suit -- I'm not against them, I just don't like them for myself.)

Briefs and jammers are fine as long as they are textile. And the swimmer is male...

pwolf66
September 19th, 2009, 05:25 PM
And the swimmer is male...

or any one of the Bad Girls :bolt:

TRYM_Swimmer
September 19th, 2009, 05:44 PM
News just in from USS:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/19/AR2009091901732.html?hpid=moreheadlines

October 1

SCAQ Member
September 19th, 2009, 06:16 PM
The Fortress rocks!

I have never been in a sport that tells tells its paying members what they can wear and how much skin must be visible at a given time then changes their mind two or three times in a given year.

Bowman's tantrum really alienated me.

If the USMS abandons tech suits completely in 2010, then I will simply compete in the remaining USMS SCM races for this year only and simply abandon the USMS till tech suits are allowable.

I can always do triathlons non-sanctioned USMS open water races.

gull
September 19th, 2009, 07:05 PM
I don't understand the rationale for proposing shoulder to knee coverage, which breaks from the FINA/USA Swimming regulations, but not leg skins or full body suits.

Either follow USA Swimming to the letter, or ignore the tech suit ban entirely.

Chris Stevenson
September 19th, 2009, 07:29 PM
I don't understand the rationale for proposing shoulder to knee coverage, which breaks from the FINA/USA Swimming regulations, but not leg skins or full body suits.

The rationale is "compromise."

Last update on suits from Convention. As someone else posted, USA-S has given Oct 1 as their deadline to ban the suits. I asked a friend on the Rules Committee if that means USMS had to consider that, too -- there is, I think, language to the effect that USMS adopts USA-S rules unless we specifically vote otherwise. But he responded that we have already deviated from USA-S on our suit rules, so we didn't need to consider it. (At least, that's what I *think* he said. Sigh...)

As I mentioned before, USMS had submitted a proposal (thru USAS) to FINA about the suits. Any decision FINA makes -- which would have to be approved (or not, or modified) by USMS -- would obviously only apply to SCM and LCM.

The Rules Committee is not sure exactly what to do for SCY. They presented 3 possible options to the House of Delegates (HOD) and wanted a vote to get a sense of what to do. No action was being proposed.

For SCY competitions:

Option 1: adopt FINA Masters swimwear rules as soon as FINA adopts them, but no earlier than Oct 1.
Option 2: adopt FINA Masters swimwear rules, effective on the same date as FINA decides for SCM.
Option 3: adopt FINA Masters swimwear rules on June 1, 2010, or later if FINA Masters adopts no standard (ie, tech suits legal for entire 2009-2010 SCY season no matter what FINA decides).

Spirited debate ensued. People argued both sides but my sense (which may be wrong) is that more anti-tech people spoke than pro-tech.

The vote was: 101 for option 1, 5 for option 2, and 90 for option 3.

I voted for option 3 (despite my personal preference for option 1 or 2, and the earliest ban possible) b/c I think people in my LMSC -- on both sides of the issue -- long for as much certainty as possible. The dates on options 1 & 2 are more fluid than on option 3 and depend too much on FINA. (I would have preferred a date of Jan 1 on option 3, personally).

So there you have it. No change in rules at convention, as I suspected: tech suits are still legal for now. A compromise position submitted to FINA thru USAS. Waiting for word from FINA about the suits, and it may come as early as in a couple weeks or a few months (the process is apparently convoluted) and may come in any form. No firm rule about SCY yet either (again, the vote was for polling purposes only; it was non-binding).

It is within the right of the Rules Committee and the Executive Board to pass a swimsuit rule between meetings of the HOD (as they have already done this year). I suspect that will happen at some point once they hear back from FINA, and it may happen wrt SCY even before then. Though the members of the Rules Committee certainly have opinions about the suits, they have gone to lengths to measure member sentiments on the suits, including browsing thru forum posts. I am pretty confident that they will come up with something that is equitable. I have little confidence in FINA's decision-making process, but hopefully I'm wrong.

hrietz
September 19th, 2009, 09:35 PM
I guess that men would likely have to buy female suits with straps since I'm not sure how many manufacturers are going to make chest to knee suits for men since they're neither legal for USS or FINA elite. Also seems kind of silly to allow zippers since these likely won't be manufactured anymore either.

The Fortress
September 19th, 2009, 09:41 PM
I don't understand the rationale for proposing shoulder to knee coverage, which breaks from the FINA/USA Swimming regulations, but not leg skins or full body suits.

Either follow USA Swimming to the letter, or ignore the tech suit ban entirely.

That was my initial reaction as well. The "compromise" seems most designed so guys don't have to shave their chests. The zipper? Hmm ... Ice heard more people interested in bodysuits than zippers ...

Chris, so option 1 and 2 presuppose a ban, though you have couched it as a "swimwear rule"? Sounds like that's where people think FINA is going despite its prior statements? Option 3, tellingly the last one, is the only one that contemplates that FINA won't ban tech suits.

The so-called "purists" seem to engage in indignation and denunciation of us tech suit fans and the horrific state of the sport so it doesn't surprise me that they were more vociferous at convention.

gull
September 19th, 2009, 10:02 PM
If the suit regulations for USMS are going to differ from those of FINA/USA Swimming, why bother with a "compromise"? Allow us to continue to wear what we have been wearing (and using to set personal bests, top ten times, national and world records).

isobel
September 19th, 2009, 10:15 PM
Stupid question, and probably answered somewhere in many of these suit discussion threads (but I haven't seen it answered), but why would masters swimmers not want to compete if everyone is in the same boat and has to relinquish the tech suits?

Is it that people are used to doing certain times and don't want to see their times be slower? But everyone will be in the same situation.

So I get confused when I see references people make about stopping competing if tech suits are banned. And especially references that older swimmers will drop out of masters. Is it the psychological reaction to seeing a slower time? Is it the hassle of shaving?

If it's the psychological reaction to seeing slower times, won't that fade after a few meets and everyone sees that relative standings remain the same, as in "If you're fast, you're fast"?

Chris Stevenson
September 20th, 2009, 12:22 AM
That was my initial reaction as well. The "compromise" seems most designed so guys don't have to shave their chests. The zipper? Hmm ... Ice heard more people interested in bodysuits than zippers ...

Chris, so option 1 and 2 presuppose a ban, though you have couched it as a "swimwear rule"? Sounds like that's where people think FINA is going despite its prior statements? Option 3, tellingly the last one, is the only one that contemplates that FINA won't ban tech suits.

The so-called "purists" seem to engage in indignation and denunciation of us tech suit fans and the horrific state of the sport so it doesn't surprise me that they were more vociferous at convention.

I don't know that they were more vociferous, just more numerous. Having heard and read both sides, I think there is plenty of indignation to go around.

If there is no FINA swimsuit regulation, then nothing will happen this SCY season based on all the options presented. The three options are trying to deal with the question of what to do with the SCY season -- already in progress -- if FINA decides to regulate the suits for masters, given that their rules are only intended for meters.

And I guess I don't really see it as a complete "ban" when, even if FINA adopts the USMS suggestion, I can wear a suit that was first invented something like two years ago and was supposedly the best thing since sliced bread...until the LZR came around. You once liked FS-Pros pretty much too, and fairly recently; now they are just one step up from drag suits?

I did forget to mention that the Coach's committee in their report made a statement that they think USMS should follow whatever FINA says.


If the suit regulations for USMS are going to differ from those of FINA/USA Swimming, why bother with a "compromise"? Allow us to continue to wear what we have been wearing (and using to set personal bests, top ten times, national and world records).

So if FINA agrees: you get body coverage, zippers, only have to shave your calves, get to wear material that was cutting edge two years ago...and that's not enough?

Even though you disagree, is it really so hard to understand that there are a lot of people who would prefer for USMS to follow the rules FINA issued for elites? How exactly would it be fair to them to say "anything goes" just because the Rules Committee is trying to strike a middle ground? Heck, just look at the results of this poll: almost 40% want to follow the most stringent rules (FINA & USA-S), and a plurality want to do whatever the FINA masters committee decides. Only 25% want "anything goes." Just like SCAQ Triathlete will pout and refuse to compete with any kind of regulation, there are some who don't want to compete in nationals right now because of the suits. One is not any more right than the other. You might not like the compromise but things could be much worse from your point of view (and who knows what FINA will decide to do).

I'm also curious why you techies weren't all up in arms about the ban on the double suits some time back. Or did that somehow cross some line that I'm unaware of?

elise526
September 20th, 2009, 12:38 AM
I guess that men would likely have to buy female suits with straps since I'm not sure how many manufacturers are going to make chest to knee suits for men since they're neither legal for USS or FINA elite. Also seems kind of silly to allow zippers since these likely won't be manufactured anymore either.

This is the most important consideration. If male chest to knee suits are manufactured, there will be very few and they likely will be very expensive. The low supply will mean that very few will have access.

This must be a very difficult issue at Convention. So many strong opinions on both sides.

knelson
September 20th, 2009, 02:17 AM
The general consensus (Rules and Coaches) was that USMS will probably do whatever FINA recommends, certainly for LCM/SCM and probably also for SCY. (Personally, I think the rules should be uniform.)

I hope so. It will be downright silly if the suit rules vary depending on course.

Rykno
September 20th, 2009, 04:58 AM
I have never been in a sport that tells tells its paying members what they can wear and how much skin must be visible at a given time ....

womens beach volley ball...not sure how many of them wear the tiny bikini's because it helps them perform better.

soccer and basketball, tell players to tuck their shirts in at the begining of the game, but don't care about 30 secs later

baseball socks...one year most players pants stop at the knee and they have the leggings that come up....other years the pants go down to the feet.

in soccer, you can't take off your shirt after a goal with out getting a card or fine.

gull
September 20th, 2009, 10:33 AM
So if FINA agrees: you get body coverage, zippers, only have to shave your calves, get to wear material that was cutting edge two years ago...and that's not enough?

Even though you disagree, is it really so hard to understand that there are a lot of people who would prefer for USMS to follow the rules FINA issued for elites? How exactly would it be fair to them to say "anything goes" just because the Rules Committee is trying to strike a middle ground? Heck, just look at the results of this poll: almost 40% want to follow the most stringent rules (FINA & USA-S), and a plurality want to do whatever the FINA masters committee decides. Only 25% want "anything goes." Just like SCAQ Triathlete will pout and refuse to compete with any kind of regulation, there are some who don't want to compete in nationals right now because of the suits. One is not any more right than the other. You might not like the compromise but things could be much worse from your point of view (and who knows what FINA will decide to do).

The compromise makes an arbitrary distinction between tech suits (kneeskin in, bodyskin and legskin out; compressive textile in, compressive polyurethane out) and in so doing undermines both the spirit and the intent of the new FINA regulations. We all agree that any tech suit (be it an FSII, an FS Pro, an LZR, or a Jaked) is performance enhancing. Either we allow them, or we don't. Are we saying that we need chest coverage because we are a bunch of old swimmers? I find that insulting and would rather we just go with Lycra jammers and briefs without zippers or compressive panels.

I own two pairs of FS I legskins, one FS II full bodyskin (included in a gift package to our team from Klete Keller a few years ago), and a Blue Seventy. None of these will be legal. Assuming FINA approves the proposed compromise, what is the likelihood that kneeskins will even be available moving forward?

Calvin S
September 20th, 2009, 11:48 AM
I'm also curious why you techies weren't all up in arms about the ban on the double suits some time back. Or did that somehow cross some line that I'm unaware of?

because the two suitin issue was found more in NCAA swimming, and even at that, it was not a very popular technique. The moment it spread to USA/international scene, fina banned it. Most people didn't know the benefits of it until it had already been banned.

hrietz
September 20th, 2009, 01:21 PM
Also this so called "compromise" HEAVILY benefits men while adding virtually no benefits for women!

jim thornton
September 20th, 2009, 02:58 PM
Also this so called "compromise" HEAVILY benefits men while adding virtually no benefits for women!

Heather, I am not sure how you reach this conclusion. The more that guys like me are covered over with suit material, the more women like you benefit.

That much seems obvious.

Otherwise, you might not be able to help yourselves.

jim thornton
September 20th, 2009, 03:01 PM
I own two pairs of FS I legskins, one FS II full bodyskin (included in a gift package to our team from Klete Keller a few years ago), and a Blue Seventy. None of these will be legal. Assuming FINA approves the proposed compromise, what is the likelihood that kneeskins will even be available moving forward?

I also have a brand new, never been opened FS1 suit that goes from the shoulders to the ankles. Can i cut this off at the knees with pinking sheers and have it be legal?

orca1946
September 20th, 2009, 03:01 PM
Men & women wear the same amount of material. That is how I would word the last line.

hrietz
September 20th, 2009, 03:48 PM
Heather, I am not sure how you reach this conclusion. The more that guys like me are covered over with suit material, the more women like you benefit.

That much seems obvious.

Otherwise, you might not be able to help yourselves.

Oh yes Jim you are right! I won't be able to focus on my races with all of those bare chested men running around!

Chris Stevenson
September 20th, 2009, 04:22 PM
The compromise makes an arbitrary distinction between tech suits (kneeskin in, bodyskin and legskin out; compressive textile in, compressive polyurethane out) and in so doing undermines both the spirit and the intent of the new FINA regulations. We all agree that any tech suit (be it an FSII, an FS Pro, an LZR, or a Jaked) is performance enhancing. Either we allow them, or we don't. Are we saying that we need chest coverage because we are a bunch of old swimmers? I find that insulting and would rather we just go with Lycra jammers and briefs without zippers or compressive panels.

I own two pairs of FS I legskins, one FS II full bodyskin (included in a gift package to our team from Klete Keller a few years ago), and a Blue Seventy. None of these will be legal. Assuming FINA approves the proposed compromise, what is the likelihood that kneeskins will even be available moving forward?

It isn't arbitrary, you just don't agree with (or are unaware of) the reasoning.

The justification for the shape is that men have the same amount of coverage as women in the FINA specification for elites. The justification for zippers was twofold: masters are more likely to be "full bodied" and need the zippers, and some masters who have flexibility problems find the zippers helpful in getting into the suits.

Sorry that you don't want a compromise of any sort. I'm sure that the men who don't like to shave their bodies are at least a little happy with the expanded coverage.

As far as availability of the men's kneeskins: who knows. I think someone reported that Blueseventy would manufacture master-only suits. It is beyond USMS' control and is going to be a problem with any ruling that differs with FINA's specifications for elites. Besides kneeskins, it may be a problem to get women's suits with zippers too. Manufacturers and stores need to decide whether their is enough of a market to make and stock the suits for masters only. I don't see any way around this if you want tech suits.


because the two suitin issue was found more in NCAA swimming, and even at that, it was not a very popular technique. The moment it spread to USA/international scene, fina banned it. Most people didn't know the benefits of it until it had already been banned.

This reasoning doesn't pass the smell test. I know masters swimmers who used double suits. And just as with FINA's latest ruling on suits, USMS could have decided to go its own way.

What about wetsuits? That's the best bang for your buck in performance-enhancing technology and they've been around for a long time. Why haven't the pro-tech people been pressing for their adoption? A little bit of performance-enhancement is okay but not too much? How much is too much? I'm just trying to figure out the reasoning here.

By the way, USMS also adopted the following new Rule (slightly amended from USA-S):

"102.14 SWIMWEAR
102.14.2 Swimmers are not permitted to wear or use any device or substance to help their speed, pace, buoyancy or endurance during a race (such as webbed gloves, flippers, fins, etc). Goggles may be worn, and rubdown oil applied if not considered excessive by the Referee. Any kind of tape on the body is not permitted unless approved by the Referee."

The Rule differs slightly from USA-S' in that the first line of the USA-S Rule reads "...any device or substance or swimsuit to help their speed..." When asked about this, the Rule Committee chair said that the Rules Committee's interpretation is that the "swimsuit" portion is implicit in the ruling (which is describing Swimwear). There was some discussion about legitimite medical uses of tape.


Also this so called "compromise" HEAVILY benefits men while adding virtually no benefits for women!

Why should men have less performance-enhancement than women? (Keep in mind that I favor jammers for men, I'm just telling you what the argument would be.) The original FINA ruling for elites could be seen as more restrictive for men than women, and the compromise just addresses that.

I don't think that the zippers are "virtually no benefit," though.

Ripple
September 20th, 2009, 05:17 PM
I also have a brand new, never been opened FS1 suit that goes from the shoulders to the ankles. Can i cut this off at the knees with pinking sheers and have it be legal?
I wouldn't recommend it. The cut edge will either roll up into a really tight curl, Dead Sea scroll fashion, or stretch out and flop around loosely. Find someone who has a sewing machine with a zig-zag stitch, buy him/her a #10 ball-point twin needle with a spacing of about 3/16", and ask to have it hemmed. If this person is experienced with stretch material - a local mother of a gymnast or dancer might be perfect - they'll know how to adjust the thread tension to do it.
Come to think of it, you don't even need the twin needle - I've used a basic z-z stitch to hem lycra and poly knits.
You might even be lucky enough to find someone who has a cover-hem machine, or a serger with a cover-hem option.

gull
September 20th, 2009, 05:36 PM
It isn't arbitrary, you just don't agree with (or are unaware of) the reasoning.

Let's recap:

1. FINA banned the tech suits because they are performance enhancing (or, if you are a cynic, because someone invented a suit that was better than the LZR).

2. FINA indicated that the new regulations do not apply to Masters swimming.

So really we are under no obligation to change our rules. If, however, we as an organization agree with FINA's assessment, then all tech suits (kneeskin, legskin, or bodyskin, textile or polyurethane) should be prohibited from Masters swimming. I can accept that and will wear Lycra jammers.

But if the proposed compromise allows us to continue wearing an FS Pro kneeskin (which is most definitely performance enhancing), what exactly have we accomplished? What are we trying to prove? That I do not understand.

Chris Stevenson
September 20th, 2009, 07:28 PM
Let's recap:

1. FINA banned the tech suits because they are performance enhancing (or, if you are a cynic, because someone invented a suit that was better than the LZR).

2. FINA indicated that the new regulations do not apply to Masters swimming.

So really we are under no obligation to change our rules. If, however, we as an organization agree with FINA's assessment, then all tech suits (kneeskin, legskin, or bodyskin, textile or polyurethane) should be prohibited from Masters swimming. I can accept that and will wear Lycra jammers.

But if the proposed compromise allows us to continue wearing an FS Pro kneeskin (which is most definitely performance enhancing), what exactly have we accomplished? What are we trying to prove? That I do not understand.

We haven't changed any rules; at least, not since June 1. We (or, technically, USAS) made a recommendation to the FINA masters technical committee. That's it. The ball is out of our court.

FINA has to decide whether it wants to follow our recommendation, do something different, or do nothing at all except possibly reissuing a statement of "it doesn't apply to masters." It might do this in the next two weeks, or in the next few months.

Whatever FINA does, USMS has to act in response. I strongly suspect that USMS will do whatever FINA says, including if FINA does nothing but reaffirm its previous position. If FINA does deviate from that position, then USMS will have to decide both if and when to implement its decision. SCY presents a problem b/c (a) FINA doesn't regulate it and (b) the season has already started.

As far as the reasoning behind the recommendation the Rules Committee actually made, I've already stated it as best as I can (I am not actually ON that committee; I did attend all the public meetings, and one person from our LMSC is on the committee). I get that you don't like it or understand it.

jim thornton
September 20th, 2009, 08:25 PM
I can't believe that FINA will end up saying that masters can do whatever it wants to. If they opt for this, it will be one less control mechanism they have over a fairly sizable (though hardly gargantuan) number of peole--50,000 in the US alone.

Bureaucracies, by and large, do not cede power. They consolidate and expand it.

Wasn't FINA headed by some guy from Tunisia or some other desert country, a guy that doesn't barely know how to swim and insists of 5 star hotel accommodations whenever he Leer jet-sets himself around to various swimming venues around the world?

I may have some of the details wrong here. Maybe I am confusing FINA with the House of Saud or the Corporation of Goldman Sachs.

But I don't think so!

And these guys do not give anything away! With the possible exception of their seed.

jim thornton
September 20th, 2009, 08:26 PM
I wouldn't recommend it. The cut edge will either roll up into a really tight curl, Dead Sea scroll fashion, or stretch out and flop around loosely. Find someone who has a sewing machine with a zig-zag stitch, buy him/her a #10 ball-point twin needle with a spacing of about 3/16", and ask to have it hemmed. If this person is experienced with stretch material - a local mother of a gymnast or dancer might be perfect - they'll know how to adjust the thread tension to do it.
Come to think of it, you don't even need the twin needle - I've used a basic z-z stitch to hem lycra and poly knits.
You might even be lucky enough to find someone who has a cover-hem machine, or a serger with a cover-hem option.


Rhoda, thanks a million. Perhaps you could launch your own new cottage industry: retrofitting ankle length suits to kneeskins?

gull
September 20th, 2009, 08:58 PM
We haven't changed any rules; at least, not since June 1. We (or, technically, USAS) made a recommendation to the FINA masters technical committee.

Right. But my point is, did we make this recommendation 1). because we agree with FINA that tech suits are performance enhancing and should be strictly regulated (if not banned entirely), or 2). because we were trying to be proactive and secure permission to continue wearing tech suits before FINA extended the ban to Masters swimming?

The Fortress
September 20th, 2009, 11:29 PM
I'm also curious why you techies weren't all up in arms about the ban on the double suits some time back.

Professor, I admire your brainpower, however, the minutiae of convention has addled your memory. I have been against suit stacking and in favor of a two suit ban since I learned people were doing this. I have always supported a one swimmer-one suit rule and the rule uses the word or phrase "suit" or "swim costume" in the singular. In fact, we had a discussion awhile back about the possible ethical dilemma of wearing two suits. You stated that it was technically ethical because the rules had an apparent loophole. I said it wasn't because rules and ethics aren't necessary co-extensive, and I thought the rule should have been interpreted to preclude suit stacking.

So, one swimmer-one suit, but no reason it can't be a damn fast suit. I don't see runners and tris wearing basketball shorts and drag gear in races ...

And Tony Austin is right ... it's ridiculous that the rules have see-sawed back and forth all year! I spent months wondering WTH suit to wear in various meets and ended up wearing different ones and purchasing unnecessary ones to comply. And that seemingly random flip flopping is the much of the focus of the techie indignation/ire. (And it is annoying to be called a "cheater" quite frequently by the so-called "purists"). That, and our contrary position that progress and innovation is affirmatively good and normal -- not a hellacious abomination -- for the sport.

And, yes, I still like the Pro, but I abhor kneeskins. However, as I said in response to Midas, I believe the more durable B70 is much more economical than the Pro. Talk to a swim retailer -- they'll tell you the Pro is done and stretched out after a meet or two.

jim thornton
September 20th, 2009, 11:57 PM
Bring back the Speedo Aquablade kneeskin, the first and still best of all the abominations we have come to love so much! Who can forget that hydrophobic-hydrophilic alternation of stripes and the putative creation of little swirling vortexes close to the body that kiboshed form drag!

Who indeed!

http://forums.usms.org/picture.php?albumid=91&pictureid=791

Chris Stevenson
September 21st, 2009, 08:21 AM
Right. But my point is, did we make this recommendation 1). because we agree with FINA that tech suits are performance enhancing and should be strictly regulated (if not banned entirely), or 2). because we were trying to be proactive and secure permission to continue wearing tech suits before FINA extended the ban to Masters swimming?

They did it to be proactive in trying to find a middle ground between members who really don't like the suits and those who really like them.


I have been against suit stacking and in favor of a two suit ban since I learned people were doing this. I have always supported a one swimmer-one suit rule and the rule uses the word or phrase "suit" or "swim costume" in the singular. In fact, we had a discussion awhile back about the possible ethical dilemma of wearing two suits. You stated that it was technically ethical because the rules had an apparent loophole. I said it wasn't because rules and ethics aren't necessary co-extensive, and I thought the rule should have been interpreted to preclude suit stacking.

So, one swimmer-one suit, but no reason it can't be a damn fast suit. I don't see runners and tris wearing basketball shorts and drag gear in races ...

Despite your interpretation, Counselor, "suit stacking" was perfectly legal. Why else would they need to institute a separate rule prohibiting it?

I remember the conversation well, and what I questioned then (and now) is the seeming inconsistency in your position. If you favor one suit, then why not two? Or a single wetsuit?

Sure, both are currently against the rules. But for non-masters (after Jan 1, anyway), so is the LZR and Jaked, etc. You and others have argued that such rules shouldn't apply to masters because...well, I don't know exactly why. Something to do with shaving and "it's only masters" and swimming fast. But why stop there? Why not allow wetsuits?

My conclusion then (as now) is that a person who has no problem with performance-enhancing suits should have no qualms wearing a wetsuit in pool competition (other than the small fact that, right now, that would be cheating). Blueseventy makes them too, right? Much more durable than FS-Pros or even swimskins.

I am still not saying that a desire to wear a wetsuit in competition is morally repugnant. But IMO this road does lead to a different sort of sport than the one that Phelps et al will be doing.

letsrace
September 21st, 2009, 09:35 AM
I am nearly bored of the whole tech suit issue, but I like a good loophole as much as the next off-shore investor.

One of my USA-S swimmers asked me, "will the old Nike jammers with the silicon gasket be legal?" Hmm, I thought, "probably not, because the gasket is not a 'textile'."

He then asked can suits have elastic in them? Hmm. Not sure. I believe that jammers traditionally use an elastic at the thigh, but that is not a textile. Is that going to be allowed going forward? I am only asking because I find it humorous when FINA "thinks things through" and misses loop holes and is forced to come up with new rules.

For men, I don't see why they don't reduce the suits down to briefs (I will let FINA define brief). Then they can remove all of the other rules. If a suit company then wants to make high tech briefs of any high tech material, the effect on performance would be significantly reduced, thereby making the effort pointless.

Sure, this doesn't solve the problem of women's suits and it doesn't help Masters swimmers who reportedly like the coverage of the tech suits, but I will let FINA solve those problems, and then unsolve them, and then solve them again and...

BillS
September 21st, 2009, 12:05 PM
For men, I don't see why they don't reduce the suits down to briefs (I will let FINA define brief). Then they can remove all of the other rules. If a suit company then wants to make high tech briefs of any high tech material, the effect on performance would be significantly reduced, thereby making the effort pointless.



A brief with a zipper could be a little scary . . .

jim thornton
September 21st, 2009, 12:30 PM
A brief with a zipper could be a little scary . . .

Especially on those occasions when, as we say here in Pittsburgh, "Kennywood's open."

The Fortress
September 21st, 2009, 12:39 PM
Despite your interpretation, Counselor, "suit stacking" was perfectly legal. Why else would they need to institute a separate rule prohibiting it?

I remember the conversation well, and what I questioned then (and now) is the seeming inconsistency in your position. If you favor one suit, then why not two? Or a single wetsuit?

Sure, both are currently against the rules. But for non-masters (after Jan 1, anyway), so is the LZR and Jaked, etc. You and others have argued that such rules shouldn't apply to masters because...well, I don't know exactly why. Something to do with shaving and "it's only masters" and swimming fast. But why stop there? Why not allow wetsuits?

My conclusion then (as now) is that a person who has no problem with performance-enhancing suits should have no qualms wearing a wetsuit in pool competition (other than the small fact that, right now, that would be cheating). Blueseventy makes them too, right? Much more durable than FS-Pros or even swimskins.



Chris, you well know that something may be not be permissible in a rule without a direct explicit ban; it's all in interpreting the language. The intent of the USMS rule, and the use of the singular, means that only one suit was contemplated. The fact that some folks seized on the absence of an outright prohibition to find a loophole and wear two performance enhancing speed suits doesn't mean that it was "perfectly legal" or contemplated by the drafters (perhaps "dubiously" or "marginally" legal is more accurate). Indeed, this is confirmed by the fact that the vast majority of competitive masters swimmers have been wearing one tech suit forever. As Mike notes, though, finding loopholes is quite clever and also in the nature of human innovation. Thus, the so-called loophole was closed, and appropriately so in my view, when USMS and FINA said -- duh -- one suit was it. I don't see any inconsistency in my position. I told you my rationale -- one swimmer, one suit. This is probably the easiest "line" one could ever draw in the sand. Perfectly logical.

And, in fact, I have been relatively silent until recently on whether I thought the FINA rules for elites should apply to masters. I didn't get on the bandwagon that masters were different right away. Nor have I ever given the reasons stated above -- shaving, "it's only masters," etc. I certainly have never said we should have the suits just because they're "cool," as Midas attributed to me. I've consistently said I think swimming, like other sports, should progress technologically. (Though I do like the speed, I admit. I'm a sprinter ... :)) My only recent comment on the matter was to agree with Patrick's post earlier in this and another thread. I would like there to be symmetry, but I would most prefer an international masters consensus. If Europe and other masters federations are competing in B70s, that would be my preference as well. I will admit that I'm not overly troubled by competing in a different suit than Michael Phelps. If the USMS compromise rule were adopted, that's what I'd be doing anyway. And if I'm doing that anyway, I'd rather have my B70 than some cobbled together "compromise" suit.

More broadly, I've always believed (as many have stated) that regulation was the way to go. Regulation, line drawing, making distinctions are just part of the job of a regulatory/governing body. Total bans and sending the sport back in time is just punting. Since you've endorsed the USMS "compromise," you must agree that lines can be draw too (though you would prefer they not be).

And speaking of being bored (as Mike did), I am beyond bored with the comparisons of B70 swim skins to wetsuits. And I would certainly have a "qualm" about wearing a wetsuit in a pool competition. I recently had a chance to wear a wetsuit for the first time. There is no similarity whatsoever between my 2XU wetsuit and my B70. One weighs about 50 pounds more than the other, is dramatically thicker, and is designed for warmth. B70s are NOT wetsuits. Just like OW swimming is not pool swimming.

I guess the bottom line is that I don't accept the slippery slope argument, nor the proposition that swimming can only be basic or "pure" with an old fashioned suit. And I am likewise weary of the "cheating" allegations, or the fact that some think people wear these suits to avoid/reduce training. As anyone who reads my blog knows, this is certainly not the case for me. I embrace training and technology.

gull
September 21st, 2009, 01:21 PM
My conclusion then (as now) is that a person who has no problem with performance-enhancing suits should have no qualms wearing a wetsuit in pool competition (other than the small fact that, right now, that would be cheating).

I could be mistaken, but I believe that every swimmer in every Olympic final in Beijing was wearing a performance enhancing suit.

Chris Stevenson
September 21st, 2009, 01:30 PM
Chris, you well know that something may be not be permissible in a rule without a direct explicit ban....

More broadly, I've always believed (as many have stated) that regulation was the way to go. Regulation, line drawing, making distinctions are just part of the job of a regulatory/governing body.

...

Double-suits have been worn in competition for decades, at the expense of speed. I've worn them in in-season meets even as a teen when my practice suits were too transparent. Any official will tell you that DQs are for breaking the rules, not for any purported advantage in the race, so if they were against the rules then I should have been DQ'd even though I was going slower.

I'm not really trying to put you or anyone on the spot. I'm trying to understand where the line -- necessary for the regulation you desire -- gets drawn and why among the pro-tech crowd. Once you allow performance-enhancement, innovations such as double-suits and wetsuits are different from Jakeds and other swimskins only as a matter of degree, not fundamentally. I also don't hear clamoring for arm-coverings.

The Fortress
September 21st, 2009, 01:40 PM
Double-suits have been worn in competition for decades, at the expense of speed. I've worn them in in-season meets even as a teen when my practice suits were too transparent. Any official will tell you that DQs are for breaking the rules, not for any purported advantage in the race, so if they were against the rules then I should have been DQ'd even though I was going slower.

I'm not really trying to put you or anyone on the spot. I'm trying to understand where the line -- necessary for the regulation you desire -- gets drawn and why among the pro-tech crowd. Once you allow performance-enhancement, innovations such as double-suits and wetsuits are different from Jakeds and other swimskins only as a matter of degree, not fundamentally. I also don't hear clamoring for arm-coverings.

I wasn't refering to the practice of wearing a second drag or modesty suit. I was refering to the practice of wearing two performance enhancing suits, and edited my post to reflect that fact. I have no issues with the former. The ban on two suits was designed to preclude the practice of stacking of tech suits. I view that new "ban" as an interpretation of the previous rule, not as a new rule.

I don't think there is any "degree" about B70 swim skins and wetsuits. They are so fundamentally different it is immediately apparent that they are intended for different sports. And wasn't FINA going to regulate thickness? Isn't the B70 1 mm? Draw the line there, easy enough.

Mswimming
September 21st, 2009, 02:38 PM
I don't think there is any "degree" about B70 swim skins and wetsuits. They are so fundamentally different it is immediately apparent that they are intended for different sports. And wasn't FINA going to regulate thickness? Isn't the B70 1 mm? Draw the line there, easy enough.

And you are basing this on a comparison to a 3mm full wetsuit?

You can get 1mm wetsuits. The high end ones are made from yamamoto rubber, same as the B70. Those are also marketed with as having hydrophobic properties much like the swim skins. Having seen both, there is very little that is different. The only difference is the way its marketed, swim skin vs wetsuit.

Eliminate the wetsuit technologies (like yamamoto rubber) and you will have your line to draw.

The Fortress
September 21st, 2009, 02:50 PM
And you are basing this on a comparison to a 3mm full wetsuit?

You can get 1mm wetsuits. The high end ones are made from yamamoto rubber, same as the B70. Those are also marketed with as having hydrophobic properties much like the swim skins. Having seen both, there is very little that is different. The only difference is the way its marketed, swim skin vs wetsuit.

Eliminate the wetsuit technologies (like yamamoto rubber) and you will have your line to draw.

I guess that's a point. I've never seen a 1mm wetsuit though. Do many wear them? I've only seen the 3mm or 5mm in tri stores. In the race I just swam Sunday, I don't recall seeing any super thin ones that looked like B70s at all. The 3 mm or 5 mm are obviously more performance enhancing because they're so buoyant. So OW swimmers can have performance enhancing wetsuits and performance enhancing B70s in the non-wetsuit division, but pool swimmers don't get speed suits?!

Midas
September 21st, 2009, 03:17 PM
Chris, thanks for all the updates and for being so responsive to comments on this thread.

As a "so-called purist" (and we are only "so-called" that by people who intend it as a derisive term), I hate the compromise. But I like the compromise about a million times more than permitting the continued use of the "tech suits". If my choices were either to keep the tech suits or take the compromise option, it's a easy choice for me. I think most of the "performance enhancers" out there would similarly choose the compromise over the FINA "elite" standard. That's what makes it a good compromise.

With regards to the arguments I have read for keeping the tech suits, I think the tech suits were as much a "loophole" that got out of control as the whole "two suits" phenomenon. I think most people agree that the technology overwhelmed FINA and they let through more suits than they really wanted. They opened pandora's box with the LZR and didn't shut it before the B70s and the Jakeds and the Arena X-Glides got through. The "suit ban" is just a matter of putting everything back into pandora's box and shutting it. This is as hard to do as the fable makes it out and many people are obviously very upset about it.

I'm sure everyone realizes that the only honest reason the "performance enhancers" want to continue to use the "tech suits" is that they are enamored with the times they have swum in them. They don't want their times to be 1-2 seconds slower per hundred (or more). They don't favor suit stacking or wetsuits because they have never competed in them and don't realize how much, if at all, faster those things would make them.

Conversely, the only honest reason the "purists" favor the ban is that the suits allow people to go faster than they otherwise humanly could. For years, suit technology was about reducing the drag caused by having to wear a suit at all (which we do for modesty above all other reasons). Purists want to return to the time when the suits did not make people go faster than they could naturally because purists do not think that the sport should be about the "technology".

aquageek
September 21st, 2009, 03:28 PM
As a "so-called purist" (and we are only "so-called" that by people who intend it as a derisive term), I hate the compromise.

You are no more a purist that someone who embraces the suits and technology. Matter of fact I will claim the purist title because I want to see the sport move forward, not languish.

I think saying you are a purist just makes you feel better about being a cheap skate.

I have respect for those the past few years who show up at meets in a brief. I have respect for those who show up at bike races on some old steel jalopy. But, mostly I just wonder why you'd train hard and then fail to take advantage of that training.

Chris Stevenson
September 21st, 2009, 03:42 PM
I don't think there is any "degree" about B70 swim skins and wetsuits. They are so fundamentally different it is immediately apparent that they are intended for different sports. And wasn't FINA going to regulate thickness? Isn't the B70 1 mm? Draw the line there, easy enough.

What should intentions have to do with anything? There is a huge difference between polyester or lycra suits and a B70 Nero Comp. They are "fundamentally different," to use your words. So why is this jump okay in your mind, but not from B70 Nero Comp to B70 wetsuit? Completely arbitrary.

As far as your "easy" choice of 1mm -- why this choice is better than 2mm or 5mm is a mystery to me -- of course FINA isn't regulating anything right now wrt masters.

Midas
September 21st, 2009, 03:53 PM
You are no more a purist that someone who embraces the suits and technology. Matter of fact I will claim the purist title because I want to see the sport move forward, not languish.

I think saying you are a purist just makes you feel better about being a cheap skate.

I have respect for those the past few years who show up at meets in a brief. I have respect for those who show up at bike races on some old steel jalopy. But, mostly I just wonder why you'd train hard and then fail to take advantage of that training.

Remember that the "purist" label was foisted upon me, but is one that I actually wear with moral righteousness. You are not a purist, but a technologist. The suits do not move the sport forward. The sport moves forward through things like better training, nutrition and stroke technique.

By the way, I reject the cost argument, and in fact own a B70. I didn't always wear it, preferring to see how fact I "really" was at least some of the time. I too was very enamored with the times I was swimming with my tech suit. I understand why people want to keep them so passionately. The whole "recapturing of youth" angle is not something the elites even have to factor in. We do.

In fact, I reject all arguments on either side of the debate other than the argument that the suits make people go faster. Some people like this. Others, like me, do not. I do not see the tech suits as progress. I see them as a regression from the whole point of the endeavor (which is to see how fast I can get from one end of the course to the other).

gull
September 21st, 2009, 03:57 PM
As a "so-called purist" (and we are only "so-called" that by people who intend it as a derisive term), I hate the compromise. But I like the compromise about a million times more than permitting the continued use of the "tech suits".

I believe that an FS Pro kneeskin will be allowed if the compromise is adopted by FINA. Is that not a tech suit also?

And by the way, how are you planning to repurify yourself?

jim clemmons
September 21st, 2009, 04:04 PM
Isn't the B70 1 mm?

Actually, it's a little less than .5mm (.016 inches - just measured mine), 1mm equals approximately .0394".

The Fortress
September 21st, 2009, 04:10 PM
Actually, it's a little less than .5mm (.016 inches - just measured mine), 1mm equals approximately .0394".

Thank you. Let's use that as the guide then. Seems fundamentally different than a 3 mm or 5 mm wetsuit to me. You and I just look at things different on that score, Chris.

I would have preferred that the LZR and B70 stay legal. If technology happened too fast, it was the Jaked/Arena X-Glide that really pushed things over the line. I've never understood why the B70 was banned when it was less performance enhancing (and more durable and economical) than the LZR.

The Fortress
September 21st, 2009, 04:20 PM
As a "so-called purist" (and we are only "so-called" that by people who intend it as a derisive term), I hate the compromise.

With regards to the arguments I have read for keeping the tech suits, I think the tech suits were as much a "loophole" that got out of control as the whole "two suits" phenomenon.

I'm sure everyone realizes that the only honest reason the "performance enhancers" want to continue to use the "tech suits" is that they are enamored with the times they have swum in them.

They don't favor suit stacking or wetsuits because they have never competed in them and don't realize how much, if at all, faster those things would make them.

Conversely, the only honest reason the "purists" favor the ban is that the suits allow people to go faster than they otherwise humanly could.

1. The "purist" label wasn't foisted on those favoring the ban. Most claimed it themselves and constantly used the word "pure" to defend their position and denounce others as inferior or cheaters or lazy.

2. The tech suit wasn't an unwritten legally dubious loophole. They were worn after they were explicitly approved by FINA.

3. What do you know of our motivations or times? Perhaps I want to swim in mine because it helps my damn shoulders, for all you know.

4. I just competed in a wetsuit. Before doing so, I compared my times in a pool with and without a wetsuit and noticed a HUGE difference. I already know what the difference between tank and B70 is. A wetsuit is a whole 'nother ballpark, dude. Yet, despite this huge advantage, I don't want to wear a fat squashy extraordinarily floaty wetsuit in a pool. Just a fast speed suit -- without it being cut off at the knees or ripping all the time or instantly stretching out.

5. Again, you don't know my motivations, and I have posted different ones than you list derisively above. As for the "fountain of youth," this is absurd and has no relationship to my masters swim career whatsoever. You are really presumptuous.

But you are right about one thing -- you're on a roll with the moral righteousness. What I find puzzling is why you think this is even remotely desirable.

Midas
September 21st, 2009, 05:15 PM
I believe that an FS Pro kneeskin will be allowed if the compromise is adopted by FINA. Is that not a tech suit also?

And by the way, how are you planning to repurify yourself?

Yeah, I know. I don't love the compromise but I guess "its only masters" so I will live with it.

As for purification, I went out and bought myself a speedo racing brief. I will just put an asterisk next to my B70 times in my log book. I think that's the best I can do. Fortunately, I have shaved times from this last year to use as my comparative times going forward.

Midas
September 21st, 2009, 05:32 PM
1. The "purist" label wasn't foisted on those favoring the ban. Most claimed it themselves and constantly used the word "pure" to defend their position and denounce others as inferior or cheaters or lazy.

2. The tech suit wasn't an unwritten legally dubious loophole. They were worn after they were explicitly approved by FINA.

3. What do you know of our motivations or times? Perhaps I want to swim in mine because it helps my damn shoulders, for all you know.

4. I just competed in a wetsuit. Before doing so, I compared my times in a pool with and without a wetsuit and noticed a HUGE difference. I already know what the difference between tank and B70 is. A wetsuit is a whole 'nother ballpark, dude. Yet, despite this huge advantage, I don't want to wear a fat squashy extraordinarily floaty wetsuit in a pool. Just a fast speed suit -- without it being cut off at the knees or ripping all the time or instantly stretching out.

5. Again, you don't know my motivations, and I have posted different ones than you list derisively above. As for the "fountain of youth," this is absurd and has no relationship to my masters swim career whatsoever. You are really presumptuous.

But you are right about one thing -- you're on a roll with the moral righteousness. What I find puzzling is why you think this is even remotely desirable.

The tech suits were indeed a humongous loophole. The existing rules didn't prohibit them (which was the loophole) and the envelope was pushed to the point where the suits made people faster than nature would allow. Nothing made suit stacking illegal until the loophole (the lack of a rule against them) was closed. Same is true with tech suits. Nothing made them illegal (and FINA had to admit that under existing rules they *were* legal) until they closed the loophole. You are clearly smart so I suspect you really understand this.

I really do think the only legit argument for or against the suits is that they make a person faster. As far as I have seen, no one else has been able to articulate an objectively rational argument for or against them other than speed. That is my reason for opposing them and I am trying to be very honest about that. I am not claiming cost, modesty, "shoulders" or any other red herring argument.

By the way people may be interested to know that some of the big non-USMS sanctioned open water competitions in the Bay Area that allow wetsuits share my view on tech suits (such as the RCP Tiburon Mile and the Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim). In those events, they lump all full-body tech suits into the "wet suits and other swim aid" category. They are not wrong. Wetsuits and tech suits are different degrees of the same thing.

aquageek
September 21st, 2009, 05:52 PM
Wetsuits and tech suits are different degrees of the same thing.

Ironically, those who claim to be purists have a very small degree of separation from pomposity.

Midas
September 21st, 2009, 06:13 PM
Ironically, those who claim to be purists have a very small degree of separation from pomposity.

Hello Pot! I'm Kettle!

In interest of full disclosure, I am probably by far the worst swimmer among the people arguing this on either side. I guess that makes me even more "pure" (and knowing that, I hope you find me less pompous)! :D

Chris Stevenson
September 21st, 2009, 06:16 PM
2. The tech suit wasn't an unwritten legally dubious loophole. They were worn after they were explicitly approved by FINA.

I believe what Midas is referring to is that, when the suits were approved, there was a rule prohibiting the use of devices to increase buoyancy and speed. Since the suits were clearly designed to improve speed and are a little buoyant, FINA got around this by declaring that they were "costumes" and not "devices."

At least, this is my understanding; I leave it to others to debate whether this was a loophole or not. (Done is done, as far as I'm concerned; I just want to know what to do from here on out.)

The Fortress
September 21st, 2009, 06:43 PM
I believe what Midas is referring to is that, when the suits were approved, there was a rule prohibiting the use of devices to increase buoyancy and speed. Since the suits were clearly designed to improve speed and are a little buoyant, FINA got around this by declaring that they were "costumes" and not "devices."

You're likely right. I was scratching my head what he was talking about otherwise. A "suit" that is "approved" is a loophole?!

I don't even want to get started on whether a tech suit is a "device." It's not a wetsuit and it ain't a device like fins. Just like the wetsuits, I likewise know my time differentials with fins. It's a whole different ballgame, folks. A suit is a suit. And it's one suit, singular, not two. FINA didn't have anything to "get around," since one suit is, in fact, "perfectly legal." The two suit phenomenon was immediately snuffed out. The tech suit has been around and evolving for some time now.

I'm afraid I can't fathom Midas' comment about Geek being "pompous" either. I've always thought of Geek as anti-pompous and of attempting to squash signs of unbridled ego run amuck or indefensible statements run amuck as in the case of D2.

Midas
September 21st, 2009, 07:29 PM
You're likely right. I was scratching my head what he was talking about otherwise. A "suit" that is "approved" is a loophole?!

I don't even want to get started on whether a tech suit is a "device." It's not a wetsuit and it ain't a device like fins. Just like the wetsuits, I likewise know my time differentials with fins. It's a whole different ballgame, folks. A suit is a suit. And it's one suit, singular, not two. FINA didn't have anything to "get around," since one suit is, in fact, "perfectly legal." The two suit phenomenon was immediately snuffed out. The tech suit has been around and evolving for some time now.

I'm afraid I can't fathom Midas' comment about Geek being "pompous" either. I've always thought of Geek as anti-pompous and of attempting to squash signs of unbridled ego run amuck or indefensible statements run amuck as in the case of D2.

I meant that the rules in effect were not designed for rubberized swim suits, while they did prohibit rubberized wetsuits. People found a way to take wetsuit technology and apply it to swimsuits in a way that allowed people to swim faster than they could in bare skin (which I believe is at least part of the reason wetsuits and suit stacking are not allowed). That is the loophole. The fact that FINA has now banned the suits is the closing of the loophole. Hopefully now it's clear!

While I don't care for the name calling, I sure hope Geek took my response to him as "tongue-in-cheek" as I believe he intended his response to me. Some people don't take these things so personally.

I found it interesting that you claim that "a suit is just a suit" and is distinguishable from a wetsuit but (to me) that's ridiculous and I'm sure you know it! If a "tech suit" was just a "suit" then we wouldn't even be having this argument. Like a wetsuit, the current generation of tech suits makes you faster than you are humanly capable of going. Please tell me if I'm wrong about this! You feel there's a difference but you, in fact, are are on the very slippery slope that lawyers love to talk about so much.

Edit: Given the hooplah over the last two years, I'm not sure you can honestly say that tech suits are "perfectly legal". I think there has been a lot of controversy and questions about this since the moment the LRZ was first introduced. Take, for example, the lists of banned (and then unbanned) suits from earlier this year.

The Fortress
September 21st, 2009, 08:03 PM
I meant that the rules in effect were not designed for rubberized swim suits

I found it interesting that you claim that "a suit is just a suit" and is distinguishable from a wetsuit but (to me) that's ridiculous and I'm sure you know it! If a "tech suit" was just a "suit" then we wouldn't even be having this argument. Like a wetsuit, the current generation of tech suits makes you faster than you are humanly capable of going. Please tell me if I'm wrong about this!

You feel there's a difference but you, in fact, are are on the very slippery slope that lawyers love to talk about so much.

Edit: Given the hooplah over the last two years, I'm not sure you can honestly say that tech suits are "perfectly legal". I think there has been a lot of controversy and questions about this since the moment the LRZ was first introduced. Take, for example, the lists of banned (and then unbanned) suits from earlier this year.

1. How do you know? Swimsuit material has evolved consistently over time. And the suits were approved right away pursuant to the rule. Real wetsuits have always been disapproved and have never been worn in meets.

2. I didn't say a "suit is just a suit." I said a "suit is a suit," which is to denote that it's not a "device." The word "suit" encompasses more than that which is necessary to cover bare skin. And they have been covering the entire body (and helping us go faster than humanly possible) for a decade now. I see no problem with experimenting with suit material, particularly if less than .4 mm thick.

3. I am a lawyer. I don't think the difference between a .4 mm thick swim skin and a 3-5 mm wetsuit is even remotely slippery.

4. I was using the phraseology "perfectly legal" sort of tongue in cheek in response to Chris. Didn't realize that? However, these suits have been and are currently approved for masters. So they are, in fact, quite legal. Suit stacking was promptly outlawed.

mindy
September 21st, 2009, 08:12 PM
I would agree to follow the international Fina Masters into making their decsion next week. I think it is a mistake to follow usa swimming too closely. How serious are we as a body? Is competition our main function? If I were about 70 I'd love a suit that gave me a little boost. If they really do. And we will all find out in the next year if this is much ado about nothing. I personally have worn a fabric suit and a blue seventy in competition, and my results were about the same. I actually liked the fabric better. But again, the bigger question is; were are we going with all of this, and does it really matter? It is amazing how caught up we all get about things like suits. Five minutes after a swim, it is forgotten and we all get on with our lives. So, where do I stand? Just make it fair. If we go tech, Make the suits affordable. If we go fabric, for goodness sakes please cover up the wonderful masters bodies, I say head to toe.

Chris Stevenson
September 21st, 2009, 08:24 PM
I don't even want to get started on whether a tech suit is a "device."

I mentioned earlier that the new USA-S rules specifically forbid wearing any device OR SWIMSUIT that helps "speed, pace, buoyancy or endurance." USMS passed the same rule but deleted the "or swimsuit" part.

But the USMS Rules Committee chair said that the deletion wasn't because such swimsuits are allowed but that they are implied by the placement of the Rule under "swimwear," and that the committee interprets it that way.

If so, then I don't see how the B70 or similar suits can be consider legal at this time (the rule was approved), but no one talked about that...this was at the very end and everyone was eager to begin heavy drinking...

Peter Cruise
September 21st, 2009, 08:29 PM
Perhaps we should move on to a topic a little less divisive, like say, public health care...

The Fortress
September 21st, 2009, 09:34 PM
I mentioned earlier (http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=194241&postcount=70) that the new USA-S rules specifically forbid wearing any device OR SWIMSUIT that helps "speed, pace, buoyancy or endurance." USMS passed the same rule but deleted the "or swimsuit" part.

But the USMS Rules Committee chair said that the deletion wasn't because such swimsuits are allowed but that they are implied by the placement of the Rule under "swimwear," and that the committee interprets it that way.

If so, then I don't see how the B70 or similar suits can be consider legal at this time (the rule was approved), but no one talked about that...this was at the very end and everyone was eager to begin heavy drinking...

How could this interpretation be correct?

First, USMS has not announced any official change in policy since it last declared that the tech suits were legal. USMS just "proposed" a masters swimwear rule to FINA. That proposal recommends use of a performance enhancing suit (that would be illegal under the "implication" posited above). That proposal acknowledges that FINA has yet to revise its current policy on masters swimwear and will reconsider it on Sept 25-26. USMS will then have to assess and adopt a response. So USMS and FINA's last word on masters is that the suits are legal. Why on earth would USMS adopt a supposedly "new" swimwear rule -- with this hidden implication -- at convention, fail to announce this fact to its swimmers who are competing in meets every weekend, and then propose a completely contrary rule to FINA? Indeed, why propose anything to FINA if it had already promulgated a new "rule?" Nope, it's quite clear that USMS has made no new official ruling renouncing the particular suits in question, and thus I'm wearing my B70 next Saturday for sure.

Second, some unexpressed interpretation/implication is not controlling in interpreting a regulation or rule. The plain language of the rule governs. By deleting the word "swimsuit," USMS deviated from USA-S policy in a clear way. The fact that the heading is "swimwear" doesn't change this analysis. Interpreting the existing rule under its current language would simply mean you can't "wear" a device like fins or watches or other external things which are not a "suit" to enhance performance.

It must have been the heavy drinking ... which I can see as totally necessary after digesting all the minutiae!

Chris Stevenson
September 21st, 2009, 09:50 PM
How could this interpretation be correct?

First, USMS has not announced any official change in policy since it last declared that the tech suits were legal. USMS just "proposed" a masters swimwear rule to FINA. That proposal recommends use of a performance enhancing suit (that would be illegal under the "implication" posited above). That proposal acknowledges that FINA has yet to revise its current policy on masters swimwear and will reconsider it on Sept 25-26. USMS will then have to assess and adopt a response. So USMS and FINA's last word on masters is that the suits are legal. Why on earth would USMS adopt a supposedly "new" swimwear rule -- with this hidden implication -- at convention, fail to announce this fact to its swimmers who are competing in meets every weekend, and then propose a completely contrary rule to FINA? Indeed, why propose anything to FINA if it had already promulgated a new "rule?" Nope, it's quite clear that USMS has made no new official ruling on the particular suits in question, and thus I'm wearing my B70 next Saturday for sure.

Second, some unexpressed interpretation/implication is not controlling in interpreting a regulation or rule. The plain language of the rule governs. By deleting the word "swimsuit," USMS deviated from USA-S policy in a clear way. The fact that the heading is "swimwear" doesn't change this analysis. Interpreting the existing rule under its current language would simply mean you can't "wear" a device like fins or watches or other external things which are not a "suit" to enhance performance.

It must have been the heavy drinking ... which I can see as totally necessary after digesting all the minutiae!

Don't shoot the messenger. USMS has a policy of adopting USA-S rules unless there is a reason not to do so. The Rules Committee had last minute meetings to discuss the new USA-S rules passed at Convention (most had to do with disabilities).

The interpretation was not unexpressed at all; when asked why the words were deleted, the Rules Chair said in front of 200 people that they are redundant b/c the Rules Committee interprets the rule to mean swimwear. I agree with you that is a little fishy b/c I am in favor of plain language over innuendo or interpretation; apparently USA-S is too.

The only thing I can think is -- if the interpretation is correct -- that the suits need to be proven to be an aid to speed/endurance etc before they are covered by this rule.

The main reason I brought it up is b/c "swimwear" is now explicitly covered in the USA-S rules. I think that is also true of the FINA rules but I have a hard time finding those.

The Fortress
September 21st, 2009, 09:55 PM
Don't shoot the messenger. USMS has a policy of adopting USA-S rules unless there is a reason not to do so. The Rules Committee had last minute meetings to discuss the new USA-S rules passed at Convention (most had to do with disabilities).

The interpretation was not unexpressed at all; when asked why the words were deleted, the Rules Chair said in front of 200 people that they are redundant b/c the Rules Committee interprets the rule to mean swimwear. I agree with you that is a little fishy b/c I am in favor of plain language over innuendo or interpretation; apparently USA-S is too.

The only thing I can think is -- if the interpretation is correct -- that the suits need to be proven to be an aid to speed/endurance etc before they are covered by this rule.

The main reason I brought it up is b/c "swimwear" is now explicitly covered in the USA-S rules. I think that is also true of the FINA rules but I have a hard time finding those.

Not shooting you -- you're always cogent, helpful, thoughtful and often funny in your posts.

I'm just calling BS on that "interpretation." Announcing a hidden/unwritten implication/meaning to a group is tantamount to legislative history -- not controlling or even considered given the plain language. And it is entirely illogical given the present set circumstances ... (BTW, "unexpressed" in legal terms means it is not expressed in the written rule; has nothing to do with something said orally.)

Really, can there be any doubt that everyone, including USMS, is awaiting a ruling from FINA and then, and only then, will USMS adopt an official stance or "rule"/clarification/policy on the tech suits?

BillS
September 30th, 2009, 12:46 PM
So, USMS, ya got screwed by FINA. You made a recommendation on the assumption that it would be acted on at the FINA meeting scheduled a couple weeks hence, but FINA -- in its infinite wisdom -- punted it off until January at the earliest. And it is reasonably foreseeable, if not downright likely, that FINA will -- in its infinite wisdom -- announce in January (or whenever, in its infinite wisdom, it damn well feels like it) that FINA, being focused exclusively on "elites" and "real swimming," doesn't give a fig about masters and what we wear in our silly, cute little "competitions", thereby leaving USMS in the lurch yet again.

In the meantime, some of us who do care about our silly, cute little competitions would like to know what exactly we may wear in our silly, cute little competitions. Oh yeah, and it would be really cool if the official pronouncement as to what we could wear wasn't in a complete state of flux on a daily basis. I'm guessing a couple/few of our sponsors would like that, too. Even a rule good for a limited, discrete block of time -- say 6 months -- would be a vast improvement over the current state of affairs.

I don't know what it would take at this point for USMS to adopt its own rule. Special session of our legislative body? Executive fiat? Bloody coup? Whatever is required, I urge USMS to get it done. Waiting for FINA has proven to be more existentially pointless than waiting for Godot (or, if you prefer, Guffman).

Oh, and about that silly compromise position, with us boys wearing cute little zippered shoulder to knee shorties? If we're cutting the FINA cord, how about revisiting that to allow the use of suits that are actually manufactured and that we actually own? By my count, the percentage of men wearing shortys at any meet is somewhere in the vicinity of .00003. If you want to limit tech suits while equalizing coverage between boys and girls, give us our waist to ankle legskins. At least a few of us actually own those.

Thanks, I feel better now.

The Fortress
September 30th, 2009, 01:00 PM
So, USMS, ya got screwed by FINA. You made a recommendation on the assumption that it would be acted on at the FINA meeting scheduled a couple weeks hence, but FINA -- in its infinite wisdom -- punted it off until January at the earliest. And it is reasonably foreseeable, if not downright likely, that FINA will -- in its infinite wisdom -- announce in January (or whenever, in its infinite wisdom, it damn well feels like it) that FINA, being focused exclusively on "elites" and "real swimming," doesn't give a fig about masters and what we wear in our silly, cute little "competitions", thereby leaving USMS in the lurch yet again.

In the meantime, some of us who do care about our silly, cute little competitions would like to know what exactly we may wear in our silly, cute little competitions. Oh yeah, and it would be really cool if the official pronouncement as to what we could wear wasn't in a complete state of flux on a daily basis. I'm guessing a couple/few of our sponsors would like that, too. Even a rule good for a limited, discrete block of time -- say 6 months -- would be a vast improvement over the current state of affairs.

I don't know what it would take at this point for USMS to adopt its own rule. Special session of our legislative body? Executive fiat? Bloody coup? Whatever is required, I urge USMS to get it done. Waiting for FINA has proven to be more existentially pointless than waiting for Godot (or, if you prefer, Guffman).

Oh, and about that silly compromise position, with us boys wearing cute little zippered shoulder to knee shorties? If we're cutting the FINA cord, how about revisiting that to allow the use of suits that are actually manufactured and that we actually own? By my count, the percentage of men wearing shortys at any meet is somewhere in the vicinity of .00003. If you want to limit tech suits while equalizing coverage between boys and girls, give us our waist to ankle legskins. At least a few of us actually own those.

Thanks, I feel better now.

Did USMS really expect FINA to act immediately? Didn't USMS know that the FINA recommendation would have to be approved by the Bureau? (More cynically, maybe USMS made the compromise recommendation to attempt to placate its divided constituency, but knowing it would be rejected?) I think it's clear at the moment -- we can wear our B70s/LZRs unless and until the FINA Bureau rules in January or thereafter. Since USMS seems committed to following FINA, I doubt a bloody coup is contemplated at this juncture. It is rather interesting that FINA appears poised, possibly, to blow off the recommendations from both Europe (anything goes) and USMS (stupid shorty johns for everyone) and impose a more onerous rule, when it showed no interest in regulating our cute little competitions before.

I think most chicks want their ankle legskins too ...

I wonder if the manufacturers have actually started designing and producing cute little shorty johns with no zippers for men?

Georgio
September 30th, 2009, 01:13 PM
To be sure there is never an unfair advantage by a swim suit....
I think all competitive swimming should be done in the nude!:applaud:

shouldyswimmer
September 30th, 2009, 01:51 PM
Someone brought up them up before and USA Swimming just sent out a list for allowable swimsuits under their ruling and agonswim.com is referenced.

Does anyone know what fabric that they offer is better for racing? Paper, Speedline or Streamline? http://www.agonswim.com/cgi-bin/sale...c.cfm?page=all (http://www.agonswim.com/cgi-bin/sales1/selectByFabric.cfm?page=all)

Calvin S
September 30th, 2009, 02:07 PM
Someone brought up them up before and USA Swimming just sent out a list for allowable swimsuits under their ruling and agonswim.com is referenced.

Does anyone know what fabric that they offer is better for racing? Paper, Speedline or Streamline? http://www.agonswim.com/cgi-bin/sale...c.cfm?page=all (http://www.agonswim.com/cgi-bin/sales1/selectByFabric.cfm?page=all)

i went with the paper suit (i hope it has a similar feel to the original paper suits)

shouldyswimmer
September 30th, 2009, 04:12 PM
i went with the paper suit (i hope it has a similar feel to the original paper suits)

Its been a long time since I have worn a paper suit so I can barely remember. All I can remember is that I couldn't get one leg in now, in the ones I use to wear!!

Allen Stark
September 30th, 2009, 05:25 PM
I really wish USMS would issue some sort of a statement.Since FINA won't even meet until Jan evidently it blows the 1/1/10 deadline for Masters and a 10/1/09 deadline for Masters seems unworkable.I'd like USMS to STATE that the currently legal suits will remain legal until they get further word from FINA.That would at least handle this year.

jim clemmons
September 30th, 2009, 05:36 PM
I really wish USMS would issue some sort of a statement.Since FINA won't even meet until Jan evidently it blows the 1/1/10 deadline for Masters and a 10/1/09 deadline for Masters seems unworkable.I'd like USMS to STATE that the currently legal suits will remain legal until they get further word from FINA.That would at least handle this year.

They have issued a statement. It remains status quo until such time they replace the existing statment with a different one.

In the interim, keep on keeping on.

pwb
September 30th, 2009, 07:36 PM
They have issued a statement.

Link to this?

jim clemmons
September 30th, 2009, 07:48 PM
Link to this?

It's the same one from June 1 stating that USMS will issue subsequent statements when they have something definitive to issue. I believe I've since seen informal statements stating that this is still the statement in effect. :cool:



http://www.usms.org/rules/20090601swimsuits.pdf
(Thanks Chris)

Chris Stevenson
September 30th, 2009, 08:20 PM
It's the same one from June 1 stating that USMS will issue subsequent statements when they have something definitive to issue. I believe I've since seen informal statements stating that this is still the statement in effect. :cool:

http://www.usms.org/rules/20090601swimsuits.pdf
(Thanks Chris)

It is still in effect...but now I realize that it is dated, given the following statement:

"FINA approval or rejection of new swimsuits introduced after September 30, 2007, will be accepted by U.S. Masters Swimming."

BillS
September 30th, 2009, 10:38 PM
It is still in effect...but now I realize that it is dated, given the following statement:

"FINA approval or rejection of new swimsuits introduced after September 30, 2007, will be accepted by U.S. Masters Swimming."

It's really out of date with the latest out of FINA. A few quotes:


1. Question: Can I wear a regular racing suit that is not a body suit?
Answer: Yes, suits introduced prior to September 30, 2007, are legal for U.S.M.S.
competition.


Question: How will this impact Masters competitors?
Answer: That suit you bought after September 30, 2007, is legal at this moment, but it
could be reconsidered by the USMS Rules Committee after the next FINA-approved
swimsuit list is published. Regardless of the upcoming new list, that old Fastskin or
similar suit that you have will be legal since it was introduced prior to September 30,
2007.


2. Question: Can I still wear my LZR or TYR Tracer at meets including long course
meters meets?
Answer: Yes, because at least some of the LZR and the TYR Tracer models are on the
new list of FINA-approved suits that was published May 19, 2009, and none of these
suits are on the not-approved list. All LZR and TYR suits are legal at least until the
retesting is completed. (We have not seen the official list of suits being retested, so we
don’t know if there are models of these suits included.)

C'mon Kathy et. al. FINA will not help us out of this morass. Step up, rule, and let's move on. It's time.

Chris Stevenson
October 1st, 2009, 12:57 PM
C'mon Kathy et. al. FINA will not help us out of this morass. Step up, rule, and let's move on. It's time.

I guess FINA's current "approved" list is still good until Jan 1, so the USMS rule (which depends on it) is good until then.

BillS
October 1st, 2009, 08:15 PM
I guess FINA's current "approved" list is still good until Jan 1, so the USMS rule (which depends on it) is good until then.

Yes, that's my understanding as well. It just seems silly to wait out this next 60 day period holding our collective breaths and waiting anxiously for FINA to make some pronouncement from on high.

Regarding USMS, I subscribe to the apparently radical notion that a governing body owes its governed some governance, particularly in times of turmoil. I understand that there are valid reasons for attempting to conform our rules to FINA's, at least when not inconsistent with our body's mission and goals. But waiting breathlessly for an edict which may never come seems a senseless abdication of responsibility.

I'd like to see USMS adopt a rule, now, covering the period through and including the Atlanta Nationals. The rule could automatically sunset at that point, defaulting to whatever position FINA has adopted for masters. Perhaps by that time FINA will have sorted out its position; perhaps not. But at least we will have had a reasonable period of some certainty as to what is or is not legal. It would help the swimmers and retailers alike.

I'm an unabashed B70 fan, but for the moment at least I'm not advocating for allowing any particular suits. I'm just advocating that there be a rule or position that we can rely on for more than 60 days at a whack.

scyfreestyler
October 1st, 2009, 11:35 PM
A simple solution for those worried about what will or will not be legal in 2010 is to wear a USA Swimming approved suit.


http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewNewsArticle.aspx?TabId=0&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US&ItemId=2631&mid=2943

Allen Stark
October 2nd, 2009, 03:36 PM
A simple solution for those worried about what will or will not be legal in 2010 is to wear a USA Swimming approved suit.


http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewNewsArticle.aspx?TabId=0&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US&ItemId=2631&mid=2943

There is nothing simple about putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage.

JimRude
October 2nd, 2009, 03:40 PM
There is nothing simple about putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage.

Perhaps a simpler solution is to avoid all meets until 1 January, and then to race in a FS Pro or Tracer Light jammer...

scyfreestyler
October 2nd, 2009, 03:49 PM
There is nothing simple about putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage.

I am not really concerned about how my swims rank amongst other swimmers, so for me, it is quite simple. YMMV

The Fortress
October 2nd, 2009, 04:08 PM
Yes, that's my understanding as well. It just seems silly to wait out this next 60 day period holding our collective breaths and waiting anxiously for FINA to make some pronouncement from on high.

Regarding USMS, I subscribe to the apparently radical notion that a governing body owes its governed some governance, particularly in times of turmoil. I understand that there are valid reasons for attempting to conform our rules to FINA's, at least when not inconsistent with our body's mission and goals. But waiting breathlessly for an edict which may never come seems a senseless abdication of responsibility.

I'd like to see USMS adopt a rule, now, covering the period through and including the Atlanta Nationals. The rule could automatically sunset at that point, defaulting to whatever position FINA has adopted for masters. Perhaps by that time FINA will have sorted out its position; perhaps not. But at least we will have had a reasonable period of some certainty as to what is or is not legal. It would help the swimmers and retailers alike.

I'm an unabashed B70 fan, but for the moment at least I'm not advocating for allowing any particular suits. I'm just advocating that there be a rule or position that we can rely on for more than 60 days at a whack.

I'm not all that bugged by the situation. USMS is pretty much committed to following FINA, and FINA meets in January. Wear the tech suits until then and be prepared to put them away when, as seem likely, the FINA Bureau adopts the FINA recommendation in January. I think the odds of another FINA flip-flop are pretty low .. although I admit precedent suggests otherwise.

My only concern would be ensuring that everyone has access to the new legal suit (one can hardly call it a tech suit). If would suck if there was a ruling in January, but suits weren't available. When I checked on line recently, there were very few kneekskins with a recordbreaker back (no zipper) in my size ... I assume they've been purchased by all the USA-S kids.

analazy
October 4th, 2009, 12:44 PM
Oh! Please let the suits be legal among Masters! We have other rules different from the “elite”, why not this one? Who cares one person breaks a master world record on suit?! The world records are actualized in a period of 6 months! The European in a 2 or 3 months periods, the TOP10 are a disgrace… so we are different from the “elite”, we swim for fun ! and putting on a suits that makes look like wonder woman is GREAT! Hiding the “faults “ of our aged body is terrific!! It is be a dream thinking the brands will keep improving suits only for Masters , so new techonoly will be finished here! Let keep the ones until 2009…..

Sorry , American colleagues but was in mood to express…

Swim for fun! :blush:

Allen Stark
October 4th, 2009, 02:57 PM
Oh! Please let the suits be legal among Masters! We have other rules different from the “elite”, why not this one? Who cares one person breaks a master world record on suit?! The world records are actualized in a period of 6 months! The European in a 2 or 3 months periods, the TOP10 are a disgrace… so we are different from the “elite”, we swim for fun ! and putting on a suits that makes look like wonder woman is GREAT! Hiding the “faults “ of our aged body is terrific!! It is be a dream thinking the brands will keep improving suits only for Masters , so new techonoly will be finished here! Let keep the ones until 2009…..

Sorry , American colleagues but was in mood to express…

Swim for fun! :blush:

I am not sure what you mean that the Top Ten are a disgrace?

analazy
October 4th, 2009, 03:35 PM
Hum! Are you the one who contributes for the ranking?
Well, maybe a strong word “disgrace”!
I know from personal experience at least 3 European Countries unable to send all official times, times would be at the FINA Masters Ranking TOP10. So, most Europeans who have times near the WR know some will never be on FINA, beginning with LEN.
Eh! Not complaining, if felt in conflict would have stopped to be a master 10 years ago J Just saying, nothing is Masters is “WELL DONE”, it is just fun; we tried to guide things but exceptions have to be made. Now at The Europeans Bernarda Angulo signed up without have done the entry times; and did a recordJ ETC.
In Europe we do not have a strong , almost impartial association as yours. Federations (without unanimity) guide the Masters and it is a huge mess concerning following rules, but which rules “elite” or “keep people swimming”!
Think I have talked to much, have to stop or will be censured heavily J Just swim….

The Fortress
October 5th, 2009, 11:30 AM
So I guess we shouldn't be expecting Europeans to follow any new rules that are issued then?

It's hard to believe a country is "unable" to submit times. Can a federation really be that disorganized? How can you even hold meets to generate the times if that's the case?

analazy
October 5th, 2009, 12:50 PM
Some European federations demand previous written authorization to swim abroad, after demand forms and written forms to official times done, if those procedures are not done the times will not be official in the federation where you are affiliated…. Some European Federations demand the local organization of an event to send the results formally through a specific program, some organization do not have that program …. Seams incredible but can keep on describing so many weird situations… One personal, a ER done in France from Spanish swimmer was not on TOP10 FINA ranking J and could go on, 16 years of really funny stories
But lets stop here , the issue are the suits; we are not “elite”, we should be able to wear what we have been wearing until now.

scyfreestyler
October 5th, 2009, 01:27 PM
Some European federations demand previous written authorization to swim abroad, after demand forms and written forms to official times done, if those procedures are not done the times will not be official in the federation where you are affiliated…. Some European Federations demand the local organization of an event to send the results formally through a specific program, some organization do not have that program …. Seams incredible but can keep on describing so many weird situations… One personal, a ER done in France from Spanish swimmer was not on TOP10 FINA ranking J and could go on, 16 years of really funny stories
But lets stop here , the issue are the suits; we are not “elite”, we should be able to wear what we have been wearing until now.

The majority of USA swimming athletes are not elite either. I don't really see this as an elite/non-elite issue.

Speedo
October 5th, 2009, 02:22 PM
I'd wager that some folks would not be as interested in the sport if it had drastically different rules than those the elites are subject to.

ande
October 5th, 2009, 04:10 PM
for some reason FINA put this article on their Site today, 10/5/09, it ran on USA Today on 8/3/2009 (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/lopresti/2009-08-03-lopo-column_N.htm)
Swimming all the rage, thanks to suit flap (http://www.fina.org/project/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2673&Itemid=9)


Source: USA Today, Updated 6d 14h ago By Mike Lopresti, Gannett

Somewhere out there, boxing and hockey and horse racing and every other sport craving more notice must be turning aquamarine with envy. There's a new master when it comes to attracting attention to itself.

We give you … swimming?



You bet your polyurethane suit.

They're arguing about what they should be wearing. They're trash talking. They've got a rivalry going that's starting to remind you of Michigan and Ohio State in goggles. They set world records at the world championships in Italy like they were on jet skis, and then worrying if they were going too fast.

The pope had a few of them in for a get-together, but the most famous invitee –Michael Phelps— declined, saying he needed to rest for a race. He also probably remembered what can happen when you attend a social function where there'll be cameras.

It's all been a seminar on how one sport can get exposure on a crowded landscape. Here people were, talking about the 100-meter butterfly over the weekend, and this is not even an Olympic year.

That's like talking about your Christmas shopping list in June.

This all came from recent days in Rome, where swimming times became like a fishing limit. If it wasn't a world record, you had to throw it back.

Forty-three world records fell in a week, with some of the old standards shattered so thoroughly, you started wandering if maybe past swimmers had to backstroke through oatmeal.

But no, apparently much of the speed came from these new polyurethane suits, which must be the greatest technological advancement in the swimming pool since chlorine. After hearing about how well they worked – how, in fact, they had alarmed so many that they are to be banned at year's end – I spent the weekend trying to find one myself to give it a test swim.

The idea was to see if the engineering was so good, it could turn a paddle boat into a torpedo. Nothing polyurethane at the sporting goods store, though. Nothing at Wal-Mart, either. I did get a number for a supplier. In Italy.

Just as well, because the editor probably would have wanted art had I squeezed into one, and those pictures would have had to be confiscated faster than dunks on LeBron James.

Phelps, you might have heard, hasn't been swimming high-tech, either, mostly because he stayed with his sponsor's old suit, even if that style was so last year.

Milorad Cavic – the Serbian butterflyer whom Phelps beat in Beijing by the width of a gnat – was quoted as saying maybe Phelps should get a new model before their rematch in Rome. He'd even buy one for Phelps, because he wanted his rival at his fastest.

Would Padraig Harrington offer to buy Tiger Woods a new driver?

They met Saturday in the 100-butterfly in swimming's version of Ali-Frasier. A fired-up Phelps beat Cavic again, and had the angry look of a man who was ready to fight a dragon. Or maybe we should we say the Speedo LZR beat the Arena X-Glide, except that sounds like two wrestlers on cable television.

Whichever, it was an electric moment, and afterward Cavic mentioned how the race was exciting but his quotes had not been presented quite the way he meant.

'The media has a way of taking just one tiny little thing and making it into something that it's completely not,' he said at his press conference. "Especially the American media."

The sport shouldn't mind. This is starting to sound a little like Super Bowl media day.

Now what? The Cavic camp suggested a future match race between the two. Phelps and Cavic have become Seabiscuit and War Admiral.

Alas, the championships are over, and the polyurethane suits will have a going-out-of-business sale soon. The geniuses who designed them ought to be hired by Detroit carmakers.

To think, in non-Olympic years, swimming is normally as visible to the American public as Pluto. But this has been a clinic on how to get headlines. Works even better now than positive steroid tests in baseball.

rtodd
October 6th, 2009, 08:31 PM
http://www.aquafitmasters.com/Schedule&News/100109HighTechSwimSuitBanInfo.doc

Is this right?

Allen Stark
October 6th, 2009, 11:47 PM
http://www.aquafitmasters.com/Schedule&News/100109HighTechSwimSuitBanInfo.doc

Is this right?
I doubt it.This looks like USA-S not USMS.I don't know where this came from but surely there would be a post at this website.

ehoch
October 7th, 2009, 01:14 AM
First scm meet of the season in Mission Viejo - still lots and lots of suits out there ....

A bunch of records - all of them in some sort of tech suit. There is simply no way people will swim this well in season if they ban the suits - just for that reason, they should leave everything up to the swimmers ....

resqme
October 7th, 2009, 10:32 AM
Even after all this discussion about whether the tech suits should be banned or not because of the advantages to some and not to all, I am extremely concerned that the sport of swimming will take a major hit with the general public and lose popularity if ALL tech suits are banned.

The growth we have seen over the past couple of years in the sport of swimming has a lot to do with Michael Phelps of course, but also because of the new technology that the sport has allowed into its arena. I do think this HAS to come into consideration by our governing bodies to keep continued growth.

Dolphin 2
October 7th, 2009, 12:14 PM
Even after all this discussion about whether the tech suits should be banned or not because of the advantages to some and not to all, I am extremely concerned that the sport of swimming will take a major hit with the general public and lose popularity if ALL tech suits are banned.

The growth we have seen over the past couple of years in the sport of swimming has a lot to do with Michael Phelps of course, but also because of the new technology that the sport has allowed into its arena. I do think this HAS to come into consideration by our governing bodies to keep continued growth.

In terms of increased public interest, swimming has still not caught fire at all.

The increased interest because of suit technology is mainly due to the huge emotionally charged debate of whether the records set by using them are really legit or whether they should be discounted.

In fact the controversy over suit technolgy has made swimming even more Hooo Huuum.

D2

scyfreestyler
October 7th, 2009, 12:24 PM
First scm meet of the season in Mission Viejo - still lots and lots of suits out there ....

A bunch of records - all of them in some sort of tech suit. There is simply no way people will swim this well in season if they ban the suits - just for that reason, they should leave everything up to the swimmers ....



I'm not sure I follow you here. How is not swimming well in season without the aid of a tech suit reason to keep them around? What will happen if people can no longer swim so well in season?

aquageek
October 7th, 2009, 12:33 PM
In terms of increased public interest, swimming has still not caught fire at all.

Really, you sure about that? What was the showcase sport for the Olympics last year, smart guy? The Grand Prix in Charlotte this year was the biggest in over 25 years and sold out all sessions. The trials were in a basketball arena. USMS has the largest membership ever. There is a swimmer on that Dancing with the Stars show. I think I heard this year's Worlds were the most televised ever in the USA.

So, once again, you have shown your utter swimming ignorance.

ehoch
October 7th, 2009, 12:43 PM
What will happen if people can no longer swim so well in season?

How many may meets do swim each year ??

Chris Stevenson
October 7th, 2009, 01:36 PM
The growth we have seen over the past couple of years in the sport of swimming has a lot to do with Michael Phelps of course, but also because of the new technology that the sport has allowed into its arena. I do think this HAS to come into consideration by our governing bodies to keep continued growth.

Where is the evidence that any (recent) increased popularity is due to the tech suits? As pro-suit proponents never cease to remind me, tech suits have been around for at least 10 years.

If you are saying that the recent spate of WRs is the reason for increased popularity, I'll have to disagree. As Shaq said on his show with Phelps -- which I thoroughly enjoyed -- such things result in "golf claps."


There is simply no way people will swim this well in season if they ban the suits - just for that reason, they should leave everything up to the swimmers ....

In-season wearing of tech suits is not enough, as I found out first hand: swimming well in-season is at least as much a function of training as the suit. Wearing a tech suit when I'm fatigued from training brings to mind the phrase "lipstick on a pig...!" :)

Nevertheless I take your meaning: I know you are a proponent of swimming fast in season (which basically means not swimming in meets when too tired, ie not getting too tired in-season). And throwing on a suit is like an instant shave: it is that much easier to get time close to season-ending times.

Of course, if it is that important to you, you can still shave for in-season meets. I've done it before, and I even like the after-effects of being (partially) shaved in practice for the ensuing weeks after the meet. It would be like wearing the suits in practice...but not as hard on the pocketbook.

But I also really like having significant drops at season-ending meets. If I go to the trouble of tapering and travelling to nationals I'd like to have more than a 0.5-1.0 sec drop in time. And maybe I'm too old-school, but I don't share your fondness for swimming too fast in-season. I like training hard during the season; I do this as much for the training as for the competition.

I've done it the other way (ie, fast in-season meets) before and it can come with the price of somewhat slower swimming at the big meet. But that's just me. Even at the elite level you see people all over the board on this: some who do well mostly at the big meets, when rested, and others who swim fast almost all the time.

gull
October 7th, 2009, 02:50 PM
In-season wearing of tech suits is not enough, as I found out first hand: swimming well in-season is at least as much a function of training as the suit. Wearing a tech suit when I'm fatigued from training brings to mind the phrase "lipstick on a pig...!"

I guess it is safe to say that you don't own one of those magic tech suits that does the swimming for you. Or are you one of those hypothetical individuals we keep hearing about who doesn't benefit as much from the suit as a lesser swimmer?

The Fortress
October 7th, 2009, 02:57 PM
Nevertheless I take your meaning: I know you are a proponent of swimming fast in season (which basically means not swimming in meets when too tired, ie not getting too tired in-season). And throwing on a suit is like an instant shave: it is that much easier to get time close to season-ending times.

Of course, if it is that important to you, you can still shave for in-season meets. I've done it before, and I even like the after-effects of being (partially) shaved in practice for the ensuing weeks after the meet. It would be like wearing the suits in practice...but not as hard on the pocketbook.

But I also really like having significant drops at season-ending meets. If I go to the trouble of tapering and travelling to nationals I'd like to have more than a 0.5-1.0 sec drop in time. And maybe I'm too old-school, but I don't share your fondness for swimming too fast in-season. I like training hard during the season; I do this as much for the training as for the competition.

I've done it the other way (ie, fast in-season meets) before and it can come with the price of somewhat slower swimming at the big meet. But that's just me. Even at the elite level you see people all over the board on this: some who do well mostly at the big meets, when rested, and others who swim fast almost all the time.

It's important to me, and much more fun, to swim fast all the time. I did this train, train, train for THE big taper meet all the time when I was a kid. It is old school, and I like doing it completely differently now as a master. I love tinkering with my training periods and training in general; and I can't always get to Nats anyway. (Judging by my family's current tolerance level, I think I'm going to be 0 for 2 next year.) Plus, as a geezer, I'm leery about training for THE meet and then getting sick or injured or have a family issue interfere with the plan.

Now I do own one of those magic suits that does the swimming for me. Otherwise, I'm sure I'd just swim slow all the time in season from lack of training. ;)

knelson
October 7th, 2009, 03:29 PM
Where is the evidence that any (recent) increased popularity is due to the tech suits? As pro-suit proponents never cease to remind me, tech suits have been around for at least 10 years.

I agree. And my personal experience has been that masters swimmers who don't compete, or compete very rarely, tend to think the tech suits are overpriced and sort of silly.

gull
October 7th, 2009, 03:32 PM
And my personal experience has been that masters swimmers who don't compete, or compete very rarely, tend to think the tech suits are overpriced and sort of silly.

Funny, that's how I view a Ping driver.

jim clemmons
October 7th, 2009, 03:34 PM
It's important to me, and much more fun, to swim fast all the time. I did this train, train, train for THE big taper meet all the time when I was a kid. It is old school, and I like doing it completely differently now as a master. I love tinkering with my training periods and training in general; and I can't always get to Nats anyway. (Judging by my family's current tolerance level, I think I'm going to be 0 for 2 next year.) Plus, as a geezer, I'm leery about training for THE meet and then getting sick or injured or have a family issue interfere with the plan.

Now I do own one of those magic suits that does the swimming for me. Otherwise, I'm sure I'd just swim slow all the time in season from lack of training. ;)

My sentiments as well except I didn't swim as a "kid" and the only other difference is that I own two!

The Fortress
October 7th, 2009, 03:39 PM
masters swimmers who don't compete, or compete very rarely, tend to think the tech suits are overpriced and sort of silly.

What do they know then and who are they to pass judgment? :bolt:

aquageek
October 7th, 2009, 04:05 PM
I agree. And my personal experience has been that masters swimmers who don't compete, or compete very rarely, tend to think the tech suits are overpriced and sort of silly.

Yeah, but that's true for every sport, the ones who compete own the best equipment, as gull said, so I'm really offering nothing to this discussion.

knelson
October 7th, 2009, 04:20 PM
But my point is that a lot of masters swimmers don't even care about tech suits, so this suggests to me that tech suits are NOT spurring increased interest in swimming--at least at the masters level.

gull
October 7th, 2009, 04:29 PM
But my point is that a lot of masters swimmers don't even care about tech suits...

So why are we banning them?

Oh yeah, because we want to be like Mike.

scyfreestyler
October 7th, 2009, 04:42 PM
How many may meets do swim each year ??

Are you asking me how many meets I swim each year? Three in 2009.

Chris Stevenson
October 7th, 2009, 06:44 PM
It's important to me, and much more fun, to swim fast all the time. I did this train, train, train for THE big taper meet all the time when I was a kid. It is old school, and I like doing it completely differently now as a master.

Well, after I thought about it, I realize that I don't do it now like I used to. Lately I do 4 big taper/shave meets a year (one at the end of each season, plus Sr Champs in the spring) and they come roughly 3 months apart. Figure in 3 weeks of taper for each and that's about 2 months of solid training for each meet. A 3-month training cycle is about right for me know, my body can't take endless weeks of hard training like it used to.

But swimming fast at every meet? For me anyway, that's a recipe for not swimming incredibly fast at any of them. I like swimming fast too.

The Fortress
October 7th, 2009, 06:52 PM
But swimming fast at every meet? For me anyway, that's a recipe for not swimming incredibly fast at any of them. I like swimming fast too.

I swam fast (for me) at every meet I swam in the last year (PBs). And I swam even faster in my taper meets. I think sprinters can do this more easily than you mid-D and D folks though.

I think a 2 month training cycle seems to work well for me. But I'm experimenting with this some. I think a 6 week cycle might work too. Periodization seems less important for sprinters.

Firebird
October 9th, 2009, 05:26 PM
I think a big part of the problem is that swimmers have never thought of their sport as one that could be significantly impacted by the introduction of new technologies. It is on its face such a simple sport requiring such little equipment that the idea of technology coming in and becoming such a huge game changer seemed far fetched.

But it can and did. I don't see how you can look at the near perfect relationship between world records and new swimsuits, especially world records by near unknowns and not wake up to the fact that the tech suits are turning previous standards on their heads.

Nearly every sport in the world has to grapple with the fact of technology and decide where it wants to draw lines to keep the essence of the sport fixed, while allowing for progress for the sake of things like safety and standardization. You'd see teams stretch the field in amazing ways if you decided to let quarterbacks sling those grooved nerf footballs instead of a pigskin. Take a look at the difference between the major league and college game in baseball to see how the introduction of technology (aluminum bats) change the game. I view the tech suit as swimming's aluminum bats. All of a sudden you have these ridiculous times popping up, kind of like inflated college batting averages.

But it's always easier to be proactive than reactive which is what I sense the problem is. Let's face it, if FINA/USA-S had been ahead of the game and had instituted the coverage and fabric requirements back in the 1990's no one would be griping about the fact that they aren't able to wear a hypothetical Jakerz tech suit that "could" be made if only the manufacturers were allowed to push the limits. Everyone would just accept the equipment standards as a fundamental part of the sport. What gets people upset is something being taken away.

I think the introduction of new equipment standards on the elite level helps protect the integrity of the sport. We'll be able to meaningfullly compare world records and times across generations. The technical limits will be fixed (hopefully) with a clear bright line so that athletes won't have an excuse to blame their off the podium finishes on a sponsorship deal or a lack of funds. Long story short, swimsuits will be the same sort of factor that cleats are in track, shoulder pads are in football, and bats are in baseball-- a necessary piece of equipment but irrelevant in terms of the outcome of a competition. Swimmers will be the deciding factor.

I am unsure of where I stand for the master's level, but I do have to say I like the idea of being able to meaningfully compare the top master's times with the top elite times.

ande
October 11th, 2009, 04:02 PM
here's what USMS is doing about suits.

U.S. Masters Swimming Statement on Swimsuits
10/11/09

The FINA Masters Committee has recommended that the FINA Bureau, meeting in mid-January, approve its recommendation that Masters swimmers be governed by the same swimsuit rules as the elite pool swimmers. If the Bureau approves the committee's recommendation, it is anticipated it would go into effect after the Bureau meeting. If this recommendation becomes policy with the FINA Bureau, USMS will implement it for our sanctioned swim meets.

For the time being and until the FINA Bureau issues its policy for Masters, the June 1, 2009 ruling that allowed technical suits in USMS swim meets is still in effect. If you choose to compete in a USA Swimming sanctioned meet, you must follow USA Swimming rules.

stillwater
October 11th, 2009, 04:37 PM
Shocked. Shocked I tell ya.

Who woulld have ever thought?

knelson
October 12th, 2009, 12:11 AM
I thought the USMS statement was sort of bizarre. What accounts for the change from recommending shoulder to knee suits?

thewookiee
October 12th, 2009, 08:28 AM
I thought the USMS statement was sort of bizarre. What accounts for the change from recommending shoulder to knee suits?

Sounds like the FINA Masters decided to ignore the USMS recommendation for shoulder-to-knee suits.

knelson
October 12th, 2009, 10:59 AM
Sounds like the FINA Masters decided to ignore the USMS recommendation for shoulder-to-knee suits.

Yeah, I guess I misread it at first. I thought the statement was saying this was USMS's recommendation to FINA.

pwb
October 12th, 2009, 11:04 AM
Yeah, I guess I misread it at first. I thought the statement was saying this was USMS's recommendation to FINA.

I misread it at first as well. The good news is we have 'official' clarity through January and I can wear by B70 next weekend!:)

gull
October 12th, 2009, 12:22 PM
Any reason why USMS would not consider delaying institution of a ban until the end of short course season? An official statement along those lines would be appreciated.

BillS
October 12th, 2009, 12:33 PM
I know I have been asking for USMS to rule, but tieing ourselves to whatever FINA may do come January at this point seems premature. If we were sincere in our recommendation to FINA to carve out a limited masters exception, it seems we ought to be considering our options right now. But by my reading of this announcement we took that off that table, and will now blindly follow whatever FINA rules.

Which may be zipless (and evidently tieless) jammers and tanks; may be the original USMS recommendation; may be B70s/Jakeds mandatory (no one wants to see all that old flesh exposed!); or may be nothing at all, contained in a pronouncement that FINA doesn't care about masters.

So please remind me why are we wedded to FINA again? So our LCM/SCM records count? So we're not considered a beer league? Because our rules say so unless we choose to go our own way, as we have for butterfrog?

None of those reasons seem compelling enough to announce at this time that we are on board with whatever move FINA makes next. I would have liked to see a little more consideration given to the concerns expressed by the USMS swimmers. Some seemed to be a stretch (modesty), but some appeared to be at least facially valid (zippers needed, SCY is a separate animal, we spent good money, etc. etc. etc.).

Chris Stevenson
October 12th, 2009, 01:22 PM
I know I have been asking for USMS to rule, but tieing ourselves to whatever FINA may do come January at this point seems premature. If we were sincere in our recommendation to FINA to carve out a limited masters exception, it seems we ought to be considering our options right now. But by my reading of this announcement we took that off that table, and will now blindly follow whatever FINA rules.

So please remind me why are we wedded to FINA again? So our LCM/SCM records count? So we're not considered a beer league? Because our rules say so unless we choose to go our own way, as we have for butterfrog?

None of those reasons seem compelling enough to announce at this time that we are on board with whatever move FINA makes next. I would have liked to see a little more consideration given to the concerns expressed by the USMS swimmers. Some seemed to be a stretch (modesty), but some appeared to be at least facially valid (zippers needed, SCY is a separate animal, we spent good money, etc. etc. etc.).

I don't think it was ever USMS' intention to deviate from FINA on the suits for SCM or LCM. The recommendation was USMS trying to be proactive but obviously the FINA Technical Committee didn't bite.

As far as why we follow FINA, I suppose it is because swimming -- even masters -- is an international sport, with international competitions, time compilations and records. A consistent set of rules is needed for such things. Whether that is a compelling reason is a matter of opinion, I suppose, but USAS (of which USMS is a part) is a member organization. Like it or don't, FINA is the international federation that governs all aquatic sports.

FINA doesn't give a fig about SCY, though. I do not know why USMS has decided to implement a ban -- if it comes -- immediately, since it would come in mid-season for SCY. For SCM/LCM, mid-January is right at the start of a new season. (I suppose there is a chance that, if the FINA Bureau announces a ban, they will also announce a later implementation date, like they did for the elites.)

Midas
October 12th, 2009, 01:35 PM
They should just implement the ban immediately for SCY meets. It's going to happen, so why not nip it in the bud before too many meets are held?

By the way, I swam a meet in briefs for the first time this last weekend and went pretty significantly slower than I did last year in my B70. There are many factors that could have contributed to the decline, but I don't doubt for a second that the suit was a factor. I definitely feel the pain of those that want to keep the suits, but I am going to make peace with the new paradigm as I believe it's the right one.

SCAQ Member
October 12th, 2009, 04:44 PM
"... By the way, I swam a meet in briefs for the first time this last weekend and went pretty significantly slower than I did last year in my B70. [...] I definitely feel the pain of those that want to keep the suits, but I am going to make peace with the new paradigm as I believe it's the right one.

What percentage of tech-suit people do you think will "...make peace with this new paradigm" or what percentage will simply refused to make peace with it?

If tech suits are banned, I predict that the USMS will NOT boast record high numbers next convention.

Allen Stark
October 12th, 2009, 04:48 PM
I think that the FINA masters committee should be even more ashamed of it's self than FINA proper.Why are they waiting until Jan to hold their meeting?(I can answer that,but not without profanity.)They should get their:censor: selves together and meet no later than Dec so whatever they decide(assuming they decide anything) can take effect 1/1/10 when the "elite" rules do.

The Fortress
October 12th, 2009, 04:56 PM
What percentage of tech-suit people do you think will "...make peace with this new paradigm" or what percentage will simply refused to make peace with it?

Yes, people, unlike Midas, who don't believe it's the "right paradigm," will be less inclined to "make peace" with it. The anti-tech suit crowd should have no gripe or need to "make peace." They're getting their old-fashioned "purist" way and don't have to grudgingly acquiesce to or rail against progress anymore.

The rest of us who want to cover up our flab and cheat with our magic suits may cause meet attendance to drop. I know many swimmers who are just more comfortable in tech suits, and not just for speed reasons.

Midas
October 12th, 2009, 05:50 PM
What percentage of tech-suit people do you think will "...make peace with this new paradigm" or what percentage will simply refused to make peace with it?

If tech suits are banned, I predict that the USMS will NOT boast record high numbers next convention.

I don't know. How many folks out there refused to make peace with the (albeit temporary) tech suit paradigm? Some of those people still showed up to meets and swam despite being at a disadvantage. But how many were discouraged by how the suits helped people who never beat them before suddenly kick their tails? Those people don't feature prominently on this board and I'm sure we'll never really know the answer to either your or my question.

By the way, I saw very few tech suits at the meet this weekend. And apparently this meet was much more heavily attended than it has been in prior years (according to teammates who attend every year). Maybe that says something about what will or won't happen to attendance when the suits are banned? I think for the most part those with the tech suits are the most hard core, and will likely continue to swim regardless.

It was definitely sobering to see my times regressing. Despite thinking it's the right thing to do for a myriad of reasons, giving up the tech suits indeed is not easy even for me.

Chris Stevenson
October 12th, 2009, 06:25 PM
If tech suits are banned, I predict that the USMS will NOT boast record high numbers next convention.


I think for the most part those with the tech suits are the most hard core, and will likely continue to swim regardless.

As Midas said, I doubt we'll ever know for sure. But I very much doubt that tech suits are a major factor driving registration numbers, given that a minority of members compete and only a subset of them wear tech suits and feel strongly for them.

And for those who love them, are tech suits the main reason they joined masters swimming? Even those who Fort insists are more comfortable in these suits do not wear them for most of their swimming (ie, in practice).

More plausible perhaps is that the number of people who compete might be affected.

The only thing I know for sure is, regardless of whether the bureau accepts or rejects the committee's recommendation, we'll be hearing gripes for months to come... :)

gull
October 12th, 2009, 06:35 PM
I think that the FINA masters committee should be even more ashamed of itself than FINA proper. Why are they waiting until Jan to hold their meeting? (I can answer that, but not without profanity.) They should get their :censor: selves together and meet no later than Dec so whatever they decide (assuming they decide anything) can take effect 1/1/10 when the "elite" rules do.

My understanding is that it is the FINA bureau that is scheduled to meet in January at which time they will review the recommendations of the Masters Technical Committee.


But how many were discouraged by how the suits helped people who never beat them before suddenly kick their tails?

How many indeed. And sadly, it is rumored that these same heartbroken swimmers were turned away when they attempted to purchase one of these suits for themselves.

JimRude
October 12th, 2009, 06:44 PM
I think for the most part those with the tech suits are the most hard core, and will likely continue to swim regardless.

I agree. Anyone who drops $400+ on a tech suit and then doesn't compete is probably certifiable.

However, I think that if one has gone so far as to enter meets in the past - with or without a tech suit - the new reg's probably should not cause one to stop competing.

At worst, there will need to be a period of "adjustment" to non suit aided times. Everyone gets an asterisk!

BillS
October 12th, 2009, 08:31 PM
The only thing I know for sure is, regardless of whether the bureau accepts or rejects the committee's recommendation, we'll be hearing gripes for months to come... :)

I'll try to be here for you, Chris.:)

As an aside, while I will miss my B70, I'd like to think that I've come to terms with the decision and the loss. I admit that I'm looking forward to being able to yank on my competition suit in something less than 10 minutes of gentle tugging and persuasion, and not spending $400 on a suit leaves more money (much more) for my favorite frosty adult beverages. There are some intriguing aspects to the ban, too. A buddy and I are currently speculating on whether the B70 helped a mutual nemesis disproportionately; we are hoping that in a jammers only world, his times slow to within our reach.

But the senseless nature of how we got to this point, and the continued floundering by FINA (and to a lesser extent USMS) really rankles. I'm sure I'll get over it.

stillwater
October 12th, 2009, 08:59 PM
The only thing I know for sure is, regardless of whether the bureau accepts or rejects the committee's recommendation, we'll be hearing gripes for months to come... :)

Some would call it whining.

The Fortress
October 12th, 2009, 11:07 PM
I agree. Anyone who drops $400+ on a tech suit and then doesn't compete is probably certifiable.

However, I think that if one has gone so far as to enter meets in the past - with or without a tech suit - the new reg's probably should not cause one to stop competing.

At worst, there will need to be a period of "adjustment" to non suit aided times. Everyone gets an asterisk!

People are likely more addicted to swimming & competing than addicted to the suits ... At least a goodly percentage.

If FINA decides we masters must really swim in microscopic suits, I'm going to blame all my slow times on failure to taper. :) I hate tapering with a vengeance anyway; now I have a good excuse to just avoid it. :D

I wonder if Europe or other masters federations will fall in line with FINA? Or even bother to enforce its rules?

And since "textile" hasn't been defined (has it?), I wonder how long before neoprene is woven into fabric?

knelson
October 12th, 2009, 11:41 PM
How many folks out there refused to make peace with the (albeit temporary) tech suit paradigm? Some of those people still showed up to meets and swam despite being at a disadvantage.

I think this is a great point. Especially at the big, end of season type meets there may well have been swimmers out there who elected not to swim since they knew they wouldn't be competitive without dropping major coin on a suit.

swoomer
October 13th, 2009, 05:12 PM
Is it my imagination or isn't it a tad arrogant to think that the USMS recommendation should be the one that FINA adopts? The measure was adopted by a slim margin within our own organization, which would seem to give it even less weight. There is a world full of masters swimming organizations out there, so is ours necessarily more powerful? I don't think we've seen the end of this.

hofffam
October 13th, 2009, 06:06 PM
And since "textile" hasn't been defined (has it?), I wonder how long before neoprene is woven into fabric?

Since the textile has to be porous - a fabric made of neoprene won't trap air. It also won't have the seamless surface of current coated suits.

Neoprene is also not as strong as spandex ("Lycra") so a textile made of woven neoprene would have less compression than today's non-coated suits (e.g. FS Pro) unless the neoprene was thicker and heavier. Chances are good it would exceed the thickness rule and it might be noticably heavy.

The Fortress
October 13th, 2009, 06:31 PM
Since the textile has to be porous - a fabric made of neoprene won't trap air. It also won't have the seamless surface of current coated suits.

Neoprene is also not as strong as spandex ("Lycra") so a textile made of woven neoprene would have less compression than today's non-coated suits (e.g. FS Pro) unless the neoprene was thicker and heavier. Chances are good it would exceed the thickness rule and it might be noticably heavy.

Isn't the current thickness rule 1.0 mm though? The current B70 is only .5 mm.

Chris Stevenson
October 13th, 2009, 07:56 PM
Is it my imagination or isn't it a tad arrogant to think that the USMS recommendation should be the one that FINA adopts? The measure was adopted by a slim margin within our own organization, which would seem to give it even less weight. There is a world full of masters swimming organizations out there, so is ours necessarily more powerful? I don't think we've seen the end of this.

I don't think it had anything to do with power or arrogance. It was a recommendation. They didn't heed it.

FINA adopted the USA-S recommendation for elites, so it isn't like it hadn't happened before.

As far as the recommendation being "adopted by a slim margin within our organization," that isn't true. It wasn't even voted on, at least, not by the delegates. I would imagine there was a vote within the Rules Committee and any others that were involved in crafting/submitting the recommendation.

dsyphers
October 15th, 2009, 10:36 AM
Fans of tech suits: Don't despair, just be patient. I did a little literature search on the current state of research on superhydrophobic textiles. There is a lot happening there! Some is exactly what I thought might be involved - the use of nanaoparticles that end up on the surface of textile fibers, drastically reducing the coefficient of friction. There is a lot of research being done on this, and eventually I expect it will lead to suits that are just as good as the ones being banned, and virtually indistinguishable from today's textiles used for allowed suits. There was research reported in this month's Physics Today about modifications to the surface shape at the all-important viscous boundary layer that can reduce the friction even further. There are a lot of steps between today's research and tomorrow's ultra fast suits, but I have no doubt they will occur. Buoyancy may be a different matter, but I suspect there's a way there too. I will maintain again that once the technology cat is let out of the bag, you can't get it back in (unless we stop wearing suits altogether :afraid:). Today's suits being banned are just the fruits of the first wave of technology being applied to the fabrics. There will be more waves, and the current research base makes it obvious to me that they will succeed. It's not an un-natural thing either, as there are superhydrophobic plant surfaces, where the plant has evolved the property as part of its natural evolutionary process.

I sincerely expect there to be a time when people look back and wonder why we bothered to ban today's suit technology, when it will come back anyway. It is not just the materials used that determines how low the friction is, it is the shape of the fibers, the structure of their surfaces, etc. The use of polyurethane and neoprene are just the simple, first order, techniques available to make suits faster. This area of research is important to more fields than just swimming (which is probably the least important), and I have no doubt it will bear fruit. I firmly believe fast suits will be back. It will just take a little while for the research to transfer all the way to production.

Chris Stevenson
October 15th, 2009, 11:19 AM
Fans of tech suits: Don't despair, just be patient. I did a little literature search on the current state of research on superhydrophobic textiles. There is a lot happening there! Some is exactly what I thought might be involved - the use of nanaoparticles that end up on the surface of textile fibers, drastically reducing the coefficient of friction. There is a lot of research being done on this, and eventually I expect it will lead to suits that are just as good as the ones being banned, and virtually indistinguishable from today's textiles used for allowed suits. There was research reported in this month's Physics Today about modifications to the surface shape at the all-important viscous boundary layer that can reduce the friction even further. There are a lot of steps between today's research and tomorrow's ultra fast suits, but I have no doubt they will occur. Buoyancy may be a different matter, but I suspect there's a way there too. I will maintain again that once the technology cat is let out of the bag, you can't get it back in (unless we stop wearing suits altogether :afraid:). Today's suits being banned are just the fruits of the first wave of technology being applied to the fabrics. There will be more waves, and the current research base makes it obvious to me that they will succeed. It's not an un-natural thing either, as there are superhydrophobic plant surfaces, where the plant has evolved the property as part of its natural evolutionary process.

I sincerely expect there to be a time when people look back and wonder why we bothered to ban today's suit technology, when it will come back anyway. It is not just the materials used that determines how low the friction is, it is the shape of the fibers, the structure of their surfaces, etc. The use of polyurethane and neoprene are just the simple, first order, techniques available to make suits faster. This area of research is important to more fields than just swimming (which is probably the least important), and I have no doubt it will bear fruit. I firmly believe fast suits will be back. It will just take a little while for the research to transfer all the way to production.

Good for women -- though the current FS-Pro technology is actually pretty good IMO -- but not so important to men since there isn't much material left to modify.

Of course, any "superhydrophobic" treatment you describe would most likely cause even a textile to fail the permeability requirement.

Who says the suits work due to reduced coefficient of friction? I always understood that to be one of the least important factors. I believe buoyancy and compression are more important, but that's just my opinion. Buoyancy is out, the requirements become more strict, but I think the materials research you describe may be misplaced wrt to swimming faster. Rather than decrease friction, increase "stretchiness" and durability.

Or, rather than waiting for faster suits, one could just try training harder/smarter...:)

Dolphin 2
October 15th, 2009, 12:22 PM
Desyphers
Your post just reinforces why FINA should issue an all out ban on so called tech suits and why they should have never been allowed in the first place. In fact, it’s been quite well known for over 100 years that people can swim faster by using some kind of “technology” like simple flippers and paddles and new suit materials are just another form of mechanization.

Accordingly any “new superhydrophobic textiles and the surface shape at the all-important viscous boundary layer” and their application to faster suits is nothing but an academic exercise in hydrodynamics and nothing of any real virtue for athletic swimming.

Furthermore, setting new records through the use of "technologically assisted" swimming is viewed as being pretty "Hooo Huuum" and considered as more of a cheat sheet approach rather than a reflection of the actual skill of the swimmer. In fact, many question whether the new records should even be counted as legitimate times.

The whole tech suit issue has become an utter monstrosity (and getting even worse with every new product that comes out) and grotesquely side tracking the whole objective of the sport.

As I’ve said many times, FINA should just TIVO back to the rules for suits in effect in the 1970s and 80s -and leave them that way.

Case closed.

D2

jim clemmons
October 15th, 2009, 01:15 PM
Good article from Tony Austin here http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/22352.asp?q=FINA:%20We%20Have%20Two%20Tribes! regarding the two different tech suit factions. Even has a part for non-competitors such as Galen:

"...or the slower lanes with the softest intervals. There you will find the swimmers wearing the open-water goggles because they take longer to fog up, fins that are a foot long so they can go swim faster, and if they are really ambitious, they may have hand-paddles that are the size of a pizza."

Allen Stark
October 15th, 2009, 02:42 PM
Interesting article until the end,then the DQ them idea,which seems stupid.If these swimmers are there for there team,then any points they score wouldn't count.If this is really an issue(and if the Bureau recommends that Masters follow the "elite" rule) then USMS could say "only swims in FINA approved suits will be eligible for TT or records." then the "non-elite" Masters could wear whatever.I'm not saying this is a good idea,just better than a DQ.(I also propose my pool fairness rule:"tech suits may be worn in any pool that is less than 4' deep for more than 20' ".)

Midas
October 15th, 2009, 02:48 PM
Good article from Tony Austin here http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/22352.asp?q=FINA:%20We%20Have%20Two%20Tribes! regarding the two different tech suit factions. Even has a part for non-competitors such as Galen:

"...or the slower lanes with the softest intervals. There you will find the swimmers wearing the open-water goggles because they take longer to fog up, fins that are a foot long so they can go swim faster, and if they are really ambitious, they may have hand-paddles that are the size of a pizza."

I wonder if the article is right about the FINA Masters Committee "punting" or whether they essentially had no power but to make a recommendation to the FINA Bureau. Very little has been reported about that or about the dynamics of that meeting or what authority the Masters Committee had. If they did in fact "punt" what pressures caused them to do so?

My question is, why would the FINA Bureau do anything but accept the Masters Committee's recommendation? I think the answer is in the article--the suit manufacturers want somebody they can dump their remaining inventory of tech suits on. That seems like the absolute worst possible reason for deciding that the suit ban should not apply to Masters in terms of whose interests are being served. Shouldn't the swimmers get to make the decisions on what rules will govern swimming? I surely hope FINA does the right thing here.

thewookiee
October 15th, 2009, 02:55 PM
I surely hope FINA does the right thing here.

The "right thing" is only in the opinion of the beholder.

Midas
October 15th, 2009, 03:00 PM
The "right thing" is only in the opinion of the beholder.

I guess, but in my view that would be to do what the Masters Committee (the swimmers) recommends. Their only other criterion for deciding is cow-towing to the suit manufacturers. Even tech suit enthusiasts should be embarrassed by that. Weren't we all complaining about how Speedo's influence over the suit rules was abhorrent?

thewookiee
October 15th, 2009, 03:27 PM
I guess, but in my view that would be to do what the Masters Committee (the swimmers) recommends. Their only other criterion for deciding is cow-towing to the suit manufacturers. Even tech suit enthusiasts should be embarrassed by that. Weren't we all complaining about how Speedo's influence over the suit rules was abhorrent?

Speedo got pistol whipped this by this last ruling, which was only fair. All the suit companies should play by the same rules. If B70, arena, tyr can't have their full body suits, then speedo shouldn't either.

jim clemmons
October 15th, 2009, 03:55 PM
Speedo got pistol whipped this by this last ruling, which was only fair. All the suit companies should play by the same rules. If B70, arena, tyr can't have their full body suits, then speedo shouldn't either.

I'm certain Midas agrees with this part. It isn't what he was alluding to, however.

Speedo, if I remember right ('cause it's been a long time now) was complaining about the polyurethane suits coming into vogue and they were standing there with their mostly "woven" suit, behind the blocks, trying to figure out how to slow down the competition. :violin:

Because of Speedo's attempts to control the rules, (to affect other suit makers), now look what we may get - nuttin honey.

thewookiee
October 15th, 2009, 04:00 PM
I'm certain Midas agrees with this part. It isn't what he was alluding to, however.

Speedo, if I remember right ('cause it's been a long time now) was complaining about the polyurethane suits coming into vogue and they were standing there with their mostly "woven" suit, behind the blocks, trying to figure out how to slow down the competition. :violin:

Because of Speedo's attempts to control the rules, (to affect other suit makers), now look what we may get - nuttin honey.


That's why I love typing things out...ha. That was my point, but couldn't get the words out.

Chris Stevenson
October 15th, 2009, 04:02 PM
I wonder if the article is right about the FINA Masters Committee "punting" or whether they essentially had no power but to make a recommendation to the FINA Bureau.

I *think* -- but do not know for a fact -- that all they could do was recommend.

While I do think the masters world seems more divided on the suit issue than other swimmers, I didn't think the article made much sense. What exactly was he recommending, that slower swimmers should be allowed to use the suits but not (say) Top Ten swimmers?

But more questionable (in my mind) was the assumption that new or less competitive swimmers would be the most eager to use the suits. Really? I've always felt that the majority of enthusiasm for the suits came from among the 10% that go to nationals and chase TT listings and records.

Midas
October 15th, 2009, 04:11 PM
I'm certain Midas agrees with this part. It isn't what he was alluding to, however.

Speedo, if I remember right ('cause it's been a long time now) was complaining about the polyurethane suits coming into vogue and they were standing there with their mostly "woven" suit, behind the blocks, trying to figure out how to slow down the competition. :violin:

Because of Speedo's attempts to control the rules, (to affect other suit makers), now look what we may get - nuttin honey.

I didn't want them controlling the rules to their sole benefit and I don't want them controlling the rules to the mutual benefit of swimsuit manufacturers when the committee representing the actual swimmers has definitively come down on the other side of the issue. What they may (and should) get is nuttin. What WE may (and should) get is what our representatives voted for--parity with the elites and age groupers on this particular issue.

The Fortress
October 15th, 2009, 04:21 PM
What WE may (and should) get is what our representatives voted for--parity with the elites and age groupers on this particular issue.

Our representatives/delegates didn't vote. (And our informal poll shows the opposite.)

I didn't really understand the DQ point either. Just because a swimmer is not Top Ten or "elite," doesn't mean they don't want to have official times.

Was it the "masters committee" that made the recommendation? I seem to recall it was some other committee, but am probably misremembering.

jim clemmons
October 15th, 2009, 04:49 PM
There was an informal vote taken at one of the House of Delegates meetings during convention. Wasn't really whether or not should tech suits should be allowed or not - just when implementation would take effect following adoption from another legislative body, USA-S or FINA - I don't recall.

What I have a challenge with is the fact that if you don't compete, I believe you should not get any kind of vote. If all you're doing is working out, regularily or otherwise, and never competing in pool events why would you even care what others wear while they compete? I also believe that the vote taken at convention was influenced by non-competitors and that if their votes were eliminated (both sides - yay and nay) the vote would have gone closely the other direction.

Midas
October 15th, 2009, 04:59 PM
Our representatives/delegates didn't vote. (And our informal poll shows the opposite.)

I didn't really understand the DQ point either. Just because a swimmer is not Top Ten or "elite," doesn't mean they don't want to have official times.

Was it the "masters committee" that made the recommendation? I seem to recall it was some other committee, but am probably misremembering.

Sure we voted. The FINA Masters committee is comprised of representatives of various masters organizations from around the world, including USMS. USMS definitely had a voice (and representation) at that meeting. In fact, USMS proposed "the compromise" to the FINA Masters committee. It seems that didn't fly and at least the majority of represented organizations voted for the suit ban.

I'm sure you don't mean to imply that an informal poll on a website frequented primarily by hard core masters swimmers is in any way representative of general USMS membership views or even the views of those USMS members who compete.... or were you talking about the informal poll that Jim mentioned? In any case that one was about when the ban should take place, not whether, right? [FURTHER EDIT] Looking at said informal poll above (and acknowledging that it is not in any way scientific), about 70% of the respondents seem to favor a suit ban in one form or another. FINA, USA-S and the "Masters Consensus" all favor the ban... [/FURTHER EDIT]

And DQ'ing doesn't work. We all seem to agree on that. Maybe having a separate scoring division for technical suits would work? That would split up the competition, though, and maybe make it less fun for everybody.

jim clemmons
October 15th, 2009, 05:46 PM
Looking at said informal poll above (and acknowledging that it is not in any way scientific), about 70% of the respondents seem to favor a suit ban in one form or another. FINA, USA-S and the "Masters Consensus" all favor the ban...

I read the poll differently.

I read it as 41% favor the ban (at least by way of following the elite and USA-S decisions), 31% say leave it as is, and 27% haven't decided since int'l masters hasn't decided - yet. And that is not really a decision on their (the respondents) part.

What if int'l decides to leave it as is?

Chris Stevenson
October 15th, 2009, 05:49 PM
(And our informal poll shows the opposite.)

It does? If you are referring to the poll in this thread, the 'against suit' vote is split between 2 or 3 responses. The first two (FINA or USA-S) are to all intents and purposes identical and clearly represent a vote against the suits; right now that is 41-42% of the vote, compared to 31-32% for the suits. The remainder will do whatever FINA Masters decides, and they are leaning against the suits at the moment. So you could even argue that it is roughly 70-30 against the suits.


What I have a challenge with is the fact that if you don't compete, I believe you should not get any kind of vote.

Disagree strongly with this statement. Delegates are not supposed to vote for themselves but for the interests of their home LMSC, including current and potential competitors. (Whether they do this is another matter.) Heck, I even voted against my personal preference in that particular case.

But I do agree that there should have been some legit polling of the USMS membership, and that one of the questions should have been about whether a person had competed or was likely to do so in the future.

For all the good it would have done, since FINA clearly is doing what it wants on this matter, regardless of USMS' position.

The Fortress
October 15th, 2009, 05:57 PM
The remainder will do whatever FINA Masters decides, and they are leaning against the suits at the moment.



How do you know? I was under the impression that the current international masters consensus was pro-suit. Do you know what the other federations recommended? (Or was your "they" meant to refer to FINA?)

Midas, I meant the delegates did not vote on the compromise proposal that was submitted to FINA. That just came out of committee and went directly to FINA.

I agree with Jim that those swimmer that never compete shouldn't really care or vote on what we wear. I understand Chris' point about potential competitors or theoretical "barriers to entry." But the idea that a workout-only swimmer with a purist bent could conceivably dictate what I compete in bugs the hell out of me.

ourswimmer
October 15th, 2009, 06:08 PM
and 27% haven't decided since int'l masters hasn't decided - yet. And that is not really a decision on their (the respondents) part.

Well, the poll question is "what should USMS do." So if you favor an international standard (as I do, because I like the idea of international Top Tens and WRs), then what USMS should do is whatever FINA eventually says FINA-member masters federations should do. FINA isn't perfect, but it's what we have.

If the poll question had been, "what should FINA do" for masters, some of those 27% might have had an opinion. There again, though, some of those opinions might have been more about the value of uniformity between masters and open rules than about what suit rule would actually have been ideal.

jim clemmons
October 15th, 2009, 06:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim clemmons
What I have a challenge with is the fact that if you don't compete, I believe you should not get any kind of vote.

Disagree strongly with this statement. Delegates are not supposed to vote for themselves but for the interests of their home LMSC, including current and potential competitors. (Whether they do this is another matter.) Heck, I even voted against my personal preference in that particular case.


I agree that the voting needs to be in response to the overall interest of the majority, I just don't think we have a process of actually determining what that desire is so everybody's guessing. I believe if you throw out the non-competitors opinions though, we'd have a different result. At least that's my guess.

ande
October 15th, 2009, 06:34 PM
Essentially, the FINA Masters committee "punted."


The USMS has more than 50,000 swimmers belonging to the organization, but only a small percentage of the members compete at the elite level. Statistically, roughly 10 percent will have a chance at being a top-10 swimmer in their age group. The actual number is probably closer to 5 percent-or-less since champions within the USMS such as Erik Hochstein, Rowdy Gaines, Jenny Cook and Ahelee Sue Olsen, generally dominate more than one event.


Masters swimming is intended to be both a sport and a recreational activity. The majority of Masters swimmers are not there for record-book acknowledgment. Therefore, any FINA restrictions should take into account their particular goals and purposes for swimming.

writer makes some great points

ande

Midas
October 15th, 2009, 07:06 PM
How do you know? I was under the impression that the current international masters consensus was pro-suit. Do you know what the other federations recommended? (Or was your "they" meant to refer to FINA?)

Midas, I meant the delegates did not vote on the compromise proposal that was submitted to FINA. That just came out of committee and went directly to FINA.

I agree with Jim that those swimmer that never compete shouldn't really care or vote on what we wear. I understand Chris' point about potential competitors or theoretical "barriers to entry." But the idea that a workout-only swimmer with a purist bent could conceivably dictate what I compete in bugs the hell out of me.

My guess is that most workout only swimmers don't care one way or another, so maybe you can take comfort in that. Obviously even occasional competitors should have a say.

As far as the international consensus, here's what we know: (1) We (USMS) wanted a compromise, (2) at least a majority voted in favor of an outright suit ban. From that we can infer that somebody else proposed/favored an outright ban over a compromise or "anything goes." And I would suspect that at least a few of the other major international masters federations were represented at that meeting. I don't know how voting works, though (do we get a larger vote based on our relative size, or is every federation, regardless of size, on equal footing). I wish this information was made public and frankly its unacceptable that it isn't. This is our organization, isn't it?

In any event, I think we can infer that there is not a pro-suit consensus in the international masters community. The FINA Bureau, I understand, is not made up of member federations but is instead made up of (you guessed it) bureaucrats (and ones with a terrible conflict of interest since they are paid in part by sponsorships by the suit manufacturers). We are not going to get more of a consensus view of the swimming community than what came out of the FINA committee. Having said that, I think despite the wording of the choice, many people probably believed it to mean that they would abide by the FINA decision. So even among the hard core we are about 40/30 split in favor of a suit ban with a large possible undecided contingent.

RobbieD
October 15th, 2009, 07:27 PM
The thing to think about when considering the votes of the international masters community is that I believe (not 100% sure but pretty sure) that USMS is the only major masters governing body that is independent of the elite national governing body. We tend to go the same direction as USA-S but we don't have to hence the discussion we're having here. So basically the same organizations that voted for the elite suit ban from other parts of the world are voting the same way on masters because, well, the boss told them to.That's how I read the situation anyways.

ehoch
October 16th, 2009, 01:24 PM
Watching the World Cup races - all tech suits across the board (Well until Phelps shows up at least ) - People can tell me whatever they want. Swimmers like the Tech suits - if it was up to the swimmers, they would keep all current suits. Since Masters swimming is really run by the actual swimmers and not officials and coaches .....

Midas
October 16th, 2009, 01:41 PM
Watching the World Cup races - all tech suits across the board (Well until Phelps shows up at least ) - People can tell me whatever they want. Swimmers like the Tech suits - if it was up to the swimmers, they would keep all current suits. Since Masters swimming is really run by the actual swimmers and not officials and coaches .....

I don't know.... As long as they are legal, people at the elite level HAVE to wear them to be competitive (unless they are Phelps, I guess, and maybe even then--how fast would his 200 Free be if he wore a jaked?). I don't think it says anything about whether they like or want to wear them. We have no way to know. What I do know is that I am an actual swimmer and I can afford the tech suits but I don't want them (at least, not if the "elites" don't wear them). I know many swimmers on this very message board who feel the same way (and many that don't).

Chris Stevenson
October 17th, 2009, 01:28 PM
Watching the World Cup races - all tech suits across the board (Well until Phelps shows up at least ) - People can tell me whatever they want. Swimmers like the Tech suits - if it was up to the swimmers, they would keep all current suits. Since Masters swimming is really run by the actual swimmers and not officials and coaches .....

I am not completely sure how USA-S works at the convention; I do know that there are many swimmers there who are delegates. I presume they have voting rights and some input into legislation? If the swimmers are so pro-suit, why did USA-S vote for an early implementation? I guess to have the whole season in the same suits, but they didn't need to use FINA-approved suits in SCY.

Going only by the reactions of the swimmers I know personally around this area, I don't see nearly the same level of emotion -- one way or another -- about the suits as I do in masters. Maybe it is just a characteristic of the age bracket -- the quintessential shoulder-shrug of the teen -- but the swimmers mostly seem interested in clarity and fairness and could take or leave the suits themselves. There are some exceptions of course: the early adopters who liked the suits, and those who didn't like having to mess around with them. (There weren't many of either.)

Coaches are different, most I know are fairly strongly against the suits. Probably understandable: the suits represent an element over which they have less control than training & meets, and many coaches are control freaks.

Parents are different, too. Some will not like the expense, while others will like the opportunity to buy their child an advantage over the competition. I suspect the latter outnumber the former.

ande
December 17th, 2009, 03:12 PM
Any USMS reps are going to FINA's meeting in Mid January 2010?

ande