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Thread: Swimsuit Rules - Male wearing a one piece

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    Swimsuit Rules - Male wearing a one piece

    I'm a college age swimmer (M22) who has been swimming since middle school. Recently after having gotten back into swimming after a three year hiatus by joining masters, I also started wearing one piece swimsuits originally meant for women. I find them to be a lot more comfortable on my body, they're more streamlined for swimming, have a lot more fun and artistic designs, and they don't feel as restricting as suits with drawstrings do. I pretty consistently wear them for practice now; why wouldn't you want to wear something that feels comfortable to you? And as a bonus, other swimmers seem to be okay with it... at the very least no one has said anything about it. My coaches are all very supportive of the practice as well and generally just encourage people to wear whatever feels comfortable.

    I would love to get a feel for others thoughts about the matter, but more importantly, I would love the get the USMS meet rules changed so I can compete in what I feel comfortable wearing. Now, it goes to show that I still identify as a straight male, but also I suppose that this could be new grounds for helping those with gender disphoria/transgender or what have you as well, but that's currently not what I'm focusing on.

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    Re: Swimsuit Rules - Male wearing a one piece

    If the rules were changed it would almost be how it was 11 years ago.

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Swimsuit Rules - Male wearing a one piece

    As a reaction to the full body suits, in 2009 FINA mandated that men’s suits could only cover from the navel to the knees. If this were going to be changed it would need to be at the FINA level.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
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    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
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    Re: Swimsuit Rules - Male wearing a one piece

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    As a reaction to the full body suits, in 2009 FINA mandated that men’s suits could only cover from the navel to the knees. If this were going to be changed it would need to be at the FINA level.
    Concur that the USMS rule matches FINA’s rule. But WRT changing it...doesn’t USMS sorta set some of their own rules that aren’t always FINA/USAS rules? I.e. USMS rule 101.3.3 which allows breaststroke kick to be used in the butterfly. My point is...can’t USMS change the swimsuit rule if they want to...without FINA/USAS authority?

    Dan
    Last edited by ForceDJ; February 23rd, 2021 at 06:22 PM.

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    Re: Swimsuit Rules - Male wearing a one piece

    Couple of thoughts:
    1. If strictly comfort, have you tried different styles/brands of suits? Speedo changed tha material in my favorite jammer, so I ended up shifting to Adidas briefs. Still have a jammer for any competition though. Of course, I'm old enough to be your father so I couldn't care less about designs.
    2. Friend of mine wears a short wetsuit in open water competitions. USMS has given him a medical waiver (Chron's). If there is some compelling reason other than comfort, you might try that.
    Last edited by 67King; February 24th, 2021 at 02:10 PM.

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    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
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    Re: Swimsuit Rules - Male wearing a one piece

    Quote Originally Posted by allswimwearallowed View Post
    they're more streamlined for swimming
    This is one of the reasons the rules are the way they are after the free-for-all in suit technology of '08-'09 - more tech suit coverage is more surface area for drag reduction and compression. It is a competitive advantage, whether the stated reason is performance or in your case comfort.

    The USMS rule, as far as I know, is that competition suits have to be FINA approved. If you had a medical reason, you might have a reasonable case for a waiver especially since technically women's suits are FINA-approved for material/construction if not for gender-specific fit, but I think legislative/rules bodies would see it as opening a can of worms if just for comfort. I mean, I'd be more comfortable racing in a legsuit than a jammer because most racing jammers that fit my waist are too tight in the gasket on my thighs, but again, that defeats the purpose of the regulations.

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    If the rules were changed it would almost be how it was 11 years ago.
    Oh my God that was 11 years ago... I still think of it as the recent past.
    400 IMer/200 backstroker in another life, now sprinter/breaststroker... Yeah, I don't know how that happened either!

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    "Don't float through life orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Swimsuit Rules - Male wearing a one piece

    I still have my full body suit! I doubt that I could fit into it now!

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    Re: Swimsuit Rules - Male wearing a one piece

    Ahh okay... What did the rules look like back then?

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    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
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    Re: Swimsuit Rules - Male wearing a one piece

    Back before 2010, it was pretty lassiez-faire. Ian Thorpe famously wore a suit that covered everything from his ankles to his wrists in the early 2000s as one of the best middle distance freestylers of all time.

    It really came to a head when Speedo came out with a suit with polyurethane panels, and then other companies followed up with completely polyurethane suits - basically advanced floatation devices. Pretty much every world record was broken at the 2009 long course World Championships and shortly after that FINA finally put their foot down.

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    Re: Swimsuit Rules - Male wearing a one piece

    Quote Originally Posted by ForceDJ View Post
    can’t USMS change the swimsuit rule if they want to...without FINA/USAS authority?
    Yeah, this is what I was sort of thinking... I have a member of the USMS board on my team actually and I know she's looking into things. From what I understand, Masters meets aren't SUPER competitive like other swimming organizations. Sure, you have those that are there to compete amongst each other, but the majority are probably there to compete for their personal records. I would think that that fact alone would warrant some consideration for possible changes to the rules.

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    Re: Swimsuit Rules - Male wearing a one piece

    Quote Originally Posted by 67King View Post
    Couple of thoughts:
    1. If strictly comfort, have you tried different styles/brands of suits? Speedo changed the material in my favorite jammer, so I ended up shifting to Adidas briefs. Still have a jammer for any competition though. Of course, I'm old enough to be your father so I couldn't care less about designs.
    2. Friend of mine wears a short wetsuit in open water competitions. USMS has given him a medical waiver (Chron's). If there is some compelling reason other than comfort, you might try that.
    Yeah, I have tried different designs/brands/styles of men's suits too. Nothing quite seems to float my goat. Not to say that I won't wear them anymore, but I definitely just prefer a one piece.

    Not really another reason... But, again I suppose a reason for the rule change might be that it could perhaps avoid a hiccup with those who might have a more compelling reason themselves such as a medical issue/gender identity issues, etc.

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