Sunday, September 28, 2008

'USA Swimming' to 12-year-olds: "You're too young to wear a speedsuit!"

Amy Shipley in The Washington Post writes: "...USA Swimming's Club Development Director Pat Hogan said delegates were concerned that the pricey suits, which can cost as much as $500, would drive promising youngsters who couldn't afford them out of the sport and possibly deter proper stroke development. ..."

"We're in a position where we want to grow participation in our sport," Hogan said. "We don't need to have false barriers to participation. The cost of those high-tech swim suits, for a young swimmer, doesn't really make sense."

Added Hogan: "We've helped protect and create a level playing field in 12-and-under competition where truly the type of suit you wear doesn't make a difference. ..." [Link]

In my opinion the first paragraph doesn't wash; the one where he says, "...deter proper stroke development." You wear a speedsuit at a race not in practice because they are fragile. By then you should have a proper technique and know what how to swim.

The next paragraph translates to me as speedsuits don't make sense due to the high cost and negligible result. (Did I read that wrong?) However a sudden reversal takes place in the next paragraph whereas "tech-doping" becomes a very real concern and they have to level the playing field!

TYR, blueseventy, Arena, and I wish I could say Nike but they just threw up their hands and said, "we're so outta here!," are going to suffer as a result of this ban. USA Swimming wanted to ban speedsuits up to age of 18 but realized US Swimmers could lose in international events if not allowed to wear one! Well, is that an endorsement that suits are "tech-dope" or what?!

Consequently the aforementioned manufacturers just got their speedsuit incomes drastically cut; probably by more than 50%. The only manufacturer that can absorb that loss is Speedo, the one company that has exclusive deals; (PLURAL) with USAS! I so can't wait for that TYR lawsuit to go to trial!

Here is a statistic from: The SportsOneSource Group: "... Said Nike was a distant third in the $US200 million ($240.3m) performance swimwear marketplace - which encompasses consumer swim goods for exercise rather than leisure. Speedo holds roughly 60 per cent of the market share, TYR comes in second at 20 per cent and Nike is third at 13 per cent. ..." [Sydney Morning Herald Link]

Where is blueseventy or Arena on this food-chain? Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, once said of Netscape: "We're going to cut off their air supply." I see that happening here.


Anonymous said...

Two Important Issues:

First: It just seems recently that all the people running these organizations are bent on “dumbing down” our sport.

Second: Organizations like USA Swimming and the like, can’t have major decision makers in Speedo’s back pocket, trying to pretend their decisions are in the best interest of our sport. And hopefully the TYR lawsuit will set a precedent lawsuit that will end this backdoor policy decision making forever.

Tony Austin said...

I hope so, I also wish that TYR and others would lobby congress for an investigation in USAS into the alleged anti-trade practices

Anonymous said...

So, when will this go into effect? I just attended a meet in Minden, Nevada this weekend and saw several kids under 12 wearing leggings. I assume these will be banned. So, when will the ban go into effect? and what about the times these swimmers have already posted this season?? USA Swimming needs to clarify the rules here.

Tony Austin said...

I don't know, but seemingly the month of January since it is a new calender year seems plausible as a guess.

Yeah, it sucks!

Anonymous said...

It is sad to see 12 year old kids double suiting at age group championships-The kids cannot even stay underwater. Some balance needs to exist.

Tony Austin said...

You're right, nobody should double suit unless it is for modesty purposes, for men: a brief, for women: a two piece.