Tuesday, November 25, 2008

USA Swimming proposes new swimsuit regulations to FINA!

I am posting this late because I figured you all saw it and also I couldn't formulate anything lucid to say without spitting at my computer monitor first.

From Lane 9 News: "...GR 5.3 USA Fed. In swimming competitions the competitor must wear only one swimsuit in one or two pieces which shall not extend beyond the ankles, the wrists and the neck cover the neck, extend past the shoulder, nor past the knee. No additional items, like arm bands or leg bands shall be regarded as parts of a swimsuit. [Link]

My first upset: Imagine your a Swimsuit start-up company like Rocket Science Sports and you design a speed suit with innovative materials at great expense. Finally, when it is completed you submit your product to FINA for approval; who probably charges tens-of-thousands-of-dollars to do so, and FINA approves it.

Suddenly, USA Swimming, who is SOOOOO in bed with Speedo, decides to outlaw speed suit innovation with their silly rule as soon as they can thus wiping out a company or companies in the process. (Note that the Speedo LZR does not violate "GR 5.3" rule but Ian Thorpe's Addias suit and the RocketScience rocketSKIN certainly would.)

Long sleeve speedsuits have been around since Ian Thorpe in 2004. Where was USA Swimming then with their "GR 5.3" rule? Why now with a long sleeve rule? Why now?

Note how all of this occurs once several manufacturers bring products to market.

My second upset:
Is that when USA Swimming' President said: "...I would also like to applaud FINA for sitting down with all involved in February. Hopefully, they will be having an open discussion with everyone regarding the steps of the approval process. ..." I read that comment as a big, fat, euphemism for "The fix is in" and I suspect USA Swimming will get what USA Swimming wants which of course includes includes a loooong approval process.


Wendy said...

It will be interesting to see how that one unfolds.

I find it highly unlikely that FINA will dial back suits that cover the arm and particularly the leg, but more likely they will accept the 12 months in advance of Olympic games limit.

(As a particularly short person, I can tell you that kneesuits extend past the knee on me!)

Anonymous said...

Does this mean no legskins at USS meets?

Tony Austin said...

It would mean that suits couldn't extend past the knee.

Tony Austin said...

Wendy, FINA is an enigma to me for they knew what these suits could accomplish. I am concerned that they will roll over for USA Swimming.

Scott said...

When I read the new rules it appeared to me they only ruled out the Rocket Science suit; I couldn't see how the rule change affected the Speedo LZR Racer (Craig Lord's article announcing USA had come out against bodysuits). For some reason I didn't put two and two together. Seems it won't be only TYR seeking damages in court. This entire situation is really starting to stink.

Tony Austin said...

Well, I think there is a potential for the TYR suit to become a Class action suit since Speedo is so interwined with them economically and politically. I have to go see the Arena suit and the 'Jaked'- I beleive they have arms too.

Scott said...

Craig Lord has come out with a more in depth article on USA Swimming's proposed changes here, but he places emphasis on the proposed changes (in bold) for Rule SW 10.7 which reads:

SW 10.7

No swimmer shall be permitted to use or wear any device or swimsuit that may aid his speed, buoyancy or endurance during a competition (such as webbed gloves, flippers, fins, etc.) Goggles may be worn. An independent agency will utilize established globally recognized scientific testing procedures to determine compliance.

These changes would most definitely exclude the LZR Racer as well as the others if adopted. Craig Lord is correct saying this would spell the end of body suits. The proposed rule changes don't favor Speedo as we initially thought. I really should know better than to jump to conclusions, especially negative ones, before making a complete analysis of the situation. I'm thankful that this is one of those rare occasions when I'm more than happy to be wrong.

Tony Austin said...

Scott, Jumping to conclusions without thought or analysis is my job not yours.