Tuesday, June 09, 2009

It is being reported that masters swimmers will be allowed to wear speedsuits in competition!



From Steve at the blueseventy blog:

For further information please see the DSV document that confirms the legal use of blueseventy nero swimskins. We would like to say thank you to the Master Swimmers Halle (Germany) for their substantial support. ..."

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From Craig Lord at SwimNews who surprised me with a condescending view towards the average masters swimmer and a surprising view of the elite masters swimmer who strives to set records:

SwimNews does not cover masters swimming. It is the equivalent of the fun marathon, in which level playing fields are very relative indeed. The purpose is fun, fitness, health and skills for life. Most approach it in that spirit. A minority take it very seriously indeed and vanity, disposable income and time-on-their-hands all play a part. [...]

Meanwhile, FINA has washed its hands of caring about fairness and other factors in masters swimming. That much is clear from the following response to the clarification sought by SwimNews: "The rules do not apply to Masters. ..."

[Link]

As far as I am concerned, Rowdy Gaines seems pretty serious about Masters Swimming and he seems to care about "fairness and other factors" besides vanity.

Why Craig Lord wants to degrade masters swimming and a good portion of his readers who are masters swimmers is beyond me.

FINA is not recognizing that if swim suit manufacturers are forced to sell only jammers and briefs, they will sustain low profits at both the age-group and collegiate levels and high profits at the Masters level or beyond.

I suspect the profit potential for a suit manufacturer who is selling a $25 pair of jammers or briefs is a paltry $6.00 or so. In contrast, I suspect the profit potential for a $450 speedsuit is around $125.00 or 21-times the profit margin on a pair of briefs.

Look at it this way: Selling one speedsuit to a masters swimmer is possibly the economic equivalent of selling 21-jammers or briefs to a small college team.

Hence, why would any suit manufacturer support FINA swim events so as to sell a suit that will only bring in $6.00 to $10.00 a unit when they can support dozens-upon-dozens of masters swimming events for a lower promotional fee and sell suits for a profit potential of $125.00 each?

That is stepping backwards for swimming! FINA is apparently not that good at "looking around corners" so to speak.

The potential for a pro-league and suit manufacturers heavily supporting Masters is not out of the question or simply conjecture. blueseventy supports the USMS and I will stress that high-end suits may generate the capital needed to make a pro-league possible.

Therefore, I wonder if swimsuit manufacturers disenfranchised with swimsuit rulings may build one someday thereby bringing us two governing bodies?

18 comments:

Scott said...

Don't see why you're jumping on Craig Lord when he's merely the messenger. By exempting Masters from the new rules intended to create a fair and level sporting environment FINA has made it very clear Masters swimming is a non-entity as far as competition is concerned. His "condescending" comments about the sport only reflects the truth - that very few people have either the inclination or the time to seriously compete at the Masters level. It really is all about fun, fitness and camaraderie.

Tony Austin said...

I read it differently. When he mention vanity, too much times on their hands, nobody takes it seriously, well, I think he over stated it so as to lessen the importance of masters swimming.

Paul W. said...

How has FINA 'exempted' USMS at all?? I do beleive it's more that USMS and other federations have said to FINA 'please give us a call when you have made up your minds'. FINA, once again, is the issue here, not any of the swim federations, not the swimmers and not the swim suit makers. If FINA is supposed to be the ruling body for all aquatics, then how about they get about it? But that doesn't mean that FINA has the license to seem to arbitrarily decide what is 'legal' and what isn't. FINA is not being clear or consistent in their 'rulings'. Hmmm full body FS-Pro and Tracer Light suits are legal but the leg version of each aren't? Rocket Science and Jaked suits are legal but the Nero Comp (which sure looks and feels like the same suit)isn't? And Nero Comp leggings 'trap' more air than any of the full body suits?


FINA needs to get on top of this and get on top of it now. But they don't appear to have the ability or the desire.

Anonymous said...

It's the German Governing Body of Masters Swimming and so far US Governing Body of Masters Swimming that are open to blueseventy and others.

FINA doesn't seem to care about Masters Swimming as it doesn't line the coffers. As for the "fun marathon" comment I do believe like in all sports we have the serious athletes and the ones in it for fitness and health. I started swimming for health reasons and continue for health and for the fun of it. So I agree with him on that point.

Let FINA was it's hands of caring for us. We don't line the pockets of the organization from tv contracts and what not. I saw Masters swimmers should tell FINA to F off.

Tony Austin said...

Paul, I agree with you.FINA has clearly lost control of the car and now they are running people over.

Rowdy Gaines said...

Thanks, Tony...great comments...

Tony Austin said...

Joel, I have to put a link to your swim tech blog in my links column.

Tony Austin said...

WOW! I AM VERY FLATTERED!

Rowdy Gaines said...

Dude youre right on...

The Screaming Viking! said...

howcome Rowdy Gaines never comments on my blog?

jk

I thought Craig Lord's comments about masters swimming were a little strange too. Anoyone who loves swimming has to think masters is a great thing.

Erik Sterne said...

The last sentence of Lords article is true, the rest of the words are cynical, mean spirited and unfair. Not just Craig's words, but the statements by FINA towards Masters swimmers and their governing bodies. FINA created controversy, and now they are wallowing in it while throwing a significant demographic of the swimming world under the bus by saying that masters swimming does not need to abide by the ruling. The division is unfortunate. Masters swimming should not have taken B70 as a sponser, either. That was a very poor decision, knowing what was in store.

Tony Austin said...

I think b70 sponsoring the USMS is awesome. We will have bigger and better events, we will hob-nob with more Olympians and there will be more interest in joining masters as a result.

Anonymous said...

I find it so odd that Master's swimmers wear a speed suit in every meet. The more experienced swimmers will wear the speed suits in two or three meets per year when they are fully tapered and ready to swim fast times.

I remember Clay Evans came up with a great acronym for the consistent speed suit users, NBAB. Never Been Athelete Before.

Tony Austin said...

Clay Evans does not speak disparagingly of new swimmers nor towards those who are new to swim meets. He encourages fins, hard work, and having fun.

He does more beginner clinic coaching, or masters 101 clinics than any of the other SCAQ coaches combined.

As for b70's at meets A majority of Masters swimmers have gravitated towards that brand and records are being set in them so the theory that the swimmers wearing them have never been an athlete is not accurate in my opinion .

I wear TYR. most of the SCAQ swimmers wear b70.

Anonymous said...

I've known Clay for 35 years dating back to UCLA and if you see him tomorrow, ask him. He has used this term for the constant speed swim suit users and the swimmers that consume multiple bottles waters at the end of their lanes. I'm not making this up.

Tony Austin said...

If I came off confrontational, my apologies. I will ask him. Oh, as you know, Clay is anti-speedsuit.

Anonymous said...

Michael Phelps does not wear a full speed suit at every meet. There is a psychological and physiological reason for this that experienced athletes understand. That is why athletes train at high altitude and hope to perform best at sea level. Michael Phelps is going to Colorado for this reason and will hope to peak at two meets this year.

When you plan to peak at Nationals, you mentally need to know that you are well tapered, rested and that your suit will benefit you. If you wear the same speed suit at every meet, you will not have the edge you need at the big meets.

Anonymous said...

Clay's philosophy has always been to swim practice as if you are racing. So, it surprises me that he would he would espouse the use of fins, pull bouys or kick boards.