How to determine if a tech suit is legal to be used in USA Swimming 12 & Under Championships?
According to new rules, no technical suit (or tech suit) may be worn by any 12 & Under USA Swimming athlete member in competition at any Sanctioned, Approved or Observed meet. This rule is in effect for all USA Swimming competitions in the United States. A tech suit is one that has one of the following components:
- Any suit with a bonded or taped seam
- Any suit with woven fabric extending past the hips
A suit with knit fabric and sewn seams not extending below the knees is permitted. A suit with woven fabric and sewn seams that does not extend below the hips is permitted.
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Any male or female suit with any bonded or taped seams is defined as a technical suit regardless of its fabric or silhouette. This means this suit is illegal in 12 & Under USA Swimming meets. What is a taped or bonded seam...look at these photo examples below:
A stitched seam knit suit is permitted by USA Swimming. This suit is stitched together with thread, as seen in the photo below:
Determining approved fabric is slightly more tricky. Any male or female suit with woven fabric extending below the hip is defined as a technical suit regardless of the type seams: bonded, taped or sewn, and is illegal.
Any male or female suit made of a knit fabric extending below the hip and above the knee with a stitched seam is approved. A male brief or female regular cut suit with sewn seams is not considered a tech suit and is also approved.
For additional information, please review this FAQ sheet.