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PVS Board Writes To Clarify Rules

By admin

From the PVS Board of Directors, September 21, 2009

On August 3, 2009 the PVS Board of Directors approved unanimously the following resolution offered by Age Group Chair Bill Marlin:

Motion: If USA Swimming adopts the New FINA Swim Suit criteria, effective January 1, 2010, at the September USAS Convention, PVS will institute the rule as of October 1, 2009, prior to any meets being held in PVS, seconded and approved.

It was not clear if this could be enforced until USA Swimming’s House of Delegates voted on the start date on September 19, 2009. As noted in the Washington Post article of September 20, 2009 (page D6) the effective date for American competition has now been approved for October 1, 2009.

While certain questions on enforcement of the materials restrictions and the list of specific suits allowable will take time to answer please be aware of the following items:

1. As of October 1, all male swimmers must compete in suits which do not extend above the navel nor below the knees.

2. As of October 1, all female swimmers must compete in suits which do not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder, nor extend below the knees. (A limited religious belief/medical condition exception exists but requires pre-approval at the national level.)

3. Only a single (one or two piece) suit may be worn in competition with a major exception, approved 9/19/09, that in events described by age (i.e., those other than Open) a separate modesty/privacy garment may also be worn underneath the single suit.

Additional information including any list of approved suits, and/or guidance on the suit material used, will be posted as it becomes available. The above will be enforced without exception at all PVS sanctioned meets.

PLEASE NOTE: Enforcement policy of the above will be set by the PVS Officials Committee.

PLEASE NOTE: For those interested in the technical features of FINA’s decision-making process ( their guidelines) including a ban on zippers and other fasteners, please read on:

(From FINA’s Statement of 7/31/09)

Surface covered: Men swimsuit shall not extend above the navel nor below the knee and for women shall not cover the neck or extend past the shoulders nor shall extend below the knee.

Type of material: The material used for swimsuits can be only “Textile Fabric(s)” defined for the purpose of these rules as material consisting of, natural and/or synthetic, individual and non consolidated yarns used to constitute a fabric by weaving, knitting, and/or braiding.

Surface treatment of the textile fabric: Any material added on to the surface of the textile fabric (e.g. coating, printing, impregnation) shall not close the original open mesh structure of the base textile fabric. The treated material shall further comply with all requirements in particular in regard to thickness, permeability and flexibility. This part of the rule does not apply to logos and labels. This applies to both the manufacturing level and the actual use of the swimsuit.

Flexibility: the material shall be flexible and soft-folding.

Regular flat material: The material shall be regular and flat. The material shall not form outstanding shapes or structures, such as scales.

Outside application: No outside application shall be added on the material. Variety of materials: Different materials may be used in one swimsuit provided they are textile fabrics as defined above and they comply with all other criteria including notably thickness and permeability (measures to apply to total layers). Combination of materials shall further not create outstanding shape(s) or structure(s). Layered materials must be completely attached/bound/stuck together except where required to protect sensitive parts (“privacy layers”).

Thickness: The material used shall have a maximum thickness of 0.8mm. It is clarified that this maximum thickness does not apply to seams as far as they are functional and their thickness and width result from their natural function.

Buoyancy: The swimsuit shall not have a buoyancy effect above 0.5 Newton measured after application of vacuum.

Permeability: Material(s) used must have at any point a permeability value of more than 80 l/m2/second. Permeability values are measured on material with a standard multidirectional stretch of 25 %. However, measure on material which cannot be significantly stretched will be effected on unstreched flattened material.

Construction: No zippers or other fastening system is allowed. Seams shall be limited to functional systems and shall not create outside shapes.

External stimulation or influence: Swimsuits which include any system providing external stimulation or influence of any type, including pain reduction, chemical/medical substance release, electro-stimulation etc. are prohibited.

Consistency: Swimsuits effectively manufactured and used shall correspond to and be fully consistent with submitted samples. Any modification before use (including impregnation) is prohibited.

Customisation: There shall be no variation/modification for individual swimmers from the models corresponding to the samples submitted for approval.

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