USA Swimming, 12 & Under Rule Change

USA Swimming, 12 & Under Rule Change

Changes are coming for swimmers age 12 and under in the USA. Last fall USA Swimming announced a rule change that will ban the use of technical swimwear (tech suits) for youth participants. This new rule will go into effect September 1st, 2020. 

Unsure of the specifics of the new rule?

Here are are few easy guidelines that will help you sort out if your suit, or the suit you're looking to purchase will be legal once this change goes into effect. 

See the full rule information here

The new rule states: 


.1 Design

G. No Technical Suit may be worn by any 12 & Under USA Swimming athlete member in competition at any Sanctioned, Approved or Observed meet.

1) Exceptions to the foregoing restriction are only for Junior Nationals, US Open, National Championships, and Olympic Trials.

2) A Technical Suit is one that has the following components:

a. Any suit with any bonded or taped seams regardless of its fabric or silhouette; or

b. Any suit with woven fabric extending past the hips.

(Note: WOVEN FABRIC-A suit with woven fabric and sewn seams that does not extend below the hips is permitted.)

(Note: KNIT FABRIC-A suit with knit fabric and sewn seams not extending below the knees is permitted.)

What does this all mean?

In short the new rule means that any suit with bonded or glued seams is not legal for 12 & under swimmers. In addition, Any suit using a woven fabric that extends beyond the hips (ie onto the legs) will not be allowed regardless of the seam type.

It's easy to tell the difference between bonded seams and sewn, simply look for the stiching. 

sewn vs bonded seams

What is woven fabric?

A woven fabric is comprised of multiple yarns which cross each other at right angles to form the fabric. Woven fabric produces a tight weave, and is what you see in all tech suits as this type can offer more compression and greater hydrodynamics. 

A knit fabric uses a single yarn that is looped continuously and is usually not as tight as a woven fabric. Most if not all standard practice swimwear uses a knit fabric. 

knit vs woven fabric

fina logo on tech suitFor lengths and styles, no suit made of woven material may extend past the hips. Knit fabrics suits may extend onto the legs ending above the knee, so a boys jammer or legged "kneeskin" will be allowed if made from a knit fabric with sewn seams.

If seams and fabric types are confusing, an easy way to check if the suit your child is planning to wear is compliant with the new rules is to look for the FINA approved logo on the suit. Any suit with this logo is NOT compliant with the no tech suit regulation for 12 & unders. (There are some exceptions, but none apply to blueseventy suits). 

What to expect in September?

The new rule means that none of the blueseventy nero's (neroFIT, neroTX and any other discontinued tech suits) will be legal for swimmers 12 and under. blueseventy understands and agrees with the new regulation, which aims to limit the feeling that a young swimmer needs a technical swimsuit in order to compete, and hopes to put the focus back on developing skills, having fun and enjoying the sport of swimming. However we also understand that even at a young age, there is a drive to excel and compete. We have worked with our manufacturers to find the best quality fabric that will perform within the bounds of the new regulation and are currently hard at work designing and honing the fit of the a suit specifically for our young swimmers which we'll plan to unveil this autumn when the new regulation goes into place. 

Happy Swimming!