Over the last few weeks, we have received requests for clarification and further information about our changes to the Technical/Performance Suit restrictions for 11/U swimmers. As a result, we have updated the information on our website to better describe the changes.
The updated information is as follows:
From 1 July, 11/U Boys suits allowed are trunk, aqua short cuts, or classic briefs. 11/U Girls suits allowed are a one piece swimsuit, as in the image.
Swimming Victoria staff and our officials will be applying this rule at the following Swimming Victoria events:
Metro Short Course Competition
Victorian Country SC Championships
Victorian Age SC Championships
Long Course Distance Meet
Victorian Sprint Championships
Victorian Qualifying Meet
Victorian Age Championships
Victorian Country Championships
Victorian Relay Competition
Victorian Country Interdistrict
All Junior Competitions
In 2017, this rule will not be applied at the Winter Interclub competition however swimmers may be advised that their swim suits are not compliant with this rule. It will be applied at this meet in future years.
As we mentioned, there are many reasons we have made this change. To keep young swimmers in our sport, we need to be providing an environment that encourages them, and keeps the level of competition and pressure appropriate for their age. We have spent a lot of time considering this issue, and have many reasons to believe this is the best course of action, including:
There is no documented evidence that supports performance benefits of technical suits for athletes 11 years and under.
Personal best times should not be the only evaluation or measure of success for younger swimmers. Technique and skill development is essential for all long term swimmer development. It is crucial that as swimmers progress through the sport they have developed a solid foundation in technique and stroke development to enable them to achieve higher results in the latter years of their career.
The cost of technical suits makes them unattainable for many families. SV does not want to add any extra financial pressure on parents with unnecessary purchases. We understand that for various reasons, cost of suits may not be an issue for all swimmers. However, in order to effectively police this change, we must restrict all suits of this style.
These suits aren’t designed for young swimmers. The manufacturers design these suits for older athletes. One of the main benefits of wearing a technical suit is for muscle compression. Children, who are not yet developed, are not impacted by this benefit. Swimmers cannot ‘grow into’ these suits.
A common misconception amongst younger swimmers is that without a technical suit, a swimmer cannot swim fast. An age group swimmer does not need a performance suit to swim fast. Swimmers will improve and attain PBs regardless of the suit they are wearing due to gradual increase in training and skill development.
The aim should be to build mentally-strong swimmers, confident in his or her own ability and training ethic rather than an athlete depending on a technical suit to get an improved result.
Technical suits are required as a swimmer ages and their skills, conditioning and physique develop.
To implement this change, we seek the cooperation of clubs and members in ensuring these guidelines are followed.