'High-tech' suits banned for preps

Updated: August 11, 2009, 6:02 PM ET
ESPNRISE.com

The National Federation of State High School Associations Swimming and Diving Rules Committee approved changes Tuesday that banned the high-tech swimsuits linked to recent record-setting performances. This NFHS ruling follows a similar restriction placed by the NCAA, which could go into effect as early as September.

No restrictions on these suits have been placed at the international level.

NFHS Rule 3-2-2 will limit swimmers to one swimsuit, "constructed so as not to aid in buoyancy, and shall not contain zippers or other fastening systems," according to the NFHS.

"These high-tech suits had fundamentally altered the sport and become more similar to equipment, rather than a uniform," said Becky Oakes, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Swimming and Diving Rules Committee, in a statement released Tuesday. "The rules of swimming have always prohibited the use or wearing of items that would aid in the swimmer's speed and/or buoyancy. The technical suits and styles had evolved to a point where there was little, if any, compliance with these basic rules."

"With new developments in the swimming community, the committee knew that in order to preserve the integrity, tradition and heritage of the sport, as well as protect and enhance the interscholastic swimming program, these new requirements were necessary to promote fair play and the educational values of high school and could not wait for another year," Oakes said. "The immediate implementation date, including style, will help guarantee fairness in competition throughout the high school swimming seasons and allow meet officials to fairly and consistently enforce the rule."