Swimming Canada's Revised Swimsuit "Rule Interpretation"

On July 13, Swimming Canada released a revised "Rule Interpretation" on swimwear at competitions, which supersedes the interpretation that was available on Swimming Canada's website as recently as the TAS 2011 SwimBC Long Course AAA Championships.

At that meet, many suits were sold which conformed to the interpretation which was current at the time, but which would now appear to not meet SNC's new interpretation.

The full text of the interpretation is below, with the actual document available here (linked from https://www.swimming.ca/Ruleinterpretation).

Swimwear Rule and Interpretation

 ALL swimmers participating in a SNC designated meet or provincially sanctioned meets shall be required to comply with swimwear rule GR 5 as follows:

GR 5 – Swimwear

GR 5.1 The swimwear (swimsuit, cap and goggles) of all competitors shall be in good moral taste and suitable for the individual sports disciplines and not to carry any symbol which may be considered offensive.

GR 5.2  All swimsuits shall be non transparent. CGR 5.2.1.1 A swimmer may wear only one swimsuit in competition, and shall observe all FINA regulations related to swimwear as stated in the FINA By‐laws and Rules

The referee of a competition has the authority to exclude any competitor whose swimsuit or body symbols do not comply with this Rule.

GR 5.4 Before any swimwear of new design, construction or material is used in competition, the manufacturer of such swimwear must submit the swimwear to FINA and obtain approval of FINA.

FINA BL 8.3 From January 1, 2010 swimwear for men shall not exceed above the navel nor below the knee, and for women, shall not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder, nor shall extend below knee. All swimsuits shall be made from textile materials.

SNC has made the following interpretations for GR 5:

All swimwear used in competition in Canada must appear on the FINA approved list with the following exception:

Where a swimwear manufacturer has not submitted swimwear to FINA for approval due to the swimwear no longer being in production, SNC reserves the right to allow such swimwear where it can be confirmed that the swimwear conforms to the shape, design and material conditions outline in FINA BL 8.3 (above).

Under GR 5.3 wherein it is stated “the competitor must wear a swimsuit in one or two pieces...” SNC interprets this to mean a swimmer is limited to wearing a single suit only and where the suit is “two pieces” that the pieces do not overlap each other and are distinct units (ie/ bikini style).

All Canadian Record applications will be reviewed to ensure compliance with GR 5. A Declaration of Swimwear must be submitted with the application to ensure compliance.

All foreign swimmers competing in Canada will be required to comply with GR 5 Any swimmer not complying with GR 5 shall be disqualified.

Where there has been a formal check‐in process at previous SNC designated competitions, this is no longer required.

Filing a Protest under GR 5:

1. Any registered SNC coach who believes an illegal swimsuit has been used in competition may submit a written protest (refer to GR 9.2) to the referee citing the name of the swimmer, the event number, heat number and lane number.

2. The referee will consider the protest and if accepted, will immediately inform the Meet Commission.

3. The Meet Commission will review the protest based on rule GR 5 and the SNC interpretations for GR 5 in the following manner:

  • The coach of the swimmer will be notified that a protest has been received; The swimsuit in question will be requested for the purposes of examination and verification; The Meet Commission has the right to solicit information from “Industry Experts” to identify the suit model and type if required.
  • Should the swimsuit not be FINA approved OR not meet the shape, design and material conditions represented by the rule, the swimmer will be disqualified.
  • Should the Meet Commission not be able to determine the legality of the suit prior to the swimmers next event, the swimwear will be considered legal.

4. Should the swimsuit not be FINA approved OR not meet the shape, design and material conditions represented by the rule, the swimmer will be disqualified.

5. Should the Meet Commission not be able to determine the legality of the suit prior to the swimmers next event, the swimwear will be considered legal.