Rule change makes competitive swimming more inclusive

New swimwear guidance for competitive swimming will allow more people to participate in events across England.

The ASA has announced a relaxation of Regulation 411 which previously banned swimwear that covered the whole body.

The new guidance means swimmers who wear full body suits for religious beliefs or a pre-existing medical condition, are now able to compete in all ASA licensed swimming meets and national events.

A positive step for swimming in England

Chris Bostock, Chairman of the ASA Sport Governing Board, said: “This is a very positive step forward for competitive swimming in England and one that we hope will encourage many more people to take part.

“We want everyone to be able to reach their potential. Representing your Club at a national swimming competition is very special. By changing these rules we hope to encourage a new generation of swimmers.”

Rimla Akhtar from the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation (MWSF), said: “Participation in sport amongst Muslim women is increasing at a rapid pace. It is imperative that governing bodies adapt and tailor their offerings to suit the changing landscape of sport, including those who access their sport.

“The MWSF is glad to have requested a review of competition laws in relation to full body suits by the ASA and are extremely pleased at the outcome.

“We thank the ASA for their leadership in this matter. We look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that this ruling is also adopted at the elite level both nationally and internationally.”

Swimwear guidance for competitive swimming already in effect

The new guidance is already in effect. It applies to all levels of ASA licensed meets (1,2,3 and 4) and ASA National Events.

The guidance was developed by the ASA Swimming Management Group following recommendations from the MSWD.

It also covers those involved in running the events including technical officials and volunteers.