Training and competition wear for swimmers


Haringey Aquatics is a competitive club. As such our members’ swimwear is expected to comply with the regulations set out by Swim England, our sport’s national governing body. This guidance applies to training and competition.

Swimsuits of male swimmers must not extend above the navel or below the knee. Swimsuits of female swimmers must not cover the neck or extend past the shoulders, or below the knee. Suits must be made of a textile fabric (woven natural/synthetic fibre such as polyester or nylon).

Any swimmer wishing to train in swimwear not adhering to these guidelines will need to seek special permission (in writing) from the club secretary, and may be required to provide a medical note. Should special permission be granted the club secretary will inform the relevant club coach.

In March 2022, Swim England published details of a relaxation of competition swimwear regulations for individuals who, as a result of either their religious beliefs or a pre-existing medical condition, would like to wear a swimsuit which would otherwise not be permitted. See first link below.

From time to time, coaches may require swimmers to augment conventional training/competition wear with training aids such as drag shorts or t-shirts designed to increase resistance through the water.


The technical rules for competition are set out in the following Swim England and Fina documents.


  • Swim England Updated Swimwear Guidance (including use of period wear)


  • Swim England Handbook (regulation 411)


  • Fina General Rules (general rule GR5)


  • Fina Requirements for Swimwear Approval (section 4 and exhibit 6)


The following is of particular note in respect of competitions:

  • It is not permitted to wear two or more swimsuits
  • Swimmers wishing (for religious or medical reasons) to swim in a suit that covers more of the body than would otherwise be permitted, must present the suit to the referee for inspection prior to their swim. Alternatively, a Certificate
    of Exception with a listed swimwear exception may be presented.
  • Suits which the referee believes would be capable of enhancing a swimmer’s performance will not be permitted.
  • The referee’s decision is final.


Please note also that swimmers are required to wear Haringey Aquatics-branded swimming hats when training and representing the club in competition.




January 2023