Legal? Compression Calf Sleeves During The Swim

Home Page California Triathlon Discussion Legal? Compression Calf Sleeves During The Swim

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Carlos OBrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #3748
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      Got the following question. Anyone have a concise answer? Links?

      This is my first triathlon and I’m doing the Olympic length. Haven’t been able to find definitive guidance on whether I can wear compression calf sleeves during the swim (under my wetsuit). Is this legal?

    • #3749
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      Kim Degen
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        Unfortunately there is nothing in the USAT rules specifically that I could find about compression calf sleeves.

        For past races I’ve done, compression calf sleeves have been allowed under a wetsuit but cannot be worn in a non-wetsuit race.

      • #3785

        Carlos OBrien
        • Total Posts: 3

          two notes about your question: ( disclosure: I’m a former USAT and ITU official)

          1. there is nothing that prevents you from wearing sleeves under the wetsuit on a wetsuit legal race.

          2. on a non-wetsuit race:
          a) as far as USAT rules is concerned, there are no rules about calf sleeves, the rules only specify the use of “Skinsuits” and list the ones that are approved. But since the sleeves are NOT considered skinsuits and there is nothing in the rules that prohibits their use they should be allowed.

          b) But as far as ITU rules (in case you ever race in a race outside of the US) there is a specific rule about this for non-wetsuit races that reads:

          “Covering the legs below the knees is not allowed in the swim segment when the use of wetsuits is forbidden;”

          But the most interesting question to ask here (and I’m really curious about it), why do you want to wear compression sleeves during a race???
          compression socks, sleeves, etc are USELESS during competition, in fact there are medical studies (serious medical studies, not made up studies published by the manufacturers whose only interest is to sell you this stuff) that indicate that they do more harm than good on races or workouts. Compression sleeves are GREAT for recovery purposes only. (and you can ask any medical professional about it and they will confirm this information). Don’t believe what the manufacturer tells you, and don’t fall for this FAD, my two cents….

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