Lap Swimming Etiquette

Informal Rules at The Pool That Every Swimmer Should Know

Ifyou are a regular at your lap pool, you have probably seen a list ofrules posted on a wall somewhere. These are beneficial to stick to,but you should definitely be aware of another set of rules thataren’t written down, yet every swimmer at the lap pool is expected tofollow.

To help you get in the clear, we will explain some of the basics of lap pool etiquette, which will allow you to enjoy drama and conflict-free swim workouts, as well as peacefully share lanes with complete strangers.

  • Estimate the speeds of each lane, and make sure to join the lane populated by the swimmers that swim similar to your usual pace. Keep in mind that it can be very distracting for faster swimmers to pass slower swimmers constantly. And it is less intimating to swim with people that do so at a similar pace to yours.
  • If you are alone in your swimming lane, you should swim following the middle line. However, if there are two swimmers in the lane, the lane should be split into halves, and each swimmer stays on their side of the lane.
  • If there are more than two swimmers in one swimming lane, all of the swimmers should circle in the said lane, which is done by swimming counterclockwise. If you are not sure how to do this, observe the more experienced swimmers and follow their lead.
  • Make it known that you are entering the lane. Then, when you are joining the lane, make sure to enter the pool slowly and wait on the side during one lap until all of the swimmers have noticed that you plan on joining the lane.
  • While you are taking a rest, stay away from the center area. Taking a rest is perfectly acceptable, but make sure that you are doing it on a wall on either end of the pool and stay clear of the center of the wall if you are sharing your swimming lane with other swimmers. Make sure to leave as much space as you can for the active swimmers to turn. Once you are ready to get back to the swimming lane, yield to swimmers who are already in motion.
  • If a swimmer taps your foot, they are giving you a sign that they want to pass you. You should not be alarmed or embarrassed when another swimmer taps your foot while swimming in the pool. When this happens, you should pull into the corner of the lane when you reach the wall and allow the swimmer behind you to pass you safely. While you are being passed, do not speed up. If you notice that your feet are getting tapped a lot, look at it as a sign that you should probably move to a slower swimming lane.
  • If the lap pool is crowded, avoid wide strokes. It is smart and courteous to avoid doing the butterfly and the breaststroke in crowded lap pools. Only if you are sure that you have excellent control of your butterfly, make sure to tell the others in your lane that you will do it before you begin, just because it is a courteous thing to do.


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