Pool Swimming Ettiquette
Here are a few pool swimming etiquette ‘rules’ you should observe and respect while swimming:
- Allow swimmers doing faster laps to swim ahead of you
- When resting or waiting at the wall you should stay as far to the left of the lane as possible to allow those swimming through to tag or flip on the wall
- Slower swimmers starting a set should wait to push off the wall until faster swimmers have passed; i.e. don’t push off right in front of a faster swimmer who’s coming into the wall
- An overtaking swimmer should gently but distinctly touch the feet of the swimmer being overtaken; it may take two or three touches for them to notice properly
- A swimmer who feels a touch on the feet from an overtaking swimmer, should continue to the next wall, then stop in the left corner of the lane to let faster swimmer(s) past
- Swimmers should always stay aware of the gap behind them to the next swimmer, and try to anticipate when that swimmer (if s/he is faster) is likely to overtake him/her
- A lead swimmer who sees another swimmer coming up close behind as s/he turns at the wall should consider stopping and moving over immediately at that wall in order to let the faster swimmer past – rather than blocking that swimmer for an entire length to the next wall, creating a situation where toe-touching becomes necessary.
- If more than one swimmer is bunched close behind, the swimmer being overtaken should allow the entire group of faster swimmers to pass before pushing off the wall again (i.e. don’t push off right in front of someone else who’s also obviously faster)
- Swimmers being overtaken should not attempt to speed up (or slow down) once ‘tagged’, nor should they jump in and ‘tag back’ the new lead swimmer on the next lap.
- Overtaking swimmers should not attempt to swim ‘wide’ past a slower swimmer—unless there are only a few swimmers in the lane—since in most cases this presents a hazard to other oncoming swimmer(s), forcing them to pull over to get out of the way.
- In the rare case that a passing swimmer does swim wide, s/he should be confident in his/her ability to sprint into the field of vision of the lead swimmer well before s/he gets to the wall. Otherwise, this sets up for a collision at the wall as both swimmers attempt to turn on top of one another. In the case of any ambiguity at the wall, the swimmer whose head is behind should give way to the swimmer whose head is in front.
- In the case that a strong swimmer finds him or herself at the back of a line of several slower swimmers in circle format, it is acceptable (after looking carefully) to move to the other side of the lane mid-length and proceedin the opposite direction, somewhat ahead of the line s/he had been trailing.
- Never stop in the middle of a lane (i.e. to adjust goggles), as this may cause a trailing swimmer to run into you. Unless one is swimming in ‘split’ format or alone, it’s best to continue to the wall and stop there.
Follow these swimming etiquettes and you will all have a stronger, faster and more enjoyable swim!
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