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Want a Smooth Swimming Experience? Use (and Teach) Pool Etiquette

Regardless of where children are, it is wise to give them parameters. In fact, everyone’s behavior improves when guidelines are clearly understood. This is true in swimming pools too!

There are some general rules of conduct that aren’t really formal. We, in fact, know them as just good manners and we can apply them to the pool. Using our good manners encourages others to use their good manners in return.

Instill pool manners and everyone using your pool will have a better swimming experience. Your list of manners should include:

  • Be aware of those who are around you when you’re swimming, kicking, jumping or diving.
  • Give others ample space for their activities.
  • Don’t purposely splash water in the face of other swimmers.
  • Keep your volume down. Loud noises disturb others as they are learning or training.
  • Politely wait your turn when you’re in line to use a particular part of the pool.

There is also a set of informal rules of conduct for lane swimmers to follow when swimming with others.

This allows many people doing different activities to be able to use the pool without being disruptive to each another.

For new (lap) swimmers, following rules that control pool conduct is a new concept. It may even be a new experience for some to have to “share” the pool with at all. The appropriate behavior of experienced swimmers often “rubs off” on younger swimmers. However, the best practice is to instill a “code of conduct” along with the skills and strokes young swimmers are using so it becomes a part of how they act when they enter the pool area.

This education can help young swimmers to be assured of good experiences in any pool they enter in the future and can help to ensure that your pool always offers a smooth swimming experience to all.

Here are the lane rules:

  • Gauge the speeds of each lane and join the lane where the swimmers swim at your speed. This is because it is distracting for experienced swimmers to have to constantly pass slower swimmers.
  • If you are alone in a lane, you can swim following the middle line.
  • If there are two swimmers in the lane, it can be split into halves and each swimmer swims in one half of the lane. Or the swimmers use the “circle” format described hereafter.
  • If there are more than two swimmers in the lane, they should all circle in the lane. This is most often done counterclockwise.
  • When joining a lane, slowly enter the water and wait on the side during one lap until all swimmers have noticed that you will join the lane.
  • If you are the second swimmer to join a lane, discuss with the first one how you will share the lane.
  • Don’t dive into the lane from the starting blocks when you join a lane. This can be distracting or even flat out frightening for swimmers that are concentrated swimming their laps and don’t know what is happening. Normally, diving from the starting blocks should only be done during practice under supervision of a coach and when the lane isn’t used by lap swimmers.
  • If you want to pass a slower swimmer, tap him on the foot so that he knows your intention. He will then stop at the end of the lane and move to the right corner so that you can pass. Do the same if you are the person being passed.
  • Don’t push off the wall right in front of a faster swimmer. Let him/her pass first.
  • Likewise, don’t push off right behind a slower swimmer to directly pass him by. Leave him some room before pushing off.
  • If you chat with a fellow swimmer, do it on the sides of the lane to not obstruct the lane end for the lap swimmers. Do the same if you need to rest.
  • Don’t “borrow” a piece of swimming equipment that you haven’t brought yourself and seems abandoned. It may well be needed by one of your fellow swimmers very soon.Resource:
  • Besides these informal rules, there is a host of liability guidance that your insurance company can help with. The post of this information is required and will help you mitigate risks that simply being around a swimming pool presents. Check with your insurance experts to make sure you’re compliant in this area.

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