Swimming Etiquette  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM


How is it that we can swim a masters workout, with 40 swimmers in 8 lanes, that’s 5 swimmers per lane without any incidents, yet I can hit MUN pool on Saturday afternoon, with only one other person in my lane, and it’s like full contact Karate.

If you are experienced swimmer and know the rules of swimming etiquette, this may be old news for you, but if you are new to lap swimming, or are experienced but were never taught the rules, or never even know there were rules, read on.

Do Pick your lane appropriately.

Do not arbitrarily jump into any lane, or pick the one with the least number. It may be the fast lane which means fast and experienced swimmers. And they will run you over if you get in there way. Furthermore, it’s your fault, not theirs.

Do make sure you are aware the direction of the lane. In general it’s counter clockwise, that’s keeping to the right.

Don’t Assume that counter clockwise is always the case. Some experienced swimmers may reverse the direction so they are swimming with the lane adjacent to them. This is mainly to prevent clashing arms during the freestyle recovery, or during butterfly.

Do make sure other people in your lane are aware you are joining.

Don’t assume that all swimmers will follow the general guideline of swimming counter clockwise. If a person has been swimming in a lane solo, they may be swimming in the middle of the lane, and a that could be a recipe for a nasty mid water collision.

Do talk to the people in your lane to find out who is doing what. There may be also be someone in the lane taking charge and organizing the sets. Go with it.

Don’t assume the lifeguard will enforce the rules. I haven’t seen one do it yet.
Do move over at the end and let a faster swimmer pass. If you get a tap on the foot, that’s the signal to let the trailing swimmer pass you at the wall. Hold up for a split second as they make the turn, then follow them.

Don’t ignore faster swimmers, and hit the wall and pushoff right in front of them.

Do be aware of when another swimmer is about to start a lap. If they are next to the wall, and look ready to go, and are staring at the pace clock, they are waiting for their interval to start.

Don’t jump in front of a swimmer waiting to start on an interval.

The last two really piss me off. I understand if someone is aware of the general rules of the road, but sometimes it’s obvious if someone is doing a workout, and doing intervals on a pace time. Follw these, take heed, and have fun.

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who knew that there was so much etiquette involved in swimming laps. For a recreational swimmer like me who is new to lap swimming this is an extremely helpful post. Follow the rules, etiquette and avoid those nasty accidents.

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