Lane Swimming Rules

My local pool only allows lane swimming at certain times, which means it can be hard to manage the diary to make sure that I can swim as much as I want to. So it is very annoying to then have your swim ruined by someone not following the ‘rules’.

That said, the rules haven’t been written down, they are just common sense. Unfortunately not everyone has common sense, so I thought I’d write them down here.

Of course, I’m only saying that these are the rules for the pool I swim in. Other pools may have a different set up, or a different culture.

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In this pool there are four 25m lanes. The lanes are split according to the speed you are swimming (from left to right as you’re stood at the shallow end) SLOW – FAST – MEDIUM – SLOW.

Here are the five rules for swimming during a lane swimming session.

1) Check Your Speed

– Enter the correct lane according to your speed.
– If you are constantly being overtaken – think about moving down a lane. If you are constantly overtaking – think about moving up a lane.
– Don’t forget that the speed is relative not absolute. The lane you were in last time is irrelevant, it’s all about how fast you are swimming today. And if you do drills or sprints that change your speed, consider changing lane too.
– Even if everyone is in the right lane different speed swimmers will need to mix. If someone is faster than you let them pass at the wall as soon as you can. If you are overtaking make sure you can touch and turn before the person you are overtaking touches, if not then hang back and wait until they let you through at the end of the length.

2) Give Way to Swimmers

– The session is for swimmers, so give way for people that are swimming. If you stop swimming, whether for 10 seconds or 10 minutes, then you must give way for swimmers.
– Don’t block the wall, not allowing people to turn.
– Don’t set off just in front of a turning swimmer (assume that every swimmer will be turning and setting off for another lap).

3) Go With the Flow

– The lanes are designated as alternately clockwise or anti-clockwise. This is so that people aren’t swimming towards each in opposite lanes and therefore reduces the chances of collisions.
– Respect this and if you are overtaking move back to the correct side of your lane as quickly as possible.

4) Shower

– Please shower before you enter the pool.
– Please shower again if you leave the pool to go to the toilet.
– It’s just common courtesy folks.

5) Don’t be a Dick

– If people that are swimming with you break any of the above rules, take a deep breath and carry on.
– DON’T intentionally overtake, blocking them off from turning.
– DON’T push off just ahead of them on purpose.
– DON’T speed up if someone is overtaking you.
– Just DON’T be a dick.
– Everyone is doing some sort of set. It will be different than yours, but no less important than yours. Don’t disrupt other people’s swims and just relax and enjoy yours.

– – –

As I’m sure you’re all aware, rule 5 is the one that I break most often. People not respecting other swimmers can just wind me up and I struggle to take a deep breath and relax. I’ll try harder though.

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By the way, I’m tempted to print these out and pin them up around the leisure centre.

What are your thoughts about all of this?


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