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Lane Swimming Etiquette

Turning up to a club swim session for the first time, it can seem a bit confusing, so here’s a few pointers about lane swimming etiquette.

  1. If you aren’t sure which lane you are in ask one of the coaches, they’ll direct you to a lane appropriate for your speed and experience.

  2. Never get into an occupied lane without letting the person/people already swimming know you are entering. Do this by dangling your legs into the water or standing to the side at the end of the lane when they are turning.

  3. If there is only one other person in the lane, the lane can be split with each person taking half the lane. But you must explicitly agree this. Otherwise assume lane/circle swimming.

  4. Once a third person joins, circle swimming must start. Make sure both people know you are joining.

  5. Circle swimming is dictated by the fastest person present, not the slowest, biggest, or first in. Take note of the swimmer’s speeds before you enter. Direction is usually lane specific. Check or ask if you are unsure.

  6. Tap feet to pass. The person whose feet are being tapped moves out of the way to the corner at the lane end. Do NOT speed up if you are being passed.

  7. Move to the side of the lane end to allow faster people to pass. Allow them to turn at the centre of the lane wall. if there are more than one, allow all faster swimmers behind you to pass.

  8. Do NOT turn or push off in front of faster swimmers. Faster swimmers should allow slower swimmers as much time as possible before starting.

  9. Do NOT start swimming immediately behind another swimmer. They will not know you are there when they are turning. Injuries will result.

  10. Swimmers resting at lane end should stay as far to the side of the lane as possible.

  11. If the lane has a few swimmers doing long-axis strokes (front crawl, back stroke) do NOT do short axis strokes (Breastroke, fly)

  12. Be polite. Communicate. Do your best to explain the etiquette.

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