Pool Etiquette



Winter is just about here.  So what does that mean for us athletes?
It’s swim season!!

Olympic Training Center Pool
Swimming laps in the Olympic Training Center 50m pool = awesome


If you’re a swimmer, you’ve been anticipating the start of the season and can feel it in the air.  If you’re a triathlete, now’s a great time to focus on a single sport. But before jumping into the pool, let’s review some pool etiquette so you don’t get anyone wanting to deck you on the pool deck.

  • If it’s a full pool, try to pick a lane with similar ability & speed as you.
  • If someone is already swimming in the lane you want to go in, make sure you make eye contact and be clear that you want to share a lane.
  • If the pool is empty & you want to share a lane with the only other person doing laps…well, that just gets weird and uncomfortable.
  • Make sure the other swimmer knows you’ll be sharing the lane with them. Don’t assume that just because you’re in the water that the other swimmer knows you’re there. Head on collisions in the water are no fun.
  • You can get another swimmer’s attention by sitting on the edge of the pool, standing in the corner of the lane, or waving.
  • If you’re the other swimmer in a lane that someone wants to share, acknowledge them with eye contact, a nod, or a wave. No one likes being ignored.
  • If two of you are sharing a lane, you can mutually decide on either circle swimming or splitting the lane.
  • If there are more than two swimmers in a lane, everyone in the lane circle swims.
  • When circle swimming, be considerate of the other swimmers in your lane.
    • Slower swimmers should wait for faster swimmers to pass before starting a set.
    • Slower swimmers should start right after faster swimmers.
    • Faster swimmers should give slower swimmers some time before pushing off so they are not right on their toes.
  • When resting between sets at the wall, stay to one side of the lane. If the lane is crowded and multiple swimmers are resting between sets, stay along the side of the lane to give the others still swimming room to swim through.
  • If passing a slower swimmer, tap their toes before passing. Do not grab their feet or ankles and do not pull them under and swim on top of them. This may sound like great practice for a triathlon swim, but it will get others mad at you in the pool.
  • If the swimmer behind you taps your toes several times, do not speed up and try to race the other swimmer and do not stop in the middle of the lane. Continue swimming at your pace and let the other swimmer pass while your swimming or stop at the wall and let them go ahead of you.
  • Some pools have specific or special rules about sharing lanes. If you don’t want to get kicked out, then follow those rules.
  • When in doubt, ask the guard on duty.


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