Quick Etiquette Tips for Lap Swimmers


If you have visited our pool recently, you have probably noticed that it has been busy. But don’t let a busy pool bring you down when swimming. Swimming can be one of the most beneficial exercises for your body and mind, so read on to learn a few quick ways you can help keep the pool a fun and safe space for everyone, even at the busiest times.

Announce Your Presence

If you are entering a lane that is already occupied by another swimmer (or swimmers) make sure to let them know you are there before beginning to swim. Always enter feet first and avoid jumping in near other swimmers.

  • Wait! Someone is doing flip turns and I can’t get their attention to let them know I’m joining the lane.
    • Don’t worry, this happens a lot and this type of swimmer is not ignoring you intentionally. If you find you cannot get a swimmer’s attention from on the pool deck, feel free to slip into the end of the lane while they are at the other side and wait for them to swim back. This will make it easier for them to see you.
  • But, I’m Slow! Someone is swimming too fast and I don’t think I can share with them.
    • Before asking to join a lane, size up the various lanes and see if anyone is swimming a pace closer to your own. If no one seems to be moving your pace, don’t be afraid to share with someone who is faster or slower or more splashy than you are. Remember, we allow swimmers of all ability levels to use any available lane and swimming next to someone of a different level may challenge you and make you a more versatile lap swimmer.

How to Share the Lane Effectively

If you are the only swimmer in a lane, then you have free reign over where you swim, as long as you stay within the boundaries of the lane lines. However, if someone asks to share your lane, you must let them. Below are the rules for sharing a lane.

Two Swimmers

If you enter a lane with one other swimmer, you will each choose a side of the pool to swim on. Each of you will swim down and back on your chosen side of the lane, staying on either side of the middle black line.


Three or More Swimmers

If there are already two swimmers in a lane, you can still share.
\r\nMembers of the lane will swim in a circle, moving in a counter-clockwise direction, avoiding the center line. If you need to pass, you may do so using the space in the center of the lane, but be careful not to hit an oncoming swimmer. If you need to stop at the wall to rest, do so on the right side of the lane so you do not get in the way of incoming swimmers.

Look Out for Swim Lessons

We offer a wide variety of aquatic programming, so you may end up swimming next to a lane of swim team kids or a water fitness class. Pay attention to “Lane Reserve” signs and posted lap pool schedules so you know when to expect a busier pool. There will always be space available for lap swimming even during the most popular programming times, so there is no need to feel intimidated or overwhelmed if there seems to be a lot going on. If you are ever unsure which lanes are available for lap swimming you can check for signs like this one or ask a lifeguard

Always Be Kind

As swimmers, we all love to be in the water as much as possible. A busy pool can be a challenge, especially when swimming is so often considered a way to relax and unwind, but the most important thing we can do is to be considerate and make small compromises in order to ensure that everyone has an experience that is safe, happy, and full of love for the great sport of swimming.