Lane Etiquette

These tips on etiquette for Masters Swimmers are from the September 1996 issue of the Great Lengths newsletter for BC Masters. This has been edited to suit our team, with a few items added. I hope this helps everyone to understand why we do the things we do.

  • Help set up the pool for workout, and help put things away after.
  • If you are late, warm up on deck or in the public lane. Then start the workout at the same point as the rest of the swimmers in your lane.
  • Within each lane, swimmers should arrange themselves for each set: fastest to slowest. It is the lead swimmer’s duty to ensure that the lane starts swimming at the proper time for each set.
  • Allow five or ten seconds between swimmers. Note that allowing ten seconds in sets of over two lengths means that the lead swimmer may overtake the end swimmer, so this is not always the best option.
  • Swim in a circle within each lane, staying off the black centre line.
  • To pass, touch the toes of the swimmer in front of you twice. They should stop at the end of the length and allow you to pass. If you must pass mid-length, make sure it is safe so that you don’t hit a third swimmer!
  • As you approach turns, cautiously ease over the black ‘T’ from your current direction so you can push off from the wall in your return direction in a straight line.
  • Try to swim the workout as posted, but sit out a repeat if you need to. If you are not doing the same things as the rest of your lane, keep out of their way or move to another lane.
  • When finishing a swim, move so the swimmer behind you can touch the wall (especially in a timed set!)
  • Please avoid using gear that can injure other swimmers. If you do need to wear something hard or sharp BE AWARE of where your hands are likely to make physical contact with others (such as oncoming swimmers in an adjacent lane).
  • Do not swim over people. If they are slower than you are, please follow the passing etiquette.
  • It’s a good idea to always be aware of where your teammates are (and where the wall is), if you want to avoid injury and enjoy a good workout! If any of this is unclear please ask someone.
  • NOTE: there is trained first-aide care on deck at all times.