Swimming Safety & Lane Etiquette
Due to constraints on pool time, pool size and even lane
width, swimmers are quite often forced to swim in heavily
populated lanes. This increases the possibility of accident
Swimming in lanes requires organisation, discipline, a
high degree of awareness and common sense. If any of these
are lacking then the risk of accident/incident is greatly
increased. Please read the guidelines below and adopt
them whenever swimming in a lane environment.
Always be aware of where other swimmers
in the lane are. Common sense is vital
at all times.
This can be difficult when training hard and under pressure,
nevertheless safety must always take top priority.
Finally - please remember that people
are there for different reasons. Please ensure that good
lane safety and etiquette prevails at all times to allow
a safe and enjoyable session for all.
not dive in at the shallow end and only dive
in at the deep end if the Coach advises that you should
do so. If you are told you can dive in then look before
you do so to ensure the water is clear of other swimmers.
This is your responsibility.
Take care and be aware. There was an
incident last year where someone swam straight over another
swimmer, physically pushing them under in the process
- this is not acceptable behaviour!
Do not wear watches or jewellery in the water - they can
scratch, cut, catch on lane ropes and get lost.
Pushing off to Start
The quickest swimmer should lead, with
the other swimmers following in descending speed order.
This ensures that people are not held up and a safe distance
is maintained between swimmers. If varying strokes, ensure
that the quickest goes in front.
If you are leading then it is your responsibility to watch
the clock and go at the correct time.
Interval Between Swimmers
leave 5 seconds between swimmers. Watch the clock,
do not just 'go when it feels right' as you will usually
be too close to the person in front and you will mess
up the timing for those behind you. All sessions are planned
around a 5 second interval.
If you cannot see the clock then either count or go when
the swimmer in front has passed fully under the 5 metre
flags (as this equates roughly to 5 seconds).
Do not push off immediately after another
Do not push off immediately before another
swimmer coming in to turn.
Please make allowances for the varying abilities that
occur in some lanes. Slower swimmers have as much right
as faster swimmers. Be considerate.
right over on your side of the lane
You should not be swimming down the black centre-line, as
swimming down the middle is both selfish and dangerous.
This is obviously difficult when swimming in an outside
lane (especially when steps protrude into the pool space).
In this sort of scenario, common sense and awareness must
Be aware of those around you
at all times The power of a breaststroke kick or
a butterfly arm is potentially DANGEROUS
(quite apart from any impact injury itself, a blow can easily
render someone unconscious in the pool). It is your responsibility
to make sure that your swimming does not result in an accident.
If swimmers are doing butterfly in both directions, then
single arm fly should be done when passing each other (the
motionless arm being the arm nearest the swimmer in the
not swim right up on people’s feet and do
not overtake. If you are faster then ask if can
you lead them on the next rep.
If you do not want to go in front of a slower swimmer then
it is your responsibility to slow down and hang back as
it is off-putting having someone right on your feet.
not stay in front if you are holding others up
If someone has caught you up on one rep then let them go
in front on the next rep.
If you intend to move positions in the lane, try and notify
others of your intent at least one repetition before you
do it. Having it thrust upon you that you have 5 seconds
less rest with 5 seconds notice is unacceptable and can
ruin the set for others.
approach to the wall, start moving from your side of the
lane to the centre of the lane. Execute the turn at the
centre of the lane pushing off to the other side of the
Be aware of other swimmers when you kick off the wall out
of a turn. Swimmers swimming in opposite directions very
close to each other make this a likely time for collisions
and where swimmers are kicking off hard, with head down,
this can be potentially dangerous.
in to Finish
not finish your swim 5 metres out. Swim all the
way in to touch the wall.
Once you have touched, move out of the way to the other
side so that others can complete their length in turn. Do
not stand blocking the wall for other swimmers,
this is selfish.
Out a Rep.
If you are sitting a rep out then it is your responsibility
to keep out of the way of those who do want to swim. Keep
right in to one side or get out.
rejoin at an appropriate place/time.
Finally - Please pay attention to the Coach
or any pool staff at all times and comply with any instructions
you are given.