Lap Swimming Etiquette 101 - Overview
(aka, "Don't Be a Fool at the Pool")

© 2002-2006 by Art Hutchinson 


The 'LSE-101' Curriculum:
Pool Etiquette Overview
General Awareness
Entering the Pool
Passing & Being Passed
Common Sense

Comments welcome!

My other projects:
Financing the swim habit
Endurance fun on land

Other Resources:
Bill Haverland's incredible Swimmers Guide Online
- the most comprehensive listing of lap-friendly swimming pools all over the world.

Experienced drivers know that roads are safer and more efficient when everyone observes a few common courtesies and basic rules.  Such things are even more important when there are no explicit signs or signals to tell everyone what to do, and when law enforcement can't be omnipresent to actively manage every traffic situation.  

So too in the pool when swimming laps.  Just few shared conventions - observed by everyone - can go a long way towards making lap swimming safer, more pleasant, and more efficient for all.   

For pool managers, these conventions can significantly increase the capacity and safety of their facilities, and reduce costly 'churn' among members seeking an orderly swimming environment.  High-level conventions include:

- Staying constantly aware of other swimmers' presence, 

- Explicitly informing other swimmers of your intentions, 

- Knowing common lap-swimming etiquette, and 

- Applying common sense at all times

This collection of pages outlines a set of standard, well-accepted principles distilled from years of competitive and recreational lap swimming by myself and many others at dozens of pools around the world.  It is informed by having swum at some highly efficient pools where as many as six people in a 25-yard lane were able to get a relatively pleasant and uninterrupted workout, as well as some downright dangerous pools where even a single swimmer alone in a lane was at risk from the actions of impolite, uninformed, erratic, and even, (in one case), drunk (!!) swimmers competing for space.