Lap Swimming Etiquette
Entering the Water
Always use a feet-first entry into shallow water. If the
lane is crowded, always ease in, using a feet-first entry.
You may dive into the pool from the deep end, but only if the pool
is completely clear in front of you.
Just like driving a car, you swim on the right side of the lane
in a counter-clockwise pattern, keeping the middle of the lane
The best place to pass someone is at the wall. A light
touch of the foot of the person in front of you will indicate to
them to stop at the wall and let you pass. If you pass in the
middle of the pool, it should be between the backstroke flags, and
you should pass in the inside or middle of the lane. Make
sure the way is clear, you can also lightly touch the person's foot
to indicate you will be passing them and they should 'hug the
If you are the person being passed, please stop at the wall to
let them pass. It is best to stop and go to the right corner
of the lane, then they can pass you on the left. If they are
passing you in the middle of the pool, just swim as close as you
can to the lane line and slow down a bit to allow them room and
time to pass.
Number of People in a Lane
Several people (as many as 6 or more) can fit in a lane if
proper etiquette is observed and swimmers of like speed are
The lanes are designated Fast, Medium, and Slow. These terms are
relative, so the best way to find the lane that is best for you, is
to watch those that are swimming. If you are the first one in the
lane, just abide by circle swimming so others may join you. If you
aren't sure what lane, ask a lifeguard for some assistance.
Swimming in the same lane with people at your same pace could help
you swim better and have a better workout. You might even meet a
new person to swim with.
If you are resting on the wall, stay to the right side of the
lane to stay away from swimmers coming in. Stopping in the
middle of the pool should be avoided. If the lane is crowded
and one person stops, all will have to stop. Be aware of the
swimmers around you at all times.
The Diplomacy of Shared Space
If someone makes a suggestion concerning any of the mentioned
etiquette topics, try to make adjustments in the spirit of
cooperation. If you make a suggestion to another swimmer, try
to do it as diplomatically as possible. Lifeguards will
intercede only if there is a problem that cannot be resolved or if
there appears to be a safety concern.