Lap Swim Etiquette

When we work together, swim practice can be a wonderful experience for all levels of swimming. So smile and enjoy your workout.

Circle Swimming:

  • When there are more than two people in a lane, circle swimming is required. If there are only two people in a lane, they have the option of splitting a lane.

  • Swim in a counter-clockwise circle in the lane. Down on the right, back on the left.

  • Always swim complete laps of the pool. Avoid stopping in the middle of the pool for any reason, this can interfere with other swimmers and cause collisions.

  • Stop only at the wall and once stopped, stay in the corner of the lane, preferable the left hand corner.

  • If you are approaching the wall and another lap swimmer is swimming at a faster rate then you are, pause at the wall to allow the faster swimmer to go by.

  • Always start, turn and finish at the wall. 


  • If you need to pass in your lane, move up to the swimmer and tap his/her foot. It is inappropriate to grab, pull, or poke the person, but a tap is a clear indication of your presence and your intent to pass.

  • If your foot has been tapped there is no need to stop. Once you are aware of another's intent to pass, slow down just slightly and slide over as close to the lane rope as possible.

  • If the indication to pass has occurred right before the wall, it is appropriate to pause at the wall in the right hand corner to allow the swimmer to advance through his/her turn.

  • If you are passing a swimmer, it is the custom to pass on the left after you have indicated your intent by tapping his/her foot.

  • A pass must be initiated in time to over take the slower swimmer before the wall. In case of ambiguity approaching the turn, the swimmer whose head is closest to the wall has the right of way and the swimmer whose head is behind must yield the turn in the interest of safety.

  • To pass several swimmers in a line the faster swimmer can move to the other side of the lane and change directions. This pass can be done only after being certain the space is clear and he or she is slightly ahead of the line once he/she has turned around.

  • Faster swimmers should give slower swimmers as much space in front of them as possible before pushing off or start their swim just before the slower swimmer reaches the wall to avoid having to pass them right away.

© 2018 by SAMANTHA MARTONI for GVR Swim Club. 

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