Originally Posted by CoachBobM
I've never seen what you call "Scottish" lanes. The usual protocol here is that people swim counterclockwise (sort of like a typical U.S. road where motorists stay on the right side of the road, from their point of view).
It's also common, if there are only 2 swimmers in a lane, for each swimmer to stay on one side of the lane (effectively dividing the lane into 2 half-lanes, with each swimmer staying in their own half lane), so that if the swimmers are swimming at different speeds, they don't get in each other's way. At some facilities, this dual protocol is actually posted, but at others, the 2 swimmers just agree to it between them.
The weirdest thing I ever saw was a pool with extremely narrow lanes where it was impossible for 2 swimmers to pass each other in a single lane. So they only allowed 1 swimmer per lane. If all of the lanes were full, you had to write your name on a white board waiting list, and when there was a waiting list, swimmers were restricted as to how long they could stay in a lane before they had to get out and let another swimmer in (putting their own name at the bottom of the waiting list if they wanted to swim longer).
Yes that's what we do here in Finland and what seems universal (almost).
The wait for another turn in that super narrow lane pool sounds like it could be a good discipline. I think forcing myself to have say 3 x 30min sessions rather than 1 x 90min one could be better for technique improvement. It remonds me of queuing for a game of pool, but waiting and hour or so at the bar is more appealing than waiting at the poolside! :D
As for the "Scottish Lane Swimming" (maybe it's just in the islands), it generates chaos at the ends if more than four people are swimming in a two lane space. Increasing the space to three lanes has little or no impact as the problems come from trying to swim off the wall at 45' or from not being able to swim more than one length at a time.