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  #1  
Old 12-07-2012
4murphdoggy 4murphdoggy is offline
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4murphdoggy
Default Pool Etiquette

Hello.

My friend and I just started our TI freestyle journey about a month ago after purchasing a TI dvd and book. We've been using a community indoor pool, that for the most part, is quite empty.

Yesterday, when we arrived, there were two buoyed-off lanes available for lap swimming. Both empty, my friend and I decided to split one in case someone else showed up. About 15 minutes later, two older women started swimming in the available lane next to us. For about 5 minutes, after their arrival, my friend and I had been standing at the shallow end discussing our form and critiquing each other. All of a sudden, one women crossed the buoys at the deep end and started swimming head-on in my friend's portion of the lane. Astounded, when she arrived at our end, we asked her what was going on and she quickly said, as she turned around and started down the lane again, that she wanted to give her friend more room; therefore, 3 of us were in one lane, and her friend was by herself in the other. When she came back around, I told her either she needed to move back over, or one of us would because we were still swimming. All she said was, as she crossed back over to her friend's lane, was that she had swam 3 laps (with fins) and that we were still talking, then started swimming again w/o giving us a chance to reply.

I was really bothered by her behavior because 1) the lifeguard, since the pool was empty, would have probably allowed her to open an additional lane and 2) my friend could have gotten hurt, if she didn't notice the women coming head-on....So, my question is, were we in the wrong for taking up the lane to discuss our form? We wouldn't have done that if people were waiting, or if the pool was full. We've even gone so far as, when the pool was actually busy once, sharing one-half of a lane, so we don't make a third person swim in circles.

And if we were in the wrong, should we have stepped out of the lane to talk?

This is our first experience swimming in a public pool, so any advice on how to improve our behavior to avoid uncomfortable interactions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Etiquette...

There's no such thing as swim etiquette in a public pool session, since there are way too many different people with different beliefs and different abilities.

So it's more normal etiquette that prevails there I believe. But everyone has their limit in term of spending time and energy complying to etiquette.

Explain your point politely, but when you see that the message doesn't go through, I'm afraid that the best thing to do is to roll with the punch and ignore the complaints.

In a Club's session, things are different. There exists a complex pool etiquette there, since everyone can be educated the same way, by the same person, to comply to that etiquette.

People often mistakenly think that Lifeguards are there to help solving these low key incidents. It's true to some extent, but they're trained to behave otherwise though.

A lifeguard should first prioritize security, and as such he/she should avoid spending too much time educating people to achieve the unachievable.

Lane traffic is virtually mission impossible for them. First, lanes are often categorized in slow medium fast. But when I show up (fast) to work on sculling (slow), and use the fast lane (obviously), there will always be a few people to be mad after the fact I'm sculling.

If I touch someones' foot to indicate I'm about to pass him, that person may take it as an aggression, then complain to the lifeguard. That lifeguard should normally explain that person that pool etiquette says that it's normal for a swimmer, to touch another one prior passing.

But then the lifeguard would have to teach all these rules repeatedly, which takes away their main focus, which is ensuring that everyone remains safe.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 12-07-2012 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 12-08-2012
daveblt daveblt is offline
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If that lady already had a lane to swim in then I think it was wrong of her to just barge in and swim towards you . She should of asked if you were still swimming and if she could share the lane with you and do circles or since she got in the lane from the other end she could of signaled to you with hand motions if it was okay to do circles since their was already two of you in the lane.

Dave
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2012
ashby ashby is offline
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Where in the world are you?

In the masters squad I sometimes swim in they tell us our duty is to keep out of the way of swimmers who are actually swimming during rests (and be aware of them) but that's not a public session of course.
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2012
Caro Caro is offline
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Sorry, I'm afraid I think the lady in question had the right of it for the following reasons:
Lanes are for swimming in - there is no reason why you should not stand at the end talking but if you do you should keep well out of the way of any swimmers. Most people like to have a lane to themselves (unless they are chatting to their friend whilst swimming), so it is annoying to see a lane free for a long period with people standing at the end talking. The lady had no idea how long you were going to talk for I have spent 20 or more minutes talking at the end of a lane before now.
She had just as much right to be in the lane as you, she does not need to ask your permission.
If there are more than 2 people in a lane it is normal to swim up one side of a lane and down the other. Normally there is a board at the end of the lane saying whether to swim clockwise or anti-clockwise to avoid damaging collisions with neighbouring lanes.
You should always check the way ahead is clear when you push off initially. Once you start swimming continuously it is up to other people to check when they join in.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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I would even add, and not to be critic here, but that when I am fortunate enough to be alone in a lane, I keep right hand side anyway. Then when a 2n swimmer joins in, often, she asks if we can share the lane (ie, keeping our side). My answer is always NO. I find that behaving as such is sending a message to other swimmers that our lane is closed. Call me excessively polite, but it's not even about politeness.

I hate having to wonder every lap: is there anyone new in the the lane?
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Old 12-08-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Oh this post is so funny. Only 3 in a lane, sounds like bliss, letting people know the lane is 'closed' hilarious.

Our local pool refuses to have fast, middle and slow signs as they claim this is 'discriminatory', in that no-one has the right to judge another swimmers speed as fast or slow, instead they have 2 lanes for 'exercising' and 1 for 'movement', or as I like to think of it a special lane for people who don't want to get their hair wet.

Its such a shame, if people were only encouraged to pick a lane that matched their swim speed everyone would enjoy their swim more, it can be no less frustrating to have people overtaking you twice a lap than to have 2 people to overtake every lap.

Enjoy your closed lanes, I should have them myself in 8 months. Patience patience patience.
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2012
Caro Caro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
.

I hate having to wonder every lap: is there anyone new in the the lane?
Was I being unclear or are you pointing out that I am stating the obvious?
I was trying to respond to 4murphdoggy's point that his friend could have got hurt in a head-on collision. Obviously if his friend looked for other swimmers before starting to swim she would not collide.
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  #9  
Old 12-10-2012
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CoachJohnB CoachJohnB is offline
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[quote=Caro;32982]Sorry, I'm afraid I think the lady in question had the right of it...]

Actually, no she didn't have it right. What she should have done, as pointed out by someone else is the following:

When she got down to the end of the lane, where the two people were standing, is to ask them at that point "are you all done swimming?"

If they answered "yes", then she should have said "I would like to use the lane, thank you" If they answered, "no, we are still using the lane" She should have stayed in the lane she was already in.

Barging into the lane without knowing what the two people were doing and expecting them to just make way for her was the wrong way for her to handle the situation.
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  #10  
Old 12-10-2012
ian mac ian mac is offline
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Default 3 sides to every story

4murphdoggy,
Every public swim session has its own dynamic, as the swimmers' ability and understanding of lane etiquette will be different every time. I have been in lanes where I have been the slowest or the fastest, yet all went well because we were respectful of each other. Just like driving on the highway, the more aware one is of all their lane mate's, the easier it is to make the necessary allowances.

Making allowances is the key. Chances are nobody in the lane are competing in the Olympics (and if they are, they know how to get out of your way), so it is imperative to communicate well to everyone in your lane what you are doing and be mutually respectful.

Not knowing the complete dynamic, it seems that all of you were a bit at fault for not communicating to each other. It's amazing what a quick "hi this is what I'm doing" can help a situation. Remember, we are all sharing the pool.
ian mac
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