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 Debbie Sainz  

Senior Community Association Manager

Charlotte Adams
Community Association Manager


Phone: (813) 926-6404
Fax: (813) 926-1821
10049 Parley Drive
Tampa, FL 33626



Lap Swim Etiquette

          Circle Swiming                                     Adults Sharing Lanes 


Lap swimmers want their own lane. They hate to share and the refuse to circle swim. Slower swimmers feel pressured and faster swimmers can’t stand someone in their way. Don’t think of lap swim guidelines as rules, rather as a framework that leads to greater enjoyment of the pool for all. 

Starting Your Swim

Let’s face it, joining someone else while they’re mid-workout isn’t an easy thing to do, especially when they have their head underwater. Here are some guidelines for joining a lap lane.

Take Your Pick

If there’s a free lane, take it. If not, pick a lane with a similar lap swimmer or consult the lifeguard for a recommendation on whose lane you should join. Patience is a Virtue – Sit on the wall with your feet on the gutter and wait for the other swimmer to take a break. Most swimmers will stop and welcome you into the lane. No Forced Entry – Drop into the lane while your fellow swimmer is in rest, or away from the wall. In other words, don’t jump in on top of a swimmer mid-flip turn. Failure to Yeild – If your lap lane partner doesn’t stop, don’t take it as a personal jab they’re probably mid-set. Follow the above guidelines to enter the lane. You’re now free to start your workout.

Lap Sharing Logistics

Now that you’ve joined the lane, remember that you’re going to be working out with someone. Some basic considerations should be given to support your peaceful coexistence. One – Got the lap lane to yourself? That’s great. Now remember, be welcoming if someone decides to join you. Two – Pairing up? You’ve got two options. Split the lane down the middle, or begin to circle swim. Discuss this with your fellow lapper. Three – With three or more swimmers it’s time to circle swim. Avoid standing on the “T” when resting, and stick close to the lane line so everyone can work their turns properly.

The Finishing Touches

Now that you’ve established protocols for entering the pool and using the lane, you’ve proactively reduced most of the issues associated with lap sharing. Here are just a few more things you may want to consider. The Butterfly Effect – Making huge waves may have a negative impact on other people’s workouts. Communicate with the other swimmers sharing your lane before doing anything that will send them off course. Hall Pass – Need to pass the swimmer ahead of you? That’s simple. A light tap on the toes is the international symbol that you’re ready to pass. 

Here to Help

The lifeguard on duty is not a pool concierge. Lifeguards can make suggestions on which lane to pick, but their primary responsibility is to ensure everyone’s safety, not to count your laps.
Not so Fast – Water walking, aqua jogging and slow swimming can all be great workouts, but should be done only in designated areas. The Waiting Game – You’re welcome to wait for a lap lane to open so that you can have it all to yourself, but there’s no guarantee it will stay that way.

Always be courteous to other swimmers looking to share your lane.