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Lane etiquette and pool rules from our safety officer

It is great to see so many people at training sessions, but as lanes become more crowded it is important that we observe some lane etiquette, to avoid accidents and to ensure we can all swim at our maximum ability.
If you have any questions please ask one of our experts, otherwise known as committee members.
Remember to tell the coach of any health or injury issues.
No diving in to the 25 m pool at Manly Swim Centre.
Please remove watches and large items of jewellery before entering the pool.

Which lane should I be in?
The coach will determine who should be in which lane. Assessment of new swimmers will take place in Lanes 4 and 5 and appropriate lane placement will follow. If one lane is much more crowded than the others, please move to a less crowded lane that is flowing at a speed you can manage.

Lane Leading
Who should lead the lane? This will vary with the stroke and each person’s speed in that stroke.
Please discuss this amongst yourselves in the lane and work out who should lead when. The first swimmer in the lane must understand the set and all the intervals, be able to see and read the pace clock and have a good sense of pace. More experienced swimmers can take a role in helping the newer swimmers to sort this out, understand the rules and help them understand the drills and sets.

If you're leading your lane, you have responsibilities!

  • Have goggles on and be ready to push off when coach says, "Ready, GO!" If the coach does send you off, check if all your lane-mates are ready to start the set before pushing off.
  • Keep track of how many laps you've done and how many repeats you've done.
  • Only use flippers/paddles/pool buoys as directed by the coach.
  • Make sure everyone in your lane has a chance to finish at the wall.
  • Make sure everyone in your lane can make the interval with some rest.
  • Set an example... encourage your lane mates... be a leader.

Set Discipline
When we are training we should all be doing the same thing that the coach has told us for the set. If you are not able to do some of the set please tell your lane-mates and go to the back of the group so they are not surprised or confused when you do a different stroke.

Starts and Turns
Negotiating the walls properly leads to a smoother running lane. Follow these guidelines for negotiating the walls in your lane and you will encounter less traffic hazards:

  • Pushing Off: The leader in the lane should always be on the left side of the lane (facing the water), ready to push off into the swimming lane. The other swimmers should move to the left side of the lane as their turn to push off approaches and as the people ahead leave. Swimmers should push off at at least 5 second intervals. Depending on the drill and the timing the coach has allocated, it is conventional to wait till the 3rd swimmer has finished the swim before the leader commences on the next swim. This prevents ‘lapping’ and keeps the group working together. Ideally the slowest swimmer in the group should also get a rest between sets, as well as the faster swimmers, so if there is not a gap between sets, they can really miss out.
  • Turning: As you approach the wall for a turn, move to the centre of the lane, ready to push off on the left hand side (facing the water). This leaves space for the next person behind you and avoids collisions.
  • Finishing: As in turning, finish on the left in the lane (facing the wall) as possible. Move across the lane to leave wall space so that the swimmers behind you have an opportunity to get to the wall. If the lane has several people in it, then move to the ropes on the other side of the lane after you touch the wall to let the swimmers behind you touch the wall. Do not stop short of the wall.

Do not pass other swimmers in the lane, but be considerate of your lane-mates and wait for the next set and then go ahead of someone who is slower than you. If it is a long swim and you want to ‘overtake’ do so by turning at the flags. Do not swim parallel to someone between the flags and the wall as this will disrupt their concentration during their turn (and lead to collisions). Remember this is squad swimming, not a competition. If you're always catching the person in front of you, either go ahead of them on the next swim or leave 10 seconds apart. This also applies in medley sets where swimming speeds may vary considerably with the stroke, so if you know you are going to catch the person in front in one or two strokes, leave a longer interval before starting.

If you have to stop during a set, try to stop at the end of the lane and move to far left corner (facing the water) to let other swimmers go through. Do not stop in the middle of the lane. If you absolutely have to stop it is your responsibility to move to the side of the lane and get out of the way of other swimmers.

Session Start / Warm Up
If you get in the water AFTER the session start time – and some people in your lane have already done some of the warm-up – do not expect to do the whole warm up and leave the punctual people waiting for you to finish!

Some Stroke Tips
Backstroke to avoid collision:

  • turn your head towards the lane ropes occasionally to check you are still on the correct side of the lane and have not wandered into the middle of the lane.
  • be aware of the movement of water at your head – if the water is turbulent it means you are close to the person in front of you. (This also applies in freestyle).

Butterfly to avoid collision:

  • be aware of any swimmers coming towards you and make sure you are not crowding them.
  • switch to single-arm fly when you're passing someone coming the other way, especially if they’re also swimming fly.

Leaving the Pool
Please be careful leaving the pool. If you have to cross lanes to get to the steps, give way to any swimmers in the lane. Do not cause them to slow or defer their take off.

Be aware of the Manly Swim Centre general rules. No children to be left unattended.

Swim safe and enjoy.

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