Wednesday, January 31, 2007

lap swimming rules- Australia

This is something thst really, really gives me the shits.

I am an admitted late starter swimmer. I couldn't complete an entire lap before I was about 16. I still can't breastroke or butterfly. I haven't quite mastered tumble turns. So when I started swimming laps at the pool, I was quite anxious to observe others and get the etiquette right.

I've Googled and wiki-ed this, and there aren't any Aussie versions. Good American rules appear, but of course they swim 'on the other side of the road'. If you ignore the 'right' and make it 'left'
is pretty good.

So here are my lap swimming rules for Australians (and everyone else who drives on the left!)

1. Before entering the pool, have a pee. Persons peeing in the pool should be publically shamed. Don't blow your nose into the water. If you have a band-aid and it comes off, it is your responsibility to fish it out of the water so it doesn't become a 'snack' for other swimmers.
2. If 'slow, medium, and fast' lanes are so marked, share the lane according to your ability. WALKING IS, BY DEFAULT, 'SLOW'. If you cannot complete a lap under 40seconds, you are NOT, repeat NOT fast. Not even by half.
3. Where lap speeds are not posted, try to guage which lane is occupied by swimmers of similar ability and speed to yourself and join that lane.
4. Keep to the left. This means you. This also means as far to the left as is practicable. Not just to the left of the centre line, the left of the lane.
5. If someone is swimming faster than you in your lane and is right behind you, let them pass you on the next turn.
6. If you need to stop at the end of a lap, hang to the sides of the lane whilst resting. Don't sit in the middle with your back to the lane and complain when someone touches your back instead of a wall. If you're not tumble turning, have a quick look and see who else is in your lane and how close they are, and maybe hang back to let them turn in front (see 5).
7. Lap swimming means just that. It's not for swimming half laps, stopping and thinking about doing some more. Then stopping again. It's not normally walking laps either. There will normally be one lane already with some other people walking in it. If you want to walk, walk with the other walkers or in the kiddie pool. The only excuses for stopping half way are near-drowning, a wardrobe malfunction or the unexpected ingestion of bugs or other floating 'snacks'. Oh and contractions. (Ok, any medical emergency).
8. If there is more than one person in your lane (ie you) then please DON'T butterfly. It takes up the entire width of the lane. Sure you will impress with your manly physique, but, seriously; it just makes you look like a wanker. Backstroke is another anti-social stroke unless you keep right over to the side of the lane. When you breast-stroke, keep you feet to yourself. My fetus likes kicking but does itself not like being kicked.
9. I reserve the right to kick extra hard and splash you in the face as I pass if you are not obeying the rules and giving me the shits.
10. Sharing is something you should have learned in kindy, or at least primary school. If you are a little old lady, these rules still apply to you. Being old, stupid and racist does not mean you don't have to share.


Anonymous J-Le said...

oh my god, it is great to come across your post... i was just thinking about posting the same kind of thing the other day as i did laps! but then i realised that i'm no expert and that i'm one of those really slow swimmers that bugs talented swimmers and that there's probably things i don't know. but seriously, there are some people that can't figure out the simplest etiquette. i would like to add one more rule, although it's not really for lap swimmers, it's for other pool-goers:
Do NOT hang off the lane ropes!
When I was there the other day, the slow lane was the one next to the general play area and kids were hanging on the lane rope in the deep end and kicking their legs around in my lane. It was the first time I have felt that protective motherly instinct and I lashed out with a karate chop/swimming stroke at a stray foot that came dangerously close to my belly.

8/2/07 23:54  
Blogger jen said...

Oh yeah, lane ropes, can't believe I forgot that one. Gives me the total shits when the side of your lane just suddenly disappears. Unfortunately at my pool, it seems to be the older folks who sit on the ropes and that *really* drives me mad (how are the kids supposed to learn it's not ok if some 70 year old is doing it?!).

BTW I'm definitely non-talented and at 38 weeks of pregnancy, VERY slow (takes me about 35 min to do 1500m... WITH flippers).

9/2/07 17:36  

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