Just like everything else that we do in a social, public environment, enjoying a swimming pool also comes with its own implicit social rules and etiquettes. Some of these rules are explicit and can be found on the notice boards around public pools, while a few are implicit and belong to ‘proper behaviour’ category.
Here are some basic swimming etiquettes, divided into two segments, (1) to follow before getting in the pool and (2) to follow while you’re in the pool.
Before You Get in The Pool
Wear Appropriate Swimwear
The first and foremost swimming pool etiquette says that you should wear appropriate swimwear before you enter a pool. No matter what kind it is, two-piece, one-piece, shorts and bralettes, whatever! No t-shirts and shorts, no cottonwear, no dri-fit gym wear and no lycra tights and tees. Fibres from all of these clog drains and is a big hassle for routine swimming pool maintenance.
And yes, a swimming cap is also categorized as appropriate swimming attire. Hair is usually a big drain clogger, whether in our homes or in public pools. And no one wants to catch floating hair on their limbs while they swim either. By using swimming caps, we prevent drain clogs and keep the pool clean and hair-free for all users.
Shower Before You Enter
Once you are in your swimwear, head over to the showers. Always take a quick shower before you enter the pool. It cleans away your perspiration and other bodily impurities before you get in the pool, ensuring that less microscopic bodily-matter enters that public pool.
Use a Restroom Before You Enter
Let’s face it, it is a hassle to come out of the pool, head over to the restrooms and get out of those wet swimming costumes just to answer nature’s call. It is therefore far more prudent to be prepared in advance and avoid that eventuality before you hit the water. Thereafter as adults, it is expected that we can all hold it in for an hour or so, right?
Don’t Just Jump Right In
If the pool is crowded, be courteous to the other users. Either skip the dive and splash altogether by entering the pool using the pool bar and steps or find a quiet spot, alert other divers and then make that jump. No one likes to be splashed in their faces unexpectedly, and we are sure neither do you.
Skip the Pool if You Have Rashes or Injuries
As the world gets more aware and alert to health and hygiene, swimming etiquettes too are mindful of them. If you are covered in bandages, or worse, open scrapes and cuts, please skip the pool till you heal. If you have rashes or allergies, skip your session too.
After You Get in the Pool
Mind the Lanes
If the pool is crowded, especially with serious swimmers, try not to get in the way. Mind your lane and let the faster folks pass.
Tap and Pass
If you are a serious swimmer or just a fast one, ask the person in front of you to allow you to pass by making a gentle tap on his foot. Similarly, when someone taps yours, make room for the person to pass.
Be Polite and Considerate
Even if you are in the pool to have some fun, or even if you are in the pool with your friends, be polite and considerate to other swimmers. There might be someone training for a race, another might be doing laps for his fitness. Not everyone is in it for the fun. Do not splash, do not squeal, scream and shout. And definitely do not be a space-hogger that is interfering with everyone else by resting on the sides right in the middle of the pool!
In short, what we are saying is “Swim & Let Swim!” and all of us deserve a good pool irrespective of the seriousness of the activity.