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Midas
August 1st, 2008, 07:30 PM
I did a search and didn't see a dedicated thread for this topic, which was inspired by a post by Chris Stevenson in the "How Many Swimmers Per Lane (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=11417)" Thread. I'll reproduce Chris's quote below (I hope you don't mind!) and my response (edited for context). What do others think?

(Hopefully I didn't just miss the thread on this. Sorry if I did--I did run a search!)




As far as passing goes, it is the responsibility of the passer. The slower person should not have to stop or slow -- indeed, s/he should not do anything differently...except perhaps be aware that s/he is being passed, swim in the proper part of the lane (esp not too far to the center) and don't do anything radical like speed up or move over suddenly.

It was interesting to read Chris say that, because I have the opposite view. I think, once alerted by a tap on the feet, the person getting passed should stop at the next wall and get out of the passing person's way. Maybe I feel that way because I swim in a pool with very narrow lanes and it's just not feasible to swim around somebody. This is also the way it works in my lane (the person getting passed will stop to let the faster person by) so that might also influence my view of what is "right". But in any event it seems reasonably fair to me. It's the slower person holding the faster person up, so it seems fair that the slower person defer...

I wonder if people's views are influenced by whether they are usually the "passer" or the "passee"...

Ian Smith
August 1st, 2008, 07:41 PM
Midas, I lean to your view: if you are a passee, you are too slow for the lane and should go down one (or stop & sit out a 50 and get some rest).

Chris Stevenson
August 1st, 2008, 08:01 PM
"It is the responsibility of the passer to pass" -- this is the rule that has been drilled into me since I was a kid swimming age group. Any coach I had would be mad at a swimmer stopping to let someone else pass. I'd be interested in others' views and experiences.

I don't know if I like the onus being put completely on the slower person. Sometimes I'm the fastest in my practice by a good bit, and it is usually not possible to get a lane to myself. I don't want to interfere with their workout either. It is generally much less of a disruption to me to pass someone, then it is to them if they stop completely.

The main exception is doing backstroke, since it is hard to see well enough to pass.

About the foot tap...I avoid it since some people really don't like it. But it may be almost a cultural thing, like honking the car horn (not a big deal some places, a cause for road rage in others).

quicksilver
August 1st, 2008, 08:19 PM
I found this on-line lane etiquette which seems to be a standard rule of thumb in many swim clubs....http://www.mvm.org/workouts-lane-etiquette.php

geochuck
August 1st, 2008, 09:09 PM
I was swimming in a lane to-day. Not a club workout just in open lap swim, 3 lanes for lap swimmers.

I started out in the fast lane some old guy gets into my lane and starts swimming double arm backstroke, swimming down the middle of the lane. I had just finished my 200m warm up.

I moved to the slow lane which was empty. My work out today was 200s with 1 minute rest. I did 2 really nice 200s and a little old lady gets in my lane fortunately she had been a pretty good swimmer. I let her do her first 2 lengths then I started my next 200 just before she finished 2 laps. I caught after 6 lengths. I waited a few seconds and finished my next full 200 with a slow 50. Then a couple of very slow breaststrokers got in the lane.

I moved over to the next lane which was just a medium speed lap lane. There was a nice young lady who was a competitive swimmer getting in condition to start up with a masters club. I was able to complete 2 more good 200s then two little old ladies got into that lane and started swimming a very slow breaststroke. By this time the double arm backstroker had gone to the hot tub.

Into the fast lane once more another good 200. Then three other old guys came in and started a variety of kicking, breaststroke, and backstroke and they barely moved thru the water.

Hot tub time.

CreamPuff
August 1st, 2008, 09:34 PM
Gotta say I'm with Chris on this.

No foot tapping. No need for the passee to stop even in highly crowded, narrow lanes.

Passer just sprints on by.

I've been on both sides of the fence. I prefer to be the passer of course.

There was only once this summer when I was swimming with the kids in that I attempted to pass this gal and she sped up to try and prevent me from passing. She told me later that she was just being a B$%&^. Man, she has some balls. Gotta respect that. :agree:

david.margrave
August 1st, 2008, 09:42 PM
I don't know, in a 25 yd. pool if you are just a little faster than the person you are passing, I don't see how you could pull it off.

Luckily where I swim I don't have this problem. My lanemates let me go first on freestyle sets, and I go last on everything else, especially kicking.

tjrpatt
August 1st, 2008, 09:50 PM
I remember one day at my college team, I was in the lane with this guy(he usually trained with Curl Burke Swim Club but trained with us that day) who got 9th at the 1996 Olympics in the 400 IM. Well, I was obviously in over my head in that lane and my college coach should have done it. But, he was passing me several times(more like alot of times). He later told other people that I should have stopped at the wall so he could pass me. Well, that wasn't going to happen. I came from the school if you want to pass someone swim around them if there is no one coming down the other side. Just because he was one of Spain's best swimmers, I was to make expectations to him. From the famous words of Whitney Houston, "Aww, hell to the naw!" Of course, he didn't have the guts to make this request to my face!

In addition, if I stopped at the wall, that would mess up my training for that day.

ande
August 1st, 2008, 09:53 PM
i try not to make passes at the people I swim with

FindingMyInnerFish
August 1st, 2008, 10:12 PM
i try not to make passes at the people I swim with

Ah, Ande--c'mon, have some fun! :D

My question for everyone: is the foot tap a universally recognized communication? I don't mean just in masters' practices, but for open lap swim. I would hesitate to tap a stranger's foot wondering what kind of misinterpretation it would be subject to.... Not that I usually have to worry too much about this, given my speed. :violin:

During some of my lap swim times, there's a wonderful swim coach for a local high school who swims usually in my lane... This would not occur in any normal circumstance, but the particular swim period we both choose is populated largely by water walkers and some very, very leisurely swimmers, so the only lane where one can move is the fast lane. I offered to move to a slower lane, but "no," he said, "stay in the fast lane... don't worry about being in the way... I'm fine swimming around you." He even gave me some good tips on technique. If ever there was a good "ambassador" of the sport, this guy was it... always friendly and encouraging.

FlyQueen
August 2nd, 2008, 12:15 AM
I tend to think it should be the job of the passer to get around the slower swimmer. The pool I swim at most often has very narrow lanes. There is one guy in particular that will pass me on sets, he always swims around me. I think it has more to do with how comfortable the faster swimmer is with passing.

I also am willing to stop at a wall and let someone go around but I feel like I am cheating on my workout if I do this. It depends somewhat on who is behind me, what the set it and what I have in the tank.

I hate the foot tap. I've gotten really used to the swim around. I also HATE when I get the foot tap in super crowded warm-up lanes at meets. Where the F does the person behind me think I am going to go??? :rant3: That's a story for a different day though.

marksman
August 2nd, 2008, 01:08 AM
I tend to think it should be the job of the passer to get around the slower swimmer. The pool I swim at most often has very narrow lanes. There is one guy in particular that will pass me on sets, he always swims around me. I think it has more to do with how comfortable the faster swimmer is with passing.

I also am willing to stop at a wall and let someone go around but I feel like I am cheating on my workout if I do this. It depends somewhat on who is behind me, what the set it and what I have in the tank.

I hate the foot tap. I've gotten really used to the swim around. I also HATE when I get the foot tap in super crowded warm-up lanes at meets. Where the F does the person behind me think I am going to go??? :rant3: That's a story for a different day though.

This is the way it's done at my pool. At first I didn't appreciate it when people didn't stop to let me get by but...now I much prefer it. Usually people just want to be left alone, and I'm happy to oblige. It's easier for me too.

knelson
August 2nd, 2008, 01:48 AM
I think I first brought up that the responsibility rests with the passer in the other thread. When I wrote it I specifically had in mind the case where people want a lanemate to lead the lane. In that case I think the responsibility is on the passer. After all, they were the ones who told the other person to lead.

I think this is the general case, too, but it's always a nice gesture to stop if it's not too inconvenient. For example, if you're doing a swim for time there's no reason to make your time slower just to let someone else pass.

As far as the foot tap, I've always hated that.

Chris Stevenson
August 2nd, 2008, 09:15 AM
I don't know, in a 25 yd. pool if you are just a little faster than the person you are passing, I don't see how you could pull it off.

That's difficult, true...but if the difference is that small, I just wait until the next repeat and ask to go ahead. If the person refuses (which is uncommon), that's when the foot taps can start... :)

aquageek
August 2nd, 2008, 09:51 AM
Chris - out of curiosity, is there ever a case where you get passed?

Ripple
August 2nd, 2008, 09:59 AM
I swim in public pools and always try to find a lane that's a good match for my speed, but since not everyone in the lane will be an exact match, I'll pull aside at the end and let the overtaking swimmer go first. It only stops me for a second or two and I appreciate it when people give me the same courtesy.
Occasionally I'll be the one overtaking a slower person who just will not give way, and it isn't safe to pass in the middle. In that case I turn around a meter or two short of the wall and then speed up so as not to let them draft.
I've learned to avoid sharing a lane with anyone who only swims head-up breast stroke and nothing else. If you see an extremely slow person clogging up the medium or even fast lane at a public pool lane swim time, chances are they'll be swimming that one stroke... and they'll refuse to give way... and sometimes refuse to circle even if the lane is full... and give you a filthy look if you have the audacity to pass them six times in 20 minutes. That stroke seems to go with a certain mindset.

Chris Stevenson
August 2nd, 2008, 10:17 AM
Chris - out of curiosity, is there ever a case where you get passed?

I haven't swum with the HS kids in many months, but when I do I get passed all the time. In the senior group I am maybe slightly faster than average (except in breaststroke).

LindsayNB
August 2nd, 2008, 11:31 AM
The easy solution is to only swim twenty-fives. :D

Personally I think passing should only be necessary when people are actually being lapped, otherwise just move up a spot in the next send-off.

During practices we sometimes do a sort of hybrid pass/pause, we tap the foot to say we are going to pass at the wall, the passee then keeps to the side while the passer speeds up and flips on the other side. The passee really only needs to do a slow turn not a full stop so there isn't much impact to their swim.

chowmi
August 2nd, 2008, 05:50 PM
Ande's post was the funniest. Unless I scanned too quickly - what, no jokes about "toe tappers"?

As a tappee, I don't like the bottom-of-the-foot tap. But only because it's not specific enough, and too jarring. I appreciate the "swipe to the ankle" which indicates hey, i'm coming up on your right or left side.

I'm rarely a tapper. The problem is you have to exert a surge of energy to pass and maintain speed, or else then it's a vicious cycle of who's the tapper and tappee.

Midas
August 3rd, 2008, 12:05 AM
Hmmm... Seems like a relatively even split among the posters. I'm clearly with the Mountain View Masters guidelines linked above. It really is the least disruptive to everybody if the person getting passed just does a slow or open turn.

And I'm only talking about lapping people. I would almost never try to pass somebody who is leading a set (unless they totally died, but if anybody is going to lead a set and die, it's usually me). I agree that it's bad form to make somebody go ahead of you only to pass them.

imspoiled
August 4th, 2008, 11:15 AM
Michelle's got the right idea on this one. The toe tap is annoying, but you should signal the person being passed that you're coming by them. I try to time the tap to gently brush the ankle or mid-calf of the passee so that he or she knows not to move to the center of the wall on their flip turn.

Midas
August 4th, 2008, 02:49 PM
Michelle's got the right idea on this one. The toe tap is annoying, but you should signal the person being passed that you're coming by them. I try to time the tap to gently brush the ankle or mid-calf of the passee so that he or she knows not to move to the center of the wall on their flip turn.

So a toe tap is bad, but an ankle brush is OK? I would think that more folks (ladies in particular) would not want others brushing their ankles or thighs, but what do I know? :dunno:

imspoiled
August 5th, 2008, 12:19 PM
It's not like we go around grabbing at people's legs!! It's just a little brush w/ the hand as you continue the pull stroke.

The toe tap gets annoying because some people DO expect you to stop swimming and let them go by. It's an old age group thing--the kids would try to catch the person in front (usually not leaving 5 seconds between to boot) and tap-tap-tap away until the leader gets annoyed.

I'd much rather have someone tap me on the leg as they are passing becuase it tells me they're actually on the way past, not waiting for me to get out of the way.:2cents:

stillwater
August 5th, 2008, 12:53 PM
I have always been taught that it is the slower persons responsibility to not impact the faster person. Of course that would only apply if there were slower lanes.

It is frustrating to be shooting for a time and have someone interfere do to a lack of courtsey, if there is a slower lane.

I know where everyone is in my lane. I can see a faster person catching me. It is not the faster persons responsibility to tap a foot. It is the slower swimmers responsibility to get out of the way.

As in most things in life speed rules.

Midas
August 5th, 2008, 01:19 PM
It's not like we go around grabbing at people's legs!! It's just a little brush w/ the hand as you continue the pull stroke.

The toe tap gets annoying because some people DO expect you to stop swimming and let them go by. It's an old age group thing--the kids would try to catch the person in front (usually not leaving 5 seconds between to boot) and tap-tap-tap away until the leader gets annoyed.

I'd much rather have someone tap me on the leg as they are passing becuase it tells me they're actually on the way past, not waiting for me to get out of the way.:2cents:

I think we're generally on the same page. Personally, when I catch the person ahead of me on a long swim, I might give them a lap to realize I'm behind them and to give over at the next wall. If that doesn't work, or if it's a shorter swim, I'll tap the person's foot once (but only once) to let them know I'm there and ready to pass. It's only if that also doesn't work (and the person is being stubborn) that I will tap the foot a couple of times. From there, I'll just turn at the flags to get around the person...

LindsayNB
August 5th, 2008, 01:42 PM
It is frustrating to be shooting for a time and have someone interfere do to a lack of courtsey, if there is a slower lane.

Of course the slower person might be shooting for a time and be frustrated at being asked to stop at a wall, if there is a faster lane the passer could be in.

ande
August 5th, 2008, 03:03 PM
I was passing a new swimmer in practice
he was slow and swimming the wrong lane
(should have been in a much slower lane)
there were swimmers approaching me from the other direction
as I was passing him he started moving closer to me and grabbed my leg
it was annoying

on snake day
I passed many swimmers several times
there was plenty of room in each lane
most I just breezed past
some I passed by SDKing deeper and further off turns

ande
August 5th, 2008, 03:08 PM
sometimes it's appropriate to tap a swimmer you're passing

1) if they're not aware you're about to pass them or

2) if you're approaching a turn
you can let them know what side you're on
mixed signals or no signals can cause a collison

lately I've been getting passed a lot because I've been skipping parts of sets
or going at slower paces during my extended taper

in races
if you wanna pass
you've gotta take it


I think we're generally on the same page. Personally, when I catch the person ahead of me on a long swim, I might give them a lap to realize I'm behind them and to give over at the next wall. If that doesn't work, or if it's a shorter swim, I'll tap the person's foot once (but only once) to let them know I'm there and ready to pass. It's only if that also doesn't work (and the person is being stubborn) that I will tap the foot a couple of times. From there, I'll just turn at the flags to get around the person...

Swimalison
August 5th, 2008, 03:31 PM
[quote=geochuck;144448]I was swimming in a lane to-day. Not a club workout just in open lap swim, 3 lanes for lap swimmers.

I started out in the fast lane some old guy gets into my lane and starts swimming double arm backstroke, swimming down the middle of the lane. I had just finished my 200m warm up.

I moved to the slow lane which was empty. My work out today was 200s with 1 minute rest. I did 2 really nice 200s and a little old lady gets in my

This is halarious:lolup:
OMG sounds like me talking here.
Those floaters just p*ss me off!
I have been to some pools where they put signs for Fast, Medium and Slow. Wish my YMCA would do this!
Would anyone admit they are slow though?
Good luck.
Too funny!

NotVeryFast
August 5th, 2008, 03:56 PM
I generally try to just swim past the slower swimmer, but some people make it very hard to pass them around the walls. Suppose we're swimming anti-clockwise in the lane - what I really want the slower swimmer ahead to do is to move over to the left so that they turn and push off straight back down the pool. If they do this, I can swim down their right side coming into the wall, tumble at the side of them as they turn, then my push off will be much better than theirs and I'll be past them soon afterwards. The problem is people who swim down the right hand side all the way to the end, because then you have no choice but to either wait behind them till after they've turned, losing over 5 seconds, because they will be REALLY slow at turning, or to go down the left hand side of them, and hope that they see you rather than moving across into you.

I actually find it quite hard to get past even much slower swimmers without there being some crossover at the wall. If I'm repping 1:10 per 100m, and someone else is repping 2:00, they're probably losing 20 secs of that difference on the turns, leaving around 7 secs difference per 25m length. To do a completely clean overtake, you need to gain around 5m on someone, to go from your hands being a bit behind their feet, to your feet being a bit ahead of their hands. This is actually a lot of ground to gain on someone in a 25m length, and if you only catch them up 10m from the end of the length, there isn't much hope of a clean overtake. The only options are either a) for the faster swimmer to lose a load of time waiting to overtake at the start of the next length, or b) for the slower swimmer to be impacted slightly at the turn. The slower swimmer will lose a lot less time in option b then the faster swimmer will lose in option a.

At my health club, the sign on the wall states that slower swimmers should give way to faster swimmers, and I think this is sensible for the reasons above.

The only time I tap people on the feet is when they set off right in front of me as I'm coming in to turn and I basically push off straight into their feet. I do this to make them aware of how quickly I've arrived behind them in an attempt at education so they don't do it again!

geochuck
August 5th, 2008, 04:31 PM
There is great signage at our pool. 1st lane Big sign Slow Lane, lane #2 Lap Swimmers lane #3 Fast Swimmers Only The only thing wrong no one can read.


[quote=geochuck;144448]I was swimmiin in a lane to-day. Not a club workout just in open lap swim, 3 lanes for lap swimmers.

I started out in the fast lane some old guy gets into my lane and starts swimming double arm backstroke, swimming down the middle of the lane. I had just finished my 200m warm up.

I moved to the slow lane which was empty. My work out today was 200s with 1 minute rest. I did 2 really nice 200s and a little old lady gets in my

This is halarious:lolup:
OMG sounds like me talking here.
Those floaters just p*ss me off!
I have been to some pools where they put signs for Fast, Medium and Slow. Wish my YMCA would do this!
Would anyone admit they are slow though?
Good luck.
Too funny!

Ian Smith
August 5th, 2008, 04:56 PM
....some people make it very hard to pass them around the walls.

If there is room in front of a slower swimmer (and there often is with a straggler), I don't go to the wall but just switch lanes and go in the reverse direction ahead of the slow swimmer while he/she is turning.

OK, you miss 10yds or so of swimming - no big deal.

3strokes
August 5th, 2008, 10:29 PM
No foot tapping. No need for the passee to stop even in highly crowded, narrow lanes.

Passer just sprints on by.

I've been on both sides of the fence. I prefer to be the passer of course.

:agree:

So do I except that in some (crowded) pools you (I mean, I) get all kinds of swimmers in a lane and some think they are Olympic material because they can pass others (who are dead slow. Any slower, they'd be moving backwards.)
The problem is you're passing a slower person.
This passee's ego won't let him/her get passed, so he/she speeds up.
Meanwhile in the opposite direction (it's a 25m pool), person C has started passing person D at their 2 metre mark. The thing is C needs at least 47 metres to pass D and a 15m wide lane (Ok. So I'm exaggerating a bit.) Therefore you the passer, who only -possibly- needs some short distance to pass swimmer B, have to judge not only B's speed (or lack thereof) but also C and D who are both swimming head on into you (slowly but taking up the width of the lane, even if you the passer, crowd the passee into the right-hand wall).
And they'll give you a dirty look, after you've contorted your body into an inverted S shape (you wait until the last minute to overtake B and then twist yourself to avoid C and kind of cut off B and risk getting half your vertebrae out of joint) that a Chinese contortionist couldn't duplicate on live TV.

The lane Etiquette is posted into all our City pools with a big banner "Swimming is like driving". Ouch. No wonder they're such bad swimmers. There are no good manners on the road, either.

3strokes
August 5th, 2008, 10:39 PM
I have been to some pools where they put signs for Fast, Medium and Slow.

Where I swim they cater to peoples' egos so much that we don't have a slow lane.
It's a six lane wide pool, divided into four 1.5 width lanes.
And they're marked Leisure (where it's really just float and chat) and then three lanes are
Fast, Medium Fast and Medium.
And yet, you should see that the majority of some egos could never accept to be seen in the slower than Fast lane.
Sometimes it's good for me.The two faster lanes get crowded with "egos" and the slowest (Medium) lane is almost mine alone.

3strokes
August 5th, 2008, 10:44 PM
There is great signage at our pool. 1st lane Big sign Slow Lane, lane #2 Lap Swimmers lane #3 Fast Swimmers Only The only thing wrong no one can read.

At our pool, not realizing that our swimmers cannot even read a four letter word, starting with "F" followed by a vowel and two consonants, one of the lifeguards put up a sign saying "Speed of at least 1:30 per 100m". And you should have seen the number of people who bothered to look at that sign, nodded and got into..................the "F" lane. (And, in my opinion, they couldn't do 25m in 1:30 if their life depended on it.)

LindsayNB
August 6th, 2008, 09:46 PM
Along these lines I have been surprised the number of times that people (slower than me) have gotten in the lane I am in when there are multiple completely empty lanes! I usually just roll my eyes and move over to one of the empty lanes.

Our six-lane pool is usually divided into three double lanes going out along the lane line and back in the center so passing, at least coming back in the center, doesn't usually involve playing chicken.

Rykno
August 7th, 2008, 03:05 AM
the hardest thing about passing in a 25 pool for me is the extra energy it takes.

the other night we had all the age group and master swimmers swimming together in 6 lanes. no real coaches, just a swim instructor with pass from the head coach. so in my lane I got stuck with two 14-15 yr olds that didn't really want to be there and sat on the wall more than they swam. in the lane next to me was our fastest 16yr old and he had two slower girls, that did the whole workout, but chose to swim it with slower starts and more rest between sets.

when we got to the last part of the series 2x600 arm, I think the 16yr old and I were about 600-700m ahead of the rest. so they were still swimming 4x200 or 4x100. so we start our first 600, I did my best to hang on to the 16yr old. I keep my eye on the clock, feels like we are swimming fast, but it's doesn't hurt. to my surprise I turn at the 400m at 5:05. my fastest 400m as a Masters swimmer is 5:02. finished the 600 at 7:40 the last 35m or so I was force to slow down because of the other two swimmers I didn't have the energy or the speed to pass them both.

In the second 600, again I stuck behind both guys between 100-150 they didn't effect my time so much, but mentally I felt I couldn't get back into the same speed. the 16yr old had no problems passing his lane partners. I did 5:10 and 7:45 so it was not much slower, but mentally the second swim was so much more work.