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Caped Crusader
January 10th, 2007, 05:40 PM
The Rec Center I occasionally swim at has starting blocks. I am aware that is a swim device that I am supposed to use once in awhile. The pool is very deep and used for daily swim team practice and some meets. Yet, there is always a bright yellow cone placed on the blocks during lap swimming hours. No one may use the starting blocks at this time. I find it irritating. No one could possibly get hurt unless they were especially idiotic. I guess they're worried about lawsuits. I saw someone doing backstroke starts once, but who wants to do those? This practice will discourage me from ever entering a non-OW event.

Warren
January 10th, 2007, 05:54 PM
Yeah today when I swam I asked the lifeguard if I could dive off the block and she said no. The water is 6 feet deep, there is a 0 percent change that I could get hurt. Although one time at my other pool I was on the block and reached down with my foot to test the water temperature and I slipped and busted my ass on the side of the pool. But that was stupid. But still there is no way you can get hurt using a starting block in a deep pool.

swim4me
January 10th, 2007, 06:43 PM
During the Holidays, I went in for an afternoon swim (usually at work during this time). I stood at the side of the pool and dove in (7 ft of water, but I did a shallow dive to swim) to do my 1 1/2 hour swim. The starting blocks have cones as well, so I took it that they don't want us practicing our block dives. A few days later I went back for another afternoon swim, and the lifeguard on duty, this was the second time I have ever seen him, walked over to me as I was getting my cap and goggles on (not even near the edge of the pool yet) and told me that diving was not allowed. I really did not know what he was talking about, but he was admonishing me for the 1 dive I did to begin my workout the few days before:shakeshead: . What a memory this guy has! I have probably been swimming and lifeguarding since before his parents met!!!!:rofl:

nkfrench
January 10th, 2007, 06:53 PM
There are actually a few ways to hurt yourself ...

One is if you slip and scrape all the skin off the front of your shins on the front of the blocks.

Another is if somebody else doesn't realize you are going to dive and decides to cross your lane and you collide. Or if somebody else in your lane does something unpredictable. Or you misjudge how much room you need. Or you don't see somebody underwater in your path. When you are practicing starts you aren't generally aware of what's going on around you (which is why a coach is supposed to be supervising). Or you lose your balance on the blocks when it's not clear to go.

I've had the air knocked out of me when somebody jumped on top of me and I sank to the bottom of a deep diving well. Scary!

One of my Masters teammates dislocated his shoulder when he dove off the blocks. He was very long-limbed and light musculature and didn't have his hands together.

Finally, even in 6' you can hit the bottom very hard if you are trying a new skill (or goofing off) and end up going straight down.

Some of the kids do the darndest things. Big kids too.

Diving accidents aren't terribly common but they can be catastrophic and cause big financial losses to the insurance companies or the pool owner. Most just don't want to underwrite the risk. If they did, it would be passed on to the customers by way of increased fees.

SwimStud
January 10th, 2007, 07:04 PM
My pool is cool with dives but I do it at the end of my practice which normally means it's near to 9pm. No paddlers or lane hoggers are there and it's usually 1 body per lane the time of night too. You can dive in the deep end without drawing a whistle...well if you're particularly hot you might get a wolf-whistle.

*looks innocent*

swim4me
January 10th, 2007, 07:10 PM
...well if you're particularly hot you might get a wolf-whistle.
Rich, you get lots of those, right?!?:woot:

The Fortress
January 10th, 2007, 07:18 PM
One is if you slip and scrape all the skin off the front of your shins on the front of the blocks.

I'm sure I could do this. :rofl:

My rec center pool is 10-12 feet deep at the starting block end. Still no starts even if the lanes are empty. I'm not even sure that those drawing wolf whistles would be exempt from this rule... Maybe they could limit use to adults in unoccupied lanes who sign a waiver?

geochuck
January 10th, 2007, 07:40 PM
Starting blocks are very frightening after a long lay off. After swimming 10 years of Marathon races no dive starts, then no dives for another twenty years it was like diving from a 10 meter diving tower for my first masters meet.

poolraat
January 10th, 2007, 07:48 PM
When I first started racing, I would show up at the end of the age group team practice and ask one of the coaches (just happens to be my wife) if I could do starts with them. Now that the pool staff knows that I know what I'm doing they don't object if I ask to use the blocks during lap swim. I only use the blocks if I have the lane to myself and always check the swimmers in the adjacent lanes before I launch. The only time I ever had problems with a lifeguard I asked her to check with the pool manager then it was okay.

fanstone
January 10th, 2007, 09:18 PM
Edited for lack of humor.

The Fortress
January 10th, 2007, 09:39 PM
edited for lack of humor too, fanstone.

Allen Stark
January 10th, 2007, 10:01 PM
Can we talk about starting blocks and stupid rules and not about Drs vs lawyers. :dunno:

The Fortress
January 10th, 2007, 10:18 PM
Can we talk about starting blocks and stupid rules and not about Drs vs lawyers. :dunno:


You're right! I was only quoting Chekhov. Remember there is a reason I moved to Rochester, MN, so I'm not anti-doctor. I'm sure you're not one of those doctors Chekhov was referring to! :thhbbb:

I try to use those starting block devices. There is one at my team's pool. Sometimes I stay after practice to use it. (We never do starts as part of practice.) But I'd like to do them by myself at my health club or rec center. Maybe I'll beg the lifeguard like Poolraat.

Here's another stupid rule: If I forget to take my parking pass out of my glove compartment while I'm attending swim practice, I get fined $75. Seems a little excessive.

Are there stupid rules in rural Oregon?

SwimStud
January 10th, 2007, 10:41 PM
Rich, you get lots of those, right?!?:woot:

Yes and that remark just explained why you commute to my pool for a workout!:rofl:

I WISH! lol

Poolraat...why do you have a picture of Eminem as your Avatar?

Muppet
January 11th, 2007, 12:34 AM
Here's another stupid rule: If I forget to take my parking pass out of my glove compartment while I'm attending swim practice, I get fined $75. Seems a little excessive.

I chalk it up to Virginia Drivers. But don't worry. Those same burros who gave you that ticket also gave me a $75 ticket for parking legally in a legal parking space.

Superfly
January 11th, 2007, 05:18 AM
Hi all!
Sorry for not understanding this completely. Is this a joke or is this real? Are you really not allowed to use the starting blocks? Sure you can hurt yourself if you are really clumsy using them but you can hurt yourself going on the sidewalk as well if you are clumsy enough...this for sure is not a reason to forbid people from using the sidewalks....I hope...
In Swedish pools you typically find one sign and one sign only. "All swimming at own risk". That seems to be enough from a legal perspective, since I have never heard of any lawsuit against any pool owner.
Or maybe I am just missing the big joke in all this...disregard above in that case
:)
/Stupid Swede

Bob McAdams
January 11th, 2007, 06:19 AM
Another is if somebody else doesn't realize you are going to dive and decides to cross your lane and you collide.

I had that happen once when I was swimming (and couldn't swim freestyle or backstroke for several weeks after that). But it's hard to envision it happening when you're going off a starting block. You have a pretty good view of the pool from up there!


Or if somebody else in your lane does something unpredictable. Or you misjudge how much room you need. Or you don't see somebody underwater in your path.

Of course, you shouldn't be using the starting blocks it there's somebody in your lane. I don't think anyone here would be objecting if that were the rule.


When you are practicing starts you aren't generally aware of what's going on around you (which is why a coach is supposed to be supervising).

No, having a coach present isn't adequate either. Last year, I was having a girl I was coaching practice her forward starts and we were told by the lifeguard to stop. He did tell us, though, that he was only concerned because the pool management was there. He indicated that if we did it after the pool management had left for the day, he wouldn't object (though strictly it was against the rules).

Bob McAdams
January 11th, 2007, 06:29 AM
Hi all!
Sorry for not understanding this completely. Is this a joke or is this real? Are you really not allowed to use the starting blocks? Sure you can hurt yourself if you are really clumsy using them but you can hurt yourself going on the sidewalk as well if you are clumsy enough...this for sure is not a reason to forbid people from using the sidewalks....I hope...
In Swedish pools you typically find one sign and one sign only. "All swimming at own risk". That seems to be enough from a legal perspective, since I have never heard of any lawsuit against any pool owner.
Or maybe I am just missing the big joke in all this...disregard above in that case
:)
/Stupid Swede

Unfortunately, it's no joke. I have yet to go to a U.S. pool where there wasn't a policy against letting swimmers use the starting blocks, except during meets and kids' swim team practices, and where there weren't cones or covers on the blocks. Sometimes, if a lifeguard knows you're a competitive swimmer (and, obviously, if there's no one else using the lane), you can talk him or her into allowing it. But it's officially against the rules.

Obviously, it's pretty hard to perfect your starts if the only time you get to use them is at meets!

dorothyrde
January 11th, 2007, 06:36 AM
Hi all!
Sorry for not understanding this completely. Is this a joke or is this real? Are you really not allowed to use the starting blocks? Sure you can hurt yourself if you are really clumsy using them but you can hurt yourself going on the sidewalk as well if you are clumsy enough...this for sure is not a reason to forbid people from using the sidewalks....I hope...
In Swedish pools you typically find one sign and one sign only. "All swimming at own risk". That seems to be enough from a legal perspective, since I have never heard of any lawsuit against any pool owner.
Or maybe I am just missing the big joke in all this...disregard above in that case
:)
/Stupid Swede

Around here, during open lap swim, you are not allowed to use the starting blocks. If it is a practice for age group, or Masters swim team, then yes, but not during open.

I know the guards well enough that I have on occasion when the pool is not busy, asked to use the blocks and it is allowed.

Muppet
January 11th, 2007, 07:13 AM
Hi all!
Sorry for not understanding this completely. Is this a joke or is this real? Are you really not allowed to use the starting blocks? Sure you can hurt yourself if you are really clumsy using them but you can hurt yourself going on the sidewalk as well if you are clumsy enough...this for sure is not a reason to forbid people from using the sidewalks....I hope...

Per,

Remember here in America, people can be dumb enough to put a lid-free cup of piping hot coffee between their legs, and then when the thing spills and burns their crotch when they start driving, they're allowed to sue and win millions of dollars. Seems dumb, but its legal. Pools are just trying to protect themselves against as many lawsuits as possible, and that is one way of preventative maintenance. Call me cynical, I get it from SwimmieAvsFan. :dedhorse:

poolraat
January 11th, 2007, 10:27 AM
....they're allowed to sue and win millions of dollars. Seems dumb, but its legal. Pools are just trying to protect themselves against as many lawsuits as possible, and that is one way of preventative maintenance. Call me cynical, I get it from SwimmieAvsFan. :dedhorse:

Let's blame Fortress and her lawyer buddies..

j/k :D

m2tall2
January 11th, 2007, 11:28 AM
I have the same problem at my pool. I generally don't understand why because for someone who knows what they are doing the risk is very very small of getting hurt. I think a waiver similar to that we sign for USMS meets would be appropriate for use of the blocks.

However, the chance of getting hurt very badly if something does go wrong is very high.

When I was about 10 years old at a regional state age group championship, an older boy got on the blocks for his race. I don't remember which race it was but he was the number one seed and number two was seeded very close behind and records were likely to be dropped. The place was absolutely roaring as they went to the blocks. After the starter said take your mark, mr. number one seed passed out, fell into the 9 foot deep pool and did not hit the bottom but curved inwards and hit the side wall HARD with his head.

...we had a moment of silence for him the following year.

SwimStud
January 11th, 2007, 12:14 PM
I have the same problem at my pool. I generally don't understand why because for someone who knows what they are doing the risk is very very small of getting hurt. I think a waiver similar to that we sign for USMS meets would be appropriate for use of the blocks.

However, the chance of getting hurt very badly if something does go wrong is very high.

When I was about 10 years old at a regional state age group championship, an older boy got on the blocks for his race. I don't remember which race it was but he was the number one seed and number two was seeded very close behind and records were likely to be dropped. The place was absolutely roaring as they went to the blocks. After the starter said take your mark, mr. number one seed passed out, fell into the 9 foot deep pool and did not hit the bottom but curved inwards and hit the side wall HARD with his head.

...we had a moment of silence for him the following year.

As sad as that is. Accidents do happen.
I think the issue is that we are not given the opportunity to sign off on a claim arising from an "accindent." I can't say I blame the institutions for worrying. Many folks today do not realise that they voluntarily try to do things and get hurt--then turn and blame someone for not protecting them from themselves.
It's a bit different to have the blocks open and as you get on it the thing collapses launchig you badly into the water (that is negligence surely) and another for you to just be unlucky and fall in, and claim because you were allowed to try. Not faulting the victim anymore in that case. Accidents are just that...accidents nobody meant or allowed it to happen.
I think we're all in the same boat on this. Pretty much.

fanstone
January 11th, 2007, 02:29 PM
Thank you muppet for clarifying the problem with the starting blocks in american pools. I couldn't imagine it had something to do with litigation, since in Brazil this is not heard of...ski lifts here are 20 dollars per day, no, wait, that's in Europe, we don't have snow here, sorry...billy fanstone

The Fortress
January 11th, 2007, 02:30 PM
Let's blame Fortress and her lawyer buddies..

j/k :D

Very funny, Mr. Engineer. Watch out or I'll spill some hot :coffee: on you.

And fanstone and I had just agreed that lawyer-doctor-speak was humorless. :rofl:

Caped Crusader
January 11th, 2007, 03:12 PM
Can we talk about starting blocks and stupid rules and not about Drs vs lawyers. :dunno:

Good idea.

Here's a stupid rule. I was traveling recently and happened to swim in the Y in Pittsburgh, PA. There were no starting blocks. Fine. I brought a bottle of water to have poolside. The lifeguard informed me to put it away because no drinks were allowed. That's a first for me. I have yet to go to a pool where everyone doesn't have drinks. What's the liability there if you spill water? Isn't the pool deck already wet? Someone's going to trip on my water bottle?

nkfrench
January 11th, 2007, 03:32 PM
Our team's coaches had to ban the disposable water bottles and only allow reusable ones with their names on them. They had to keep fishing out the disposable bottles from the pool and the little plastic safety seals were ending up in the pool filters or in the water. The kids also wouldn't pick up and throw them away so the coaches had to do it, plus the kids were sharing water bottles.

Yeah, that would be annoying to have to get out and find a drinking fountain to get through a long workout in a hot pool.

okoban
January 11th, 2007, 03:35 PM
Hi people, it could be really risky to use the starting blocks. Imagine you are at the starting block, there is no other swimmer in the lane (you think). Jump off from the block and you realize that there is a torpedo:rofl: :rofl: coming towards you. But it is too late. How could it happen? Just read what Mr Incredible wrote a couple of days ago;


hey guys

thanks for your comments
to me SDK stands for Streamlined Dolphin Kick

I took one breath at the turn then kicked back underwater
breaking streamline slows you down, there's a little discomfort in the last 10 yards

I've been several 26 lows and a 25 highs on my 50 SDK's this season

I think I did a 25.5 SDK from the blocks this season
I hope to get back to doing more 25 lows and 24 highs
it will help lower my 50 and 100 back times

Ande

SwimStud
January 11th, 2007, 03:38 PM
Our team's coaches had to ban the disposable water bottles and only allow reusable ones with their names on them. They had to keep fishing out the disposable bottles from the pool and the little plastic safety seals were ending up in the pool filters or in the water. The kids also wouldn't pick up and throw them away so the coaches had to do it, plus the kids were sharing water bottles.

Yeah, that would be annoying to have to get out and find a drinking fountain to get through a long workout in a hot pool.

I can see why with kids...but the lifeguard should blow their whistle and ask the person to take their garbage with them in front of the whole pool.

The Fortress
January 11th, 2007, 03:47 PM
I can see why with kids...but the lifeguard should blow their whistle and ask the person to take their garbage with them in front of the whole pool.

Kids almost never pick up after themselves. So true.

I don't think there is always a lifeguard at USS/USA practices though. That's why the teams have to purchase insurance for their swimmers. Our "registration" fee for joining the team was mostly for insurance, I was told. It was a whopper. Especially where I live, with so many litigious swimmer parents.

SwimStud
January 11th, 2007, 03:53 PM
I don't think there is always a lifeguard at USS/USA practices though. That's why the teams have to purchase insurance for their swimmers. Our "registration" fee for joining the team was mostly for insurance, I was told. It was a whopper. Especially where I live, with so many litigious swimmer parents.

A coach can bellow...but I would readily point out that the Caped (party in the first part) specified a lifeguard (party in the 2nd part) as being present. So the first party could easily have used said drinking vessel, and been called to account by the second party, notwithstanding that the vessel should be disposed of in an appropriate recepticle upon termination of the first party's exercise routine.

Maybe that expalins it better for you....

*pulls on "weisenheimer cap*

Frank Thompson
January 11th, 2007, 04:03 PM
Good idea.

Here's a stupid rule. I was traveling recently and happened to swim in the Y in Pittsburgh, PA. There were no starting blocks. Fine. I brought a bottle of water to have poolside. The lifeguard informed me to put it away because no drinks were allowed. That's a first for me. I have yet to go to a pool where everyone doesn't have drinks. What's the liability there if you spill water? Isn't the pool deck already wet? Someone's going to trip on my water bottle?

I have had this happen to be years ago at a YMCA. I was told that the Y does not want to inspect every water bottle that swimmers bring in with them. That a lot of swimmers bring energy drinks with them that could have alcohol or drugs mixed with the water and they do not want to take a risk and have the responsibilty for any actions from this. Also, they said that they follow the motto "drink, then don't swim". If you would like water, get out of the pool and go to a drinking fountain or keep your water in your locker and have it after you swim.

poolraat
January 11th, 2007, 04:26 PM
Ah the pool Nazis and their arbitrary and capricious rules.
My son took a clear bottle with sports drink in it and the lifeguards said he couldn't have with him during swim team practice. "No drinks allowed. But water is okay".
Huh! Did I miss something?
I told him to use an opaque bottle and tell them it was water.

Muppet
January 11th, 2007, 04:38 PM
Anyone ever been forced into showering or reprimanded for not showering before entering the pool?

Funny story related to that:
I worked at a pool where one of the elder women had complained a few too many times to the manager about us not enforcing every single of the 15 pages of rules to the T. She yapped away at him at the front desk and then went through the locker room to the pool. The mgr. waited outside the locker room exit, and as she came out, dry, he asked if she intended on taking a shower before she entered the pool. She continued walking, dry. Didn't hear much from her after that.
:dedhorse:

ljlete
January 12th, 2007, 08:42 AM
Kids almost never pick up after themselves. So true.

I don't think there is always a lifeguard at USS/USA practices though. That's why the teams have to purchase insurance for their swimmers. Our "registration" fee for joining the team was mostly for insurance, I was told. It was a whopper. Especially where I live, with so many litigious swimmer parents.

Fortress.


USA Swimming's registration covers insurance (as does USMS). You should not have to pay for any additional insurance. The requirement is that all swimmers in the practice are USA Swimming or USMS members and that all coaches are USA Swimming registered. Both organizations carry accident as well as liability coverage. The latter coverage is in the multi-million dollar range. So I would question the need for the additional coverage.

geochuck
January 12th, 2007, 08:50 AM
When I was a member of the YMCA in Hamilton they had a sign posted at the entrance of the pool no swimwear allowed. We had to swim naked.

sluggo08
January 12th, 2007, 09:01 AM
I cannot blame facilities these days with fears about litigation. I worked at a Y for awhile and they were scared to death of being sued, to the point where they would not even fire people unless you basically didn't show up to work. I read somewhere that 9 out of 10 lawsuits in the world are filed in the USA. Don't know if it is true, but I could see that.

SwimStud
January 12th, 2007, 09:09 AM
. I read somewhere that 9 out of 10 lawsuits in the world are filed in the USA. Don't know if it is true, but I could see that.

Careful you might get sued for slander or libel...

Caped Crusader
January 12th, 2007, 11:45 AM
Anyone ever been forced into showering or reprimanded for not showering before entering the pool?

Funny story related to that:
I worked at a pool where one of the elder women had complained a few too many times to the manager about us not enforcing every single of the 15 pages of rules to the T. She yapped away at him at the front desk and then went through the locker room to the pool. The mgr. waited outside the locker room exit, and as she came out, dry, he asked if she intended on taking a shower before she entered the pool. She continued walking, dry. Didn't hear much from her after that.
:dedhorse:

That's a good story. I have never showered before entering a pool. I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone else shower either.

Frank:

Going swimming with drugs? Drinking and swimming simultaneously? I guess it must have happened for the Y to view that as a threat. Seems pretty far-fetched.

Muppet
January 12th, 2007, 11:48 AM
When I was a member of the YMCA in Hamilton they had a sign posted at the entrance of the pool no swimwear allowed. We had to swim naked.

Are they hiring lifeguards for the women-only sessions?:groovy:

SwimStud
January 12th, 2007, 12:03 PM
Going swimming with drugs? Drinking and swimming simultaneously? I guess it must have happened for the Y to view that as a threat. Seems pretty far-fetched.

What if you pop your pills or fling down a half pint of Jack and then hustle into the pool...

Redbird Alum
January 12th, 2007, 09:38 PM
The other USA problem is that if they allow anyone to use the blocks during open swim, then some goof will sue unless everyone gets to, regardless of their skills.

Only in America do we outfit facilities with expensive systems and equipment that we then disallow the use of for fear of lawsuits!

But then, we must be prejudiced against swimming :shakeshead: as free weights and weight machines don't require individual waivers in alot of places!

Go figure!

Mark in MD
January 12th, 2007, 09:39 PM
Per,

Remember here in America, people can be dumb enough to put a lid-free cup of piping hot coffee between their legs, and then when the thing spills and burns their crotch when they start driving, they're allowed to sue and win millions of dollars. Seems dumb, but its legal. Pools are just trying to protect themselves against as many lawsuits as possible, and that is one way of preventative maintenance. Call me cynical, I get it from SwimmieAvsFan.

Jeff,

You've hit the nail on the proverbial head. It's all about lawuits in this litigious society. We gotta protect everyone from womb to the tomb these days. We are lucky where my team practices. Our starting blocks are about 1-1/2 years old, have a great platform surface, but warning cones are on top of them. Fortunately, our coach, who's been a God-send since his arrival a year ago, frequently incorporates using the blocks as part of practices/work outs. He had us doing sprints off the blocks the Saturday following New Year's just to keep us using them! :shakeshead:

Hello to my friends out there. Yes, I've been "off line" for a while ... nothing serious had happened ... just been terribly busy last year.

Cheers!

dorothyrde
January 13th, 2007, 08:08 AM
Mark, I wondered where you had been. Welcome back!

Speedo Racer
January 13th, 2007, 01:55 PM
Hi friends, from the USMS rule book: "Swimmers must enter the pool feet first in a cautious and controlled manner. Diving shall be permitted only in designated lanes" (102.4.2).

Also, one does not need to agree with rules, one just needs to agree to follow the rules. As a former lifeguard I can say that there is nothing more troublesome than a patron who thinks he or she is above the rules.

SwimStud
January 13th, 2007, 01:59 PM
Hi friends, from the USMS rule book: "Swimmers must enter the pool feet first in a cautious and controlled manner. Diving shall be permitted only in designated lanes" (102.4.2).

Also, one does not need to agree with rules, one just needs to agree to follow the rules. As a former lifeguard I can say that there is nothing more troublesome than a patron who thinks he or she is above the rules.

Speed...rules are made to be broken...that's why they give you a whistle you know...

:)

The Fortress
January 13th, 2007, 02:09 PM
Hi friends, from the USMS rule book: "Swimmers must enter the pool feet first in a cautious and controlled manner. Diving shall be permitted only in designated lanes" (102.4.2).


Isn't this a meet rule, not a practice rule?

I'm not in favor of the "womb to tomb" protection that appears to dominate risk averse aquatic facilities or other aspects of life. (See, e.g., "Biggest Loser" thread) We should be able to sign ironclad, unambiguous waivers and do starts in unoccupied lanes. The waivers could include a waiver of counsel and all liability except in the event that the starting blocks are defective or defectively maintained. No minors allowed on blocks to prevent horseplay. There is a reason adults have more rights than minors, so I'm not worried about excluding them. Minors probably make up 1% of lap swimmers anyway.

What about the ocean? Don't they post big "Swim at your own risk" signs or red flags to indicate damgerous currents. People swim anyway. Pools could post big "adults signing ironclad, unambiguous waivers may dive at their own risk in unoccupied lanes" signs. I'd just like to be able to practice a start if I'm not at an official masters practice.

SwimStud
January 13th, 2007, 02:28 PM
What about the ocean? Don't they post big "Swim at your own risk" signs or red flags to indicate damgerous currents. People swim anyway. Pools could post big "adults signing ironclad, unambiguous waivers may dive at their own risk" signs. I'd just like to be able to practice a start if I'm not at an official masters practice.


Another good OW ocean sign could be "Warning: The Ocean has things that sting and bite in it!"

chaos
January 13th, 2007, 02:35 PM
Isn't this a meet rule, not a practice rule?

I'm not in favor of the "womb to tomb" protection that appears to dominate risk averse aquatic facilities or other aspects of life. (See, e.g., "Biggest Loser" thread) We should be able to sign ironclad, unambiguous waivers and do starts in unoccupied lanes. The waivers could include a waiver of counsel and all liability except in the event that the starting blocks are defective or defectively maintained. No minors allowed on blocks to prevent horseplay. There is a reason adults have more rights than minors, so I'm not worried about excluding them. Minors probably make up 1% of lap swimmers anyway.

What about the ocean? Don't they post big "Swim at your own risk" signs or red flags to indicate damgerous currents. People swim anyway. Pools could post big "adults signing ironclad, unambiguous waivers may dive at their own risk" signs. I'd just like to be able to practice a start if I'm not at an official masters practice.

I posted a thread with the title swim activists. the group MDSA had lobbied for years to open a state park lake for responsible adult swimming. they were successful to a point... negotiations with the state brought about a limited access agreement , requiring swimmers to have a buddy present, pass a swim test, and swim only during hours when lifeguards are on duty (though nowhere near the adult swim area).
check out the thread and the website linked.
also linked in the post your pool site. some of you folks may find it interesting.

craiglll@yahoo.com
January 13th, 2007, 02:58 PM
I used to swim at a Y that had the the cones. One day i asked the head lifeguard if i could practice starts. I explained htat I had ameet coming up. He said that it woudl be fine as long as I did when the pool manager was gone. This worked really well.

I have been told several times that you shouldn't practice starts with out some one watching you to check on your form.

the high school coach where i now live refuses to let the guys use a catch start. they have to use a tracj start. some of the guys didn't even know that there were two types of starts.

aquageek
January 13th, 2007, 03:37 PM
Waivers aren't worth the paper they are written on.

The Fortress
January 13th, 2007, 09:50 PM
Waivers aren't worth the paper they are written on.

Geek:

I must respectfully disagree. This is just the insurance company perspective on waivers.

In fact, most written waivers are enforceable if they are well-drafted and if they comply with applicable state laws.

What waivers will not do, however, is insulate you from being sued, which is probably the genesis of your comment. No matter how airtight the waiver is, some idiot can still sue. If the waiver is well-drafted, the case could be gone a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment. If it's not well-drafted, or there is some obvious loophole, it is conceivable the case might go to a jury. Very unlikely. In fact, most valid waivers are enforced. They are just often enforced in court, unfortunately, after someone has been sued. So, from your perspective, they probably aren't any good because insurance companies are required to defend (or pay for the defense of) the insured (who holds the waiver) in court.

Another exception to the general rule that waivers are enforceable is where the entity/policy holder has behaved recklessly. This might vitiate the waiver. For example, every time we go to masters meets, we sign a waiver. The pool can enforce this waiver if we somehow manage to hurt ourselves on a starting block or elsewhere and the waiver will likely be upheld even if we sued. But, if the pool is reckless -- the lifeguard dumped too many chemicals in the pool or no one checked the starting blocks and they are loose or defective or if someone dumped glass in the pool -- then the pool owners may be liable for the ensuing damages.

Same thing applies when you go skiing, for example. (Granted, skiing is, by definition, more dangerous.) When you ski, you sign a waiver. You could decapitate yourself on the slopes, but the waiver will still be enforced. I think there may be state laws even that protect ski resorts and provide for the enforcement of waivers.

Bottom line: waivers are not worthless. They just don't protect you from being sued because a lot of idiots file completely meritless lawsuits. This is not the fault of lawyers; it is the litigious nature of our society.

Speedo Racer
January 13th, 2007, 10:29 PM
Isn't this a meet rule, not a practice rule?


Not to be argumentative, but just so you know, it is a meet rule that also applies to practice. You can have a look at http://www.usms.org/admin/conv04/safetyed.pdf

SwimStud
January 13th, 2007, 10:31 PM
Not to be argumentative, but just so you know, it is a meet rule that also applies to practice. You can have a look at http://www.usms.org/admin/conv04/safetyed.pdf

Oh don't worry Speedo. Fortress loves to argue... it's that lawyer thing! :thhbbb:

The Fortress
January 13th, 2007, 10:34 PM
Not to be argumentative, but just so you know, it is a meet rule that also applies to practice. You can have a look at http://www.usms.org/admin/conv04/safetyed.pdf

OK, Speedo, very interesting. Almost no one follows this rule at my masters practices.

I sure am glad that they can't wear great big hand paddles though. I'm a paddle hater and I want to be protected from paddles until I go to the tomb. If someone gashes my head during practice with one of those awful devices, I'll sue. Har, har.

Rich:

I am always happy to admit when I'm wrong. I just did. I just quibble with people when they're not making sense or they're dissing me or my USMS "family."

aquageek
January 14th, 2007, 08:00 AM
Geek:

I must respectfully disagree. This is just the insurance company perspective on waivers.

Bottom line: waivers are not worthless. They just don't protect you from being sued because a lot of idiots file completely meritless lawsuits. This is not the fault of lawyers; it is the litigious nature of our society.

Hence, them not being worth the paper they are written on. As a family that relies on the insurance industry for our income I don't need a thesis to know they are worthless.

The Fortress
January 14th, 2007, 11:07 AM
Hence, them not being worth the paper they are written on. As a family that relies on the insurance industry for our income I don't need a thesis to know they are worthless.

Mr. Brief Poster/Zinger:

I wasn't trying to give you a thesis, just clarifying for others who may not be in the insurance or legal industry. :thhbbb: They were free to ignore my comments, as always.

As a family that relies on the legal industry for our income, I don't need an insurance man's input to know that there is difference between enforcability and complete immunization.

Where would these entities be without enforceable waivers? Even more screwed. But ridiculous lawsuits are not in my line of work anyway. I have, however, represented insurance companies.

gull
January 14th, 2007, 11:28 AM
Frivolous lawsuits involve lawyers who agree to represent the plaintiffs, n'est-ce pas?

The Fortress
January 14th, 2007, 11:35 AM
Frivolous lawsuits involve lawyers who agree to represent the plaintiffs, n'est-ce pas?

Of course. But I'm not a personal injury plaintiff's lawyer. That's why I said ridiculous lawsuits were not in my line of work. I guess they're just in Geek's line of work, as he has been forced to pay to defend the irritating frivolous lawsuits. Of course, he may be denying coverage on some meritorious ones too.

However, I'm sure the ridiculous litigious McDonald's plaintiffs were very happy with their hot coffee proceeds. I guess McDonald's should have had a valid waiver or a "drink hot coffee at your own risk" sign.

chaos
January 14th, 2007, 11:40 AM
anyone who would consider drinking the so called "coffee" that is served by mc d, deserves what they get, be it a burned crotch or big$, or both:laugh2:

SwimStud
January 14th, 2007, 12:06 PM
anyone who would consider drinking the so called "coffee" that is served by mc d, deserves what they get, be it a burned crotch or big$, or both:laugh2:

Now "burnt big$" sounds painful.
:rofl:
I stayed awaked from 11-4am drving across PA one night thanks to a large cup of McD coffee. It works---you have to give it that at least!

The Fortress
January 14th, 2007, 12:26 PM
anyone who would consider drinking the so called "coffee" that is served by mc d, deserves what they get, be it a burned crotch or big$, or both:laugh2:


How true! Yucky stuff. I think they deserve the burned crotch, but not the big $. That's what drives up insurance premiums. I'm sure Geek could elucidate further.

Caped Crusader
January 14th, 2007, 02:02 PM
Hence, them not being worth the paper they are written on. As a family that relies on the insurance industry for our income I don't need a thesis to know they are worthless.

Bet you'd be a lot less happy defending or paying out on a lawsuit without a valid waiver. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

No McDonald's coffee for me, thanks. I don't drink coffee at all. No risk of crotch burns.

Not all plaintiffs are ridiculous, just some.

aquageek
January 14th, 2007, 04:22 PM
I never made a single comment about lawyers. It was the lawyer who brought this up. The presence or absense of a waiver has zero impact on the cost, time or effort of defending either a valid or ridiculous lawsuit or claim. Some could even suggest that waivers have spawned their own niche legal market, making them not only worthless but an added financial burden to the people and companies they purport to protect.

The Fortress
January 14th, 2007, 05:00 PM
I never made a single comment about lawyers. It was the lawyer who brought this up. The presence or absense of a waiver has zero impact on the cost, time or effort of defending either a valid or ridiculous lawsuit or claim. Some could even suggest that waivers have spawned their own niche legal market, making them not only worthless but an added financial burden to the people and companies they purport to protect.

And I only made a joke about waivers, which was followed by others commenting on the prevailing fear of litigation or joking about lawyers.

The above statement, however, is just exaggeration. A lot of plaintiff's lawyers won't even take a case involving a waiver. If they do, the case will usually end early. When a case ends before trial, there is, by definition, less cost and time involved.

aquageek
January 14th, 2007, 05:31 PM
If they do, the case will usually end early. When a case ends before trial, there is, by definition, less cost and time involved.

Wrong. Only legal fees MAY be less. There are many costs to a lawsuit/claim. Legal fees are but a part of them, albeit a large cost. With all those effective waivers out there we sure have seen reduced legal fees, fewer lawsuits, right?

The Fortress
January 14th, 2007, 06:00 PM
With all those effective waivers out there we sure have seen reduced legal fees, fewer lawsuits, right?

I'm not sure the presence or absence of effective waivers is at all relevant to any purported rise in litigation.

But here's a way to reduce litigation and legal bills. Insurance companies could actually do something other than collect huge premiums and routinely deny coverage of claims or force policy holders to appeal and appeal and appeal the denial of coverage. And I believe there is a new niche market in your industry: home owners making more than one claim are subject to abrupt cancellation of their home owners policy, leaving them no recourse except to obtain outrageously priced emergency coverage to comply with their mortgage obligations. How dare they make a claim after paying all those premiums.

Now, we could just go back to discussing starting blocks and stupid rules, as Allen mentioned earlier.

aquageek
January 14th, 2007, 07:37 PM
We can go back to starting blocks issue or the incessant kising up that is pervasive on this forum lately. Alternatively, we can have further exposure of igorance on insurance matters, which is actually more entertaining.

The Fortress
January 14th, 2007, 08:29 PM
We can go back to starting blocks issue or the incessant kising up that is pervasive on this forum lately. Alternatively, we can have further exposure of igorance on insurance matters, which is actually more entertaining.

I myself have been suffering from un-Mindful neural imprinting defects recently. So you must be referring (among others) to your buddy Gull, formerly Gull80, who apparently is quite busy Mindfully honing his technique to do some guitar smashing in March.

But you're probably right. This is much more entertaining. I'll tell you how you're wrong about legal matters, and you can continue to correct my ignorance on insurance matters. How much insurance must pools take out to permit us the luxury of swimming in them? And why do we have to bother to sign waivers to swim at masters meets if they're worthless?

Peter Cruise
January 14th, 2007, 08:45 PM
Ah, the Geek emerges from his cave, cranky as the dickens, nostalgic for the days when the forum crackled with viscious, vulpine vituperation of the most uncivil nature...

chaos
January 14th, 2007, 09:35 PM
Alternatively, we can have further exposure of igorance on insurance matters, which is actually more entertaining.

A lawyer vs. an insurance agent......kind of like godzilla vs. mothra.
You don't care who wins, and you know a lot of stuff is going to get broken before the end of the movie.

Bring it on.

Where is jimmy the greek when you need him.

The Fortress
January 14th, 2007, 10:36 PM
A lawyer vs. an insurance agent......kind of like godzilla vs. mothra.
You don't care who wins, and you know a lot of stuff is going to get broken before the end of the movie.
Bring it on.
Where is jimmy the greek when you need him.

Aw, if you don't care, why are you readin'?:thhbbb:

I somehow don't think that Geek is an "agent" though ...

We got Cruise; we don't need no Jimmy the Greek.

Peter:

I did notice that the Geek crawled out of his cave on the "Biggest Loser" thread, claiming that scyfreestyler typed the first "quality" post in a long while. Having just read portions of the closed "The Fastest Age" thread, I think we're now all a tame lot compared to the prior "vicious vulpine vituperation" on this forum. We're probably boring him.

aquageek
January 15th, 2007, 04:58 AM
I don't even work for the industry anymore, but my wife does, and not in the sales end.

The Fortress
January 15th, 2007, 09:25 PM
Tonight, I was doing a nice 3000 recovery swim at my local rec center. Wasn't using the starting blocks of course. I happened to have a conversation with a triathlete/triathlon coach from another rec center (no use of starting blocks there either of course). He said that his rec center had concerns about the aqua-aerobics/noodling classes. Apparently, over a 12 week period, none of the noodlers were losing any weight and sometimes gaining weight. (So were the instructors unless they taught the course on deck.) He opined that immersion in somewhat cold water for 45 minutes with gatorade at the ready was only conducive to gaining, not losing, weight. He said the rec center was beginning to worry about being sued by a noodler for failure to lose weight. Seriously.

Geek: What are you doing now?

chaos
January 15th, 2007, 09:43 PM
. He said the rec center was beginning to worry about being sued by a noodler for failure to lose weight. Seriously.

i suppose if this class was advertised as a guaranteed weight loss program, they would have a good case. anyway, its probably better if they leave the pool clear for swimming and noodle on deck.

Caped Crusader
January 15th, 2007, 10:40 PM
Ah, the Geek emerges from his cave, cranky as the dickens, nostalgic for the days when the forum crackled with viscious, vulpine vituperation of the most uncivil nature...

That was when the forum had some real entertainment value. At least it's still got some great purple prose.

If noodlers aren't losing any weight, which I'm sure they're not judging from how slowly they move, is there any medical benefit at all from sitting in a pool with a noodle or other floatation devices?

I'm sure these classes are not being pitched as weight loss guarantee programs, but I guess there may some implicit message that it is somehow beneficial. But how?

swim4me
January 15th, 2007, 10:49 PM
If the people who noodle would not otherwise be doing any excercise at all, it is probably of some benefit to them. At least getting them moving. Which would be better than them not moving... For them anyway:)

The Fortress
January 16th, 2007, 12:43 PM
If the people who noodle would not otherwise be doing any excercise at all, it is probably of some benefit to them. At least getting them moving. Which would be better than them not moving... For them anyway:)

I agree moving is better than not moving. Maybe noodling helps keep your body/joints more flexible. But is it really "exercise" that produces some other medical benefit? It's a little troublesome that clubs are worried about being sued for lack of noodler weight loss. If that's true, then the noodlers may soon be noodleless if all those waivers they may be forced to sign are really worthless.

gull
January 16th, 2007, 12:59 PM
Movement as opposed to being a stationary object? I'm not sure that some of these classes can be considered exercise, particularly if there is no sustained elevation in heart rate.

The Fortress
January 16th, 2007, 10:43 PM
I'm not sure that some of these classes can be considered exercise, particularly if there is no sustained elevation in heart rate.

Doesn't seem like "exercise" to me either. But then I know tris and runners that, when injured, use aquajoggers instead of swimming.

I found this of interest from wikipedia. Maybe health clubs are the next target after food retailers. (Not sure why certain parts appear in blue.)

The Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act, also known as the Cheeseburger Bill, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_of_Representatives) in March 2004 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004), but did not receive a Senate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate) vote.
The bill was reintroduced in 2005 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005) by Florida (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida) Republican (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Republican_Party) Congressman Ric Keller (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ric_Keller). On October 19 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_19), 2005, it once again passed the House with a 306-120 vote[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheeseburger_Bill#_note-0) (Keller actually missed the vote due to being rushed to the hospital.) The bill will now be sent to the Senate.
The Act aims to protect producers and retailers of foods—such as McDonald's Corporation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonalds_Corporation)—from an increasing number of suits and class action (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class_action) suits by obese (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obese) consumers. To date these suits have been turned down by the courts, sometimes in strong terms.
Using precedent and expertise from suits brought in the 1990s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1990) against tobacco corporations, lawyers such as John Banzhaf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Banzhaf) hope to use the courts to pressure the food industry into providing more prominent health advisory information about its products. Banzhaf, founder of Action on Smoking and Health (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_on_Smoking_and_Health) or ASH, argues that the joint liability established between tobacco companies and smokers will soon be recognized as being similarly applicable in the case of food retailers and their customers. He anticipates that more health warnings would change consumer behavior, contributing to a solution to the obesity epidemic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obesity#Societal_causes).
Many state legislatures are considering or have passed their own versions of the bill

Caped Crusader
January 16th, 2007, 11:20 PM
the Cheeseburger Bill,

Anyone regularly eating cheeseburgers and noodling, deserves what they get. But they definitely do not deserve damages from health clubs.

FlyQueen
January 16th, 2007, 11:27 PM
Yeah today when I swam I asked the lifeguard if I could dive off the block and she said no. The water is 6 feet deep, there is a 0 percent change that I could get hurt. Although one time at my other pool I was on the block and reached down with my foot to test the water temperature and I slipped and busted my ass on the side of the pool. But that was stupid. But still there is no way you can get hurt using a starting block in a deep pool.

Ask Nick Brunelli about that ...

LindsayNB
January 17th, 2007, 02:17 PM
I will probably regret saying this but, over the holidays I attended a swim camp with a "dryland" component after the swim. On one of the days we did a sort of aerobics in the water activity, and while no noodles were involved it was a pretty rigorous activity. The effort needed to overcome water resistance made things pretty hard and I definitely elevated my heart rate. It was actually kind of fun in a "omg, I can't believe I'm doing this" kind of way.

SwimStud
January 17th, 2007, 02:24 PM
I will probably regret saying this but, over the holidays I attended a swim camp with a "dryland" component after the swim. On one of the days we did a sort of aerobics in the water activity, and while no noodles were involved it was a pretty rigorous activity. The effort needed to overcome water resistance made things pretty hard and I definitely elevated my heart rate. It was actually kind of fun in a "omg, I can't believe I'm doing this" kind of way.

Lindsay... a New plastic-flower cap is on it's way to you via UPS

:p :rofl:

geochuck
January 17th, 2007, 05:03 PM
I will probably regret saying this but, over the holidays I attended a swim camp with a "dryland" component after the swim. On one of the days we did a sort of aerobics in the water activity, and while no noodles were involved it was a pretty rigorous activity. The effort needed to overcome water resistance made things pretty hard and I definitely elevated my heart rate. It was actually kind of fun in a "omg, I can't believe I'm doing this" kind of way.

Is it true you only get tired doing that stuff when themusic is very fast.

Caped Crusader
January 17th, 2007, 05:41 PM
I will probably regret saying this but, over the holidays I attended a swim camp with a "dryland" component after the swim. On one of the days we did a sort of aerobics in the water activity, and while no noodles were involved it was a pretty rigorous activity. The effort needed to overcome water resistance made things pretty hard and I definitely elevated my heart rate. It was actually kind of fun in a "omg, I can't believe I'm doing this" kind of way.

Just don't eat any cheeseburgers and we won't tell Geek.

3strokes
March 5th, 2007, 01:17 PM
Unfortunately, it's no joke. I have yet to go to a U.S. pool where there wasn't a policy against letting swimmers use the starting blocks

Same thing here in Canada (or Ottawa, at least), City pools during public Adult Lane swims.

They actually take the starting blocks away (and store them) during public swims. And though most lifeguards know the regular swimmers (and their abilities) they still will NOT let anyone dive off the shallower end. Afraid of lawsuits (even though I offered to sign any number of waivers).

Pretty soon they (the Municipal politicos) will make us wear crash helmets and obtain a walking licence just to walk out our front doors.

(Guess part of this rant also belongs in the other "rant" thread.)
Cheers