Thursday, January 1, 2015

Pool management gone mad?

On one of his few trips to the local pool, our Uncle Mick was struck by all the rules - "No running, No jumping, No bombing, No spitting", etc. "Goodness me," said Uncle Mick. "Are you allowed to swim?"

You were, and you are, but we've noticed a marked tightening in the rules in recent years, and much tighter restrictions placed on punters as they attempt to schlepp their laps.

Some pools, for example, ban hand paddles in public lanes. Many pools have placed inhibitors on starting blocks to prevent punters diving from the blocks. You wish they'd pay as much attention to the slack lane ropes, eh! Or get their poolies to watch and manage lane use.

It's all or the sake of risk management, and a trend on the part of public authorities to do all they can not simply to minimise risk, but to avoid risk as completely as possible.

Now comes word from the NSW North Coast, where a cobber tells us he's on his second warning of being banned from his local pool for "diving in at the deep end".

"I'm sure, given time, these same people will have ocean swims starting and finishing beyond the break and possbly with separate lanes and ???," exclaims our cobber.

Reasonable point. We take a risk just leaving home to go to the pool. Avoidance of all risk is impossible. Surely the goal must be the management of reasonable risk, which means accepting some risk but being reasonable about what's expected of behaviour at a public swimming  pool. We'd have thought that diving in at the deep end would fall into that category. Diving in at the shallow end may be different, depending on the depth of the pool.

Our cobber tells us he's even offered to cover himself with insurance, but to no avail. We can understand the pool managers not biting on that one, given the need for consistent management.

What other rules are out there that seem a tad over the top? Or give us an earful for being unreasonable ourselves. Click the Comment button below...


  1. Not sure about anymore ridiculous pool rules but the thing that drives me crazy is slow swimmers in the fast lane! People turn up and the only assessment they make is "that lane is free, I will swim there". That's all good if the pool is quiet but when you have 5 lanes full and each one has one dickhead that wants to backstroke and kick board at their leisure, it becomes a problem.

    The lifeguards need to take more responsibility in directing slower swimmers or adjusting lanes when this happens.

    That's my rant!

    Jade Burns

  2. A few years back I was pulled up for lap swimming in the double 'fun and splash' lane. On arrival the lap swimming lanes were as per Jade's observations above and the wide fun and splash lane only had 2 people bobbing around. I figured I'd do my laps there and just swim around anyone else. I'd thankfully just finished my laps when the young poolie told me I had to do lap swimming in the lap lanes. I suggested that while he was at it, he might want to get those lanes in order too. This suggestion was met with a confused look. I expanded, 'you know, fast, medium, slow'. Even more confusion. Time to give up and go home. And no, the 2 people using the fun and splash area had not complained about me being there - they were bemused by the whole thing. And yes, if more people had gotten in or there were children moving around unpredictably I would have moved without needing to be told. But none of these things happened so where was the harm?

    There's a lot to be said for informal ocean swims!

    Sue Tutt.


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