While many people use swimming as a recreational activity, there are many others who choose to swim competitively instead. If you are one of those people, you are familiar with the general layout of pools that are used for races and even practices. No matter what level you are competing on, it is important to make sure the pools that are used for the competitions meet up with the standards set forth by the proper governing organization. This includes the use of swim lane ropes, along with various other factors.
One of the first concerns is the size of the pool. It may seem that you can take any pool and install swim lane ropes to turn it into a competitive pool, but this is not always the case. In general,, a pool used for longer races should be 50 meters across, while one used for short races can be as small as 25 meters. The length of the pool should be measured from one touch panel to the other to ensure the proper length after these panels are installed. Pool depth can vary from six feet, seven inches for national and international competitions to three feet, three and a half inches for other competitions. Diving entry is only allowed in pools over four feet.
Every pool used for competitive swimming requires the use of swim lane ropes to separate the swim lanes. There are regulations for these lanes as well. For meets that follow the USA standards, there should be eight lanes measuring 2.5 meters across. Open water of 0.45 meters should be left along the outside of the pool. For FINA standards, the eight lanes should measure 2 meters with 0.2 meters of open water outside the end lanes. For larger meets, such as the Olympics and the World Championships, 10 lanes are required.
Swim lane ropes are required to separate each of the lanes, as well as the open water space on either edge of the pool. According to regulations, these lane lines must be strung with floats so they are easy for swimmers to see and cut down on the waves and currents that are left behind by the swimmers in other lanes for a fair chance for all swimmers. The floats should be spaced between 0.05 and 0.15 meters apart on each rope. For FINA-regulated meets, green ropes should be for the outside lanes, blue ropes should be used for lanes 1, 2, 3, 6 and 8, and yellow ropes should be used for lanes 4, 5 and 7.
Swim lane ropes are an important aspect when it comes to creating the right competitive environment for any meet. Each type of meet has its own regulations when it comes to various features of the pool. Each pool must meet the regulation size, including length and depth, as well as the right measurements and number of lanes that are required. Finally, even the swim ropes have regulations that must be followed to ensure a fair race for everyone.