Outfit Your Pool for Competition
Aquatic facilities that host swimming competitions have unique needs, and must be able to adapt quickly when an event is scheduled. Things like swimming lane dividers and deck equipment require close attention, but if you choose lanes carefully and maintain them properly, you'll be able to ensure teams are competing in a top-quality pool.
Q: We want to add competitive events at our pool. What should we look for?
A: First of all, you need to pay close attention to the lanes in your pool and how they'll work with your program. For high schools and YMCAs, standard 4-inch lanes will be fine. But for competition at a higher level, such as colleges or U.S. Swimming trials, you should look for the 6-inch lanes.
In order to speed up the water for your swimmers, you should also find lanes with wave-quelling abilities that are 25 percent better than a standard lane divider.
In all cases, be sure to find lanes with stainless steel cables and a clear vinyl coating, which will help the lanes endure wear and tear, allowing them to last. Most lane dividers can be found in multiple colors. You will want at least two colors, with a different pattern beginning at least 5 meters from each end of the lane.
Q: Should we leave the lanes in the water?
A: Hauling and storing large lanes can seem like an unwieldy and time-consuming task, but if you leave them in the water, body oil and bacteria can cause deterioration of the plastic and shorten the useful life of your lanes.
Maintaining your lanes requires that you wash them with clean water and sodium phosphate, then store them with a cover that keeps damaging UV rays at bay. To help with pulling the lanes out of your pool, try to find a reel with a cover that simplifies the task.
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