Aquatic Policies

Circle Swimming

What is it?

Circle swimming is what it says: swimming in a circle. In the United States, circle swimming goes counterclockwise: swim on the right side of the black line that runs down the middle of the lane. You will be on one side of the lane going down the pool, and the other side of the lane coming back. Think of the black line as a double yellow line in the middle of a road.

Pick an Appropriate Lane

Spend a minute surveying the pool before you jump in. Pick a lane where you will be about the same speed as those who are already in it. Circle swimming is a lot easier when you don’t have to worry about passing people (or being passed) every other lap.

Talk to Your Lane Mates

If you are joining a lane that already has two people in it, communicate clearly to both of them that they will need to circle swim before you start swimming! Even if there’s only one person in the lane and they are already splitting the lane, politely making your presence known is the safe and friendly thing to do. This can be as simple as dangling your feet in the water for a minute before jumping in. Becoming aware of the UH circle swim etiquette will make for a friendlier, stress free swim for everyone!

Stop at the Wall

When circle swimming, stopping in the middle of the pool is one of the best ways to end up in a collision. When you do stop at the wall, be aware of the swimmers coming behind you. Clear the middle of the lane for those who are going to continue swimming—tuck into one of the corners of the lane if you are going to rest at all.


If you need to pass, do so on the left hand side. If you are the slower swimmer and being overtaken at the turn, stop, and wait until the other swimmer has pushed o the wall. A pass must be initiated in time to over-take the slower swimmer before the wall. When using kick boards, please be aware of other swimmers in your lane and their needs to pass.

Swim Attire

The University of Houston aquatic facilities require proper swim attire to be worn while utilizing the space. These include the Indoor Competition Pool, Indoor Spa, Outdoor Leisure Pool, and Outdoor Spa. Proper swim attire is defined as clothing that is designed for use in the water; specific item examples are listed below for reference. In addition, all swim wear must not indecently expose parts of the body, be transparent, or display obscene or offensive pictures and slogans. This list is not exhaustive, and management reserves the right to determine whether or not swimwear is appropriate.

Items made of material that is designed for use in the water that are allowed:

  • Women’s one and two piece bathing suits
  • Men’s Jammers or Speedo
  • Board Shorts (no grommets allowed)
  • Rash Guards
  • Religious swim wear (Ex. Burkini)

Items listed below are not allowed to be worn in the water at the aquatic facilities:

  • Bathing suits that do not have proper coverage (Ex. Thong and Cheeky bottoms)
  • Athletic shorts and pants (Ex. Running, Basketball, Volleyball, Yoga etc.)
  • Undergarments (Ex. Sports Bras, Underwear, Compression Shorts, Boxers, Briefs, etc.)
  • Clothing with grommets (Ex. Denim, Khacki shorts or pants, etc.)
  • Cotton Shirts (Ex. T-Shirts, tank tops, etc.)