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Lane speed (slowcoach) advisory regulator

Speed indicator catch-tags for pool lanes
 
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This is born out of a personal gripe of mine, but I hope that doesn't make it a rant. (But for the rant-inclined, you have my permission to read the following with "motorway" in place of "swimming pool"). I dislike going to the swimming pool and being obstructed in the so-called medium lane by people doing old-lady breaststroke (where one has ones head fully out of the water and moves with a gravity-defying leisurely elegance). Sometimes this promotes me to a fast lane punter, but sure enough a man will come in and see that 'medium' appears to mean 'female' and thus he must swim in the fast lane, although he's not doing much better than them. There are numerous ways this comes about, and of course it's not all due to gender and age. Leaving aside the permutations of cause, inappropriate lane choice is a common problem.

I would propose to attack this problem using speed monitors on swimmers, which feed data into a poolside computer. The computer controls moving tags which run on a small cable on the floating lane-divider (imagine the rabbit at a greyhound track, crossed with an escalator handrail and shrunk to about four inches high and waterproof). The lane-dividers will have to be a bit bigger than they are at present but hopefully ease of roll-up and stowage will not be affected. The speed monitors will be small low-powered RF transmitters either worn as a wrist/ankle band or enclosed in the locker-key bracelet. The effect is a simple democracy of swimmer speed. If there are three lanes in the pool, the tags on either side of the lanes should be running at the mid speed of each 1/3 of the swimming population. If there is a clear spike in swimmer speed (perhaps there are 5 very fast or very slow people among 30 who are all average) the fast (or slow) lane will be preferentially skewed to their speed. The result should be a target flag for swimmers to follow, and if they are travelling significantly faster or slower than the flag, they should move lane.
badgers, Jun 18 2003

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       I've never heard of a pool segregated according to the speed of the swimmers. Frankly, I'm glad.
phoenix, Jun 18 2003
  

       Why don't you just put up a sign indicating which lane is which?
snarfyguy, Jun 18 2003
  

       p - I mean leisure pools which have serious swimming hours. Not 'segregation' but assigning a swim speed peer group.
Mr B - it will be the reactions of others which help to keep it a genuine effort to improve an aspect of leisure provision.
s - there are such signs. People ignore them, or believe that they are faster swimmers than they actually are, in relation to the rest of the pool users.
badgers, Jun 18 2003
  

       +, for sheer overkill.
snarfyguy, Jun 18 2003
  

       // there are such signs. People ignore them, //   

       Well wouldn't they ignore this set-up too then?
waugsqueke, Jun 18 2003
  

       Must be how you got the name, [Mr Burns].   

       "Not 'segregation' but assigning a swim speed peer group."
Isn't that the same thing? By all means, have an adult swim period. By all means, cordon off a portion of the pool for people swimming laps. But do we really need a protocol for passing people in a pool?
phoenix, Jun 18 2003
  

       ok, this tag-chasing idea is an advisory initiative. It works on the basis that people who have come to the pool in the lane-swimming hour might also be receptive to a mild challenge. People aren't aware that they are going too slow for the 'medium' lane because the person that wants to go faster is stuck behind them. Just like the lane-2 motorway hogger.

This isn't a protocol for pool overtaking. You just go for it if you're really that fast (and, not to toot my own horn but, I am). This is a statistical measurement of how fast people are swimming, and how best to arrange them. Maybe it's theoretical, maybe it'll never work with leisure swimmers the way they are, but could it work with a measurement-receptive technophile swim class? I think so. Perhaps best as a training aid, like the bleep test for short sprints. But I did knowingly put this in Sport:water, not Culture:overtaking, which means that I do not harbour any illusion that pool lane discipline is a way of changing the world for the better. Or indeed for the worse.
badgers, Jun 18 2003
  

       // As for enforement I imagine people would go to their correct lane out of respect for their fellow swimmers, unless of course they are jerks....... //   

       But they don't do that now, according to the author. Why will they respond to just another thing telling them they should move when they aren't responding to the thing telling them they should move now?   

       Seems to me that enforcement is exactly the issue here.
waugsqueke, Jun 19 2003
  

       If one of the swimmers at either extreme of the speed range left the pool, the lane allocations could all jump quite radically, particularly if that swimmer was greatly outside the average.
oneoffdave, Jun 20 2003
  

       If they ignore the braclet, have it give them an electric shock, like one of those invisible fence dog collars. Have it give them more shocks if they keep ignoring it.   

       On the Highway, eventually roadrage will take care of the slows in the fast lane... Hopefully
althyr, Jun 20 2003
  

       Can't say that I've ever come across a 'fast lane', or any other sort of lane, in the swimming pool. Wouldn't a lifeguard armed with a cattle prod serve the purpose just as well?
DrBob, Jun 20 2003
  

       I think it is illegal not to have a life guard in attendance at public pools.
It is my experience that (when the lanes are assigned with advised speeds - and this is not all the time) people do consider which lane they should best swim in, but that once they are in there, they forget to consider that they might do better in a different lane. I have seen people clogged up in a swim-traffic-jam in the 'medium' lane, when there is only one person in the slow and one in the fast lane. This is just inertia, in the sense that once you're in your lane, you can't be arsed moving over.
I must say I am very tempted to ask which of you regularly go swimming in lane-sessions, but I know that that would probably sound aggressive.
I do think that lifeguards should take it upon themselves to suggest that people might be happier in a different lane, but swimming is a relaxing and quite private thing, especially for the people doing the slow breaststroke, so perhaps it's not appropriate.
//Why will they respond to just another thing telling them they should move...Seems to me that enforcement is exactly the issue here// Please, I have *never* said 'enforcement' or telling someone to move. I have framed this as a fitness challenge, a statistical study, and an advisory gadget. "Enforcement" is a complete misinterpretation.
oneoffdave - you are quite correct. One fast person could be the entire 90-100th percentile. That is an inherent problem and one for which I have no real answer. Totally off topic, may I ask if you are the same oneoffdave who regularly phones Radio 2's traffic news?
badgers, Jun 20 2003
  

       'like going in a Belgian chokolate HellichCiopter, at modest speed, in tunnel, or so, and, the PLAYBOY Magazine, provided 'alarm' goes to say : 'HEy,, is this right for You'' dear'')),, :-),,.   

       s.
sirau, Jun 25 2011
  
      
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