Pool Etiquette | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

Pool Etiquette | Mark’s Remarks

By on September 6, 2017 at 8:30 am

We are members of a neighborhood pool. It is something that comes with the territory. We pay a mandatory fee each year. It’s a nice pool, and I’m glad we have it at our disposal.

The people who run the pool do a good job and I’ve complained about things once in awhile, as some curmudgeonly old guys do. My complaints are met with a classy understanding that I don’t deserve.

This year, I actually read the rules of the pool and was surprised to see some things in the rules I didn’t know about. Although I didn’t memorize the rules or anything, certain things about those rules were remembered.

At one point during the summer, some folks decided to bring alcohol and even cigarettes into the pool area. This is against the rules. The lifeguards, being teenagers, don’t always feel they are in a position to tell adults about the rules. And, after all, shouldn’t adults know better? Alcohol, loud talking, belligerent behavior. I wasn’t the only one who said something, and the matter was handled.

Shame on the adults for not knowing better. I feel sorry for the teenage lifeguards.

But, it isn’t just the big stuff. In the pool rules, it says something about playing ball. The rules basically say that it’s OK to play ball as long as the pool isn’t crowded and as long as other swimmers aren’t bothered. I would venture to say that few of the residents in our neighborhood know of this rule or have read it. It certainly isn’t a rule the teenage lifeguards are going to point out.

Again, I would think out of common courtesy, someone would know better.

I was at the pool one day with my daughter and there were a good half a dozen people there. Does this constitute a crowd? Probably not. There might have been closer to 10.

A mother and her two children were at the pool, and they proceeded to spread out the length of the pool and play pitch and catch. They seemed to be nice kids and the mother is nice, but there was a lot of jumping and splashing.

There was a lot of fun being had.

At one point, I looked around and noticed that the other swimmers seemed to be plastered against the edges of the pool, trying to stay out of the way of the ball game, which took up a good portion of the pool. The ball players dodged, competed, and intruded on the “spaces” of the other swimmers.

More than once, the mother had to apologize to the other swimmers because one of the kids jumped, splashed or missed the ball — which ended up either splashing or hitting the other swimmers. After a while, I asked myself “Shouldn’t she know better?’

The older I get, the more I wonder how people seem to be oblivious. As I said, these ball-playing people seemed to be nice, but their manners seemed to be lacking. Should we have to speak up? Should we really have to say something? People who are bold enough to take action in such cases are often labeled as prudes, sticks-in-the-mud or jerks.

So, what’s a guy to do? Shouldn’t a basic knowledge of pool etiquette be expected?

Also, I’ve told the whole story and decided not to beat around the bush. I hope the guilty parties read my account of what happened.

And yes, this story is about you.

Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.