Club Protocols

Swimming NZ (SNZ) and Auckland Swimming (ASA) have a number of policies and protocols, including a Member Protection Policy and a Code of Conduct, for all parties involved in swimming in NZ. United supports these policies and protocols and encourages all members and their families to read and to be familiar with them.  Summaries and links to these are provided in the section below.

United also has a number of its own policies and protocols that members and families are required to comply with and these are also outlined below and include

United Swimmer’s Code of Conduct

Training Protocols

Lane Swimming Protocols

Dry Land Training Protocols

Competition Meet Protocols

Uniform Protocols

Gear Bag and Gear Room Protocols

Social Media Policy  (updated 14 February 2021)

Parent Protocols

Coach Protocols

Who to Contact


Swimming NZ and Auckland Swimming

SNZ has developed a Member Protection Policy to reinforce its commitment to providing an environment for participants of all ages and backgrounds that is safe, free from harassment and abuse, and promotes respectful and positive behaviour and values.  This is a comprehensive document so please read it and be familiar with it.

As part of this policy, there is a SNZ Code of Conduct. Its objective is to ensure that members, parents and guardians comply with certain standards of behaviour when participating in swimming related activities.  It applies to all SNZ Members and persons participating/connected to SNZ activities. The following requirements must be met in regard to your conduct:

In addition to the general rules of conduct, the Swimming NZ Code of Conduct has further requirements specifically for Team Managers, Coaches, Swimmers, Parents and Guardians, Technical Officials and Administrators.  These are also set out in the SNZ Code of Conduct


United Policies and Protocols

In addition to the SNZ and ASA policies and protocols, United has a number of its own policies and protocols that members and families are required to comply with.  They are based on common sense and normal courtesies and are designed so that all members, families and coaches can participate in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment.

All United members, families and coaches are expected to understand and support our mission and adhere to our overall philosophy.

Our mission " not to produce champions but to create an atmosphere where champions are inevitable... swimming is a means to an build self-confidence, self-discipline, integrity and courage for life."

Our overall philosophy is:

  1. There is a team philosophy where individual swimmers support each other

  2. Be courteous and respect the rights, dignity and worth of others

  3. Swimmers are part of a safe, positive and enjoyable environment

  4. Swimmers are allowed to learn

  5. A swimmer’s behaviour and conduct at practices and in competition should support any other swimmer’s ability to learn and the coach’s ability to teach other swimmers

  6. Swimmers should show commitment and strive for their own goals and for the good of the team


United swimmer’s code of conduct

In addition to the Swimming NZ code of conduct for swimmers, United has its own code of conduct for its swimmers:

  1. Contribute to a fun and enjoyable environment

  2. Behave with care, courtesy and consideration at all times

  3. Be prepared – arrive on time and with the right equipment

  4. Work hard and let others work hard too

  5. Respect and take pride in your club

  6. Show respect and care for the property of others, including the pool and gym facilities and surrounding grounds

  7. Listen and follow instructions and pay others respect including all club coaches, managers, officials and administrators

  8. Be polite to everyone; show team spirit and good sportsmanship at ALL times

  9. Support your club and team mates whenever and wherever possible

  10. Understand and follow the club uniform protocols

  11. Any form of bullying will not be tolerated.  Ensure you understand the club’s Social Media Policy

  12. Swimmers must not use tobacco products or illegal drugs or substances banned by Swimming NZ or FINA and all participants and agree to comply with the Sports Anti-Doping Rules

  13. Understand and follow the training, lane swimming, competition meet and uniform protocols set out below

  14. Agree to be bound by Swimming NZ’s Member Protection Policy


Training protocols

  1. Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the start of your pool session (or 5 minutes before your dry land session) to ensure you are ready to start in the pool at the scheduled time.  This may not always be possible for 3.45pm session starts, but please get ready as quickly as possible when you arrive 

  2. If you are likely to be late to training as per the requirement in 1. above (other than for the 3.45pm session) then please be courteous and txt your coach to let them know

  3. If you are late, regardless of the reason, the coaches will require you to do some dry land exercises before you start your pool session – please note that the coaches will not have time to evaluate your reason for being late (even if it is a good reason) and the dry land will be beneficial for you

  4. Mobile phones should be put away in your bags when you arrive at the pool or dry land

  5. Respect the rules of the facilities.  Please note that at both the Epsom Aquatic Centre and the Olympic Pools and Fitness Centre food cannot be consumed inside the facilities

  6. Have your gear bag with the required gear – see Gear Bag and Gear Room

  7. Prior to the start of your pool session you should:

  1. At the scheduled start time of your session you should be standing behind the blocks with your gear bag and be ready to start warm-up in the pool

  2. Listen to your coach when they are giving instructions – this means not talking when your coach is talking or “negotiating” changes to the training set

  3. Complete all starts, turns and finishes legally and how you would like to do them in a race.  What you do in practice is likely to be repeated under the pressure of competition

  4. Complete all the main sets on the required times without any unscheduled breaks for filling water bottles, toilet stops or stretching. If you need a toilet break, asked to be excused by the coach before the main set starts

  5. If you are injured and consequently may not be able to complete the main sets fully, then please do not come to training as unfortunately we do not have additional lane space available for rehabilitation.  Please get the injury properly treated before returning to training

  6. If you are feeling unwell, do not come to training.  You are likely to make your condition worse and also risk passing your illness onto other swimmers

  7. If you are not able to attend training for any reason (including sickness or injury), please advise your coach prior to the session either by email or txt

Lane swimming protocols

  1. Leave the wall to start your swimming set, or repeats, on the correct time, not a second or two early

  2. Circle swim - move into the middle of the lane at the turn

  3. When you are doing butterfly and swimming past another swimmer coming towards you, ensure your arms do not collide – either do a streamline or fold your arms underneath you as you pass each other

  4. Leave your watch in your bag, they do a lot of damage to your teammates and you cannot race with them on

  5. Do not jump or dive in when a swimmer is coming into the wall

  6. Let your teammates finish. At the end of a set or repeat, move over and let others finish at the wall

  7. If you need to stop mid-lap for any reason, consider the swimmer behind you

  8. Do not pull on the lane ropes when swimming

  9. Do not sit on the lane ropes

  10. Be courteous. If a teammate is faster than you in a set, let them go before you or let them pass

  11. Ensure that any physical contact with others is appropriate to the situation and necessary. Any issues in relation to this need to be brought to the coach’s attention for the coach to resolve

Dry land training protocols

The dry land training protocols follow the same principles and courtesies outlined in the Swimmer’s Code of Conduct and the training protocols.

  1. Arrive at the dry land venue and be ready to start the dry land session at least 5 minutes before the scheduled start time

  2. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear (running shoes or similar)

  3. Mobile phones should be put away in your bags when you arrive at the dry land venue

  4. Listen to the dry land instructor when they are giving instructions – this means not talking when they are talking

  5. Do not distract or interfere with others during dry land

  6. Only use equipment in the manner approved by and under the supervision of the instructor

Competition meet protocols

Competition meets are typically very busy events. They require efficient organisation and communication by swimmers, coaches, parents, managers and officials to ensure they run smoothly and swimmers have the opportunity to perform to their best. 

In addition to any rules to a specific competition, United has the following competition meet protocols:

  1. It is the member’s responsibility to understand what competition and events to enter and to get entries in by the closing date.  While the club will often publish reminders, members should not rely on receiving these

  2. United has a “targeted” and “untargeted” meets policy. For specified targeted meets, all eligible swimmers are expected to enter these meets.  This is outlined in this link

  3. The club understands that swimmers may also undertake activities other than competitive swimming but expects all eligible swimmers to prioritise supporting “Team United” and their United teammates by representing United at all national level meets.  Please take this into consideration when committing to other activities and as a courtesy please advise your other activities of this expectation and dates of the national meets

  4. If you would like to enter an “un-targeted” meet, then before entering please discuss this with your coach and with the club handicapper as you may not be permitted to enter without a club coach present.  Also, your parent/guardian may be required to assist at the meet and the club handicapper will need to arrange this for them.  Please refer to this link

  5. Follow the club uniform protocols at meets

  6. Arrive at the venue at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time starts.  If you are going to be late then please txt both your coach and the United manager for that session 

  7. If you have entered the meet but have subsequently decided not to attend, then please advise the coach and manager as soon as you make the decision not to attend

  8. It is the swimmer’s responsibility to be ready for their race and to go to marshalling at the appropriate time so look at the program and follow where the meet is up to.  The manager should advise you when to leave for marshalling but do not rely solely on this

  9. Listen carefully to the Manager’s instructions and follow them promptly without having to be asked again

  10. If you are in the team’s seating area, do not block other people’s view of the races, especially the coaches and managers

  11. Make sure you organise yourself to have plenty of time to have your pre-race discussion with the coach and wait your turn if they are talking to another swimmer

  12. Be ready – have your race equipment ready and also know your heat and lane number.  For self-marshalling make sure you tick off your name with the timekeeper to ensure you are in the correct heat and lane

  13. When a race is about to start, please be quiet and do not walk past the starting area 

  14. Use the facilities and warm down pool with due care

  15. If you are leaving the team seated area, please advise the manager

  16. Before you scratch an event or final, please discuss and agree this with your coach and advise your parent/guardian

  17. It is the swimmer’s responsibility to understand the meet requirements for scratching a race and finals (where applicable) and to advise the meet manager appropriately.  Please note the following:

  1. Check the finals list for Auckland, regional or national meets to see whether you are in the final BEFORE you depart the venue

  2. Swimmers are expected to stay at the session to support other team mates.  If you want to leave before that time, then please discuss this with your coach – if they agree, then please advise the manager that you are leaving

  3. Keep the team area tidy and pick up all rubbish before you leave.  Also, please assist in putting chairs away

  4. If you representing United at an away meet, then typically you will be required to sign a “swimmer contract” that has a number of specific rules and protocols for away meets  

Uniform protocols

When we represent United it is important that we do so in accordance with our standards and values.  This includes both how we conduct ourselves and how we wear the United uniform when we are travelling as a team and when we are representing our club at swim meets.  Please always follow the uniform protocols


Gear bag and gear room protocols

Having the correct training gear enables you to get the most out of your training sessions.  It also facilitates the efficient and effective use of the lane space.  For example, if the coaches are doing training sets that require flippers, it is disruptive to the rest of the swimmers in the lane if a swimmer does not have flippers and cannot complete the same set. 

The club also built and has the use of a storage “cage” in the gear room at the pool at Epsom Girls Grammar School (EGGS).  This houses the dry land equipment and has specially made hooks to store a number of swimmers’ gear bags.  This means a number of swimmers can keep their gear bags at the pool rather than taking them home after each session.

There are protocols that all swimmers are required to follow regarding both gear bags and use of the gear room.  These are based on common sense and normal standards of behaviour and courtesy. 

They are outlined at this link


Social media policy

United recognises the prevalence of electronic communication and social media in today’s world. Many of our swimmers and parents use these means as their primary method of communication. The club acknowledges the value of these methods of communication and has established a policy for acceptable use of Social Media by our athletes. This policy is essential for the club to be able to provide a safe and positive environment for all its athletes.  Swimming NZ has also published its Social Media Policy under its Member Protection Policy and the United policy should be read as in addition to that and not instead of the Swimming NZ policy

Acceptable Use Policy

Each United member must exhibit ethical and responsible conduct in all online communications and activities and respect the rights and privacy of all other United members. United expressly prohibits cyber bullying or cyber stalking of any United member by any means or method, including but not limited to the use of Facebook, text messaging, instant messaging, Twitter, e-mail, Instagram, Snapchat, and any other social media application. Cyber bullying and cyber stalking are unacceptable.

  1. Be Respectful – ensure you post meaningful and at all times respectful comments, no spam and no remarks that can be deemed as offensive or hurtful. Your comments will be noticed and recorded forever in the social media environments. Remember you are responsible for your content and posts

  2. Do not use social media to post photos or make comments about another person without their knowledge or consent. Additionally, anonymous message boards and forums where posters use names that keep them anonymous are not acceptable

  3.  Stick to your area of expertise and provide unique, individual perspectives on what’s going on at the club

  4. Always pause and think carefully before posting

  5. If you are ever in doubt of the appropriateness of your online public material, consider whether it upholds and positively reflects your own values and ethics as well as that of United. Remember, always present a positive image and don’t do anything to embarrass yourself, the team, your family or the club or cause offense

  6. Note that the club does not support or endorse any other squad or group related discussion platforms other than those established by the United squad manager and United coach.

Social Media Welfare

The United Committee views bullying on any level serious and will not be tolerated. The Committee will follow up complaints of bullying including complaints of harm by electronic communications and will take appropriate action.

All communications between a coach or adult and a swimmer must be professional in nature and for the purpose of communicating information about team activities. The content and intent of all electronic communications must adhere to Swimming NZ’s standards, rules and policies. Please always operate within these rules and the spirit of the sport that govern Swimming NZ.

Club Photos

As a member of United you understand and agree that the Club may post photos of its members on its web site, Facebook page and other social media.  The Club will only post photos that it considers to be appropriate, however, if there is a photo posted by the Club of a member that either the member or their parent/guardian considers to be inappropriate, then please contact the Club President or Secretary to have the photo removed.


Parent protocols

Welcome to competitive swimming.  Parents, guardians and/or caregivers have a very important role in supporting their swimmers, their clubs and the associations. Without these contributions, it simply would not be possible to have competitive swimming functioning in New Zealand.  We have protocols to ensure all our parents contribute to the successful operation of competitive swimming and support the club and their swimmer in a positive and constructive manner.  These are set out this tab


Coach protocols

United considers our coaches to be important role models to our members and accordingly expects them to provide their services with fairness, respect, integrity, professionalism and in a manner consistent with the Swimming NZ code of conduct.  Swimming NZ’s code of conduct includes specific requirements and guidelines for coaches and teachers and can viewed at this link.  United supports these requirements and in addition has further specific requirements and protocols for our coaches - these are provided directly to the coaches.


Who to contact

If you have any issues or concerns regarding any of the above protocols, then please contact the club to discuss these - either email or discuss with your coach and/or member of the club committee.  Their contact details are on the “Contacts” page of the web site.