Also Known As: Tile lines, Transition lines
Made of colorful, buoyant plastic, these lines separate the lanes in a lap or competition pool, allowing swimmers to stay in their lanes and even predict when they are coming up to the wall. In recreational pools, racing lines distinguish the area meant for lap swimming.
Racing lines are clipped to cup anchors that are installed on the wall of the pool. At the middle of a racing line, the colors typically alternate between two. This helps swimmers recognize that they are at the midpoint of the length of the pool. After about 15 or 25 meters, the lane lines change to one color, signaling that the wall is coming up.
In addition, racing lines create less resistance in the water, preventing wakes (little waves created by the swimmer moving through the water) and slip streams (the area of reduced pressure that follows a swimmer). Wakes are problematic for swimmers in other lanes, disturbing the water and causing more resistance. The plastic pieces that make up racing lines are typically fitted with little paddles. The wider the paddle, the more the line helps to reduce resistance caused by wakes.
Like any pool equipment, racing lines should be checked carefully for maintenance requirements. Broken or cracked pieces should be replaced, and lines should be cleaned periodically. Racing lines can be rolled up and stored on a reel. This makes it easy to store racing lines during the off-season or switch special competition lane lines with lines designed for recreational lap swimming.