Pool Rules & Regulations

Swimming Pool Rules & Regulations

The Cincinnati Recreation Commission has the responsibility to provide a clean, pleasant, and safe environment for public swimming. The following rules and regulations have been developed with that responsibility in mind.

Situations may occur that require immediate corrective action. Lifeguards are expected to exercise their best judgment in those situations and have full authority to act in order to ensure the safety of swimmers.

To help us, we ask that all pool patrons follow these rules. The following rules pertain to the swimming pools, bath houses, wading pools, grass areas, entrance ways and pool decks of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission.

Pool memberships (annual or daily user) are required for all patrons entering the facility, including infants and adults who are supervising children.

In situations where the police are called for a patron who is breaking a rule, the patron(s) will be removed from all CRC pools' property for the remainder of the pool season without a refund of fees, and CRC membership will be revoked -- no exceptions.

Health Code

  1. Any person suspected of having an infectious or communicable disease or any person with an obvious infectious wound, head lice (CRC has a no-nit policy) or ringworm shall not be permitted to use the pool. However, these persons may be granted entry upon verification of a written statement from a physician that the condition is not infectious.
    • Reason: Keep chance of spreading infectious disease to a minimum.
  2. Please don’t swim when you have diarrhea. This is especially important for children in diapers.
    • Reason: Diarrhea can contain disease.
  3. Please don’t swallow pool water.
    • Reason: Help educate children and protect yourself against Recreational Water Illnesses.
  4. Please wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet or changing diapers.
    • Reason: Keep yourself and others from getting sick.
  5. Please take your children on bathroom breaks every 30 to 60 minutes.
    • Reason: Reduces the chance of fecal contamination and reduces the amount of urine in the pool.
  6. Please change diapers in the restroom and not at poolside.
    • Reason:  Reduces germs on benches and pool area surfaces.
  7. Please wash your child thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before swimming.
    • Reason: Reduces the amount of fecal matter in the pool.
  8. No person who is observed passing feces, urine or blood into a pool shall be permitted to use the pool, until the condition is controlled.
    • Reason: Body fluids may contain infectious pathogens and contaminate the water.
  9. Patrons are to shower before entering the water.
    • Reason: To reduce sweat, lotions and other body fluids in pool which affect pool chemistry.

General Facility Rules

  1. Criminal trespassing charges will be filed on individuals refusing to comply when asked to leave the pool area and/or CRC property.
  2. Lifeguards are not babysitters. Children's safety and their behavior are the responsibility of parents.
    • Reason:  Lifeguards are busy watching their zones of coverage.
  3. Children 17 and under should be registered for membership by a parent or guardian.
    • Reason: In case of emergency, information on minor children should be available. Parents should know where their children are.
  4. Children 6 years and younger should be accompanied and actively supervised with touch supervision at all times in groups of three or less by a parent, legal guardian, or adult age 18 or older. Parents with more than three children under age 6 should make arrangements to have another adult assist with supervision.
    • Reason: Highest incidence of drowning occur in this age group. Adult supervision is mandatory.
  5. Arrangements by established childcare providers can be made in advance to accommodate ratios of one adult to 10 preschool children (ages 4 and 5) and one adult to 15-elementary age children. Childcare providers must actively supervise children.
    • Reason: Must be approved by Pool Supervisor or Pool Manager.
  6. Horseplay, rough or boisterous play, such as running, pushing, dunking or splashing, is not permitted.
    • Reason: These are hazardous; a patron could be injured.
  7. Profanity, improper behavior, intoxication and use of illegal substances, drugs and weapons are not allowed.
    • Reason: It is unlawful to possess weapons, illegal substances and/or alcohol on CRC property.
  8. Sexual harassment or harassment of any kind toward staff is not tolerated. If behavior occurs, patron(s) will be asked by the pool manager to discontinue the behavior. If the sexual harassment continues, patron(s) will be asked to leave the facility and grounds.
    • Reason: This type of behavior will not be tolerated.
  9. Food, drinks, gum, chewing tobacco, and smoking are not permitted inside the pool facility. Food and drinks may be allowed on sites with designated food areas.
    • Reason: Trash can cause problems with insects, ants and bees. Cigarette butts can burn feet. Gum and candy can be a choking hazard.
  10. All swimmers should wear proper swimwear. Underwear is not to be worn under swimsuits. Swimsuits with sewn-in flotation are restricted to the wading pool or require one-on-one constant touch supervision by an adult.
    • Reason: Improper swim attire; undergarments contain body fluids and detergent residue.
  11. T-shirts, cut-off shorts, shorts with zippers, baggie shorts that expose the buttocks, and thongs are not permitted. In case of severe sunburn, children should be out of the sun, not at the pool. Only specific, UV-protective, snug-fitting rash guard shirts are permitted in the pool.
    • Reason: The loose fringe from shorts clog filter baskets. Shorts with zippers or metal accessories scrape the slides. Soap in clothing affects water chemistry residual. T-shirts worn for over-exposure to sun do not protect adequately and are a potential safety hazard.
  12. All incontinent swimmers (adults or children) must wear swim diapers/non-biodegradable diapers made for swimming.
    • Reason: To help contain body fluids.
  13. Only adults supervising children are permitted inside pool area wearing street clothes, and should remain back near the fence, not up by the pool.
    • Reason: Pool area is for those actively participating in pool activities. Patrons are too tempted to push in bystanders.
  14. Glass objects, including beverages, are not permitted in pool facility (deck, entryway, office, or restrooms).
    • Reason: Glass can cause injury if broken.
  15. The City is not responsible for left, lost, or stolen articles.
    • Reason: Staff cannot take responsibility for watching patron's valuables left on the deck.
  16. Inappropriate display of affection is not permitted. This includes fondling, French kissing and intercourse.
    • Reason: Improper public behavior.
  17. Patrons are not to visit with lifeguards or climb on guard chairs.
    • Reason: This distracts from lifeguard's primary responsibility of surveillance.
  18. Personal space music (iPods, MP3 players, headphones, etc.) is allowed on deck by patrons only. Each site without a speaker system may have one sound system controlled by staff. Music is not to include profanity, sexually explicit or racially offensive language.
    • Reason: Some patrons do not like loud music.  Guards may not be able to hear someone yell for help.
  19. Patrons may be in the office with staff personnel for emergencies only.
    • Reason: Office is for CRC business.
  20. Phone is for emergency and CRC business use only. No personal calls. This applies to staff and to patrons.
    • Reason: Phone must be available at all times for an emergency, incoming as well as outgoing calls.
  21. Cell phones, video camera and electronic devices are not permitted in restrooms or locker rooms.
    • Reason: Restrooms and locker rooms are private areas for changing and showering.

Swimming Pools

  1. Absolutely no diving into water of 5 feet or less in depth.
    • Reason: Head injury or spinal injury could occur.
  2. No back dives or flips from the side of the pool.
    • Reason: Chance of injury is great.
  3. Ball-playing, Frisbee and football-tossing are not permitted in the pool facility.
    • Reason: Patron can be hit by object, resulting in injury.
  4. During open swim, Nerf balls, beach balls and foam logs (noodles) are permitted. During low attendance, rubber rafts, tubes and other inflatable items are permitted at the discretion of the manager.
    • Reason: During crowded conditions, floats can interfere with swimmers, as well as the lifeguard's line of sight. Clear floats are acceptable.   
  5. Kickboards are to be used only in lap areas or during lessons.
    • Reason: Can cause injury if used improperly.
  6. Swimmers using lap lanes must move continuously.
    • Reason: To avoid swimmers running into each other.
  7. Ladders are to be used only for entering or exiting the pool. Playing on ladders is not permitted.
    • Reason: High incident of accidents can occur here.
  8. Hanging on or swimming under safety lines is not permitted. Hanging on lane lines is not permitted.
    • Reason: Can be a false security for non-swimmers.
  9. Spouting or spitting of water in pool or on deck is not permitted.
    • Reason: Not a healthy practice.
  10. U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets (type I, II & III) may be used by non-swimmers and are restricted to the shallow end. Absolutely no water wings or personal flotation inflatables allowed in large pool. These items are permissible in the wading pool only.
    • Reason: Water wings can deflate or slip off, causing a dangerous situation for a non-swimmer.
  11. Swim goggles are acceptable. Face masks covering eyes and nose, fins, and snorkel are permitted only during organized swim class, Discover SCUBA program or underwater hockey games.
    • Reason: Masks can fill with water, or slip over mouth and nose, causing a potentially dangerous situation. Snorkels can flood, causing choking.
  12. During rest periods, only those 18 years and older are permitted to swim. Children under 6 years are permitted at this time when one adult accompanies each child.  If there are no adults, this could be teen time, or a water game time, or eliminated altogether.
    • Reason: Allows younger swimmers a chance to rest and use the bathroom.

Diving Areas

  1. To be permitted to go off the board, patron must be able to swim to the side of pool without assistance.
    • Reason: All diving rules and regulations are for the safety of our patrons.
  2. One person on a diving board at a time (including steps of the ladder). The next person should wait on the deck until the person on the board goes off.
  3. Diving and jumping permitted in a forward direction from the end of the board only. Make sure area under board is clear.
  4. Leave the water by the nearest ladder immediately after dive.
  5. Free swimming is not permitted in diving area unless the board(s) are closed and the entire area is designated for open swim by the lifeguard with the manager's approval at non-crowded times. During open swim, no diving from the side of pool.
  6. One bounce on board. This refers to a hurdle step and one bounce, not two.
  7. Hanging on boards is not permitted.
  8. Inward dives and sit dives are not permitted.
  9. Children are not permitted to jump off the board to other patrons or staff.
  10. Swimming under or between boards is not permitted.

Wading Pools

  1. Only children 6 years and younger with parent or adult age 18 and older are permitted. One adult may supervise up to a maximum of three children in the wading pool.
    • Reason: Children under 6 have a high incident of water-related accidents or injury.
  2. Parents and adults must actively supervise their children while in the wading pool area.
    • Reason: Lifeguard does not have the ability to adequately watch numerous preschoolers at once. Lifeguards are not babysitters.
  3. Prior arrangements by established childcare providers can accommodate ratios of one adult supervising up to 10 children. This does not apply to zero depth sites.
    • Reason: Pool Supervisor or Pool Manager must approve this.
  4. Dives from deck are not permitted.
    • Reason: In shallow water, the possibility for injury is too great.
  5. Running is not permitted in the wading pool water or on the deck.
    • Reason: Falls and injury can occur on wet surface.
  6. Swim diapers are required. Regular disposable diapers absorb water and disintegrate and are not permitted in CRC pools.
    • Reason: To help contain body fluids and help keep disease from spreading.
  7. Climbing on or over wading and shallow pool dividing walls is not permitted.
    • Reason: Falls are likely and depths of water are different.
  8. Adults supervising children are not permitted in the wading pool in their clothes. They may be in the pool area but not in the water.
    • Reason: Residual laundry detergents upset the pool water chemistry.


  1. Slide riders should meet the minimum height posted at the slide.
    • Reason: So users can stand up in the splash-down area to get to the side of the pool.
  2. Slide users shall follow directions from the dispatcher.
    • Reason: Safety, so one person at a time goes down the slide.
  3. One user per slide on the starting platform at the top of each slide at a time.
    • Reason: Only one user can ride at a time.
  4. Always check to see if splash-down area is clear before entering the slide.
    • Reason: For safety reasons so users do not collide.
  5. Ride slide feet first, laying down flat at all times.
    • Reason: Head first entry into the shallow water can cause injuries.
  6. Stopping, changing positions and forming chains are prohibited.
    • Reason: For safety reasons, only one user at a time.
  7. Only one user sliding down the slide at a time.
    • Reason: For safety reasons, so no one collides.
  8. Users must exit the landing area, or splash-down area, immediately to the nearest side.
    • Reason: For safety reasons, to get out of the way of the next user.