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Pool Guidelines
YMCA Pool Guidelines

The YMCA of Greater Tulsa's pool guidelines are in place for the safety and enjoyment of our members and guests, and are available in this easy-to-print PDF.

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These guidelines are in place for the safety and enjoyment of our members and guests.

Current pool schedules are available at the member services desk at our YMCAs, or online at ymcatulsa.org/pool. Schedules are subject to change.

In the event of an evacuation of the pool area, lifeguards will notify all swimmers to exit the pool. Swimmers must adhere to lifeguard instructions and vacate the pool immediately. Any swimmer who does not comply with lifeguard instructions will be dismissed from the pool area.

Swimmers under the age of 16 are allowed in the pool during Family Swim times, or during the program in which they are registered. Our Family Swim times are posted on the pool schedules. The times when swimmers under the age of 16 are not allowed in the pool are reserved for swim lessons, aqua classes, lap swimming and other YMCA programs. 

During scheduled Family Swim times, children under the age of 16 are allowed in the pool, and for their safety, the following rules take effect:

Ages 6 & Under  |  Must have parent or guardian 18 years of age or older in the water with them and within arm’s reach at all times. There may be no more than 2 children per 1 adult swimmer. If a child passes the swim test, then the parent/guardian may be on the pool deck and not in the water.

Ages 7-11  |  If a child cannot pass the swim test, child must be in a lifejacket or be within arm's reach of a guardian 18 years of age or older. There may be no more than 2 children per 1 adult swimmer.  If child passes swim test, they are allowed in designated deep area. Parent must remain in the swimming area at all times the child is in the pool. 

Ages 12-16  |  If a child cannot pass the swim test, they must be in a lifejacket or within arm's reach of a guardian 18 years of age or older. There may be no more than 2 children per 1 adult swimmer. They may be in the facility without parents, if they are members. Non-members must adhere to the YMCA’s guest policy.

Our swim test is given to ensure the safety of our swimmers by judging their ability to swim and self-rescue. Each swimmer must take the swim test each day they visit a YMCA pool. Swim tests are administered by qualified staff. Any child who does not complete a swim test must either wear a lifejacket or be within arm’s reach of a parent at all times.

The swim test criteria includes jumping into the water, resurface, and swim 25 yards without touching the bottom, a wall, a lane divider, or holding onto anything. Swimmers must maintain a horizontal position in the water and maintain forward momentum. A swimmer’s ability to pass the swim test is at the lifeguard’s discretion.

The YMCA is a family-friendly facility; please dress appropriately. Proper swimsuits must be worn in pool areas. No jeans, pants, sweat pants or frayed material will be allowed in the pool. Swim diapers are required for any individuals not potty-trained.

Kickboards, paddles, training equipment, noodles and other toys are allowed at the lifeguard’s discretion. No water guns or mermaid tails are allowed in YMCA pools. 

Any flotation devices must be marked with a manufacturer’s instructions that list the device as approved by the United States Coast Guard. NO other flotation devices are allowed.

All swimmers must take a warm water shower before entering the pool area. Open wounds are prohibited in the pool area, and bandages are prohibited in the pool area.

For the safety of our swimmers and to prevent shallow water blackout, any form of breath holding practice is not allowed in YMCA pools. Swimmers may utilize correct rotary breathing during their swim activities. Any swimmer who violates this rule will be warned. A second violation will result in dismissal from the pool area.

Running, pushing, shoving or other horseplay is not allowed in the pool area. Sitting or hanging on, or crossing over the lane dividers, is not allowed. Cursing and derogatory language are not allowed. The YMCA is an inclusive, family-friendly organization. We expect all members and guests to model four core values: caring, honesty, respect and responsibility in their conduct and language (including within digital and/or social media). Any public displays of affection not meeting the above criteria will result in members being warned; should the behavior not stop, termination of YMCA membership may result. The YMCA reserves the right to suspend or cancel a membership at our discretion if actions or behaviors are not deemed in the best interest of the organization.

All water slides have posted rules at the entrance to the water slide. All riders must be at least 48” tall and must pass a swim test before riding the waterslide. Maximum rider weight is 300 pounds and no lifejackets can be worn on the waterslide. All riders must ride the slide one at a time, lying on their back, feet first, with their arms crossed over their chest. The line forms on the pool deck, and riders will climb the stairs one at a time to ride the slide. The next rider must wait for the previous rider to exit the slide before climbing the stairs. A swimmer who violates these rules will receive a warning. After the warning, the swimmer will be dismissed from the pool area.

Any swimmer in a lifejacket must be within arm’s reach of a parent to enter the current channel. Swimmers are advised that the water in a current channel can be swift, and all swimmers should be aware of the current channels location. 

The Y uses these measures and more to ensure your safety:

  • Nationally certified lifeguards on duty
  • On-site AEDs (automated external defibrillators) and O2 (oxygen) tanks
  • Staff certified in CPR, First Aid, AED & O2
  • Frequent and random checks of lifeguard rescue skills
  • Background checks conducted on all Y staff and volunteers

Food, drinks, gum, tobacco products, vapor inhalation products, alcohol and glass containers are all prohibited in the pool area. 

The YMCA of Greater Tulsa is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Lost and found items are kept for two weeks. Inquiries about lost items must be made in person; items not claimed after two weeks will be donated to a local charity.

The Y photographs and videotapes various activities for promotional use. Please let the photographer/videographer know if you do not wish to be included in pictures.

Pool areas may be closed and cleared of people on short notice for inclement weather including lightning, emergency cleanings due to contamination, or mechanical failure of operating systems. Pools that are closed due to unforeseen circumstances will be reopened in the shortest timeframe possible, and members will be kept apprised of developments through social media. During pool closures, members and guests may continue to use other areas of the facility or another YMCA location.

Share your comments and suggestions at any YMCA or online by emailing info@ymcatulsa.org or through facebook.com/ymcatulsa.