Swimming pools are a versatile recreational and leisure product that everyone can benefit from. The shape, style, depth, and other factors determine whether the pool is suitable for a particular purpose, such as exercise, lap swimming, water sports, and children.
If you are planning a backyard swimming pool, you’ll need to determine the best depth for your pool based on how you plan to use it. Instead of considering only traditional pools with a deep end for diving on one end and a shallow end on the other, you may also consider a fun alternative: The sports pool.
What is a Sports Pool?
A sports pool has no deep end and two shallow ends. There is a deeper area in the middle, but it is typically still shallow enough for most adults to be able to keep their heads above water with their feet on the ground.
The larger shallow area provides more usable pool space. Whether hosting pool parties or playing water sports, having two shallow ends allows people to have fun in the pool without crowding one shallow end or stepping into the pool’s deep end.
Purpose and Functions
Sports pools are great for water sports and games, swimming, lounging, and cooling off, and are ideal for entertaining.
Sports pools can also have a deep end in the middle and a bit deep shallow end on the other side of a pool. The two shallow ends are usually 3.5 to 4 feet deep, so adults can easily stand and play in the water if it is a sports pool. The middle depth is usually about 5.5 feet, useful for water sports. It allows taller people to stand in the middle of the pool.
Since steps take up a lot of valuable space, they should go at one end of the pool (with or without a bench) to make entry easier.
Determine the Pool Depth You Need
The pool design you choose and how deep you want your pool to be will depend on how you plan to use it. Ensure to plan how you and everyone else will use it, is it for relaxation, sports, play, or a combination of these purposes? Keep in mind that you need to choose a pool depth appropriate for your height. In the case of having children, plan for a shallow play area of three feet or less.
If you want to have a pool for swimming and playing, you should choose a maximum depth of four to five feet but no less than three feet.
If you plan for a daily lap swim, the pool should have a minimum depth of five feet. If those who want to use their pool for diving, the pool must have at least eight feet of depth in the deep end.
Who Can Use This Type of Pool?
Family with Children
Because children through teens use pools for fun and play, the two shallow ends make it easier for younger children to use sports pools. Sports pools are typically safer due to there being no deep end.
People Hosting Backyard Parties
Whether you are hosting pool parties for kids or adults, the shallow ends of a sports pool make being for relaxing in the pool. Since most of the pool is shallow, guests can spread out in the pool instead of crowding into a single end. They can talk, lounge, and relax while standing up and holding their drinks instead of having to tread water.
Sports pools are the best depth for water sports like pool volleyball or basketball. Each team has the same footing, so one side does not have to strain in the deep end. And the firm stand makes these types of games much easier overall.
It is best to do most exercises in the water while standing (outside of swimming). Otherwise, moving around and lifting weights with excellent form can be challenging if the water is too deep.
You also do not need a very deep pool to swim laps. If you plan to use your pool for sports activities, a sports pool is the best choice.
The deep portion of a sports pool allows for frolicking, throwing balls, and other fun activities without taking up a lot of backyard landscape space. Sports pools are ideal for smaller gardens and provide a great way to exercise and refresh during the hot summer months.
How Safe Is It?
Sports pools tend to be the safest because they have more shallow areas. However, sports pools are not ideal for jumping in or water slides. Pool owners need to warn their guests and children of this danger before using a sports pool, such as posting a “No Diving” sign.