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There is a great chance that if you have access to a windy or campus-based pool, it to be designed for lap swimming. However, lap pools come in numerous different sizes and shapes, and each has its own distinct characteristics.

Swimming’s governing body — Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), which converts to "International swimming Federation” — has a collection of guidelines that explain pools acceptable for competition. It’s rare the a pool meets every one of these standards, yet there space some important aspects that need to remain continuous in a an excellent lap swim facility.

Short course & long Course

There are two regulation pool sizes the exist in the civilization of compete swimming. Castle are:

Short course pools: more common in ~ public swimming locations or high schools.Long course pools: Normally discovered on university campuses or higher-end swimming facilities.

Although metric and non-metric swimming pool lengths are offered in USA swim competitions, FINA just accepts international records swum in lengthy course pools.

Short Course

Length: 25 meters or 25 yardsAbbreviations: SCM method 25 meters long, if SCY way 25 yards longNumber the lanes: 4 or more



Long course or Olympic Distance

Length: 50 meters (164 feet)Width: 25 meters (84 feet)Number the lanes: 8 come 10Lane width: 2.5 meters (8.2 feet)Depth: At the very least 2 meters (6.6 feet)Temperature: 25-28 levels Celsius (77–82 levels Fahrenheit)

Sometimes pools are designed to accommodate both dimensions, v a size of 50 meters and also a broad of 25 yards. In this instances, a mobile bulkhead often helps collection the swimming pool up for long course or short course.




Lane lines & Markings

Lane lines space wire cables covered with tiny plastic buoys or “floats” that separate each lane. In a brief course pool, the floats will readjust color in ~ the 15 meter (49 foot) mark. In a long course pool, they will readjust color in ~ the 25 meter (82 foot) mark. If the floats perform not adjust color for that entire stretch, the ranges may be significant by a single float that a different color. Roadway lines should be 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) wide, back this varies quite a little from pool-to-pool.

Lane markings are contrasting, usually-tiled lines along the bottom and ends of each lane. The is typical for the finish of each lane to have a “+” — additionally known together a target line — centered on the end of every wall. The cross heat on the + should be 0.5 meters (1.6 feet) long and also 0.3 meters (1 foot) below the surface of the water. Similarly, a line down the center of the lane — ending in a “T” in ~ each wall — is often along the bottom of the pool. Every T stops 1.6 meter (5.3 feet) from the wall.

While these markings room standard because that competition pools and common in others, they room not ubiquitous. Countless pools that have a shallow end also have a line that marks where the depth begins to change.

Starting Blocks

Starting block are supplied in competition. Every individual swim or leg of a relay starts with a dive from these blocks. The only exception is because that backstroke races, which start in the water with the swimmer holding on to the grips or handles included for backstroke starts.

The height of the beginning block platform should be in between 0.5 meters (1.6 feet) and 0.75 meter (2.5 feet) above the surface ar of the water. The surface ar area have to be at the very least 0.5 meters (1.6 feet) x 0.5 meters (1.6 feet), and also should be spanned with non-slip material. The edge of the platform have to not exceed 10 degrees.

Starting blocks additionally usually encompass handles, grips, or slots for backstroke starts. These must be in between 0.3 meters (1 foot) and 0.6 meters (2 feet) above the surface of the water. The handles need to be parallel come the surface ar of the end wall and not prolong past the wall.

Backstroke Flags

Nearly all pools include backstroke flags, supplied by swimmers come gauge how much they room from the wall. FINA requires a height between 1.8 meter (5.9 feet) and also 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) over the surface ar of the water, and 5 meter (16.4 feet) indigenous the wall.

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Not every Pools space the Same

The pools that you have access to might (and more than likely won’t) exactly match FINA’s specifications. Due to the fact that public pools cater come so numerous different teams — swimmers, water polo players, children’s swim lessons, lifeguard training, aquaerobics — standard designs are frequently modified to better fit the requirements of every users. If you deserve to expect the bulk of lap swimming pools to have actually most that the features described in this guide, each pool will certainly vary.

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