A Look at Alternative Uses for Inground Pools
Swimming pools are a multi-purpose recreational and leisure product that everyone can benefit from. The shape, style, depth, and other contributing factors for the design will determine whether there is a significant purpose for the pool—such as exercise and training, swimming laps, playing water sports, and being kid-friendly.
When planning backyard inground pool designs, you will need to come up with the best depth for your inground pool based on how you want to use it. And instead of only considering traditional inground pools with a deep end for diving, you should also consider a fun design alternative: The Sports Pool.
Determining What Pool Depth You Want
The type of pool you choose, along with the depth of your pool, will depend on how you want to use it. So first ask yourself how you plan to use your pool, along with how everyone else will use your pool.
Do you plan to use it for relaxation, exercise, games, or a combination of all these uses? If you want you and your spouse to be able to stand in it comfortably, you’ll want a pool depth that accommodates both of your heights. And if you have children in your family, you will want to consider a shallow play area of 3 feet or less.
If you want a pool for swimming laps and playing games, consider a minimum depth of 3 feet and a maximum depth of 4 to 5 feet for safety. But for jumping in feet first, it should be 4 feet or deeper.
For athletes who take lap swimming seriously, a minimum depth of 5 feet is ideal with a length of 82 feet. And for those who want to use their pool for diving, they will need a longer pool with a depth of at least 8 feet in the deep end.
What Is A Sports Pool and How Is It Different Than Standard Inground Swimming Pools?
Unlike standard inground pools that have a shallow end and a deep end, sports pools have two shallow ends and no deep end. There is a deeper section in the middle, but it is still shallow enough for adults to stand without the need to tread water.
The greater shallow area allows for more usable space in the pool. Whether you have pool parties or you want to play water sports, two shallow ends make it easier for more people to stand and play in the pool without crowding a single shallow end or treading water in the deep end.
Purposes and Features
Sports pools are used for playing water sports and games, swimming laps, lounging, cooling off, and they are also great for entertaining.
When it comes to sport pool depth, the two shallow ends are typically 3.5 to 4 feet deep so adults can stand and play easily in the water. The middle depth is usually around 5.5 feet, which is useful for playing water sports. You can also be creative and have a shallow end, a deep end in the middle, and a slightly deeper shallow end on the opposite side of the pool. That would allow for taller people to stand in the mid-depth end of the pool.
Since steps take up a lot of precious real estate, it’s not recommended to put them at both ends of a sports pool. Instead, steps should be at one end of the pool (with or without a bench) for ease of entrance.
Who Is This Type of Pool Ideal For?
Kids and Families
Since kids, ranging from children to teenagers, use pools for fun and games, the two shallow ends make sports pools easier to use for those who are shorter. Along with being more fun, sports pools are also safer since there isn’t a very deep end.
People Who Host Pool Parties
Whether you host pool parties for kids or adults, the shallow ends of sports pools make hanging out in the pool relaxing. Guests can spread out in the pool instead of cramming into a single shallow end. And they can hang out, chat, lounge, and relax while standing up and holding their drinks instead of treading water.
People Who Play Water Games and Sports in the Pool
If water polo or pool volleyball is a favourite pastime, sports pools are the best depths for these water sports. Each team will have equal footing, instead of one side being stuck working harder in the deep end. And the solid footing makes playing these types of games much easier overall.
People Who Swim Laps & Do Pool Exercises
Most aquatic exercises are best done standing in a pool. Otherwise, it can be difficult to move around and lift weights with good form if the water is too deep.
You also don’t need a very deep pool for swimming laps. So if you plan to use your pool for exercise, a sports pool is your best option.
Is It Safe?
While sports pools are safe because they have more shallow areas, they are not safe for diving in or for using slides. There is no area of the pool that is deep enough to dive into safely, so pool owners must make this danger clear to guests and kids before they use a sports pool—e.g., putting up a “No Diving” sign.
To make the most of backyard inground swimming pools, pool owners consider their use and the ideal depths for each purpose. Oftentimes, inground swimming pools don’t fit in most backyards, furthermore, it’s extremely rare to come across a true diving pool in a residential area.
The deep end of a sports pool still allows for horsing around, cannonballs, and other fun activities while not taking up so much of your backyard landscape. Ideal for smaller yards, sports pools are an excellent way for you to get in your exercise and stay refreshed during the scorching summer months.
Bert Minor has been a part of the landscaping business for nearly twenty years and has gained an excellent reputation as an innovative and creative designer. In fact, several of his designs and projects have been featured in industry supplier magazines. An active and contributing member of the industry, Bert sat on various boards including the Ottawa Chapter of Landscape Ontario and the Landscape Ontario Provincial Construction Committee. Bert also contributed technical articles published in the Canadian National Landscape Association magazine. With a relentless pursuit of knowledge, Bert has attained several industry certificates in landscape design, landscape construction and with the PHTCC—Pool and Hot Tub Council Canada. Prior to joining the landscaping industry, Bert spent several years in management in the services sector primarily in a customer advocate role. His honesty and integrity and his ability to build and develop strong relationships with clients reflects that.