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A competitive swimming pool is notably larger, with dimensions often at 164 feet long (50 meters) by 82 feet wide (25 meters). In contrast, a water polo pool measures less at 98 feet (30 meters) in length and 66 feet (20 meters) in width, tailored to the sport’s requirements.

Wondering how a competitive swimming pool compares to a water polo pool in size?

Dive into the details: the streamlined swimming pool, optimized for speed, against the larger water polo pool, designed for team dynamics and strategy.

Each pool is precisely engineered to enhance the specific demands and intensity of its sport.

Swimming Pool Dimensions

A competitive swimming pool, designed for high-level swim meets, encompasses specific dimensions that cater to international standards. These pools are commonly known as “long course” pools, measuring 50 meters in length and 25 meters in width.

The uniform depth of a minimum of 2 meters is crucial to accommodate starting blocks and ensure swimmers do not touch the bottom during turns.

Swimming Pool Parts

  • Lanes: Typically numbered right to left from the starting end with either 8 or 10 lanes, each lane is 2.5 meters wide and delineated by lane markers.
  • Starting Blocks: These are the elevated platforms positioned at the starting end of each lane for swimmers to dive into the water at the commencement of a race.
  • Backstroke Flags: Suspended overhead, these flags are placed 5 meters from each end to alert backstroke swimmers that they are nearing the pool wall.
  • Turn End/Turn Wall: The opposite end from the starting blocks, where swimmers execute their turns during races that require more than one pool length.
  • Touch Pads: Electronic devices situated at the ends of lanes, registering swimmers’ times as they touch the wall for turns and finishes.

How Big is a Water Polo Pool?

A water polo pool typically measures 30 meters (about 98.4 feet) in length for men’s competition and 25 meters (approximately 82 feet) in length for women’s competition, with a width of 20 meters (about 66 feet) for both.

The depth of the pool must be at least 2 meters (about 6.6 feet) to ensure players cannot touch the bottom, facilitating the sport’s continuous, high-energy gameplay that includes swimming, passing, and shooting without the aid of the pool floor.

These dimensions support the dynamic and physically demanding nature of water polo, providing a sizable arena for the fast-paced action of the game.

Water Polo Pool Parts

  • Goals: Located at each end of the pool, water polo goals are 3 meters wide and 90 centimeters high above the surface of the water.
  • Field of Play: The area within the pool where the game takes place, marked by floating ropes or lines on the surface.
  • Penalty Area: A designated area in front of each goal, typically marked at 5 meters from the goal line, indicating where penalty shots are taken.
  • Halfway Line: Divides the pool into two equal halves, indicating the start of play and restart after a goal is scored.
  • Substitution Area: Located on the side of the pool, it’s where players enter and exit the water for substitutions.

Which is bigger, a Swimming Pool or a Water Polo Pool?

A Water Polo Pool is generally larger than a competition swimming pool in terms of surface area used for the sport.

Competition swimming pools, used for Olympic and world championship events, must be 50 meters (about 164 feet) long and 25 meters (approximately 82 feet) wide, with a minimum depth of 2 meters (about 6.6 feet).

While the length of a swimming pool may exceed that of a water polo pool, the overall surface area of a water polo pool is typically larger when considering the width and the space required for gameplay.

The design differences reflect each sport’s requirements; swimming competitions demand precise, long-distance lanes for races, while water polo needs a broader area to support team movement, ball dynamics, and goal-scoring opportunities.


What are the dimensions of a competitive swimming pool?

A competitive swimming pool typically measures 50 meters in length and 25 meters in width, with a minimum depth of 2 meters. Each lane is 2.5 meters wide. For more details, see our [swimming pool dimensions article](#).

What are the dimensions of a water polo pool?

An Olympic-level water polo pool is 30 meters long and 20 meters wide, with a minimum depth usually over 2 meters to prevent touching the bottom. Explore further in our [water polo pool dimensions article](#).

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When he’s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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