Sports Pool vs Traditional Deep End: 9 Things to Consider

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Have you decided to add a swimming pool to your lovely backyard? One of the key decisions that a homemaker will have to make at this point is whether to go with a sports pool vs traditional deep end one.

The costs involved in pool design and installation mean that you must choose the ideal one from the beginning. Making the wrong choice can be quite costly in the long run.

There are several things that you should take into consideration before settling on either one.

Here are 9 keys to think about:

  • Safety
  • Cost
  • Use
  • Diving Pool
  • Versatility
  • Consider the users
  • Water conservation
  • Resale Value
  • Space available

Let’s explore each one in some detail. 


Making sure that the users of your new pool are safe will undoubtedly be a priority. There are dangers associated with both the traditional pool and the sports pool.

Where fatalities are concerned, you will find that there are more linked to the deep end than to the comparatively shallow sports pools.

Sports pool injuries are usually associated with diving and other activities that are not meant to be carried out in this kind of pool. Safety Resource


If we were to build a sports pool and traditional deep end one with identical dimensions the latter would be more costly. This is because your pool builder will charge you per square foot.

The pool with a deep end will require additional depth and tiling. Your budget will have to be factored into your decision making process. 

One way around this would be to make a tradeoff between the with of your pool width and its depth. This is to say that you could have a shorter length and use the square feet saved to build the deep end. 

Traditional Pool - Sports Pool vs Traditional Deep End


What you are planning to use the pool for cannot be an afterthought. For instance, if you have a kid who is a keen swimmer looking to train for competitions, there is a clear case for getting a sports pool.

The same case can be made if you have a child whose safety may depend on their ability to stand up straight in the pool.

A great exercise to figure out what type of pool is best suited to the activities that you want to use it for is to list them. 

  1. Create a list of all of the activities that you can envision yourself using your pool for.
  2. Next to each activity write down whether a sports pool or traditional deep end pool is better.
  3. Tally up and see which pool has a higher score.

Diving Pool

“This is not a diving pool!” You may not imagine yourself saying these words right away. Kids will be kids. Whether it is a sports pool or a diving pool, they will always find alternative ways to use it.

Using a sports pool for diving can be quite dangerous. The lack of depth means that the diver zooms towards the base of the pool at incredible speed.

Even seasoned swimmers would struggle to take control at this point. The best-case scenario would be coming out with some bumps and bruises. Worst case scenario could be a serious head or spinal injury.

If you are concerned about diving accidents related to depth, a traditional deep end pool is a safer bet.

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Unfortunately, pools are not the most versatile things around. Once you build it, you have to stick with it.

The pool that you build today for your toddler may no longer be ideal for them a few years later. This can also be said for the events that you use the pool for.

For instance, a sports pool may be ideal for doing playing certain ball games as it allows all users a level playing field. If you decided to do coin diving, it may no longer be adequate.

Based on two pools with the same dimensions, you could argue that the sports pool gives you equal depth all the way through. This can be desirable.

On the other hand, depth is not an option. In this case, you would need to consider how important it is to have the option of a deep end. 

For adults or seasoned swimmers, it may not matter as much. However, where kids are concerned, it starts to count.

A sports pool can allow them to be spread across the pool with their friends without fear of safety. It also allows more room for ball games, including the non-swimmers.

Depth is also a factor when it comes to versatility. We will look at this in more detail in the space section below.

Consider the users

We have already touched on some consideration for the users. This is a key aspect. Another factor throw into this is the frequency of use. If you and your children will be sharing the pool.

It is worth considering who will use the pool more frequently. It goes without saying that the more frequent users should be given greater voting power. 

Water conservation

Depending on where you live, water conservation may be a more significant topic or not. The more voluminous pool will require more water to fill it.

This is a case for having a shallow pool instead. There are other things to think about in regards to water conservation. It does not end on filling up the pool.

It will also depend on how often you drain the pool and refill it. The sports pool that is frequently drained is less conservative than the deep pool that isn’t drained as often. 

The average pool takes between 18000 and 20000 gallons of water to fill. [Source]. If you know the dimensions of the pool that you are looking to build, you can use this CALCULATOR, to figure out how much water you’ll use.

A portion of pool water is lost through evaporation, splashing, leaks and other activities. There are ways to mitigate some of these factors. These include using a pool cover when the pool is not in use.

Resale Value

Most people will not take resale value into consideration when it comes to their pool because of its immobility. However, if you were to sell the property, the pool becomes a significant factor in the valuation.

In some cases, just having a pool will improve the value of the property. Depending on the location of your home, having a pool may make the house overpriced for its area. []

However, with most first time buyers being people who are looking to start a family, safety comes into question. Pool depth is a significant factor. Making alterations is often out of the question as it is costly.

There is also an increase in liability that comes with having a pool. The type of pool that you have may determine the value of the liability.

Space Available

In the abundance of space, you can go with either a sports pool or a traditional one without considering the implications. However, when space is tight, you ought to make the most of it. This plays into that idea of versatility.

Where space is limited a sports pool can be akin to having a hot tub or Jacuzzi. If that is what you are going for, there may be more cost-effective ways to achieve it.

However, if you do want a pool, perhaps a deep end one would be a better pick in this case. Adding a diving board to an otherwise small pool gives it an extra dimension. 

The space that you have available will require you to reconsider the intended use of the pool. If you were going with a sports pool because you wanted your kid to train in it, limited space may make it inadequate anyway. 

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Final Thoughts on Sports Pools vs Traditional Deep End Pools

As you can see, there is a case to be made for either one of these pools. Consider each one of the factors that we have discussed above before settling on your pick.

It is also worth having a word with your chosen pool builder to raise any reservations that you may have based on the considerations above. You may be surprised to find that they have some premade solutions.

This is usually the case when it comes to the costs. Perhaps the most important thing to do before seeking their opinion is to decide which ones of these 9 things to considers cannot be compromised on.