Sports pool vs traditional deep end

We are currently getting bids on a 14 x 28 inground vinyl pool. We initially decided to build a sports pool, with 2 shallow ends and 5.5 deep in the middle, where you could put a slide. Our children (15, 13 & 9) subsequently told us that these pools are considered 'lame' because you can't retreive dive sticks, swim to the bottom, etc.

What has been everyone's experience and what has been most popular with the kids? The kids and their friends will be the heaviest users of the pool, and my husband and I will use it for 'floating' around, etc. where depth does not really matter.



LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2008
North Carolina
Our pool goes only to 5.5 feet in the deep end and I think it is perfect. My kids have no complaints. My 17 yr old and her friends like the depth so they can just hang out and do teenagy things (under the watchful eye of us ;) . Our 8 and 6 yr old they mostly play in the shallow end with dive sticks etc.

I like it because adults can be in there without much effort to stay above water. When we play volleyball the kids and short people get one side that the tall people get the other and we can use the entire pool.

We don't have a slide, but that is one thing I would add. Other than that my house is the hit of the heighborhood :)

Good Luck and enjoy your pool!

Also to get much deeper, you will have to eat a great deal of shallow end space. Which means the majority of your pool will be a drop. At least at my house, the shallow end get use about 70% of the time. Anything you can do to have more shallow area is good. It is really hard to tread water and try to drink a beer at the same time.


Active member
May 19, 2008
My pool is all one depth (no deep end). I don't have teenagers but the grandkids can stand up everywhere in the pool and the adults can have a mean game of volley ball using the whole pool and no one has to tread water. We don't have a diving board nor would I recommend one with out a deep end but I might get a sliding board.


Well-known member
May 23, 2007
It really depends on the type of swimmers you have.

We have an IG pool, with an 8' deep end. I literally spend about half my time in the pool at 8' :) Just something fun about being down that deep. It's also nice for diving.

On the other hand, if we played volleyball, it would have to be all in the shallow end whiich would be a bit tight. I think if your plan is to have more of a "party pool" then you are safe without a deep end, since you can play more games etc.


LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2007
Rocklin, Ca
I think boils down to personal preference. It's kind of like asking what's better...Coke or Pepsi.

I like Coke and deep pools.

Ask your family what they would prefer.


Well-known member
Apr 5, 2008
We decided to go with more of a sports pool that dips to about 5.5 feet in the middle. The ends are 3.5 on one side and 4 on the other with an 18" depth beach shelf. It's designed for play, but I think it's still deep enough for some underwater play.


LifeTime Supporter
Aug 16, 2007
branchop said:
It is really hard to tread water and try to drink a beer at the same time.
LOL, so true!

It really does come down to preference and what you think your family will enjoy the most. We just completed ours and it's approx. 11 x 36 with the water being the deepest (5'6) at the spa end (there is also a bench seat right in front of the spa wall and it's getting a lot of use. It's 3'6 shallow end before the wet deck begins and that's around 12".

We're really enjoying it (especially the dog, who I swear has dropped 5lbs. already!) The kids have taken to jumping off the 4' back wall into the deep end. They know no head first, only feet and cannonballs are OK :wink: The only thing that would have made them happier would have been a slide.


Well-known member
Apr 21, 2008
We opted for more of a sport pool, with a 5.5' deep section in the middle, 3.5' on one side, and 4.5' on the other. I thought I would miss not having a real "deep end", but in actuality, I do not. We end up playing basketball & volleyball which would be hard to impossible if we were just restricted to one end. It also makes it easy to sweep and vacuum. :-D