Competition pools

Most swimming sport events are held in special competition swimming pools, which are either long course pools such as those used in the Olympic Games (50 m) or short course pools such as those used in the FINA World Swimming Championships (25 yards or 25 m but generally 25m). Competition pools have starting blocks from which the competitor can dive in, and possibly also touch-sensitive pads to electronically record the swimming time of each competitor. An Olympic-size swimming pool is the type of swimming pool used in the Olympic Games, where the race course is 50 metres in length. This is typically referred to as "long course", delineating it from "short course" which applies to competitions in pools that are 25 metres in length (typically, width of 50 metre pool). If touch panels are used in competition, then the distance between touch panels should be either 25 or 50 metres to qualify for FINA recognition. This means that Olympic pools are generally oversized, to accommodate touch panels used in competition. There must be two spaces 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) wide outside lanes 1 and 8 (in effect, two empty lanes).[1] The length of 50 metres (164 ft) must be between the touch pads at the end of each lane, if they are used.[1] If starting blocks are used, then there must be a minimum depth of 1.35 metres from between 1.0 metres from the end of the pool to at least 6.0 metres from the end of the pool. At all other points, the minimum depth is 1.0 metres.[2] If the pool is used for Olympic Games or World Championships, then the minimum depth is increased to 2.0 metres.In Swimming, the term Short Course (abbreviated SC) is used to identify a pool that is 25 metres (or 25 yards) in length. The term is also often included i meet names when conducted in a short course pool. "Short course" is the second type of pool configuration currently recognized by FINA and other swimming bodies for pool competition; the other/primary pool length being "long course", where the pool is 50 metres in length. Olympic and the World Championships are conducted in a long course pool. In the United States, the term "short course" is more commonly applied to 25 yards (22.86 m) competition, which is more common in that country. Short course yards is generally abbreviated as "SCY" to differentiate it from short course metres (SCM). The US national federations, USA Swimming[1] and United States Masters Swimming,[2] both maintain SCY USA records, FINA does not currently recognize records set in SCY, as well as SCM records. USA college (including NCAA competition) and high school swimming are traditionally swum SCY. Short course meter competitions are also denoted by listing of the actual metre distance: "25m" (note: within swimming, a space is not placed between the number and the meter "m").[3] Short course records are traditionally faster than those set on long course, as push off the wall gives extra speed. The FINA World Swimming Championships (25m)[1] or "Short Course Worlds" (as they are sometimes known[citation needed]), is an international swimming competition. It is swum in a short course (25m) pool, and has been held in the years when FINA has not held its main World Championships (currently this means in even years).[2] Unlike the FINA World Championships, this championship is swimming-only (the World Championships feature all 5 Aquatics disciplines), and is contested in a short course, 25-meter pool (rather than a long course, 50-meter pool).