What’s a “sports pool”? What’s a “play pool”?

Unlike a traditional pool with a shallow end that transitions to an 8-foot deep end, a sports or play pool has two shallow ends and a slightly deeper section in the middle.

Typical configurations have depths of roughly 3-5-4 feet or 3.5-5.5-4 feet. These dimensions make it easier to stand in the water and engage in various activities.

For example, you can string a volleyball net across the middle (“deep”) area, and have players on each side compete on equal or comparable footing. These pools also provide a larger shallow end for children’s enjoyment.

Learn more about sports pools: 3 Features to Enhance Your Comfort & Convenience

What are the most space-efficient shapes for an in-ground pool?

In general, in-ground pools composed of straight-edge geometric forms—such as squares and rectangles—use space more efficiently than do free-form or curvilinear pools.

However, with the vast level of customization that’s possible with a gunite pool, other shapes may also work in compact backyards with unique property configurations or elevations.

Your designer will be able to guide you in selecting an optimal pool shape for your particular yard and preferences.

What are the most popular shapes for a gunite pool?

With a gunite pool’s design versatility, shape options are virtually unlimited.

Favorites fall into four broad categories: classic, Greco-Roman designs; straight-edge/geometric options such as rectangles or L-shapes; curvy, flowing silhouettes like a figure-8, “cloud,” and organic, free-form shapes; and custom configurations that mix curves and straight lines.

However, you can also request a modified version of any shape—even “set,” traditional ones like a Roman or a rectangle. Professional designers can surprise you with a creative, tailored shape.

What size in-ground pool should I get for a gunite pool? (concrete / shotcrete)

Along with your builder, you can determine a gunite pool size by considering available backyard space, desired pool shape, pool style, features, accessories, and plans for any outdoor amenities.

How your family plans to use a pool is also important: For example, if you want a pool for swimming laps or a pool with a diving board, a minimum length is typically required. Likewise, including a beach entry and a big custom spa for a family of six will dictate a specific length/depth requirements.

On the other hand, if you just want to jump in the water to cool off, a compact splash pool will suffice.

You can learn more here about planning pool size:

Swimming Pool Design Dimensions: 3 Key Initial Questions to Ask

Concrete Pools Ensure Best Versatility for Size Shape & Configuration