play pool, what is the difference between a play pool and a dive pool

In all of our years of designing and building the dream swimming pool there are many questions that seem to come up time and again. One of the most common misunderstandings in knowing what is the difference between a play pool and a dive pool.

What is the average size of a pool? Nationwide the average size of a play pool is about 15’ x 30’ or 86’ perimeter feet. The nationwide average of a typical diving pool is around 17’ x 34’ or 100 perimeter feet. When going to dive depth you have to remember to give yourself those extra few feet of length to have a gradual decline and not a sharp drop off. Not everyone has the budget to build a pool that can accommodate a diving board, volleyball play area and swimming area.

Play Pool up to 5-6’:


  • More popular over the last 5-10 years among all age groups
  • Easier to play volleyball or have groups hanging out together inside the pool.
  • Studies have shown that most people will spend about 80% of their time in the play area of a swimming pool
  • Heats faster than a dive pool (less gallons = faster heating)
  • Cost less $$

Let’s be honest, kids will jump and dive off of anything. Having more shallow areas surrounding the party can become a safety issue.
No diving!

Dive Pool 8’ +


  • Generally a larger pool, fits more people in and around.
  • Some use for exercise or particular recreation
  • Can live out the childhood dreams of diving off of a diving board


  • Cost more $$$ to build and to maintain. More steel, gunite, plaster, plumbing and of course water. That extra 2’ depth can cost thousands.
  • You will not be able to stand with your head above water in almost 2/3 of the pool unless you go BIG
  • Insurance may not allow or charge more
  • No volleyball or water basketball unless you have a pool that can accommodate both play area and dive area ($$$$$)

Would you like to find out more about the differences between a play pool and dive pool? Contact us today!

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