# Depth of pool for playing volleyball?

millermackJuly 31, 2008

Hi, we are building a long rectangular pool and spa with a couple of main objectives in mind. The pool will be 18 feet wide and 56 feet long---which will be perfect for lap swimming. We also want to use the pool for volleyball and basketball, but primarily volleyball. The deep end of the pool is going to be 7 feet. The shallow end is going to be either 3.5 feet or 4 feet.

For the center area of the pool, we were thinking of what depth we should have to play volleyball? Since we have so much length to work with, our designer suggested dropping from 3.5 to 5 feet on the shallow end, then rising back up to 4 feet in depth for a length of 20 feet or so, then dropping off to the 7 foot deep end. He would put in two sets of drains if we did this.

1. What is the perfect depth for a volleyball play area in a pool? 4 feet? 4.5 feet?

2. Should we just have a straight shelf area (long extension of 4 or 4.5 foot depth) rather than this approach he recommended?

Thanks for any suggestions and thoughts.

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zookeeper93

We had our shallow end built for volley ball or what ever water games. We almost made a mistake and had it dug too deep. It was one of the excavation crew who, in disregarding the rules, spoke up and told me I was going too deep. It was originally drawn at 3.6 feet to 4 feet and back to 3.6 but my husband thought that sounded too shallow. So, he told the PB who told the excavators to go 4 feet/5 feet/4 feet.

The worker was actually a water volleyball player at the university in our town, working for the summer. I was glad he spoke up. So, I approached the actual dig guy, and tell him the depth I want. He too told me I was digging too deep and was so relieved "I changed my mind". He was following the "don't talk to the client about their pool" rule. They were able to put some dirt back for the corrected height.

The deepest part up next to the net should be 4 feet, sloping back to 3.6 feet at the ends. Does not sound deep but it is. If you have a 6' person at the net, with a 4.6 ft deep part, only 18 inches of that person will be above water. That is too deep for volley ball and will be difficult to play.

So on a rectangular pool, my guess is that you will need to go 3.6 to 4 back to 3.6 for your 20 feet. Then start your decent. Our shallow length is 27 feet but we also have a tan ledge & bench.

We have a very steep/severe slope from the shallow to the deep (8 1/2 ft) for diving.

Hope that helps and good luck

August 1, 2008 at 8:11AM
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millermack

Thank you this is very useful information and quite helpful.

So I should create a volleyball play area with a depth of 4 feet for say 10 feet on either side of the net, but I am still wondering on the shallow end if I should drop a segment of the pool down to 5 feet for a second "deeper" play area. On one side of the net we would be dropping from 4 feet down to 7 feet at the deepest portion. The other end of the pool starts at 3.5 feet. Remember that our pool is going to be about 56 feet long.

August 1, 2008 at 5:50PM
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green1340

We were looking at a 4-6-4 depth on our pool. I take it this may be a little too deep for volleyball. Any other opinions on depth before we make a final decision.

August 2, 2008 at 10:54AM
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huskyridor

quote" We were looking at a 4-6-4 depth on our pool. "quote

Whatever you do, DO NOT go 6' deep in the center. If you want a 6' depth put it on a deep end only.

quote" with a 4.6 ft deep part, only 18 inches of that person will be above water. That is too deep for volley ball and will be difficult to play. "quote
I disagree.
IMO, the best depth's for volleyball is 4 to 4 1/2 to 4.

Millermack,
I'd suggest 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 over a runout of 30' then sloping to 7' over the next 15' to 18', the remaining 8 to 11 feet would slope back up to 6'9" at the pools edge. This will deliver a very flat floor over 30' and a net at 4' depth. Place the taller players in the center of the pool and the shorter ones on the shallow end.

Zookeeper,
I'm sorry to inform you, but your deep end is a feet first jumping only well. There's no way I'd allow my kids or guests to dive head first into that deepend. You have no runout distance for torpedo penetration. A good rule of thumb for diving is 8' forward of the wall at an 8' deep and 20' forward of the wall the water is 5' deep. I'd be curious to know what your depth's are at those runouts. Your picture number 3 is rather deceptive when I try to make a depth at runout estimation.
You've got a beautiful pool under construction.
I'm not trying to pick apart your deep end, rather I'm pointing out my take on your objective for it based on what I've seen in your picture and a lifetime career of building pools.

See ya,
Kelly

August 3, 2008 at 10:40PM
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zookeeper93

Kelly,

I think my pics must be deceiving. When we talked with out PB designer, we specifically wanted a diving pool with volleyball/play area. The length of the shallow end is 27.6 feet long. The whole of the shallow is not 4' but just the volleyball area. It does go to 5 feet before the floor break. The volleyball area is actually slanted, with the net going cady corner across. Clear as mud?

I am not sure of the pool lingo and breakouts but I will try to answer your questions. You got me worried, as I did want a diving pool, not a jumping in feet first pool. You had me worried so I got my DH and we went out and measured with a string going across and tape measure going down.

8 feet forward from the wall, it is 8.6 feet deep. at 19 feet, it is 7.6 and at 22' forward of the wall, it is 6.6 (from floor to midway up the waterline tile) Is this sufficient? If not, my PB is in serious trouble.

August 3, 2008 at 11:27PM
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huskyridor

quote" Is this sufficient? "quote

Yes.
You've exceeded them easily.
The picture is deceptive because I can't see the additional deepend. Your depth's at runout are awesome for diving.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to place you in a panic.

See ya,
Kelly

August 3, 2008 at 11:40PM
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zookeeper93

Hi ya Kelly,

There are two things that I wish I could really do well. One is to sing well and the other is to take good photos. I do neither of them well. ;)
I need to get on the roof right when the sun comes up and see if I can get a photo that way of the whole thing.

I did panic last night. Everything has gone relatively smooth and not being able to dive in head first would be a big problem for me.

Thanks for the reassurance. I feel much better. (Sigh of relief.)

August 4, 2008 at 7:06AM
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zookeeper93

Just to follow up on this thread.
We now have water in the pool-I wanted to go over the water depth.

Our shallow end is 27.6 feet in length, end to end. it is 3.6 to 4 in the middle (At the net) and back to 3.6 from one end to the other. I cannot imagine going deeper.

I am 5.5, so at the net, only 1 foot 5 inches of me is above water from the top of my head. My 10 year old, who is 59 1/2 inches has even less of his body above water.

My 11 year old daughter, who is one of the taller girls at 5' 2", and her friends play league volleyball. It is very challenging for her at the net. None of the shorter girls can even play at the net. It is hard to jump at the net when the water level us above your arm pits or under your chin.

If your plans are for taller adults to play, 4.6 might be the way to go for your shallowest ends. If your plans are for kids to be able to play, 4.6 will be waaaaayyyyy toooooo deep for volleyball. Even water keepaway poses it's challenge. It is hard to move fast in deep water. The 13 year old who is nearing 5' 8" has no trouble but he is waaaaay taller than most of his friends who have the same issues as the younger ones.

And when I am old, I think I will still enjoy the shallow end. My mother, who has battled meleanoma, breast cancer, & idopathic pulmonary fibrosis, (and is 5.1) does extremely well for no impact exercise while conditioning her muscles and building cardio health doing modified water arobics.

August 30, 2008 at 8:56AM
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huskyridor

The depth elevations I suggested for Volleyball are the maximum depths and based on adults. The depth's for diving are the minimum depths and are based on all swimmers of any age or size.

See ya,
Kelly

August 31, 2008 at 11:52AM
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cgpilot

My pool is being dug as I type this. And this thread has me concerned on the depth of our pool. We are building a sport pool at 35' length going from 3.5' to 5' to 4' in depth. We are planning for a volleyball net (not sure how much my three kids and their friends will use it). Pool builder suggested that the center be 6' (too deep for volleyball) because since we are in Houston the water will get too hot during the summer. I dont want 6', but I don't want hot water either; any suggestions?

September 26, 2008 at 9:26AM
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