Standards for competition pools: 25 or 50 m (82 or 164 ft) long and at least 1.35 m (4.4 ft) deep. Competition pools are generally indoors and heated to enable their use all year round, and to more easily comply with the regulations regarding temperature, lighting, and automatic officiating equipment.
It must be 50 m (160 ft) in length by 25 m (82 ft) wide, divided into eight lanes of 2.5 m (8.2 ft) each plus two areas of 2.5 m (8.2 ft) at each side of the pool. The water must be kept at 25-28 C (77-82 F) and the lighting level at greater than 1500 lux. Depth must be at least 2 m (6.6 ft), and there are also regulations for color of lane rope, positioning of backstroke flags (5 meters from each wall), and so on. Pools claimed to be "Olympic pools" do not always meet these regulations, as FINA cannot police use of the term. Touchpads are mounted on both walls for long course meets and each end for short course.
A pool may be referred to as fast or slow, depending on its physical layout. Some design considerations allow the reduction of swimming resistance making the pool faster: namely, proper pool depth, elimination of currents, increased lane width, energy absorbing racing lane lines and gutters, and the use of other innovative hydraulic, acoustic and illumination designs.