The Pool

Competitive swimming is swum both indoors and outdoors, in the a swimming pool. Depending on the size of the pool, there can be anywhere from 4-10 lanes, separated by a lane line - a painful bruiser for swimmers who hit while swimming.

At each end of the pool are flags which signify to a swimming that they are close to the end of the pool - this is used in backstroke events as a swimmer is unable to see the end of the pool on their back. Underneath the water, at each end of the pool, in each lane, are markers which are used to help the swimmer when they are at the end of the pool and will need to complete a flip turn to continue their stroke going the other direction.

Out of the water, at one end of the pool, are starting blocks which are used to start a race. These blocks are what swimmers dive off, giving them added height to help them push off into the water. They are used by all strokes to dive off, except backstroke. In backstroke, the swimmer starts in the water, using the bar which runs along the side of block. The backstroke swimmer grips this bar to push themselves backwards, in an arc, into the water.