Jan 28, 2005 7:23 PM
explain the distance

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Can someone explain what the distances are in swimming. Isn't one lap 25 yards? Where does the meter come in? How many laps is a mile? Sorry not very knowledgeable on this.
There are three standard lengths of pools, one is 25 yards in length which high schools and colleges use. The other is 25 meters in length, which probably came from Europe. The other is the Olympic size pool 50 meters. The mile in a 25 yard pool is 1650 yards (66 lengths of the pool), which is not really a mile but is as close as they can come in 25 yard divisions. I think a mile is really 1760 yards. A mile swam in a 25 or 50 meter pool is 1500 meters (60 lengths in a 25 meter and 30 lenght's in a 50 meter). again a real mile is actually 1609.3 meters.
A lap is there and back so two lengths of the pool is a lap. 50 yards in a 25 yard pool.
Thanks very much for the info. Very helpful
When nonswimmer talk about laps, they are talking about 2 lengths of the pool. When swimmers talk about laps, they are talking about one length of the pool. 66 "laps" to a mile is what you commonly hear (although it is true that the other way would make sense).
Lap/Length
In swimming, a lap may refer to either one or two length of the pool. A length is the distance from one side of the pool to the other, typically 25 yards or 50 meters. Coaches and swimmers may wish to communicate in terms of "lengths" rather than "laps" to eliminate any confusion over intended distances.
A mile in a 25 yd pool is actually 70.4 laps. Which will equal 1760 yds.
Again, 70.4 lengths would make sense mathematically. The longest common pool event is the 1650 (or 1500 meters), which swimmers refer to as "the mile." This would be 66 LAPS, and you will hear it that way. The long course event (1500) has 30 laps. There is also a 60 lap SCM 1500. Both "the mile" and "the lap" are false terms to the technical observer, but it is the convention in the swimming world... My advice is to stick with the convention, or get into petty arguments with every swimmer you meet. It's your choice.
What do I know, I only been swimming since 1974.
Typically, in competitive swimming training, 66 laps or lengths (whichever term you prefer) is considered a mile in a 25 yard length pool.
Ha ha... this issue simply will not die. Somebody give me a gun.
"In swimming, a lap and a length can be used interchangeably. A length is once up. A lap can be two lengths, or one length". Did I get the explanation correct?
Not a "swimmer" so lets keep this simple. If you don't end up in the same place you started, then it ain't a lap.
p.s. The pool at my gym is 27 yards long. Are they trying to be difficult?
Perhaps your gym pool is 27.34 yards long. That would make it a 25 meter pool.
If so, that would mean each lap is 25 meters. For swimmers, a lap is one length of the pool. You may want it to be two lengths so that it fits nicely into your dictionary definition of a lap, but it's not.
xraytriguy,
I have two shotguns. I'll give you one. Then, I'll shoot you. Then you can shoot me. ...anything to get out of this argument.
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LOL... I hear ya, John!
Yes, there is some debate over how many lengths (laps) is a mile.
I always work to 64 in a 25 metre pool, and 76 in a 25 yard pool, thats what my Dad always taught me!
To me, a lap is one length of a pool, but I understand that the definition in the English Dictionary would tell me I am wrong!