About Swimmers Guide

This section of the SwimmersGuide.com website provides a brief and history of the site, its privacy policy, information about its ownership, descriptions of its principal features, descriptions of the information in each section of the site, and some information about how you can help keep the site going.

What is Swimmers Guide?

SwimmersGuide.com or just "Swimmers Guide" is a world-wide directory of full-size, year-round swimming pools developed for adult fitness swimmers who travel. It was the first and remains the most comprehensive and accurate swimming pool directory website on the Internet.

Initially published in book form in 1993 and limited to pools in the United States, with the creation and popularization of the Internet, the directory went online and international shortly after the publication of the second edition. Starting in March, 1996, with just 3,300 listings in the United States, the list has grown to 24,924 listings in 227 countries around the world.

Swimmers Guide was originally created for traveling, adult, lap swimmers. The criteria for listing on the site, which can be found in the site's FAQ, were developed with that target audience's requirements in mind. The site may include a few facilities that are not particularly suitable to lap swimming or may not fully meet the listing requirements but, as a general rule, the vast majority of them should be good for a reasonable workout.

For instructions on how to use Swimmers Guide, see the site's FAQ

What is Swimmers Guide's Privacy Policy?


Within the site, "cookies" are used only to enable some of its features to work. The site does not save any information about users in these cookies.

We include tens of thousands of hypertext links to other sites - those of the facilities we list, various aquatic sports clubs, commercial map sites, Facebook pages, and many other Internet resources that we think may be helpful. We have not investigated the privacy policies of those sites and can make no representations about their privacy policies.

We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our Web site. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click HERE.

When you place your mouse over a hypertext link on any of our pages, you can tell where the link goes by looking at the bottom bar of your Web browser. If the "target" URL begins with "https://www.SwimmersGuide.com/", you know that you're going to a page within our site that's covered by our privacy policy. If it shows anything other than that, the link belongs to someone else and we cannot take responsibility for other sites owners' behavior.


If you write to us, send us information about a new pool or an update to the information we have about a current listing, we require that you tell us your name and email address, but neither your identity nor your e-mail address will ever be revealed to anyone else, unless you specifically request it. We ordinarily send a brief thank you note or a follow-up question about something you've told us, usually within a day or two of receiving your communication.

Location Service:

If you have enabled (or not blocked) your device or browser's location service, Swimmers Guide uses that service to determine where you are when you access the site and automatically display a list of the listings closest to you. The site does not save or retain any information used in conjunction with location services. (Location services is more completely described in the FAQ-Instructions section of the site).

Search Queries:

If you search for a listing using the fill-in search box on the home page, Swimmers Guide does not save or retain any of your search queries.

Link Following:

The site does not follow or track the links within its pages, whether to other pages on the site or to other websites entirely, in any way.Other data:We collect no information about you (other than your name and email address in limited circumstances, as noted above), so we have none of your personal, financial, or demographic information. If you become a victim of identity theft or a phishing attack, it will not be as a result - direct or indirect - of your visits to or information sharing with Swimmers Guide.

Other data:

We collect no information about you (other than your name and email address in limited circumstances, as noted above), so we have none of your personal, financial, or demographic information. If you become a victim of identity theft or a phishing attack, it will not be as a result - direct or indirect - of your visits to or information sharing with Swimmers Guide.

Who owns Swimmers Guide?

The SwimmersGuide.com domain and website are registered to, owned, and operated by William J. ("Bill") Haverland, of Raleigh, North Carolina, who is solely responsible for its content. My name and email address appear on every page of the site. Additional contact information is available through the "Whois" domain name registry. I'm proud of what I've accomplished with this website and I don't hide behind an anonymous registration or from direct user contact.

What's in a Swimmers Guide facility listing?

Every Swimmers Guide listing includes:

A "Facility Overview" with basic location and contact information: The facility name; its official website URL, if we have it (the URL is actually a clickable hypertext link to the facility's website); its street address; the Area/City code and telephone number; and the facility's email address, if we have it (the email address is a clickable "mailto" hypertext link). We highly recommend that users check out the facilities' own websites for the most current hours and prices; we update price information as often as we can, but, depending on the pool's location, it can be anywhere from four to six years between price updates in our listings. Pool websites also often include photographs of the facilities, which can be helpful.

The "Adult Admission Price & Policy" section of a listing shows the cost of an adult admission, if single visit admissions are offered by the facility and if we know the cost. If we know about special prices or preferential admission arrangements for members of affiliated facilities, guests staying at nearby hotels, or members of affiliated organizations, you'll find that in this section, as well. We show prices in the currency of the pool's country, using standard, three-character abbreviations so you can look up the equivalent cost in your own currency without too much difficulty. Price information is annotated with the date the information was obtained or listing was last reviewed [Month, Year]. Since we don't get to review every listing very often, price information is likely to get out-of-date - if possible, check the pools' own websites for the most current information.

The "Full-size, Year-Round Pools and Boards" section lists each of the pools at the facility that we consider suitable for lap swimming (see the FAQ section of the site for more information about listing criteria), as well as a description of the number and heights of the diving boards and platforms at the facility. Depending on the type of facility and the source of our information, pool descriptions may include the length, width, depth (minimum and maximum), number of lanes, configuration (rectangular, L-shaped, T-shaped, free-form, oval, etc.); whether the pool is indoors, outdoors, or indoor/outdoor; and the usual temperature of the water. At a minimum, however, you'll always find the length and indoor/outdoor location.

"Location" information, beyond the pool's address, always includes the facility's latitude and longitude, in decimal format, and a link to a Google Maps page that pinpoints the location of the pool. In some cases, driving directions or details to help find the pool may also be included, although we're reducing use of that information since expanding the use of latitude and longitude and Google Maps links in the database. It is worth mentioning that Google Maps pages usually include photographs of the pools, themselves, and "street view" images showing the exteriors of the facilities, which may make it easier for first-time visitors to find them.)

Many listings include the names of, and clickable links to, the websites of competitive aquatic "Teams That Use This Facility" (Masters and Youth swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Synchronized Swimming, Triathlon, etc.)

Others include "Reviews" of the pools sent by people who use the site and have swum in them. Note that we did not begin including the dates we received reviews until some time in 2012 or 2013. We now include the month and year each review is received so, if you see one without a date, it's pretty old and facts observed by the reviewer may have changed since then.

Then there are the "Facility Notes" that contain information that visiting swimmers may want to know but that doesn't belong in any of the other sections. For example, a growing number of listings include links to the facilities' official Facebook pages. (We don't link to unofficial Facebook pages, they're usually neither reliable nor helpful.) Many of the notes include information about other pools at the facility that many not qualify for inclusion in the main facility description area.

We plan to add "City Notes", "County/Region Notes", "State Notes", and "Country Notes", where we hope to be able to provide information about finding pools or using them that will be helpful for people who may not know the area or may want to be able to check local resources for pools that do not otherwise qualify for a listing, e.g., summer pools, thermal baths, spas, and the like. Those sections will appear after the "Facility Notes" in each section. Watch for them.

Perhaps most importantly, every listing and every component of every listing is personally reviewed by Swimmers Guide's editor, before it gets onto the site. Do we make mistakes? Sure! Do official websites change URLs? You betcha! That's why just about every field in every listing has an "Edit" button. (There's no edit button in the Reviews section, but if you disagree with someone else's review, click on the "Add Review" button to tell us why and we'll amend or delete the one you object to, or post your comments as a separate review, as a counterpoint.) If we've made a mistake, if the situation has changed, if the pool has closed, if a web link has gone broken, if we've missed out on something important that should be included in a listing, click on the Edit button and a little window will prompt you to send us an update or correction. (Concerned that we'll abuse your email address? See our Privacy Policy, above.)

What is NOT in a Swimmers Guide facility listing?

As a general rule, Swimmers Guide listings do not include pool schedules. Pool schedules change, often several times a year. With as many listings as we have, there is no way we could keep up with all those changes and do everything else we do. So we encourage you to follow the links to the websites or Facebook pages included in their Swimmers Guide listings. (If you don't speak, read, or write the languages they're written in the Chrome browser will often offer an instant translation of the page; if you don't use Chrome, use the Google Translation Website by copying the pool's website's URL into the translator on the left, then clicking on the URL in the box on the right.)

Accessing the pools' websites and/or Facebook pages is a great first step; we also recommend that you call the pool, before you head out for a swim. Equipment failures, unscheduled activities, and children's "potty accidents" may necessitate a closure that doesn't make it onto the pool's website. If you're in a place where you don't speak the language, ask your hotel's concierge or your local host to make the call for you.

You won't find any photographs in Swimmers Guide, either. We have no way to manage authorizations to publish photographs or other copyrightable property and we'd hate to be sued by a the owner of a photograph sent to us by someone less sensitive to the issue than we. Note again that most Google Maps location pages include photographs of the pools, so when you click on a targeted Google Maps link in one of our listings, chances are you'll be able to see what the pool looks like. The pools' own websites and their own official Facebook pages also often include photographs of the pools. With very little effort, you'll almost always be able to see what the pool looks like. A Google search specifying images and videos may also helpful.

Other sections of the Swimmers Guide website:

Along with the "Home" page, and this "About Us" section there are four other sections in the site: "FAQs"; "What's New"; "Add-A-Pool"; "Stats"; and "Donate", all accessed by links at the top of this and every other page on the site.

The FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) section contains questions and answers about how to use the site, facility listing criteria, listing content, and the operation of the site. To be honest, we are not often asked some of these questions, but the section presents a deep dive into the data that we think may be of interest to our users. We're always happy to answer users' questions, but we hope you'll consult that section before sending us an email to ask a question that has already been addressed in the FAQ.

The What's New section has a running commentary about the site that is usually posted on the first day of the month. In it we describe what we've been doing in terms of maintaining and updating the site, what we're planning to do in the upcoming month, and it provides a "snapshot" of the site's statistics (the number of listings on the site in total, the number of pools on the site in total, and the number of listings in each of the "top 10" countries as of the last day of the previous month) as of the date posted. If something really important happens in the middle of the month, we may put up a special edition, but mostly it's a monthly progress update.

The Add A Pool section pretty well describes itself. If you know a pool that qualifies for a listing in Swimmers Guide, go to this section and complete as much as you can of the questionnaire. Please, please read the information on the introductory page before completing the form.

The Stats section has a few pages of statistics we follow to give an idea of just how comprehensive Swimmers Guide is. Our "key" statistics (number of facilities, number of pools, number of cities with listings, and number of countries with listings), kept in real time, appear at the bottom of every page of the site. The Stats section is intended to go beyond that to include the number of facilities with links to their official websites, number of swim teams and clubs included on the site, and number of listings in every country on the site.

The Donate section tells you how you can contribute financially to the site. We've spent tens of thousands of hours to collect the information on the Swimmers Guide website and tens of thousands of dollars to have programmers write the code that makes the site work. We are not above begging. If you can't send information, we'll happily accept your financial contributions through our Donate page. You can make a one-time donation or set up a regular monthly subscription. No contribution is too small, too large, or too frequent!

How can you help?

We actively solicit the help of anyone who can help us keep our data as complete and up to date as possible. In addition to the "Add A Pool" section accessed from the top row toolbar of every page, there's an "Edit" button next to every data point in every listing, and an "Add..." button over some sections where you can tell us more. Click on an Edit button to let us know when we’ve gotten something wrong or the facts have changed. Click on an Add button to send comments and reviews, or to tell us about more pools or swim teams at the location. If you prefer, use the email address at the bottom of every page for comments and suggestions.

First and foremost, before you do anything else, please go to the listing for your "home" pool and give it a good once-over: Is the listing accurate and up to date? Has there been a name change? How about the Website URL? Does it still work? What about that address? Have the city fathers changed the name of the street - or the "house number"? Is the main telephone number (and city or area code) still the same as when we last looked at the listing? Is the admission situation still the same? (If you're a member of the facility, you can still ask whether the admission information is correct at the front desk on your next visit.) If you're a serious swimmer, you know the temperature of the water in the swimming pool - do we have it right?

You don’t have to be the owner to send us information about a new pool or a correction or an update to an existing listing – and we don’t expect you to take ownership of the listing when you do. If you find something in a listing is not correct or if you know the pool has closed, please tell us so we can correct the error or remove the listing. We won’t bug you a year from now for an update – we know you may have been there only once.

If we've missed a qualifying facility you know about, tell us about it so we can include it. Click on the "Add A Pool" text in the menu at the top of any page. In the first page of that section, you’ll see the minimum criteria for a pool to be included on the site. On the following pages you’ll be led through a series of questions to enter the information about the proposed listing. Don't be put off by the number of questions we ask, it's not a test and there will be no grade. Just tell us what you know – we may have to do a little work to round out the information needed to add a listing to the site but you would be surprised how many listings we've been able to add to the site based on nothing more than the facility's name and city. If you can give us more than that, however, we will be most grateful.


This page was last updated on April 14, 2020.