Friday, May 6, 2011

Cool Water: Yale's Kiphuth Pool

Welcome to a randomly appearing feature here on the Swim Brief. In Cool Water we'll take you to different pools around the world and tell you why they're cool. Want your pool featured on the Swim Brief? E-mail

This week we feature Yale's Kiphuth Exhibition Pool, one of the oldest competition pools in the United States.

Kipwho? The Pool is named after Robert J.H.  Kiphuth, the legendary Yale swimming coach who won four NCAA titles while in New Haven. 

Sight Lines:  Amazingly, the pool seats 2,187 people, an astounding amount for such a small (by modern standards) facility. According to Yale's website, "rise at an angle of 45 degrees and offer every spectator a perfect view of the action below" and "The architects designed the seating so it was entered by a series of tunnels, through each of which no more than 35 people need pass". Go there for a competition and you will likely wish that more pools used this seating arrangement. 

Get Cozy: While the arrangement of having everyone angled towards the pool makes for an improved fan experience, the architects didn't leave much "deck space". Swimmers on deck will also find themselves quite literally on top of the action. One wrong step and you'll find yourself very wet.

She looks great for 80- In 2012 the pool will be 80 years old. And although it seems somewhat odd and outdated, I hope its around for many more.


  1. Come on, Yale needs a new pool if they are serious about their swimming programs.

  2. The question is, where? There isn't a real logical piece of land around the current athletic facilities for the standard 8 lane 50m pool that Harvard and Princeton have.

  3. The Kiphuth pool is definintely one of a kind and I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time coaching at a Zone meet there back in the 90's. The amazing thing about the facility in which it is located is that a 50 meter pool is located above it on the 7th floor!

  4. Played water polo at Kiphuth Pool in early 1980's; outstanding venue. The sight lines from the seating are terrific and the entry to the seating through the tunnels is unique and fantastic, like entering a opera house. Outstanding design. At the time Yale had a guy we (UMass/Amherst) called the baby bull; a real brute with a bad attitude and a baby face.