Chlorine Chaos: A March Madness-Type Bracket Of America’s Greatest Pools; Who Wins?


Chlorine Chaos: A March Madness-Type Bracket Of America’s Greatest Pools

By Ashleigh Shay

Last month, just before the college conference swimming championships, Swimming World’s Instagram channel launched its first tournament-style contest. This contest, modeled after the NCAA March Madness bracket, focused on the greatest pools in the United States, as opposed to college basketball teams. February 2022 saw the first Chlorine Chaos tournament.

Chlorine Chaos evolved out of a swimming pool photo gallery. In December, Swimming World’s Instagram channel featured iconic natatoriums from across the USA. The post was so well received that it evolved into a four-part series. At that point, we wanted to know which natatorium was our followers’ favorite, so the “tournament” was launched on Jan. 31 on Instagram and Facebook. All of the voting occurred on the Swimming World Instagram story.

The first round of voting featured pools facing off in pairs:

IUPUI vs. Maryland

Rosen Aquatics vs. Birmingham,

Georgia Tech vs. Arizona

University of Minneapolis-F&M

Greensboro vs. Princeton

Mission Viejo vs. Tennessee

Collegiate School Aquatic Center vs. The Long Center

Woollett vs. Ohio State

ISHOF vs. Rutgers

SPIRE vs. Indiana

Mecklenburg County vs. Texas

Rose Bowl Aquatic Center vs. UGA

Stanford vs. Nassau County

U.S. Olympic Training Center vs. University of Cincinnati

CHI Health Center vs. International Swim Center

Weyerhaeuser King County vs. Auburn.

After eight days of voting, the Saltwater 16 was chosen: IUPUI, Rosen Aquatic Center, Georgia Tech, Minneapolis, Greensboro, Mission Viejo, The Long Center, Woollett Aquatics, International Swimming Hall of Fame, Indiana, Texas, Rose Bowl Aquatics, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic pool, Stanford, CHI Health Center and Auburn.

The second round of voting concluded Feb. 10, with the Aquifer Eight selected: IUPUI, Georgia Tech, Greensboro, Woollett, ISHOF, Texas, Stanford and Chi Health. That led to a close Fresh Water Four battle among IUPUI, Greensboro, Texas and the CHI Health Center.

The final voting took place, Feb. 13, to decide the top two—IUPUI Natatorium (Indianapolis, Ind.) and the CHI Health Center, which has hosted the past four Olympic Trials. The CHI Health Center emerged as the swimmers’ choice for their favorite pool in the country: The first Chlorine Chaos champion!

During the exciting two weeks of Chlorine Chaos, the tournament accrued 41,455 votes. The original photo posts racked up 14,540 likes and 360 comments in all. The posts in total reached over 156,000 accounts and nearly 195,000 impressions. More than 1,000 people shared the posts with their friends as well.

Among the pools receiving honorable mention designation were Liberty Natatorium and Lewisville Aquatic Center.

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