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Why are pools ineligible but all types of athletic fields are?

Both community pools and baseball fields, soccer fields, football fields, basketball courts, etc. encourage the community to come together and become more close knit as well as encouraging exercise. Why have pools suddenly been excluded from eligibility?



  • WillowWinters-PGOWillowWinters-PGO Posts: 40 ✭✭

    Yeah, it's got me completely flummoxed. I mean, it makes me doubt voting for all these athletic fields but those seem very much on the table, and I don't want to tank my agreements on principle.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 5,063 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Because Niantic said pools are no longer eligible and they won't provide us an explanation why.

  • Gazzas89-PGOGazzas89-PGO Posts: 2,595 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Probably safety concerns

  • GearGlider-PGOGearGlider-PGO Posts: 1,334 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Probably this. It was really popular to put portals in the middle of pools to make them better anchors. Since the middle of bodies of water don't have safe pedestrian access according to Niantic's standards, they probably just nixxed them all together.

  • WillowWinters-PGOWillowWinters-PGO Posts: 40 ✭✭

    That is very interesting and something I didn't realize, only playing PGo. I'm still not going to say "answered" because I think that it would have been easy to just put a caveat on pool submissions and that it wasn't necessary to nix them completely. You could be right, but I'd like to see if anyone else has any input.

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 1,055 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If it was safety concerns why would they have exemption of a pool that an olympic swimmer trained in? It wouldn't be any safer...

  • AisforAndis-INGAisforAndis-ING Posts: 1,059 Ambassador

    Not all pools were made ineligible nor was this the reasoning for the ones that were deemed against criteria. It doesnt make sense that pools were neutered due to safety concerns when it was specifically clarified that pools can be eligible under certain circumstances, like if an Olympian trained there.

    Frankly it is completely asinine that pools meet multiple different sections of valid criteria (gathering place, athletic space, and sometimes even unique architecture) but they were arbitrarily deemed ineligible regardless of all of this unless they have, of all things, historical value. It makes absolutely no sense, it is contrary to the entire guidelines and the spirit of its frequent open-endedness, and as far as I know, it is the only instance where they have acknowledged that it *does* meet the guidelines but shouldnt be accepted anyways. It seems to me that amongst people who have exercised even the most basic levels of critical thinking about the clarifications that it is universally regarded as a bad ruling on Niantic's part.

  • WillowWinters-PGOWillowWinters-PGO Posts: 40 ✭✭

    I think you are all making good points, but I refuse to close this topic - say it's "answered" until I get a real answer from one of the admins. I don't want to tag them. I'm new here, and I doubt that's done. I do want to keep this topic alive until they take notice - will you help me do that?

  • AbinitioZ-PGOAbinitioZ-PGO Posts: 34 ✭✭✭

    Pool are “attractive nuisance” and whoever has the property is legally responsible if someone is injured. Niantic would have “owned” the virtual “property” (AR wayspot) that enticed people to walk with their phones near the edge of the pools. It’s reasonably foreseeable that someone walking with their face down staring at their phone may fall and drown in a pool. Basically Niantic is trying not to stir the pot on the legal property issues involved with AR, and how waypost AR placed in certain places (remember the class action lawsuit) will cause chaos and millions in legal fees

    Ps: All the Olympic pools I’ve been to have a life guard on duty and often have surveillance. The generic community pools, usually no.

  • PoMaQue-PGOPoMaQue-PGO Posts: 252 ✭✭✭✭

    I asked this question in the past as well on this forum - no official answer received.

    Citing safety concerns is too easy I think, as our pools are nearly all indoors - meaning you can nominate the overall building, just like any sports center.

    Because no one understands the reasoning behind it, pools are still Wayspots everywhere I look and new ones get accepted as well.

  • Jeroenix-INGJeroenix-ING Posts: 401 ✭✭✭✭


    Are "All types of athletic fields" really accepted? NIA said something about generic fields in a past AMA on a question about rating fields with/without signs:

    "NIA OPS states that signs are preferred, even if they are somewhat uninteresting and generic photos of Athletic Fields can be given a one star."

    Has this changed?

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 1,055 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There was further advice - just needs something man-made e.g. goal posts

  • Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 3,493 Ambassador

    From Potentially Confusing Nominations

    Additional Examples and Guidelines

    • Athletic fields - Eligible, as long as they are publicly accessible. If the fields are marked by signs, submit the signs as Wayspots. Also, ensure that the Wayspot appears to be at least 40 meters away from a private residence.

    It's hard to tell from some of the confusing ways guides and AMAs have been made, but I believe the response you are referring to was more towards needing some sort of "permanent" structure installed and not just a picture of a grassy field.

    From November 2018 AMA

    Q31: in the sports field clarification from last AMA, there was quite a bit of chaos concerning whether it was intended that a sports field without a sign could or should be given less than 5 stars. Many thought that it was could rather than should because most sports fields can be easily verified by google maps or photospheres; and the requirement of a sign disqualifies anywhere between 50-80% of sports fields in any given town often depending upon the affluence of a town. That would in effect punish rural communities most of all being that they tend to be the least affluent. A little more clarification there may be necessary. Could suggests that Niantic is aware of the reality that there is a problem with rogue reviewers/reviewers not up to date with the guidelines, while should seems to run contrary to the spirit of the game and the current mode suggesting that Niantic desires more POI rather than fewer; as well as aiding the rural communities in gaining more POI.

    A31: NIA OPS input is, “There needs to be a physical object that ties to the Portal, so players know where to expect it to be. Middle of a sports field is usually not a good location.”

    Most sports or athletic fields are acceptable. Horseshoe pits, outdoor table tennis, netball and pickleball courts, and other ballfield backstops typically make excellent nominations.

    Signage is preferred as it helps indicate permanence and correct name of the field.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 5,063 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you are looking for an official answer why pools are ineligible, you are never going to get it. Niantic never explains whey they make specific decisions on what is and is no eligible. It's just better to accept it and just move on.

  • WillowWinters-PGOWillowWinters-PGO Posts: 40 ✭✭

    Well, I consider all of the types of athletic fields that I mentioned in my first post to require some sort of line markings or goalposts. I, myself, give low marks to open fields. To me, they're no different than a natural feature.

  • WillowWinters-PGOWillowWinters-PGO Posts: 40 ✭✭

    I've never seen a community pool that didn't have a fence around it. Someone would have to be pretty dense to drown in a wayspot like this.

  • Megarodent-PGOMegarodent-PGO Posts: 2 ✭✭

    I also wondered why. The safety aspect is a good point. To me this means something affiliated with the pool such as the clubhouse or a sign should be eligible.

  • patsufredo-PGOpatsufredo-PGO Posts: 4,097 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just a question. If the pools are ineligible for safety reasons, then how about other objects near the pool (i.e. entrance gate or sign of the pool itself, or a statue near of it)?

  • patsufredo-PGOpatsufredo-PGO Posts: 4,097 ✭✭✭✭✭

    And I mean, something like this:

    This one is an entrance gate of local swimming pool (should have nominate the plaque instead, I think), and it's located outside of pool area.

  • Sugarstarzkill-PGOSugarstarzkill-PGO Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I *personally* don't like the ruling on pools either. As everyone else has said, Niantic has completely dodged explaining this very well. If Niantic would actually give us some kind of cognizant REASON that'd be really appreciated.

    If I'm being honest- sometimes when we get "clarifications" on things (here and even on the older AMAs sometimes) it SEEMS like they are the opinion of one or a small group of people, or it is a response given off the cuff with minimal thought put into it. So it makes me wonder if they really thought this one through. Heck, we have gotten conflicting "clarifications" several times just on these forums. I don't fault Casey or the other employees that work with the community. I think they're doing the best they can. But it can sure be confusing at times.

  • WillowWinters-PGOWillowWinters-PGO Posts: 40 ✭✭

    I haven't given much thought to objects inside a swimming community. I mean, if there were a gorgeous work of art I don't know why it wouldn't override the general pool ruling. I don't know what these plaques say or their significance l, but if they would qualify on a building, I think they should on a poolhouse. I don't know if the rules even say they don't...

  • Goddess1974-INGGoddess1974-ING Posts: 217 ✭✭✭✭

    Unless the pool in question has historical significance like a famous athlete trained at the pool for the Olympics it's no longer acceptable according to the guidelines.

    It's because children are in swim gear and if an agent or trainer is in the public pool or any other type pool proximity it does not look good for them to be there with phones in hand.

  • Sugarstarzkill-PGOSugarstarzkill-PGO Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is a possible reason but it conflicts with other things that are allowed. Water park rides are allowed. So are splash pads in public parks (where kids are running around in bathing suits). If this were their reason, it seems like they would say to reject anywhere that kids might be in a bathing suit. In addition to this, playgrounds are generally easy approvals. Kids aren't generally in bathing suits, but it's the same general type of thing. So it doesn't really seem like Niantic is too concerned about this.

    I'm not saying it isn't possibly a valid point. But it doesn't really match up with the other guidelines.

  • Goddess1974-INGGoddess1974-ING Posts: 217 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2020

    The guidelines are very confusing and unclear at the best of times.

    My reply was me thinking why Niantic might not want them accepted them but one bit is true they now have got to have some story behind them like my reason above.

  • Sugarstarzkill-PGOSugarstarzkill-PGO Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How do you see who hit the insightful/like button? Off topic I know. Is it only on PC when you hover over them?

  • Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 3,493 Ambassador

    You can switch to desktop mode and long hold on the Insightful/Like to see who reacted, if you're on a mobile device. Dislikes are blocked.

  • grsmhiker-INGgrsmhiker-ING Posts: 172 ✭✭✭✭

    We are told to accept small fountains but to reject fountain spouts that are inaccessible in the middle of a lake, so I wonder if they might also be concerned about accessibility of a POI in the middle of a swimming pool.

  • Sugarstarzkill-PGOSugarstarzkill-PGO Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This honestly feels like it makes the most sense if we're going by other guidelines.

    But sometimes the "safety" aspect seems silly. In the pedestrian access thread, where there is a POI in the middle of a roundabout, it is probably not very safe as people may wander into traffic to access that POI. Someone else also brought up POIs on mountain tops and other adventurous POIs that are actually quite treacherous to get to.

    I suppose I don't have a real point here, just thinking about how confusing/conflicting the guidelines can be at times.

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