What constitutes a lap in swimming?

While most swimmers and coaches concur that a length is one way across the pool, and a lap is out and back, for the purposes of the Moov swim app, our reference to a lap is similar to Terry Laughlin's definition of a lap, which is one length of the pool. Terry Laughlin is the founder of Total Immersion Swimming. 

In his words, Terry explained that "In running, you complete a lap by circling a track — which brings you back to where you started. Swimming is different. You swim a straight, not looped course." And in the comments section further down the page, Terry commented that "a lap is one lap while others say it's up and back."

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