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Diving (sport)

 

Diving is the sport of jumping or falling into water from a platform or springboard, usually while performing acrobatics. Diving is an internationally recognized sport that is part of the Olympic Games. In addition, unstructured and non-competitive diving is a recreational pastime.

It was at this event that the Swedish tradition of fancy diving was introduced to the sport by the athletes Otto Hagborg and C F Mauritzi. They demonstrated their acrobatic techniques from the 10m diving board at Highgate Pond and stimulated the establishment of the Amateur Diving Association in 1901, the first organization devoted to diving in the world (later amalgamated with the Amateur Swimming Association). Fancy diving was formally introduced into the championship in 1903.

Most diving competitions consist of three disciplines: 1 m and 3 m springboards, and the platform. Competitive athletes are divided by gender, and often by age group. In platform events, competitors are allowed to perform their dives on either the five, seven and a half (generally just called seven), nine, or ten meter towers. In major diving meets, including the Olympic Games and the World Championships, platform diving is from the 10 meter height.

In synchronised diving events, there is a panel of seven, nine, or eleven judges; two or three to mark the execution of one diver, two or three to mark the execution of the other, and the remaining three or five to judge the synchronisation. The execution judges are positioned two on each side of the pool, and they score the diver which is nearer to them. The 2012 London Olympics saw the first use of eleven judges.

In competition, divers must submit their lists beforehand, and once past a deadline (usually when the event is announced or shortly before it begins) they cannot change their dives. If they fail to perform the dive announced, even if they physically cannot execute the dive announced or if they perform a more difficult dive, they will receive a score of zero. Under exceptional circumstances, a redive may be granted, but these are exceedingly rare (usually for very young divers just learning how to compete, or if some event outside the diver's control has caused them to be unable to perform-such as a loud noise).

The global governing body of diving is FINA, which also governs swimming, synchronised swimming, water polo and open water swimming. Almost invariably, at national level, diving shares a governing body with the other aquatic sports.

Since FINA refused to rescind recognition of the ASA as the British governing body for all aquatic sports including diving, this meant that the elite divers had to belong to ASA-affiliated clubs to be eligible for selection to international competition.

Until the mid-1990s the tariff was decided by the FINA diving committee, and divers could only select from the range of dives in the published tariff table. Since then, the tariff is calculated by a formula based on various factors such as the number of twist and somersaults, the height, the group etc., and divers are free to submit new combinations. This change was implemented because new dives were being invented too frequently for an annual meeting to accommodate the progress of the sport.

The opening of the body for the entry does not stop the rotation, but merely slows it down. The vertical entry achieved by expert divers is largely an illusion created by starting the entry slightly short of vertical, so that the legs are vertical as they disappear beneath the surface. A small amount of additional tuning is available by 'entry save' techniques, whereby underwater movements of the upper body and arms against the viscosity of the water affect the position of the legs.


 



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