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Diving

Diving in the East Midlands introduction

The art of Diving has had its up and downs in more sense than one during the last 60 years or so. Even the meaning of the word diving has changed. At the beginning of the century, dive meant descending or swimming under water or a movement on the surface which sent the person under the water. Diving began the moment the water was touched. Now it means leaping and springing into water.


Diving as we know it today is of comparatively recent origin. The first recorded championship in the United Kingdom was the Championships of Scotland held in 1889 which comprised of a dive from the side of the bath, a dive from about six feet, and a surface dive.

High diving became popular amongst a small circle of enthusiasts, and in 1895 the National Graceful Diving Competition was instituted. This competition was open to the world and the tests were standing, and running dives from 15 and 30 feet. This competition was continued with out change until 1961 and known as the plain Diving Championships of the ASA.

In the late 1890's Otto Hageborge and C F Mauritzi came to London and introduced fancy diving which was being developed in Sweden. Pioneers such as Sir Claude Champion de Crispigny took it up and as a direct result the Amateur Diving Association was formed in 1901. Alderman Fern a past Honorary Secretary of the Amateur Swimming Association was a founder member.

Fancy dives were included for the first time in competition in 1903. There was a springboard event in the 1904 Olympic Games and High Diving was also numbered amongst the sports in the supplementary Olympic Games in Athens in 1906. G. Melville Clark represented Great Britain in the latter event. Tariff values were introduced about this time. Tables were drawn up and were used at the Olympic Games in London in 1908.

Women's diving was included in the Olympic Games for the first time in 1912 and was a plain diving contest from the high board. Miss Belle White gained third place for Great Britain. Plain and fancy diving from the high board for women was not introduced into the Olympic Games until 1928 in which year the two men's highboard events, one plain the other fancy, were amalgamated into one competition.

Though there had been a men's springboard competition since the 1904 games the first women's event under this title took place at the 1920 Olympic Games.

By the 1924 Olympic Games the springboard diving tariff was very complex. There were six methods of performing each dive (standing, running, taking off with one foot, running taking off with two feet and in each case the entry could be made with or without hands).

After 1924 the tariff was simplified, the 1928 Olympic Games events were confined to compulsory and voluntary dives and began to assume the form which we know today. For over 30 years the Amateur Diving Association held its own championships and looked after the interest of divers but in 1935 it was finally wound up as a separate organisation and merged with the ASA.

Since 1936 the ASA has been responsible for Championships and other matters concerning diving and in order to deal competently with items affecting diving the ASA has a Diving Committee consisting or people who are established authorities on the subject.

Two major developments have been the main contributors to modern diving - the recognition of four distinct body positions and the introduction of extremely flexible springboards. The positions are straight, in which the body is not bent at the hips or knees; pike, in which the body is bent at the hips but not at the knees; tuck, in which the body is bunched up tightly with the hands on the lower legs; and 'free', which in practice is a combination of at least two of the other positions.

Each dive has its tariff (degree of difficulty), but there is now no distinction between running and standing take-offs. Dives are executed with either head first or feet first entry into the water; in all cases the body must be straight, with the feet together and the toes pointed, but in head first entries the arms are extended beyond the head, and in feet first dives the arms must be at the sides. The entry into the water must be vertical or nearly so.

All competitive diving is from springboards set at 1 metre and 3 metres above the surface of the water, or from firmboards set at 5 metres, 7.5 metres and 10 metres, though as regards firmboards all major competitions admit dives from the 10 metre board only.

Judges have regard only to the manner of performance: the difficulty of a dive is taken care of by the tariff. It is customary to have 5 judges (7 at certain major events): the highest and lowest marks are ignored, and the sum of the remaining 3 (or 5) is multiplied by the tariff to give the score for the dive. Where there are 7 judges, the result is mathematically adjusted to the equivalent of 5 for comparison purposes.


@britishswimming Can I claim a silver medal at Nationals in a couple of weeks for being the second oldest male swimmer?!