Monday, December 21, 2009


Springboards and More wants to say a BIG THANKS to all of our customers -- both new and returning -- for your business and continued patronage of our company. Our goal for 2010 will be the same as it has been since we started this endeavor in 1999 -- to provide to you or your diving team high quality products at reasonable prices with great customer service!

Our family and staff hopes you and your family enjoy a very Merry Christmas and we offer our best wishes for a safe and magical holiday season. May your team and the sport of springboard and platform diving continue to grow and prosper in 2010 and beyond.


** Springboards and More will be closed from 12/24/2009 - 01/03/2010. Orders can still be placed online, by mail or by fax, but please be aware that your order may not ship until Monday 01/04/2010 when we re-open for business as we will have very limited staff coming in during this time.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

NEW F.I.N.A. Degree of Difficulty Table

With the newer and increasingly more difficult dives being performed in international competition as well as the rumors of "super difficult" dives being attempted in the farthest corners of the world, it was time that FINA updated the Degree of Difficulty Tables.

Numerous new and incredibly difficult dives have been added to the DD Chart that just 20 years ago were unthinkable. When you think back to the 1980's, it was thought that the dives being done then were the most difficult that could ever be performed. Now -- those "hard" dives are the norm for both men and women and for those divers dreaming of Olympic and International glory, the difficulty bar has been raised -- not by inches, but by feet!

Click here to see the new and approved FINA Degree of Difficulty Tables for both Springboard and Platform.

So, what is now the dive with the highest degree of difficulty? It is a 309B -- Reverse 4 1/2 somersaults in the pike position from the 3M Springboard with an eye-popping 4.8 Degree of Difficulty. If your athletic ability will not allow you to do this dive on 3M -- you do have the option of doing it from the 10 Meter platform -- but you LOSE a tenth of D.D. -- it is only a "paltry" 4.7!

I wonder what dives we will be seeing 20 years from now? Kind of exciting just thinking about it!

Friday, December 4, 2009


HOBART SHERWOOD BILLINGSLEY (aka "HOBIE") -- The Man, The Myth, The Legend -- just celebrated his 83rd Birthday on December 2, 2009. Retired now from coaching, but still travelling the world visiting old friends and former divers as well as giving clinics, hosting seminars, talking about diving, teaching coaches and now writing his THIRD Book.

That's right -- Hobie is writing yet another book -- this one his autobiography at the request of the Indiana University Athletic Hall of Fame. Rumor has it he can be found working on this manuscript right this very moment tucked away in a cozy farmhouse somewhere on the outskirts of Moultrie, GA where there is reported to be "lots of Moss."

Can't wait to read the finished product. Happy Birthday, Hobie!
** Photo above shows another diving legend Dr. Sammy Lee sitting with Hobie at the FINA Grand Prix Meet in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Friday, November 20, 2009

NEVER Let Your Divers Use This!

One of the most important physical attributes for any successful diver is upper body strength. The ability to "throw" a dive and perhaps even more importantly, the ability to "hold an entry" (aka RIP a dive) especially when hitting the water at 35 miles per hour!!

One easy way to work on upper body strength with your divers on an almost daily basis is to have them CLIMB OUT OF THE POOL AFTER EACH DIVE. DO NOT LET THEM USE THE LADDER!! If your diver does 50 -75 dives per practice, this amounts to 50-75 "dips" or push-ups that they do at every practice and over time this does wonders for the biceps, wrists, tri-ceps, lats and shoulders.

It may be difficult at first -- but in the long run, it will make a big difference!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

First Piano Recital / First Diving Meet

The other day, my wife, in-laws and I attended a piano recital in which our eight year old twins were first-time participants. There were about 15 students -- all were beginners or advanced beginners. For me, it was very interesting to observe the behaviors of the kids and the parents and I started thinking back to the old days of coaching. I started having flashbacks to my first diving meet as well as the first diving meets of my former divers.

It was like deja vu -- different arena; different participants; different activity -- SAME RESULT.

What do I mean? Well first, the parents (myself included) were more nervous than the kids. They wanted so badly for their child to do well and to have a positive experience. They all had video cameras to record the moment -- even at the expense of they themselves missing it "live" while they fumbled with their camcorders. As expected, most of the kids were nervous too as this would be the first time they performed in front of a crowd of people -- most of whom they had never met.

The order of performers was printed in a program -- much the same way a dive order is posted at a diving meet. I could tell my kids were getting more and more nervous (and excited) with each passing performance knowing that they would soon hear their name called and have to walk to the front, bow to the audience, and then take their seat on the freshly polished piano bench in front of the Baby Grand Piano to play their two 15 second songs.

A lump formed in my throat as I watched them sit motionless for a few seconds, then take a deep breath, and then play what they had practiced many times before. As with diving, when you practice your dives over and over again, all usually goes well and according to plan and this was their end result too!!

At the conclusion of their performances, they each closed their books, bowed to the crowd and with a huge smile on their face, excitedly walked back to where the family was sitting. We were all beaming with pride and joy. We gave them a hug and congratulated them on a job well done. Not surprisingly, each of them whispered in my ear -- "I was not nervous at all, Dad!" YEAH, RIGHT!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

How Carving Pumpkins and Coaching Diving are Related

It is my favorite time of the year -- the leaves are changing colors, a chill is in the air, fires are crackling in the fireplace and my kid's most favorite "holiday" is just around the corner -- HALLOWEEN and the weeks leading up to it. They love decorating, costume shopping, apple cider, fall festivals, corn mazes, hay rides and of course selecting and carving the perfect pumpkin.

We carved our pumpkins the other day and I, the diving geek that I am, found some strange similarities between carving pumpkins and coaching diving. Here goes:
  • Going to a pumpkin farm and searching for the perfect pumpkin is like a diving coach attending a summer league championship meet scouting new talent for your team. There are many that appear to be acceptable -- but to the trained eye, there are but a few who make the grade. You have an idea of what you want and it is your mission to sort through all of them to find the right one or two.
  • There are many pumpkin carving kits available on the market today just as there are many different ways to coach diving. You choose the way you think will work the best with your personality, strengths and weaknesses and those of the divers you coach. Keep in mind that YOU may need to make changes or adapt depending on the pumpkin you are carving or the diver you are coaching.
  • There are many tools in a pumpkin carving kit that can help you get the desired result. Diving coaches also have many tools from which to choose that can help them help their divers reach the desired result. It is up to you the coach (or carver) to make use of these tools and to choose the correct tools to help do the job.
  • In pumpkin carving kits, there are different levels of carving difficulty -- the more difficult the pattern, the larger the potential payoff as far as contest success, accomplishment and pride. The same could be said for coaching (and learning) diving.
  • When learning to carve a pumpkin, it is best to start with an easy pattern before moving up to more complicated, time-consuming and difficult patterns. Coaches need to make sure their divers are well-schooled in the fundamentals of diving before moving on the more challenging and difficult dives.
  • And finally, take your time; use all the tools at your disposal; be patient and most importantly -- pay close attention to detail. If you cut corners while carving a pumpkin, the end result will be less than satisfactory -- ditto for coaching diving.

May all your pumpkins be perfectly carved and may all your divers learn from you how to jump high, spin fast, enter vertically and disappear under the water with nary a splash!! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Now That Summer Diving Has Ended.......

Now that summer league and country club diving has ended, it is time to take care of your diving equipment -- particularly, if your Club has Duraflex and Durafirm Diving Equipment to make sure it is in good working order for next season. Here is what to do:

1) Remove your diving boards from the diving stands and inspect them -- both top and bottom. Inspect the top surface of the diving board to make sure the factory applied non-skid surface is still in good shape. Inspect the underside of the diving board (all eight ribs from front to back) for any cracks or missing rubber channels. If the diving board non-skid surface is beginning to wear or the board feels slippery to the touch (wet foot on wet board), now is the time to get it sent back to the Duraflex Factory for a refinish job. If the diving board is cracked, you must remove it from service and start planning for the purchase of a new board for next season. Contact Springboards and More for help with either of these two situations.

2) After inspecting your boards, store them out of the weather (in a shed, storage room, bath house, etc.). It is best to store them in a place where they will not be stepped on; driven over by a tractor or in any place where something could fall or be dropped on them. We suggest that your boards be stored on their side (see picture above -- but make sure board is inside and out of weather). You should also spray your diving board carriage bolts (the large bolts that attach the diving board to the diving stand) with WD-40 or similar product and wrap them in newspaper and place in a zip lock bag that you then tuck between the ribs of the underside of the diving board.

3) Using some old rags, wipe off any grease, dirt or grime from your fulcrum slide tracks, fulcrum assembly, hinges or the actual diving stand. We have found that a spray can of carburetor cleaner or brake parts cleaner does an excellent job of removing this type of gunk from your equipment. (You can find these products at any auto parts store for a few dollars per can).

4) Use large plastic garbage bags or tarps to completely cover the fulcrum assembly and hinge assembly of your diving stands. You can secure with duct tape or bungee cords -- being careful to NOT stick the duct tape to the actual diving stand. This cover is to protect the fulcrum and hinges as well as the epoxy paint coating of your diving stands from the weather.

You can now rest easy that your valuable and expensive diving equipment will be in good working order for next summer. It is amazing to me the number of summer swim clubs that leave their diving equipment uncovered and exposed to the elements all Fall, Winter and Spring and then wonder why it does not last as long as they thought it should.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


The Duraflex International Corporation has announced a 5% across the board price increase effective for all orders that ship on or after January 1, 2010.

Due to the lead times involved with diving board and diving stands, the cut-off date for placing orders for these items to guarantee shipment before the end of the year (and therefore get current pricing) is December 1st, 2009. For small parts orders, the cut-off date to guarantee current pricing is December 28, 2009.

Pictured above is current Duraflex President JAN RUDE with her late father RAY RUDE -- the inventor of the Duraflex Diving Board. This photo was taken inside the main entrance to the Duraflex International Factory circa 2002.

Monday, September 28, 2009


The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD just completed a large renovation to their diving well that included re-habbing the platforms and building a new 3M Springboard pedestal and installing all new Duraflex Equipment.

Rumor has it that long-time diving coach Joe Suriano has a smile from ear to ear!! Looks like it was well worth the wait!! CONGRATULATIONS, JOE!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Fastest Growing High School Sport in the USA!

The National Federation of State High School Associations reported that participation in high school sports never has been higher. In fact, the report they recently released shows that Swimming and Diving had the largest increase in the number of participants this year versus last year.

The highlight of the report (from a shameless diving promotion angle!!) was Swimming and Diving gained the most combined participants last school year. The combined sports had an increase of 29,967 students. Outdoor track and field had an additional 19,396 participants, followed by cross country with 18,193. Lacrosse had an additional 9,579 participants.

Read the complete article as written in the Cincinnati Enquirer on Sunday 9/21/2009.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


While attending the 2009 United states Aquatic Sports Convention in Chicago, IL I had the honor and pleasure of sitting in on a forum hosted by Olympic Gold Medallist Laura Wilkinson (USA) and 2x Olympic Silver Medallist Alexandre Despatie (from Canada).

The two of them fielded questions from the packed house audience for a good 1.5 - 2 hours about anything and everything related to their diving careers. They answered every question -- whether about training, mental preparation, fear, exercise, competition, diet, burnout, sleep patterns, etc. with honesty and with a few funny anecdotes scattered throughout. (i.e. Alex going to "The Dark Place").

The underlying theme I took away from both of them was to NEVER GIVE UP. Everybody in the diving community knows the success these two have enjoyed but often times do not realize nor comprehend the amount of work, sacrifice, time and effort that went into those successes. Along the way, there were many set backs where they could have easily quit and just walked away. But great champions never quit -- they never give up. They keep working and working and working and as the old saying goes: "The Cream Always Rises to the Top"!

(The photo above shows Laura Wilkinson holding her Gold Medals from the Olympic Games; The World Championships and The World Cup -- the only female diver in history to win all three.)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Alaska's Only Outdoor Diving Board?

It might not be the be the best place to hold your college diving team training trip, but if you are looking for a spectacular get-a-way for rest and relaxation (and a little "chilly" springboard diving) why not check out "Quiet Place" -- a secluded Bed 'N Breakfast in Halibut Cove, Alaska.

The only way to get here is by boat or float plane. Your host is Harmon Hall and family. Son Garrett is a diver at a nearby high school in Homer, Alaska. Harmon decided to install a Durafirm "Short Stand" with a 16' Modified Maxiflex Model "B" Cheeseboard so his son could practice during the summer. Guests of "Quiet Place" Bed 'N Breakfast are also welcome to sharpen their diving skills while staying on site.

"Quiet Place" is only open from mid-June to mid-August and is sold out up to one year in advance. Water depth beneath the diving board varies from 10 feet to 40 feet deep (depending on the tidal pool). Oh yeah -- one more thing -- the water temperature is "balmy"45 - 50 degrees in the summer.

Wetsuits available for those who dare.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Have a "T-Shirt Quilt" made!!

This is the second quilt that I have had made using my old diving T-shirts as well as many collegiate diving T-shirts and Sweatshirts I have collected over the years. Most of these were gifts from college diving coaches around the country. (Click on the image above to make it larger)

My favorite T-shirt in this quilt, however, is the center one -- taken from the back of the old Moss Farms Diving Team T-shirts. It was given to me in 1994 by Robert "Moose" Moss and it has the emblem of the Flying Tigers in the center surrounded by the (reproduced) signatures of all (at the time) living former Flying Tigers. These legendary WWII Veterans were highly decorated for their daring and courageous exploits during the war with Japan in the Pacific. Their picture hangs in the Smithsonian Institute among many other places. Moose was granted permission by the Flying Tigers to use their emblem as the emblem for the Moss Farms Diving Team.

Moose Moss's signature is in the upper right hand corner of the T-shirt.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy 95th Birthday LYLE DRAVES!!

One of the true coaching legends of the sport of diving turns 95 years old today -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY to LYLE DRAVES!! Here is the biography from the International Swimming Hall of Fame on the 1989 Inductee:

LYLE DRAVES (USA)1989 Honor Coach

FOR THE RECORD: Lyle Draves was the first pure diving coach developing 3 Olympic Champions: Vicki Manalo Draves (his wife), Pat McCormick, Sue Gossick. Vicki was the 1st woman to win the Platform and Springboard at the same Olympics (1948). McCormick followed by becoming the first double, double Olympic gold winner (1952, 1956). Gossick won the Springboard in 1968. Draves coached female divers to 12 Olympic medals and 35 National Championships. His Olympic silver medalists include Paula Jean Myers and Zoe Ann Olsen, each of whom took a bronze. His divers Olympic medal count reads 7 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze.

Lyle Draves was America's first great diving coach beginning an era when diving coaches could specialize in divers and not coach swimmers too, or vice versa. He was a Hollywood film editor and his show biz background has helped his coaching or again, vice versa since Draves was diving in and then producing, top rated diving water shows before he became a film editor.

An Iowa farm boy, Draves met Fred Cady at a swimming meet in Iowa. Fred invited him to California where Lyle began coaching divers at the Lido Club at the famed Ambassador Hotel and at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. One of his first pupils was a 12 year old girl named Zoe Ann Olsen. Next, they both moved to the Athens Athletic Club in Oakland where he met Vicki Manalo. He later married Vicki, who was given away by 1948 and 1952 platform winner, Sammy Lee. Vicki and Zoe Ann took first and second off the springboard in the 1948 London Olympics. Vicki became the first woman diver ever to win gold medals in both tower and springboard at the same Olympics, narrowly beating Zoe Ann on her last springboard dive. After the Olympics, Vicki and Lyle toured the United States and Europe with Buster Crabbe and Dick Smith.

They quit barnstorming to raise 4 boys, all divers. Lyle returned to his coaching, first at tennis champion Jack Kramer's Athletic Club and then at UCLA. His Olympic medal winning divers, in addition to Vicki and Zoe Ann, include Hall of Famers Pat McCormick, Sue Gossick, and Paula Jean Myers. The Draves boys are Acapulco and World Champion high divers who have followed the show biz side of their father's heritage doing high and trick dives in such places a Magic Mountain, Sea World and Marineland.

Lyle lives with his wife Vicki in Palm Springs, California and says Fred Cady was the most brilliant man he ever met and that the secret to success in coaching diving is to follow Sir Isaac Newton and his 3rd law of motion.

** Special thanks to the International Swimming Hall of Fame for this biography of Lyle. Next time you are in Fort Lauderdale, FL -- be sure to check out the ISHOF -- it truly is an incredible collection of aquatic sports memorabilia from the past 100 years!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

YES -- I Do Play Favorites!

Have you ever been accused by a parent of "playing favorites" on your diving team? I think every coach has at one time or another. Of course, the complaining parent is almost always the parent of the diver who is NOT among the "favorites."

Well my answer to this nonsense is "YES -- I DO PLAY FAVORITES!"
  • My favorites are the divers who come to practice on time; all the time.
  • My favorites are the divers who do what I ask them to do it without complaining.
  • My favorites are the divers who are eager and willing to hear what I have to say.
  • My favorites are the divers who bring a good attitude and positive energy to practice.
  • My favorites are the divers who want to get better -- no matter what.
  • My favorites are the divers who work hard; who try hard and who pay attention to me.
  • My favorites are the divers who give great effort all the time (without me having to constantly badger them!!)
  • My favorites are the kids who try and try and try again.
  • My favorites are the kids who stay late to get in extra work on the trampoline or dry board or in the gym.

Yes -- these are my favorites. Now to become one of my favorites, all a diver needs to do is show up; work hard; try hard, do their best and pay attention to me. If you pay attention to me, then I will most likely pay attention to you. I would much rather work with a total non-athlete who really wants to become a better diver than a physically gifted, super athlete who thinks they know it all and can do it all by themselves.

I DO NOT, CAN NOT and WILL NOT reward lack of effort, bad attitudes, disruptive behavior, or the like. I ignore these things (READ: I do not pay attention to these divers -- i.e. certainly not one of my favorites). So to paraphrase Bo Diddley "before you accuse me, take a look at your (kid)!"

Friday, July 17, 2009

Support Your Team!!

For the past two days, I had the honor of serving as judge and referee of the 2009 Private Pool Swim League (PPSL) Diving Championships. The PPSL is one of the best sources for new diving talent anywhere and some of the best divers in the United States over the past 25 years got their start in the PPSL.

This year was no different -- there was a multitude of diving talent in this meet and there were coaches from each of the four diving programs in the area at the meet scouting for new talent for their diving teams and programs.

I am always pleased to see a large number of my former divers who are giving back to the sport of diving. Serving as coaches, judges, table workers, etc. -- selfishly speaking -- it is very humbling to think that they are still involved with diving because of their experiences with diving when i coaches them. The judging panel for this meet was excellent and they did a great job! The judges were Mike Grappner, Jenny (Chasteen) Fleming, Jenny (Huber) Rehberger and Andrew Campbell. Every one of them except Mike Grappner, were former divers of mine.

I would be remiss without saying that the only thing that was disappointing about this meet was the incredibly low number of spectators and "diving fans" at the end of meet. The team that ended up winning the 2009 PPSL Champ Meet (Madeira Swim Club / coached by a former diver of mine -- Elena Schaible) pulled quite an upset. Elena has been coaching summer league diving for 15 years and has come close to winning -- finishing 2nd a couple times -- but this year finally put it all together to win the Champ Meet. I was very proud of her -- especially for all the determination, effort and work she has put in over the past 15 years. The disappointment I felt was the fact that the ONLY people from the winning team that were present at the end of the meet when they announced the final team scores and presented the Team Champion Trophy was the diver from her team who competed in the final event and her parents.

Where were the rest of the divers from the winning team? Where were the divers from the other teams that were jockeying for the team title? They HAD to know their team was on the verge of winning the Champ Meet -- they posted updated team scores at the completion of each event! Why didn't the parents and divers of these teams stay to watch the last few events? Why didn't they stay to support their team? Why didn't the kids who dove in yesterday's events come back to cheer on their team and be a part of the Championships Presentation today? They sure missed a golden opportunity to be a part of local diving history.

I would be lying if I did not say that I am disappointed in the parents and divers of today. It seems to me that most divers (kids) today simply do their thing (event) and then take off to do their next thing -- disregarding their TEAM. It is sad but I feel that it is a sign of the times. I can recall a time when the entire team (even those who were NOT diving in the Champ Meet) would show up at the Champ Meet, faces painted, cheering wildly for THEIR TEAM. In the "good ole days" -- the pool would have been packed with spectators; the energy and electricity could be felt throughout the pool and the celebrations would be spectacular when the final results were announced. Not so much these days.

Congratulations Coach Elena Schaible and the Madeira Swim Club Diving Team for winning the 2009 PPSL Diving Championships. Congratulations as well to all the divers and all the coaches who participated in this Champ Meet. See you again next season!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


When the words "diving" and "insurance" are used in the same sentence, people think "uh oh -- big expense; hard to get; difficult to afford; etc.) But, I am not talking about this type of insurance -- rather I am talking about having "Dive Insurance."

"Dive Insurance" is making sure that you have a back-up dive or dives that you can substitute into your list at the last minute should one of your regular dives (for whatever reason) not be usable. Divers of course should practice their "list" of dives -- but they should also practice their "insurance dives". This is applicable to all levels of diving. Here are a few examples:


Little Johnny learns an inward dive (401C) and it is really good. You are going to replace his 5111A (front dive with 1/2 twist) because he sometimes does not complete the twist all the way or his form is not good when he does the dive. However, during warm-ups for the meet, little Johnny starts getting too close to the board on his inward and gets scared. Johnny, (his mom) and you do not want to use that dive today. The insurance dive is his "questionable" 5111A -- might not be pretty, but at least it is safe.


Your diver learns a 105C (front 2 1/2 somersaults in tuck position) but goes to a meet at another high school where the diving board is not as good as the board on which your diver trains and they are having difficulty making the 105C on the "bad board." In this instance -- your insurance dive would be a 104C (front double somersault in tuck position) or 103B (front 1 1/2 somersaults in pike position).


Your diver learns a 5235D on 3M (Back 1 1/2 with 2 1/2 twists) and this will replace their 5134D (front 1 1/2 somersaults with 2 twists). During warm-ups the day before the meet, your diver starts "getting lost" on his 5235D. If you had your diver continue to practice the 5134D even after they learned the 5235D -- you could simply substitute the 5134D back into the list and not miss a beat.

As with any insurance -- you hope you never need it, but you gotta have it!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Diving Related License Plates?!?!

In this day and age of customizing just about everything, I have seen some very clever custom license plates that got me thinking about DIVING related custom license plates.

Most states allow a maximum of seven letter or numbers per license plate. Here are some I have seen, used or thought of (in no particular order).


Feel free to use any of these or please suggest other ideas for our readers to enjoy.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blues Legend BUDDY GUY and the Sport of Diving

Recently, I had the opportunity to see BUDDY GUY in concert at a small, cozy outdoor amphitheatre nestled in the rolling farmland of central Kentucky. The music and the show were great -- especially when the 73 year old Blues Legend left the stage and started walking through the crowd singing and playing (See picture above). In addition, the warm-up act for the concert was a 12 year old guitar phenom who blew away the crowd with his abilities.

Being the diving geek I am -- I could not help but think how the sport of diving parallels Buddy Guy playing the Blues. So here goes:
  • Playing the Blues or involving yourself in the sport of diving is something you can do for a lifetime. (Diver / Coach / Administrator / Volunteer / etc.)

  • Buddy Guy still travels the country and the world doing what he loves -- opportunities that the sport of diving can provide to coaches and athletes and volunteers.

  • Buddy Guy, even at age 73, keeps working to improve his skills and put on a good show every time he performs -- just like diving coaches and divers should strive to do.

  • Buddy Guy really seemed to be having fun -- a must for any diver or diving coach to help yourself stay fresh and not get "burned out."

  • Buddy Guy -- Blues Legend -- takes the time and effort to mentor young guitarists just as the legendary coaches in our sport mentor young coaches (Hobie / Kimball / Ron O'Brien / Narcy / etc.) and hopefully the next wave of legendary coaches will continue to do as well.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Apologies to Ben Hogan!!

"If You Didn't Bring It To The Pool; You're Not Going To Find It At The Pool!"

I paraphrased this quote from Golfing Legend Ben Hogan who once said about the game of golf -- "If you didn't bring it to the course, you're not going to find it at the course."

He refers to bringing your "game" to the golf course -- or in my example bringing your "game" to the pool. The point here is quite obvious -- if you do not do the necessary work and preparation leading up to the diving meet -- you certainly should not expect to all of a sudden "put it together" at the meet.

REMEMBER: You do in a meet what you do in practice -- this is the reason why you practice. You need to practice all of your dives (under meet conditions) -- not just the dives you like or the dives you are comfortable doing. In fact, it is probably a good idea to spend MORE time on the dives that are giving you the most problems or on the dives that you are less comfortable doing. This way, when you show up at the pool for your next meet -- you will be ready!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

World's Highest Springboard -- 876 Feet High!!

Yes you read that correctly -- 876 feet high (or 265 Meters) this old style "Cheeseboard" that has been painted yellow has been used at the wildly popular "Bridge Days" in West Virginia for a number of years as a "Method of Exit" for B.A.S.E. Jumpers to exit the bridge.

The Extreme Sport of B.A.S.E. Jumping (Building / Antenna / Structure / Earth) attracts people from all over the world to watch these crazy people go off a diving board that is 876 feet above the water below them. The water is about 12 inches deep!! The B.A.S.E. Jumpers "exit" the bridge by way of the diving board, wait just a second or two and then throw their parachute to (hopefully) land safely in the water below them.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

How To Paint a Trampoline "String" Bed

Seems like an unusual article -- "How to Paint a Trampoline "String" Bed -- most people probably do not realize that this is part of the ongoing maintenance that needs to be done to your string bed to keep it in top working condition and help make it last a long time.

The Manufacturer recommends re-painting your String Bed every 6 – 12 months depending on usage. In extreme use cases -- such as sporting clubs -- repainting may be required as often as every 3 – 4 months.

If the trampoline is permanently sited outdoors, the frequency of repainting will need to be increased. Provided the correct repainting cycle is observed, the trampoline may be left outdoors indefinitely as the coated Terylene string is resistant to sunlight and rain.


* Wash the bed with a VERY MILD soap and water solution using a soft bristle brush.
* Allow bed to completely dry before painting.
* Insert a pencil between each string intersection to straighten out the weave (even out the “boxes” created by the string intersections)
* Tape off red markings on mat both top and bottom.
* Spread drop cloths all around and underneath the bed – this is a very messy job!!
* Use a good quality acrylic paint.
* Paint should be applied while bed is mounted in frame.
* Apply paint with a roller applicator to BOTH top and bottom of the bed.
* Lightly tap bed with a piece of hose or a push broom to remove excess paint from weave.
* Quantity of paint needed -- 4 liter container should be sufficient for two coatings.

Trampoline String Beds are very expensive -- it only makes sense to upkeep and protect your investment. HAPPY JUMPING!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Answer? Ray Rude -- Inventor of the Duraflex Diving Board

The man you see pictured on the Harley Motorcycle below (taken in 1936) is the same man you see pictured above -- Ray Rude -- the inventor of the Duraflex Diving Board.

Ray dropped out of school in the 8th grade and went on to become an airplane tool manufacturer for Lockheed Martin. A neighbor was having a pool party one day and his wooden diving board broke. He stopped by Ray's shop to see if he had anything they could use. Ray had an old airplane wing panel laying around. They mounted it to the pool and as they say -- the rest is history!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Can You Name This Diving Legend?

Can you name the DIVING LEGEND pictured above in a photograph taken in 1936? (Click on the photo to enlarge it)

Check back soon for the answer!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


  • M -- MASTERY -- It takes years and years of practice to reach the top level of this sport.

  • N -- NEVER GIVE UP -- If diving were easy, everybody would be doing it.

  • O -- ON TIME -- It is better to be an hour early, that a minute late (for practice, meets, events, etc.)
  • P -- PASSION -- Those who succeed in diving (or coaching diving) have this.

  • Q -- QUICKNESS -- It is difficult to do the high DD dives if you do not have this physical attribute.

  • R -- RIP -- If you cannot "RIP" a dive, chances are your diving career may R.I.P.

  • S -- SMACK -- Avoid these if possible!
  • T -- TOE POINT -- As far back as I can remember -- "flat feet" just do not bring rave reviews from the judges.

  • U -- USE -- Use all resources available to make yourself a better diver.

  • V -- VERY GOOD -- For judging purposes, a dive in the "Very Good" range should score from 8 1/2 - 10.

  • W -- WASTE -- If you waste your time while at practice, it will definitely show at meets.

  • X -- X-RAYS -- Poor kickouts or bad line-ups (especially on tower) could result in a trip to the hospital for some of these on your shoulders or wrists!
  • Y -- YES -- Yes, you CAN do that dive!!

  • Z -- ZERO -- An unsuccessful attempt or an incorrect dive results in this score from the judges.

Diving Words To Live By:

"You Cannot Expect Above Average Results With Below Average Preparation"

The ABC's of Diving (A-L)

  • A -- ATTITUDE -- Better have a good one or you will not be successful (in anything)

  • B -- BALANCE -- Such a critical part of every hurdle, takeoff and arm stand.
  • C -- CHEESEBOARD -- has 189 "cheese holes" in it -- yes, I counted them!

  • D -- DETERMINATION & DESIRE -- A diver must WANT to be great -- not going to happen by accident.
  • E -- ENTRY -- The last thing the judges see. Should be vertical and with little or no splash!

  • F -- FLEXIBILITY -- In order to do the BIG tricks these days (most are in pike position) -- a diver must be very flexible.

  • G -- GUTS -- Being a diver -- especially a tower diver -- requires these.

  • H -- HEIGHT -- With all dives, the higher you jump, the better.

  • I -- IMPRESS -- Your dives better do this to the judges if you want to be successful.

  • J -- JUDGES -- See letter "I" above.

  • K -- KICKOUT -- There is a proper way and sequence for this -- better learn the right way!

  • L -- LINEUP -- It does not matter how good the dive was, if you cannot line-up the entry, it will not score well from the judges.



"Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance"

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You Just Never Know Who You Might Meet On A Pool Deck!

The above photo was taken recently at Texas A&M University where I was judging the diving at the NCAA Championships. Former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush were in attendance for a short while to watch a couple of events and present a few awards.

As the former President and First Lady were leaving, I happened to be standing in the right place at the right time. A former diver of mine (now a professional sport photographer) just happened to be there as well with his camera and as they say, the rest is history.

Make sure you always have a camera with you when you go to a diving meet -- or at least know the professional photographer shooting the events -- you just never know who you might meet!

Photo courtesy of Walt Middleton (Walt Middleton Sports Photography)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

If You Guessed John Narcy -- You Were Correct!

The person you see pictured above and below was born to Polish immigrants and raised in the ghettos of Gary, IN. John Navrotsy -- better known as JOHN NARCY, was the legendary diving coach at Michigan State University for 38 years. During that time, he coached Olympians, National and International Champions as well as many Big 10 Conference Champions.

"Narc" (pronounced "Narse") as he is called by most who know him, was a diver at the University of Michigan where he went to school on a FOOTBALL scholarship. The reason: His best friend in high school was a highly recruited football star and Michigan thought that this friend would follow John wherever he went to college so they gave Narc a football scholarship (to dive) and his friend indeed followed him there.

Narc was coached at Michigan by another diving legend -- Olympic Gold Medallist Bruce Harlan -- the first collegiate diving coach in America. After Harlan's tragic death while dismantling scaffolding following a diving show, Dick Kimball (another diving legend) became the Michigan Coach.

Narc -- an incredible story-teller (and joke-teller as well!!) still lives in East Lansing, MI with Pat, his wife of 49 years. He recently retired from teaching at Michigan State but can still be found on the pool deck judging at the Big 10 and NCAA Championships.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Legendary Diving Coach with the Three Stooges

Do you recognize the legendary (and very "buff") diving coach pictured with the Three Stooges with whom he used to perform diving shows in Flushing Meadows, New York circa 1960?

Check back later for the answer!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Duraflex Announces Modification to the "Cheeseboard"

Duraflex International has announced a product improvement to the Maxiflex Model B ("Cheeseboard") diving board effective March 1, 2009. The change involves the area where the diving board attaches to the hinges which has been re-designed to improve the quality and longevity.

The new anchor angle is a rigid, heavy-duty hard-anodized aluminum angle that is mounted under the diving board and supports all 8 of the diving board ribs. This new anchor angle is assembled AFTER painting, which eliminates the contact between unpainted surfaces in this area, which provides better protection against corrosion. The Duraflex factory has added closed-cell foam gaskets between these components to reduce noise and prevent moisture from accumulating.

The top of the board is capped with a hard-anodized aluminum bar that, in conjunction the anchor angle, acts as a clamp, sandwiching the diving board between these two extrusions. This clamping action creates a highly stable mounting mechanism. This assembly is fastened together with flat-head stainless steel fasteners and torqued at the factory. The fasteners are locked in place with a permanent Loctite brand thread-locker. Heavy duty 3M Safety-Walk strip covers the fasteners, preventing tampering and providing a slip-resistant surface over the anodized surface. Replacement strips will be available.

The serial tag has been replaced with a tamper-resistant adhesive back aluminum label that is now applied to the VERTICAL surface at the rear of the diving board.

The warning label that was applied to the back of the board is directed at equipment installers and pool operators, and indicates that the pool dimensions must meet certain specifications. This label has been changed to a yellow label with a universally recognized symbol that indicates “warning.” On the Cheeseboard, this label is on the bottom of the new anchor angle. On all other boards, including refinished boards, this label is on the rear of the diving board. An additional warning label has been added to the board that is directed at the user (diver.) This label is intended to warn that improper use of diving equipment can lead to severe injury. This label is now attached to the rear of all Duraflex made diving boards.

The NEW diving board bolts are stainless-steel "short-neck" carriage bolts. The shortened neck only penetrates through the bar on top of the board, which eliminates the need to broach a square hole through the diving board. This increases the strength and longevity of the diving board.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Terminology for Judging Diving

As one of the officials selected to judge the Men's Big 10 Diving Championships this week at Purdue University, I had the opportunity (and honor) to hang out with a really good group of diving people -- namely Oscar Delgado, Woody Franklin, Amy Kwan, Don Mason, Kevin Sage and the legendary John Narcy.

In addition to our judging responsibilities; we ate meals together, we worked out together and best of all, we had a lot of fun together. One thing of particular note that we did was to come up with some NEW terms for judging diving based on our experiences while scoring these spectacular 1M, 3M and Platform Competitions.

For all examples below, we will assume the judging panel consists of seven judges -- although the same terms could be used with a five-judge panel. In diving judge "lingo", the only terms known to most diving people are:

  • "BINGO" -- When all the judges give the same score for a dive. An example would be 8.0, 8.0, 8.0, 8.0, 8.0, 8.0, 8.0.
  • "BINGO BUSTER" -- When one judge gives a score different than all the other judges for a particular dive. An example would be 8.0, 8.0, 8.0, 8.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.0. (NOTE: Every diving judge knows that the "Bingo Buster" is sure to get some ribbing from the other judges AND rumor has it, that the judge who has the most "Busted Bingo's" picks up the tab later that night!)

Our panel of judges came up with some NEW terms that we think will making judging diving even more exciting (and possibly humorous) for the judges. Here they are in no particular order:

  • "THE 7-10 SPLIT" -- Yes, this is a bowling term but now it is also a judging diving term too. This describes a scenario where the first and last judge give the same score AND the rest of the judges give the same score (but different than the first and last judge). An example would be: 6.5, 7.0, 7.0, 7.0, 7.0, 7.0, 6.5.
  • "STRONG SIDE BINGO" -- In most cases, the judging panel is divided and positioned on both sides of the pool. With a Seven Judge Panel, one side of the pool would have FOUR judges (The "Strong" Side) and the other side of the pool would have THREE Judges (The "Weak" Side). A "Strong Side Bingo" occurs when all four of the judges on the "strong" side give the same score for a dive that is different than the scores given by the "weak" side. An example would be: 7.0, 6.0, 6.0, 6.5, 6.5, 6.5, 6.5.
  • "WEAK SIDE BINGO -- This is where all three judges on the "weak" side give the same score for a dive and it is different than the scores given by the four judges on the "strong" side. An example would be: 6.0, 6.0, 6.0, 6.5, 6.5, 5.5, 6.0
  • "DUELING BINGO'S" -- This is where you have a "Strong Side Bingo" AND a "Weak Side Bingo" on the same dive BUT with different scores. An example would be: 7.5, 7.5, 7.5, 7.5, 8.0, 8.0, 8.0.
  • "DIVA BINGO" -- This term describes a judging panel made up of six men and one woman where the six men on the panel "Bingo" the dive BUT the woman judge gives the dive a different score. Since the woman is always right, she is NOT considered to be a "Bingo Buster" -- rather, the six men who scored the dive differently than she did are incorrect. OUCH!!
  • "LIPSTICK JUNGLE" -- This term describes a judging panel made up of six women and only one man where the six women on the panel "Bingo" the dive and the man gives a different score. (NOTE: The man should NOT think of himself a male Diva -- rather, he is merely considered to be the dreaded "Bingo Buster"!!)


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Check For Damage!

One mistake customers sometimes make when buying a diving board is to NOT inspect the shipment when it arrives.

The Duraflex factory takes great care to securely "box" each diving board that leaves the factory and they have the words "Do Not Fork" written all over the outside of these boxes; however, shipping companies apparently do not read AND they often do not handle freight with white gloves. As a result, damage to your diving board can occur.

A diving board that is damaged in shipment does not happen often, but when it does, you could be left holding the bag when it comes to getting a (free) replacement. If you sign for the delivery WITHOUT inspecting it, you run the risk of finding concealed damage later. The shipping company will argue that you signed for the freight as "okay" so therefore the damage must have occurred AFTER the freight was delivered -- ergo, it is YOUR responsibility.

THE SIMPLE WAY TO AVOID THIS HEADACHE: When the freight company delivers your diving board, make sure you open the box and inspect the shipment in the presence of the driver. Be sure to inspect the entire board (top and underside) for any dings, dents, scratches or blemishes. Usually they are very noticeable and are often caused by a forklift "hitting" the board or running over it while it sits on the ground. If the damage is minor, Duraflex will send to you (free of charge) a small touch-up paint kit. If the damage is NOT minor, you can refuse the shipment, or you could also "accept" it but be sure to note the damage on the delivery receipt and then contact the freight company to request an inspector. Be sure to keep all packing materials and paperwork for the inspection.

After inspection, the freight company will, in most cases, ship the damaged board back to Duraflex and they in turn will inspect it, repair it (if possible) and then send you a new board (or your repaired board) free of charge. Yes you end up waiting an extra week or so to get your diving board but at least you are not stuck with damaged goods.

MORAL TO THE STORY: Always inspect the shipment when it arrives to you!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How To Create A Diving Meet "Time Line" (Part 3 of 3)


  1. Most Diving Meet Computer Programs have built in event time line calculators so if using one of these, your work to create a time line just became much easier.

  2. Be sure to clearly state that your time line is an ESTIMATED TIME LINE ONLY!

  3. Post your time line on your team or league website a few days in advance of the Meet so that coaches, divers and parents can log on and check it out.

  4. Post your time line at various places around the pool deck including the registration table, the score table, on the wall behind the diving boards, in the hospitality room and in the spectator seating area.

  5. Be sure to add one of the following “disclaimers” to your time line: Option 1: This time line is an ESTIMATE ONLY. If an event ends sooner than predicted we will NOT wait or slow down to in order to stick to the time line. It is the responsibility of the diver to arrive at the pool on time for the start of their event. We suggest you arrive AT LEAST ONE-HOUR BEFORE YOUR EVENT IS ESTIMATED TO BEGIN. Option 2: This time line is an ESTIMATE ONLY, however, we plan to stick to the time line. If an event ends sooner than expected, we will NOT begin the next event earlier than posted on this time line. Divers are responsible for arriving on time for their event.

  6. You may want to provide a cell phone number for divers, coaches and parents to call in order to check on the progress of the meet.

  7. You may be able to update the time line on your website as the meet progresses which would allow divers, coaches and parents to log on to check the progress.

    Whatever way you decide to go, creating and sticking to a time line for your diving meet will earn favorable reviews from the coaches, divers and parents – and this is always a good thing.

    As Always, Best Wishes for a Safe and Successful Diving Season!

How To Create A Diving Meet "Time Line" (Part 2 of 3)


(28 Divers in the Event) x (3 Dives BEFORE “Cuts”) = (84 Dives) / 2.5 DPM (2.5 Dives Per Minute) = (34 Minutes to Complete the Preliminaries).

Now, add 10 minutes to your time line to allow the score table workers to “reduce the field to the Top 12 Divers” (aka Make “Cuts”)

Next, repeat the formula from above to calculate the time line for The Finals.

(12 Divers in the Finals) x (2 Dives AFTER “Cuts”) = (24 Dives) / 2.5 DPM (2.5 Dives Per Minute) = (10 Minutes to Complete the Finals).

Here is what your NEW Time Line will look like for this event:

1:00 p.m. – 11-12,Girls Preliminaries Begin
1:34 p.m. – Prelims End / Score Table makes “Cuts” to Top 12 Divers
1:44 p.m. – 11-12 Girls Finals Begins
1:54 p.m. – Finals Ends / 20 Minute Warm-up for Event #7 Begins Now /
11-12 Girls Final Scores are calculated and then the Awards Presentation takes place.
2:14 a.m. – Next Event Begins

This illustration shows that by keeping a pace of 2.5 DPM, the event would end about 10 minutes sooner than the event would end running at 2 DPM. Now extrapolate this time saving over the entire day or even the entire WEEKEND (for a large invitational) and you can see where there would be a HUGE time savings.

Before you get all excited about running your diving meet at a blistering pace of 4 DPM, keep in mind that running a meet at 2.5 DPM requires a GOOD Announcer, an EXPERIENCED Group of Score Table Workers as well as an ATTENTIVE Group of Divers AND finally – Diving Board Fulcrums that MOVE EASILY. A pace of 2.5 DPM means that a dive is announced, performed, judged and scores recorded every 24 seconds all day long with no problems or errors – this is really moving!!

Now imagine the nightmare scenario if there were errors or problems at the Score Table, or the dive sheets get out of order, or the microphone stops working or the fulcrums do not move easily or the announcer is a slow reader or you have an inexperienced group of table workers. Any one of these common situations could cause an event to run at an abysmal pace of 1 DPM. Go back and re-calculate your time line using 1 DPM and you will find that your diving meet could last ALL DAY LONG with a bunch of unhappy parents, coaches and divers.

Check back later for some final thoughts and notes.

Monday, February 16, 2009

How To Create A Diving Meet "Time Line" (Part 1 of 3)

If your team will be hosting a diving invitational, you should know how to create an estimated time line for the events. Coaches and parents always want to know what time “their kid” will be diving. Creating a diving meet time line is relatively easy and your efforts will be very much appreciated – especially if you and your staff are able to run the meet close to the schedule you created. Here is how to do it:

To create an approximate time line for your diving meet based on a "speed" of TWO DIVES PER MINUTE (about normal), apply the following formula to EACH EVENT:

(Number of Divers in the Event) x (Number of Dives to be Performed Before the Cuts) / 2 DPM (Dives Per Minute) = (Number of Minutes to Complete the Prelims)
Then add 5-10 minutes to allow the score table workers to make "cuts" (if applicable)
Finally, (Number of Divers Remaining After Cuts) x (Number of Dives to be Performed in the Finals) / 2 DPM (Dives Per Minute) = (Number of Minutes to Complete Finals)

EXAMPLE from a local Summer League Champ Meet:

EVENT #6 -- 11-12 Girls 1 Meter – All Divers will do THREE dives and then a “Cut” will be made to the Top 12 Divers who will then perform TWO more dives. Let’s say that there are 28 Divers entered in this event.

(28 Divers in the Event) x (3 Dives BEFORE “Cuts”) = (84 Dives) / 2 DPM (2 Dives Per Minute) = (42 Minutes to Complete the Preliminaries).

If Event #6 is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m., the Pre-lims should end at 1:42 p.m. (that is 42 minutes after it started)

Now, add 10 minutes to your time line to allow the score table workers to “reduce the field to the Top 12 Divers” (aka Make “Cuts”)

Next, repeat the formula from above to calculate the time line for The Finals.

(12 Divers in the Finals) x (2 Dives AFTER “Cuts”) = (24 Dives) / 2 DPM (2 Dives Per Minute) = (12 Minutes to Complete the Finals).

Here is what your time line will look like for Event #6:

1:00 p.m. – 11-12 Girls Preliminaries Begin
1:42 p.m. – Prelims End / Score Table makes “Cuts” to Top 12 Divers
1:52 p.m. – 11-12 Girls Finals Begins
2:04 p.m. – Finals Ends / 20 Minute Warm-up for Event #7 Begins Now /
11-12 Girls Final Scores are calculated and then the Awards Presentation takes place.
2:24 a.m. – Next Event Begins


Check back soon to see what happens when you are able to even slightly increase the speed at which you run each event -- WOW!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

How To Keep "Rough-tex" Looking Good

Rough-tex – the preferred non-skid surface for diving platforms -- has one frequent complaint. It has such good “grip” that it easily collects hair, paint chips and other miscellaneous things that drop onto it during the course of a day.

Here is a great tip for how to clean this "ugliness" off of your Rough-tex. This comes from BENJAMIN ROBERTS -- the very capable Asst. Aquatic Director at The Ohio State University and the person who is charged with keeping one of the finest diving facilities in the world in top working condition.

Take a piece of PVC pipe (about four feet long and three inches in diameter) and wrap duct tape around the PVC Pipe with the sticky side facing outward. Then, just like a large lint brush, roll the sticky PVC pipe back and forth across the Rough-tex and it picks up most of the debris that has attached itself to the Rough-tex. (Make sure the Rough-tex is dry before doing this!)

Afterwards, do a quick power washing of the Rough-tex to remove any remaining debris or oils or anything else that could make the Rough-tex lose some if it's non-skid grip.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Things Every Diving Judge Should Know (Part 3 of 3)

Here are the last bits of information that I think Every Diving Judge Should Know:
  1. Every diving judge should have a basic understanding of how to calculate the point total for each dive. With five judges, the high score and low score are dropped. The remaining three “middle” scores are added together and their sum total is multiplied by the “Degree of Difficulty” of the dive performed. For a three judge panel, the process is the same except that the high score and low score are NOT dropped.

  2. Every diving judge should know that “Degree of Difficulty” is NOT taken into account when judging a dive. Judges are to score the PERFORMANCE of the dive – not the DIFFICULTY of the dive.

  3. Every diving judge should know to be consistent with their judging and to not play favorites. If you are a “tough” judge – be “tough” on every diver.

  4. Every diving judge should know that the safety of the diver is the number one priority and if they, the judge, see something that could result in injury to a diver they should immediately bring it to the attention of the coach, referee or pool manager. (Examples include broken or malfunctioning equipment, horseplay, lightning in the distance, objects floating in the pool near the diving boards, unsafe dives being attempted or repeated, etc.)

  5. Every diving judge should know that judging diving is SUBJECTIVE – it is YOUR opinion. You may like certain things about certain dives that the other judges do not like and vice versa. Remember, YOU are the expert – do not be influenced by anything! (Crowd favorite; Hometown hero; well-known diver; etc.)

  6. Every diving judge should know that the more times you judge diving, the better you get!

  7. Every diving judge should know that in order to fine tune your “diving eye” you must watch diving on a regular basis. Visit a local high school, summer swim club or age group diving team and watch some practices. Practice scoring each dive you see. If you are fortunate enough to go with somebody, have them practice scoring too and then you can compare scores.

  8. Every diving judge should know that you can never stop improving your judging. It takes time; it takes practice and it takes patience. Good luck and HAVE FUN!

Things Every Diving Judge Should Know (Part 2 of 3)

Here are the next seven items (#9-#15) of my total 23 "Things Every Diving Judge Should Know."
  1. Every diving judge should know that diving is a sport of aesthetics – dives that “look good” score higher.
  2. Every diving judge should know that any action a diver does beneath the surface of the water is not taken into account when scoring the dive.
  3. Every diving judge should know that a higher dive is a better dive. If two divers do the exact same dive with the exact same form, at the exact same distance and with the exact same entry -- but one of the divers went higher in the air, THAT diver should receive higher scores than the other diver.
  4. Every diving judge knows that a dive performed too close to the board is NOT a good dive. TOO CLOSE IS TOO DANGEROUS and should not be rewarded with high scores – even if all other aspects of the dive were good.
  5. Every diving judge should understand and be able to identify a “crow hop” and should know that if two divers perform the exact same dive the exact same way, except for one of the divers “crow hops” on the takeoff, then that diver’s scores should be lower than the scores for the diver who did not “crow hop.” (A “crow hop” is defined as the lifting of one or both feet off of the board during a back or inward takeoff dive but prior to the actual takeoff for the dive.
  6. Every diving judge should understand the concept of a “balk” in diving and how it DOES NOT affect the score they give for the dive. (A “balk” is declared when a diver, after assuming a starting position, makes an obvious attempt to start the dive and then stops for any reason. If a diver “balks” they get to try the dive one more time. Upon successful completion of the dive on the second try, each judge scores the second attempt as if nothing happened but the REFEREE instructs the announcer to reduce each judge’s score by TWO points as a penalty for the balk).
  7. Every diving judge should know to show their score immediately upon command of the announcer. All judges should show their score for each dive simultaneously. NO PEEKING AT THE OTHER SCORES BEFORE YOU SHOW YOUR SCORE!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Things Every Diving Judge Should Know (Part 1 of 3)

Now that the high school diving season is upon us, many parents (and swimming officials) will take their place in the judges’ chair. For many, this will be the first time that they have ever judged diving – and it can be somewhat intimidating. In order to lessen the stress associated with your first time sitting in the judges’ chair, I offer the following “Things Every Diving Judge Should Know.” (#1-#7 of 23 items)

  1. Every Diving Judge should know and be able to identify the FIVE categories of dives. They are Forward Dives, Back Dives, Reverse Dives, Inward Dives and Twisting Dives.
  2. Every diving judge should know and be able to identify the FOUR positions used in diving. They are Tuck position, Pike position, Straight (or Layout) position and Free Position.
  3. Every diving judge should know and be able to identify a Starting Position, Forward Approach and Hurdle. Every diving judge should also know that there is no such thing as a “hurdle” on a backward takeoff dive.
  4. Every diving judge should know that a Hurdle must take-off from ONE foot and land on BOTH feet simultaneously with the toes at or very near the end of the diving board.
  5. Every diving judge should know that scores for a dive can range from TEN (“perfect”**) to a ZERO (completely failed dive). ** See #7 below.
  6. Every diving judge should know the scoring descriptions for judging. They are: 0 Points – completely failed; 0.5 – 2.5 Points (Unsatisfactory); 3.0 – 4.5 Points (Deficient); 5.0 – 6.0 Points (Satisfactory); 6.5 – 8.0 Points (Good); 8.5 – 10 Points (Very Good).
  7. Every diving judge should know and understand that relative to the scoring description chart stated in #6 above, a “10” is NOT a perfect score; rather, it is a score that is at the top end of the “Very Good” range.

Friday, January 9, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Take a look at the picture above. Is there something about this photo that seems rather silly?

You have heard me preach about care and maintenance of your valuable diving equipment. Things like taking your diving boards off of the stands to store out of the weather during the off-season. (You know, protect that $3000.oo hunk of aluminum known as a diving board).

What sense does it make to do what you see in this picture? Take your board off the stand and then just leave it out in the weather all winter long? You took the time to remove your diving board and then let it sit outside for nine months in the rain, snow, sleet, wind, hail, ice, plague and pestilence?

It just does not make much sense to me.

Friday, January 2, 2009

My Diving Hopes and Wishes for 2009 (and beyond)!!

  • I wish that the sport of diving continues to grow, thrive and prosper -- not only in the USA, but around the world.
  • I hope that USA Diving continues to move forward and keep improving as we work our way back to the top.
  • I hope the coaches will keep communicating with each other and continue to share ideas and techniques that will help to improve the sport.
  • I wish more companies would see the benefits of aligning themselves with USA Diving in the form of sponsorships and partnerships. Your support is needed now more than ever.
  • I hope the current administration of USA Diving continues to listen to the membership and to keep coming up with more and better ways to make diving a viable profession for coaches.
  • I wish the insurance industry would take note of the incredible safety record of organized and supervised springboard and platform diving and create separate underwriting guidelines that insures quality insurance is available and affordable to coaches, clubs, schools, pools and parks and rec. departments. Stop lumping us together with anything and everything that contains the word "diving"!!
  • I hope that Duraflex will continue to innovate and keep coming up with ways to make diving equipment better, stronger and more flexible which will give divers the opportunity to "create" newer and more difficult dives.
  • I hope that more and more parents will have their kids try the sport of diving at an early age and realize all the positive things that can be acquired from this "lifetime sport."
  • I wish that all young divers would quickly learn that good form and good entries are the KEYS TO DIVING SUCCESS at an early age and beyond.

Finally, from the Voellmecke Family and Springboards and More, we wish you and your family (and divers) a Safe and Successful 2009!! LET'S DIVE!!