Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Made in America!

While travelling to China on our recent Diving Goodwill Tour, a member of our group joked about trying to find something in China that was "Made in America."

Well -- we found all sorts of items that were "Made in America" -- namely Duraflex Diving Boards, Durafirm Diving Stands and 2-Ply Black Rough-tex (Non-Slip Diving Platform Surface). In Beijing at The Water Cube Olympic Pool and The National Aquatic Training Center; In Shanghai at the venue being built for the 2011 World Championships; and in Guangzhou at the site of the 2010 Asian Games -- "Made in America" was everywhere!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

2010 Asian Games!

The City of Guangzhou in southern China is the host of the 2010 Asian Games. We were fortunate enough to secure some tickets for three diving events -- the Men's and Women's 1M Springboard and the Men's 3M Springboard. There was buzz of excitement as we walked around the village with all the people from around Asia who came to see the Games. They handed out China Flags and Asian Games Flags to anybody who wanted them and we joined the home crowd waving the flags with big smiles. The people there were so friendly and went out of their way to make us feel welcome. We got to see Olympic Champions Wu Mingxia and He Chong thrill the host crowd. Our seats were quite good and the "boom camera" would sweep the crowd after each China diver did their dive. Later each evening, we would watch the event on TV and there we were!! Of course, Duraflex supplied the springboards for this pool and Springboards and More supplied the Rough-tex for the diving platforms. This is the same for the Water Cube (Beijing Olympic Pool) and the National Training Center for diving.

Ancient Water City / Water Ballet

Our travels took us to The Ancient Water City of Wh Zhen (also known as "The Oriental Venice"). Here we toured a bed museum; a textile museum; a Chinese Whiskey Distillery that included a taste test -- UGH!!; and then took a boat tour on a water taxi (Chinese gondola). out next adventure took us to a resort town outside of Hunagzhou where Chairman Mao Tse Tung had a lakeside villa and spent much time there. It was here that we saw an incredible Water Ballet called "Impression West Lake." The show was directed by the same man who directed the Opening Ceremonies at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It was incredible. They had built a stage about one inch underneath the surface of this HUGE lake and there were probably 500+ performers in costume and with an amazing light show and sound track where the actors appeared to walk and dance on water. It was absolutely amazing!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Flying within China

The Beijing Airport is HUGE and the Terminal 3 was built just for the Olympic Games. They size and scale of everything is incredible. We checked in as a group and headed to security. We did not have to remove our shoes but we did have to remove everything from our pockets (including non-metal objects) and pass through metal detectors and "wands" while our bags passed through x-ray. To get to our plane -- the entire group flying on that plane load onto a bus (standing room only!) and it drives us out onto the runway where it is a mad dash to get on the plane. It is rather strange that all seats are reserved but everyone wants to get on that plane right away. (The picture above was taken as we boarded the plane in Huangzhou to travel to Guangzhou)

The flight was smooth and nice and the service provided by the flight attendants was excellent. There was a movie (in Chinese) on the flight of nearly two hours and there was some mystery meat sandwich that was served that most in our group did not partake. Upon landing in Shanghai, we got our luggage and met our new tour guide "Hyphen" who took us to our waiting bus and took us to the waterfront where we enjoyed an incredible 45 minute cruise up and down the Shanghai Waterfront with its more than 1000 buildings over 100 meters tall all lit up in a colorful array of lights and moving billboards. It was stunning.

The Water Cube and The Bird's Nest!

We drove to the Olympic Village to see The Water Cube (swimming and diving) and The Bird's Nest (opening and closing ceremonies as well as track and field events). these iconic buildings are right next to each other and are even more impressive in person. We were able to go inside both of them and we certainly spent more time inside The Water Cube taking many pictures of the diving facility. Jan, Doug and Mark (from Duraflex) and me were hoping we could get on deck to see the diving equipment up close but we were unable to do so. The "powers to be" were not on site this day and the people in charge were not able to grant us permission to get on deck so we simply took pictures and took in the sites and recalled all the thrills we witnessed on TV two summers ago during the 2008 Olympic Games.

The street vendors were everywhere outside the buildings but the massive gift shop inside The Water Cube was a big hit with our group. After leaving the Olympic Village -- it was off to get a quick bite to eat before heading to the airport to catch our flight to Shanghai.

The Temple of Heaven

Sorry for the delay getting blog posts up. Apparently, the Chinese Internet does not allow direct access to blog website as a way to control what may be posted. Anyway -- we will do our best to update through back channels.

We visited the wonderful Temple of Heaven in Beijing. This place is THREE times bigger than The Forbidden City and here is where you can see hundreds o f people doing Tai Chi on the plaza; practicing calligraphy (using water) on the ground and large numbers of people walking, dancing, exercising, playing cards and checkers etc. - just relaxing and having a nice time. The culmination is the beautiful "Temple of the Good Harvest" which I hope to post a picture of as soon as I can.

Friday, November 19, 2010

China Trip -- The Great Wall

The Great Wall should be called the INCREDIBLE WALL. I never dreamed I would ever make it to this place but today I spent two hours here -- walking, climbing, reflecting,taking it all in -- awe-inspiring. I imagined Genghis Khan and the boys coming over the mountain trying to gain access to China and running into, well, this wall. The Great Wall goes for nearly 3500 miles and you simply cannot understand what an undertaking this would have been to build it until you take a cable car up the side of a mountain to get there. Luckily for us, the wall was not too crowded with people. The only "downside" is the gauntlet of vendors through which you must walk to get to and from the cable car -- daunting!

The placard at the entrance says: "Once intended to ward off attacks, today it brings together the people of the world. The Great Wall -- may it continue to act as a symbol of friendship for future generations." Cross one thing off the "bucket list."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Interesting Foods in China

Our group has enjoyed some wonderful meals so far on the trip. From Dim Sum to Moslem "Hot Pot" to a wonderful eight course meal hosted by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (of which Yilla Guan is the chairperson of in San Francisco). We have tried to eat everything with chopsticks and have been very "adventuresome"at table.

See photos above of taken at our Friendship Banquet and our "Hot Pot" dinner (certainly NOT for picky eaters)!!

Blogging NOT EASY in China!

It should be noted that "blogging" while in China is difficult. It appears that the government blocks access to blogs (of any type) for fear of angry political propaganda posts being made. I could not access my blog directly to post these entries or pictures -- rather I have to remotely connect to my PC at the office and then upload that way.

China Tour -- Tiannaman Square

Just outside The Forbidden City is the largest city centre in the world. It is called Tiannaman Square and it is MASSIVE. In the center of the square is the mausoleum that holds the remains of Chairman Mao and at one end is the famous giant poster of the former leader of The People's Republic of China. There are street vendors EVERYWHERE hawking their goods and they do not take "NO" for an answer. It was eerie to be standing in the same place where the famous student rebellion took place nearly 20 years ago. We were told the square could hold at least 1,000,000 people! WOW!

China Tour -- The Forbidden City

WOW and I mean WOW!! Talk about a palace -- the Forbidden City was built in the early 1400's and was occupied by 24 emperors up until circa 1925 when it was opened to the public. Now millions and millions of people tour this area that takes up 720,000 square meters and it surrounded by a 52' wide moat that was dug by hand by some of the 3,000,000 laborers who built this amazing place in about 20+ years. It has incredible palaces, buildings, pathways, etc. that are too numerous to count and they seem to go on forever and ever! The movie "The Last Emperor" was filmed on location here and it would be hard to get the same shot twice because you simply cannot fathom how big this place is until you walk around it for a couple of hours. No pictures can do this place justice.

China Tour -- National Aquatic Training Center

Jet lag got the best of me so I did not sleep well the first night. Breakfast that next morning was an incredible buffet with more food that any person could even dream of eating. There was not much "American style" breakfast food but as they say: "when in Rome....."

After breakfast we headed to the National Aquatic Training Center. This was a special treat for us because it is not open to the public and there are guards at the gated entrance to the complex. After a brief introduction meeting with the facility director, we were taken to the famous dry land training room where a number of the younger Chinese National Team divers were practicing. Unfortunately, this room is considered "State secret" and we were strictly forbidden from taking photos in the dry land room. However, I can tell you that there were 15 (FIFTEEN) Cheeseboards on Short Stands into foam landing pits. These were surrounded by 6 (SIX) large trampolines with overhead spotting rigs and at the far end of the room was some one meter platforms and another diving board that went into a large in ground foam pit. Oh yeah -- one more thing -- there was another identical room just down the hallway. INCREDIBLE!!

We were then taken to the actual diving well where the training takes place. (See the photo above). There were 10 Springboards and a full set of towers. There was a "Bubbler" machine and overhead spotting rigs above a one meter and three meter springboard. The platforms were covered with 2-Ply Black Rough-tex and there were cameras and other recording devices all over the place. It was VERY WARM and humid in the pool area.

After a VERY short visit, we were whisked out of the building and to our waiting motor coach for travel to the Forbidden City and Tiannaman Square. We did not get to see any of the SEVEN Olympic Gold Medallists from China as they were all in Guangzhou for the 2010 Asian Games which we will attend in about a week.

Diving Goodwill Tour of China -- Day 3!

Thirteen plus hours on an airplane is rather difficult. After you have been flying for what feels likes DAYS, the TV monitors tell you that there are only 5.5 hours remaining!! The temperature outside the plane is -65 degrees and you are 40,000 up in the air somewhere above Siberia!

We landed at Beijing International Airport -- Terminal 3 -- which was built just for the 2008 Olympic Games and it was like many things we saw on TV during the Games HUGE, INCREDIBLE and a bit ostentatious. Luckily, there were hardly no other passengers there at the time so we breezed right through security and headed to dinner at a local Dim Sum restaurant. After dinner, it was check-in at the hotel and then straight to bed!!

The picture above shows the Olympic Mascots near the exit of the airport. There were also some Terra Cotta soldiers "guarding" the gate.

CHINA TRIP -- Departure Day!!

Our group met at San Francisco Airport; checked in ; went through security and then headed to the international gate where we waited for our13+ hour flight on a large China Air 747. The picture above shows the group near the check-in gate.

Left to Right: Yilla Guan (our hostess from Allied International Resources); Jan Rude (President of Duraflex International); Kathy and Doug Bowman (Duraflex Factory Superintendent); Joanne and Bill Walker (Past President of USA Diving); Micki King (1972 Olympic Gold Medallist -- Women's 3M Springboard); Steve Voellmecke (Springboards and More); Lindsay, Micki and Mark Spry (Duraflex International Engineer); Tony Huang (VP and GM of Allied International).
On the plane, we were able to read the diary (and see the photos) that Micki King kept when she last visited China in 1973 after winning the Olympic Gold Medal for Springboard Diving in Munich, Germany the year before.

Monday, November 15, 2010

China Trip Day 1 -- San Francisco

Arrived in San Francisco this morning and was greeted at airport by representatives from Allied International Resources (the Duraflex Diving Equipment Dealer for China as well as Springboards and More's Rough-tex Dealer for Asia). Allied International is also our host for the China Diving Tour.

After a nice lunch at a local Chinese Buffet, we toured the warehouse where they store the diving boards, diving stands and Rough-tex in preparation for shipment to Asia. (See attached photo of Tony and Yilla (Allied International); Steve (Springboards and More) and Mike (Geodis Wilson Global Logistics).

Tony and Yilla then took Steve on a "quick" tour of San Francisco including the "Twin Peaks" (San Francisco Overlook); Golden Gate Park; Golden Gate Bridge; Fisherman's Wharf; Palace of the Arts (site of 1915 World Expo) and finally China Town where we enjoyed a great meal at a local Vietnamese restaurant. Here we learned that the more noise you make while eating your bowl of noodle soup -- the more you like it!! SLURP!!!

Now it is off to bed for a good night's sleep in preparation for a long flight to Beijing tomorrow.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Springboards and More along with some members of The Duraflex International Corporation; a former Olympic Gold Medalist and a Past President of USA Diving will spend nearly two weeks in China on a diving goodwill tour.

Their travels will take them to Beijing where they will see and tour the 2008 Olympic Venues including the "Water Cube" (pictured above). They will visit and tour the National Aquatic Training Center for Diving and watch some practices. They will also spend some time in Shanghai before heading to Guangzhou where they will get to watch some of the springboard competition at the 2010 Asian Games.

The hope and plan is to make daily blog posts about the trip right here so be sure to check back often!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


What is the object of diving? I suppose the answer to this depends on whom you are asking. For me as a coach -- I try to teach my divers from the very beginning that the object of diving is comprised of the following four items:

1) Go in straight (vertical entry -- most important!)
2) Go in straight with good form (legs straight, feet together, toes pointed!)
3) Go in straight with good form and little or no splash (RIP entry!)
4) Go in straight with good form, little or no splash and at a safe distance from the diving board (too close is too dangerous!)

Once your diver can do these four things, there is a fifth item and that is to increase the degree of difficulty (D.D.) of your dive list. Once your D.D. has been increased, you then try to complete numbers one through four again on the new list of dives.

Chances are good that if you can do these four things (plus the fifth item), you will be able to accomplish what legendary diving coach Hobie Billingsley used to tell his divers: "Beat the guy who finishes 2nd"!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


If you are a diver and perhaps a bit superstitious, then today is your day!! October 10, 2010 -- the 10th day of the 10th month of the 10th year of the century (or the millennium). Abbreviated, today is 10/10/10!!

This day will only happen once in your lifetime so if you have a diving meet today -- hopefully, today's date will impart some kind of good luck to you. If you do not have a meet today but will be attending practice -- it might be a good idea to really put in some extra effort so that someday in the future you just might hear the announcer reading your scores as today's date!! 10/10/10!!

REMEMBER: According to the new FINA Diving Judging Chart, a "10" does NOT mean perfect -- a "10" means EXCELLENT so go out there and try to be excellent today!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Are You Really Putting in the Time, Effort and Work Required?

The legendary Muhammad Ali once said: "The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses -- behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights."

If we change the words around to make this quote more relevant to diving, perhaps it would read as: "The meet is won or lost far away from spectators -- behind the lines, in the pool, and in the dryland room, long before I soar through the air and knife through the water."

The question is are you as a diver doing all that it takes to be a champion? Are you putting in full workouts with maximum effort -- both in the pool and in the dryland room? Are you eating right, getting enough sleep and taking good care of your body? Are you doing extra stretching, watching films, practicing hurdles, working on entries, handstands, kick outs, slow-motion simulation, visualization, etc.? If not, chances are good that you will not be as successful as you could be (or should be). If you are, then perhaps this other Ali quote will ring true:

"I hated every minute of training, but I said (to myself) 'Don't quit. Suffer now and the live the rest of your life as a champion'."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Does Your Diving Board "Squeak"?

One question we often get at Springboards and More is "My diving board is squeaking -- what is the problem"?

The first thing you should do if your diving board is making strange noises is to do a visual inspection (while somebody is bouncing on the board) and try to determine from where the noise is coming. Is it the board itself or is it from the fulcrum area? Perhaps the hinge area? Maybe the guard rails? Could it be where the stand is bolted to the pool deck? Could it be a combination of some of these?

Often times, it is difficult to determine because noise travels so fast, it can be hard to pin point.

If you can isolate the noise, you should make the necessary adjustments to the fulcrum, guard rails, stand, etc. If you CANNOT isolate the noise, I would suggest you oil the hinges. Yes, that is correct -- oil the hinges. A Duraflex hinge has a "male" and "female" part that are held together with a (hinge) "pin" that is surrounded by four plastic Nyliners ("bushings") and an "O" ring at either end of the hinge pin to keep it from sliding out of the hinge.

You will notice that Duraflex hinges have a small hole in the center of the "male" portion. This is where you insert oil into the hinge assembly. (The Duraflex factory suggests 3 in 1 Oil). The hinges should be oiled every time you grease the fulcrum (about 2x per month). Every time the board is bounced, the hinge pin pivots inside the Nyliners and Hinge. If you do NOT oil the hinges, the (plastic) Nyliners (bushings) start to dry out and as the board is bounced, the hinge pins have difficulty pivoting inside the Nyliners and this is often times where you get the squeaking sound you hear when the board is bounced.

If the problem has persisted for quite some time, it is very possible that the Nyliners have cracked or broken and you may need to replace the hinge pin, the Nyliners and the "O" rings (aka the Hinge "Guts" Kit -- sold exclusively by Springboards and More).

Regardless of what needs to be done, remember the four "P's" and one "M" of diving board maintenance: Proper Maintenance Prevents Poor Performance (of your equipment).

Monday, March 29, 2010

Congratulations to the TOP NCAA Diving Coaches!

Now that the all six of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships have ended, it is time to recognize the Top Diving Coaches in NCAA Division I, II and III. The following coaches have been named 2010 NCAA Diving Coach of the Year as presented by the College Swim Coaches Association of America:

Division I Women: JANE FIGUEIREDO (University of Houston)

Division I Men: ADAM SOLDATI (Purdue University)

Divison II Women: DAVE HROVAT (Clarion University)

Division II Men: DAVE HROVAT (Clarion University)

Division III Women: STAN RANDALL (Trinity University)

Divison III Men: JOHN MOORE (S.U.N.Y. Oswego)

Best Wishes to these and all diving coaches for a safe and successful 2010 and beyond! Keep up the GREAT work you are doing!

DIVING Does It Again!

Once again, the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship Team Title was greatly influenced by DIVING. This time, the Texas Longhorns Men's Team -- on the strength of the very fine showing of their divers -- was able to hold-off 2nd place team Univ. of California (500 points for UT versus 469.5 points for Cal -- a difference of 30.5 team points) in the final team standings at the 2010 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.

The Texas Diving duo of Drew Livingston and Matthew Cooper combined to score 54 team points with their 3rd, 9th, 16th, 3rd and 7th place finishes); 2nd Place team University of California scored ZERO team points in diving; 3rd place team Univ. of Arizona scored 13 team points in diving; 4th place Stanford University scored ZERO team points in diving and 5th place team Univ. of Florida scored ZERO team points in diving.

In mathematics, a person needs to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide -- it is difficult to be successful in math (or life) by only being able to do three of these four disciplines. Similarly, well rounded swim teams need to have sprinters, distance swimmers, backstrokers, flyers, breaststrokers AND DIVERS. It is difficult to be the overall best team if your team is weak or lacking in one or more of these disciplines. And, since diving accounts for 3 of the 21 events (14%) that are contested at the NCAA Championships -- it behooves every program to make sure that their diving teams have all the resources necessary to recruit and then train the best divers available to be the very best they can -- it can only help the swimming and diving team as a whole.

(Just ask the Florida women)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Attention All Swim Coaches!

Are you one of those swim coaches who thinks diving is a waste of time? That diving is the "ugly red-headed step-sister" that cuts into your pool time; takes money from your budget; makes meets run slower and adds more paperwork to your already busy life?

Well better think again -- especially after seeing the results of the Women's Division I Swimming and Diving Championships. The University of Florida won the venerable team title by a scant 2.5 points over 2nd place Stanford and it would not have been possible had it not been for the very strong showing of the Florida divers. In fact, the University of Florida DIVING Team accounted for 40 of the 382 team points scored by the Gators. The other top 5 teams scored ZERO diving points in the meet. Without the points earned by the divers, the Florida Gators would have finished in 5th place as a team. See below:

NCAA Division I TOP 5 TEAM SCORES (WITH Diving Points)

University of Florida -- 382 Team Points (40 points from diving)
Stanford University -- 379.5 Team Points (0 points from diving)
Univ. of California -- 363.00 Team Points (0 points from diving)
Univ. of Arizona -- 359.5 Team Points (0 points from diving)
Univ. of Georgia -- 342.5 Team Points (0 points from diving)

NCAA Division I TOP 5 TEAM SCORES (WITHOUT Diving Points)

Stanford University -- 379.5 Team Points
Univ. of California -- 363 Team Points
Univ. of Arizona -- 359.5 Team Points
Univ. of Georgia -- 342.5 Team Points
University of Florida -- 342 Team Points

The moral to the story is to never underestimate the importance of having a diving team!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The "Bad" Side of TIVO

Recently, while judging the SEC Championships at the beautiful University of Georgia Aquatic Center, I made an observation which really got me thinking.

Like many pools around the country where competitive divers train, the TIVO is an integral piece of equipment that is used on a daily basis. (For those who do not know, a TIVO is a device that looks like a VCR and which records and then plays back what was recorded on a delay set by the coach. This allows the diver to instantly see the dive they just performed and is considered a "must have" training tool for divers).

What I noticed is that most of the divers in the competition would do their dive and then go right to the TIVO to watch their dive BEFORE looking to their coach for corrections and suggestions for improvement. My thought was that this was BACKWARD. The diver should go to the coach FIRST to get coaching on the dive and THEN go to the TIVO to watch the dive paying close attention to what the coach told them they needed to do on the next attempt. This way, the diver does not fall into the potentially bad habit of coaching themselves and thinking they know the best way to make corrections to their dive.

Without a doubt, a TIVO is a great asset for every diving team because it certainly helps the divers improve at a faster pace by giving instant feedback about the dive HOWEVER; it is my humble suggestion that the following rule be established: The diver first comes to the coach to get advice and corrections on the dive BEFORE going to the TIVO to watch it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

When To Replace Spotting Rig Components

I often get asked the question "when is it time to replace components of a spotting rig?"

Certainly, a quick visual inspection of your spotting equipment should be done before every use. Are the ropes frayed? Are the swivel clips bent or broken? Does the spotting belt have any loose stitching? Is the rope running smoothly through the pulleys? etc. etc.

But the real answer depends on many factors including:

  • How often is the spotting rig used?
  • How big are the kids being spotted? (College age? High School? Age Group? Lessons?)
  • How often is the spotting rig "shock-loaded"?
  • How old are the ropes? The Pulleys? The Clips?
  • What is the environment where the spotting rig is used? (Indoor? Outdoor? Near the ocean? Heavy chlorine environment? Direct sun?)
  • How experienced is the person doing the spotting? (Very experienced? Novice?)

It is my suggestion that the coach or facility maintenance staff should closely inspect the entire spotting rig including the ropes, the pulleys, the swivel clips, the links that attach the pulleys to the spotting rig or the ceiling clamps, the rig itself or the ceiling attachment clamps at least twice per year -- more if the spotting equipment is used daily.

It is always best to err on the side of caution -- when in doubt or if not sure -- replace.

NOTE: Make sure the components you use are RESCUE RATED and designed and intended to be used for overhead lifting of human weight -- not the cheap imported rope and hardware sold at Big Box stores. Remember that Good Spotting Equipment is NOT Cheap and Cheap Spotting Equipment is NOT Good!

Diving Referee or Judges Should Help Teach Younger Divers

My kids are both on the third grade basketball team and for the most part -- it is a comedy of errors watching them "play" the game and learn the game!

Of course, teaching the kids how to play the game is the job of the coach but I like how the local referees take an active role of teaching the kids during the games. As you can imagine, the rules of basketball for 3rd graders are not very strictly enforced -- but when they are, I really like how the referee will squat down in front of the kid and tell him exactly why the whistle was blown or why the foul was called. This way, the youngster can get immediate feedback and learn the game one rule at a time.

Similarly, diving referees and judges should do the same thing -- especially in summer league diving. If a failed dive, balk or other penalty is called, the referee (or judge) should call the young aspiring diver over and explain exactly why the penalty was called to make sure they understand. In certain instances, I think even letting young diver repeat a dive that was failed is a great opportunity to teach the sport to them. Call them over, explain why the dive was failed and then let them try it again. This is a non-threatening and non embarrassing way to teach a young diver and keep them involved in the sport by taking a potentially humiliating experience and turning it into a positive situation.

Can A Judge Give A Zero If The Referee Does Not Fail the Dive?

The answer is YES -- a diving judge can score a dive "ZERO" even if the referee has not declared the dive to be failed. This somewhat rare situation is most likely to happen in a high school competition and when it does occur, it is usually on a twisting dive -- especially when the judges are seated on both sides of the diving well (as they should be).

A few notes:
  • Scores in diving range from a high of "10" (Excellent) to a low of "0" (failed).
  • Whenever possible -- judges should be seated on BOTH sides of the diving well.
  • Whenever possible (and at all "big" meets) there should be both a referee and an assistant referee who are seated on opposite sides of the pool.
  • The ASSISTANT referee makes the call (failed dive) and the referee either confirms it or does not confirm it. In order for the dive to be declared failed -- BOTH the referee AND the assistant referee should be in agreement.
  • If the referee declares the dive to be "failed" -- all scores are "0" -- even if one or more of the judges does NOT think it was failed.
  • A judge who gives a "0" to a dive not declared failed by the referee should be able to defend that score with an explanation other than "it was my opinion."
  • All diving judges should watch as much diving as they are able in order to keep their "diving eye" sharp.
  • All diving judges should know and understand the rules of the sport.
  • All diving judges should first and foremost be completely neutral; judge what they see fairly and accurately and always give the diver the benefit of the doubt.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thank You, Mr. Lindner.

One of the most instrumental people behind the creation of USA Diving as we know it today recently passed away. Cincinnati Philanthropist Mr. Richard Lindner died on Saturday January 16, 2010 at the age of 88.

Mr. Lindner was the owner of Thriftway Grocery Stores -- at one time the 2nd largest privately held company in Cincinnati, OH and was one of the people who helped the sport of diving break away from swimming and the AAU to become it's own entity in the late 1970's. Mr. Lindner was an original member of the United States Diving Foundation Board of Trustees, and a major contributor to USA Diving through the Helen Gill Lindner Memorial Fund which was created after the death of his wife in 1977. Over $100,000 in support of sports medicine and sports science came from this donation.

Mr. Lindner's daughter Carol was a diver who was coached by Rick Early, Wynn Young and ultimately Hobie Billingsley. Hobie remains a very close family friend.

According to Todd Smith (former Executive Director of USA Diving), "Rich was a very special person, the type that can never be forgotten."

Memorial contriubtions may be sent to the following charitable organizations:

Armstrong Chapel United Methodist Church * 5125 Drake Road * Cincinnati, OH 45243
St. Joseph Home * 10722 Wyscarver Road * Cincinnati, OH 45241