Influence of Fulcrum Position on Springboard Response and Takeoff Performance in the Running Approach

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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The running forward springboard approaches of 20 divers on the U.S. senior national diving team were analyzed using planar video analysis and accelerometer output; the purpose was to investigate kinematic responses of the springboard tip and divers' lower extremities to alterations in fulcrum setting. Divers executed jump takeoffs from a 1-m springboard with the fulcrum at their preferred setting as well as 0.144 m (two fulcrum numbers) forward and 0.144 m back from that location. Potential advantages of setting the fulcrum back further from the tip (as opposed to closer) included greater downward board tip vertical velocity at the beginning of takeoff, more time to generate angular momentum, and increased vertical velocity going into flight. However, setting the fulcrum further back required the diver to achieve longer hurdle flight durations and to reverse downward motion from a more flexed knee position. Accelerometer output in the absence of video was not beneficial as a means of providing immediate performance feedback for coaching purposes.

Ian C. Jones is with the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, London Health Sciences Centre, London, ON, Canada N6A 4G5. Doris I. Miller is with the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada N6A 3K7.

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