This study investigated the in-flight rotation of elite 3m springboard divers by determining the angular momentum requirement about the transverse axis through the divers center of gravity (somersault axis) required to perform a forward 1 1/2 somersault with and without twist. Three elite male divers competing in the 1982 Commonwealth Games were filmed using high-speed cinematography while performing the forward 1 1/2 somersault in the pike position and the forward 1 1/2 somersault with one twist in a free position. The film was digitized to provide a kinematic description of each dive. An inclined axis technique appeared to be the predominant means of producing twist after takeoff from the board. The angular momentum about the somersault axis after takeoff was greater for the forward 1 1/2 somersault with twist than the forward 1 1/2 somersault without twist for all three divers. The difference in angular momentum between the two dives of each diver ranged from 6% to 19%. The most observable difference between the dives during the preflight phases was the degree of hip flexion at takeoff. There was more hip flexion at takeoff in 5132D than 103B for all three divers. This difference ranged from 9° to 18° (mean = 14°).
Ross H. Sanders and Barry D. Wilson are with the Dept. of Human Movement Studies at the University of Queensland.
Direct all correspondence to Ross H. Sanders, Dept. of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Qld. 4067, Australia.