This study investigated factors contributing to the maximum height achieved by divers after takeoff from the 3m springboard. Twelve elite male divers and 12 elite female divers competing in the 1986 Australian National Championships were filmed using high-speed cinematography. Kinematic and kinetic data for the takeoff phase were derived from the digitized film. Variables analyzed included center of gravity (CG) displacement and velocity, the acceleration of the CG relative to the springboard, and the components of mechanical energy contributing to height achieved by the diver’s CG. Body orientation was described in terms of the angles at the hip, knee, and ankle, and whole body angle of lean. Comparison of timing differences among dive groups and divers was aided by normalizing the data with respect to time. It was found that the height achieved was highly dependent on the rotational requirements of the dive, with males achieving greater heights than females. Divers who achieve good height compared to other divers performing the same dive are characterized by a large vertical velocity at touchdown from the hurdle and a minimization of hip flexion (forward dives) and knee flextion (reverse dives) at takeoff.
Ross H. Sanders and Barry D. Wilson are with the Faculty of Physical Education, University of Otago, Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand.