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Stephen M. Glass, Christopher K. Rhea, Matthew W. Wittstein, Scott E. Ross, John P. Florian and F.J. Haran

hypermetropia (ie, images become severely blurred and unfocused) and the eye loses about two-thirds of its refractive power. 13 , 14 Diving masks restore the air-to-cornea interface allowing for high underwater acuity; however, they produce a refraction at their outer surface, which results in a narrowing of

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Maurice R. Yeadon, Pui W. Kong and Mark A. King

This study used kinematic data on springboard diving performances to estimate viscoelastic parameters of a planar model of a springboard and diver with wobbling masses in the trunk, thigh, and calf segments and spring dampers acting at the heel, ball, and toe of the foot segment. A subject-specific angle-driven eight-segment model was used with an optimization algorithm to determine viscoelastic parameter values by matching simulations to four diving performances. Using the parameters determined from the matching of a single dive in a simulation of another dive resulted in up to 31% difference between simulation and performance, indicating the danger of using too small a set of kinematic data. However, using four dives in a combined matching process to obtain a common set of parameters resulted in a mean difference of 8.6%. Because these four dives included very different rotational requirements, it is anticipated that the combined parameter set can be used with other dives from these two groups.

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Joseph Hamill, Mark D. Ricard and Dennis M. Golden

A study was undertaken to investigate the changes in total body angular momentum about a transverse axis through the center of mass that occurred as the rotational requirement in the four categories of nontwisting platform dives was increased. Three skilled subjects were filmed performing dives in the pike position, with increases in rotation in each of the four categories. Angular momentum was calculated from the initiation of the dive until the diver reached the peak of his trajectory after takeoff. In all categories of dives, the constant, flight phase total body angular momentum increased as a function of rotational requirement. Increases in the angular momentum at takeoff due to increases in the rotational requirement ranged from a factor of 3.61 times in the forward category of dives to 1.52 times in the inward category. It was found that the remote contribution of angular momentum contributed from 81 to 89% of the total body angular momentum. The trunk accounted for 80 to 90% of the local contribution. In all categories of dives except the forward 1/2 pike somersault, the remote percent contribution of the arms was the largest of all segments, ranging from 38 to 74% of the total angular momentum.

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Doris I. Miller and Eric J. Sprigings

Major factors influencing the ability of divers to perform nontwisting springboard dives of increasing degree of difficulty were investigated. The analysis was based upon 49 dives (42 in pike and 7 in tuck) executed by male and female medalists in the 1996 Olympics. Videotapes were digitized to determine competitors’ vertical velocities and angular momenta at the beginning of dive flight. Centripetal force and resultant joint torque models were used to estimate the effort needed to perform multiple somersaulting dives. Increasing degree of difficulty by spinning in a pike rather than a tuck position for the same number of somersaults was associated with decreased vertical velocity at the start of dive flight, decreased angular velocity while somersaulting in a quasi-rigid position, and little change in centripetal force or related muscular effort. Increasing degree of difficulty by adding a somersault while rotating in a tuck rather than a pike position involved increases in vertical and angular velocities, a smaller increase in angular momentum, and notable increases in resultant joint torque and centripetal force. Sufficient muscular torque to maintain a compact spinning position was considered to be the major additional challenge facing divers making the transition from a 21/2 pike to a 31/2 tuck.

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H. Galbraith, J. Scurr, C. Hencken, L. Wood and P. Graham-Smith

This study compared the conventional track and a new one-handed track start in elite age group swimmers to determine if the new technique had biomechanical implications on dive performance. Five male and seven female GB national qualifiers participated (mean ± SD: age 16.7 ± 1.9 years, stretched stature 1.76 ± 0.8 m, body mass 67.4 ± 7.9 kg) and were assigned to a control group (n = 6) or an intervention group (n = 6) that learned the new one-handed dive technique. All swimmers underwent a 4-week intervention comprising 12 ± 3 thirty-minute training sessions. Video cameras synchronized with an audible signal and timing suite captured temporal and kinematic data. A portable force plate and load cell handrail mounted to a swim starting block collected force data over 3 trials of each technique. A MANCOVA identified Block Time (BT), Flight Time (FT), Peak Horizontal Force of the lower limbs (PHF) and Horizontal Velocity at Take-off (Vx) as covariates. During the 10-m swim trial, significant differences were found in Time to 10 m (TT10m), Total Time (TT), Peak Vertical Force (PVF), Flight Distance (FD), and Horizontal Velocity at Take-off (Vx) (p < .05). Results indicated that the conventional track start method was faster over 10 m, and therefore may be seen as a superior start after a short intervention. During training, swimmers and coaches should focus on the most statistically significant dive performance variables: peak horizontal force and velocity at take-off, block and flight time.

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Ross H. Sanders and Barry D. Wilson

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.

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Karen Murtaugh and Doris I. Miller

To determine strategies for initiating rotation in armstand back and reverse triple somersaults tuck dives from the 10-m platform, videotaped records of 17 elite male divers performing in competitions between 1995 and 1999 were analyzed. Linear and angular momenta at last contact were similar for both dives. Although the lower extremity actions were comparable, they occurred significantly earlier (p < .05) in reverse triple takeoffs, allowing divers to enter the tuck more quickly. As divers lean, the moment arm of the vertical platform reaction force increases with respect to the CG. The vertical platform reaction force moment promotes back and opposes reverse somersaulting angular momentum. Meanwhile, the horizontal platform reaction force moment promotes reverse and opposes back somersaulting angular momentum. Consequently, divers performing reverse triples maintained a more vertical trunk position during the early part of the takeoff, while those executing back triples leaned further before initiating lower and upper extremity actions to exert force against the platform. Since the strategy for reverse rotation may result in the head passing close to the platform and there is very little to gain in degree of difficulty, it is recommended that competitors execute back rather than reverse somersaulting armstand dives.

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Ross H. Sanders and Barry D. Wilson

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°).

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Peter L. Davidson, Brendan Mahar, David J. Chalmers and Barry D. Wilson

This study was to determine estimates of the stiffness and damping properties of the wrist and shoulder in children by examining wrist impacts on the outstretched hand in selected gymnastic activities. The influence of age, mass, and wrist and torso impact velocity on the stiffness and damping properties were also examined. Fourteen young gymnasts (ages 8 to 15 yrs) were videotaped while performing back-handspring trials or dive-rolls. Kinematic and ground reaction analysis provided input for computer simulation of the body as a rheological model with appropriate stiffness and damping. A significant positive linear relationship was obtained between wrist damping in dive rolls and age, mass, and wrist and torso impact velocity, while shoulder damping in the back-handsprings had a significant positive linear relationship with body mass. This new information on stiffness and damping at the shoulder and the wrist in children enables realistic mathematical modeling of children's physical responses to hand impact in falls. This is significant because modeling studies can now be used as an alternative to epidemiological studies to evaluate measures aimed at reducing injuries in gymnastics and other activities involving impact to the upper extremity.

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Agnès Bonnet, Lydia Fernandez, Annie Piolat and Jean-Louis Pedinielli

The notion of risk-taking implies a cognitive process that determines the level of risk involved in a particular activity or task. This risk appraisal process gives rise to emotional responses, including anxious arousal and changes in mood, which may play a significant role in risk-related decision making. This study examines how emotional responses to the perceived risk of a scuba-diving injury contribute to divers’ behavior, as well as the ways that risk taking or non-risk taking behavior, in turn, affects emotional states. The study sample consisted of 131 divers (risk takers and non-risk takers), who either had or had not been in a previous diving accident. Divers’ emotional states were assessed immediately prior to diving, as well as immediately following a dive. Results indicated presence of subjective emotional experiences that are specific to whether a risk has been perceived and whether a risk has been taken. Important differences in emotion regulation were also found between divers who typically take risks and those who do not.