While the rules for platform diving do not specifically address angular velocity, momentum or acceleration, they do highlight the safety aspects that these forces demand. Learn what it takes to safely enjoy preparation for competitive events, a summer afternoon at the pool or just to brave the first-time jump. Rules for platform diving keep beginners (and intermediates) out of harm's way–while they are jumping from three- or five-meter platforms.
- Swim without flotation devices. It may sound like common sense, but youngsters in particular must be able to swim in deep water without the help of floaties. During the jump, these flotation devices may come off. The same holds true for the moment of impact.
- Dive single-file. Horsing around on the diving platform is frowned upon, but so is buddy-diving. Rules for platform diving specify that only one person may be on narrower platforms. Going hand in hand with this rule is the requirement that only one person may dive at a time. This prevents mid-air collisions or the just as dangerous in-water collisions.
- Evacuate the area underneath the platform immediately. Once the dive is complete, the swimmer must head for the side of the pool. This clears the water for the next diver. It also prevents accidental impact–should the next diver not see that his predecessor is still underneath the platform.
- Reserve trick-diving for coached sessions. Pool workers do not have the expertise to know when a dive goes wrong. They may not get to the diver quickly enough to prevent serious damage. Unless there is a coach in attendance, the rules for platform diving spell out that only forward diving is acceptable.
Of the unspoken rules for platform diving, the most important one stipulates that the diver does not use a roped-off platform. Personnel have to clear the deep water underneath the platform to ensure that no casual swimmer is in the water when the diving takes place. Observing these rules keeps the diver and also other pool patrons protected.
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