Springboard and Platform Diving/Platform diving
QUESTION: My daughter is 15 and has been tumbling for years and began diving competetively about 18 months ago. She would like to compete in platform competetions. She has had some limited access to platform diving at camps at the university of Texas and univ of Iowa. How can we find meets at which she can compete? We have been told by coaches that she has the ability to compete at the senior level, so age group is not required. We live in Iowa, but We have the ability to travel. Thanks
ANSWER: Peter -
Here are some websites to go to and find meets:
www.divemeets.com - This is the premier website in the US for all types of meets. Teams that host meets use their computer program to register divers for events and also do all the tabulations at the score desk. On the right hand side of the home page, you will see a list of upcoming meets. They are mostly college ones as they are in the middle of their season. Keep checking back and you are bound to see club meets under USA Diving or AAU Diving. Meets for her age group are mainly in the spring and summer. Also at this page, click on Find and then Pools. A large list will come up of pools that host major diving meets all over the world. Under United States, scroll down looking at the last column on the right for pools in IA. Click on the pools name for contact info on when they hosting meets. Also at Find, click on Teams and another huge list will come up. Look for AAU Diving and USA Diving and then scroll down looking for teams in IA. Click on the teams name and contact info will be available. Call or email them for a schedule of events. While at this site, register her (no charge) so if you find a meet you want her to compete in, you will be able to register for it.
The National Governing Body for diving is www.usadiving.org. Click on Join USA Diving and then Find A Club. Enter IA and three team names will come up. Contact them for meet schedules. While at this site, if she is not a member, you should consider joining as she will have to have some type of membership to be able to dive in USA Diving meets.
Another governing body is www.aaudiving.org. This is another organization she will have to join to participate in AAU sanctioned events.
Good luck. You will find events using these sites or by contacting teams and pools.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you for your response. Unfortunately there are no active club teams in Iowa right now, so we are not able to tap into an organized club for meet information. She is working with a private coach right now, but we have no club. I have been to dive meets.com, and we will likely attend some of those meets to compete 1 and 3 m. However, none if the meets currently listed for AAU or USA diving have any platform events listed. Is that just coincidence or am I looking in the wrong place?
As I mentioned in my first answer, most diving events for athletes in age group diving occur in the spring and summer. These include Regional, Zone and National championships all of which have platform events (sometimes not at Regional meets though). The main season for Junior Olympic platform events is March through August.
The thing you have to understand about platform events is that most pools do not have them. There are entire states that do not have platforms (Nevada is an example). Platforms are primarily found on NCAA Division I campuses where platform is an event. There are platforms at pools operated by cities and counties but most opt out of installing them. The reason is the cost (you need 17 feet of water) and that adds a tremendous cost to construction and the cost to heat that amount of water. The other is insurance. Rates go up substantially for platforms. Some new pools are now only putting in low boards only.
My advice to you and your daughter is to become very proficient at the springboard events. You need very sound fundamentals on springboard to be able to do platform correctly and safely. If you are interested in having her be good enough to obtain a college scholarship, NCAA coaches are going to primarily look at how well she has done on 1M and 3M in USA Diving and AAU events. This is because most college diving meets (like a dual meet) are springboard only. The only time there are platform events in college are invitationals, conference championships (some conferences have no platform events), Zone qualification meets (only in Division I) and national championships (again only Division I). Most of college diving is springboard and the divers job is score team points in those dual meet events. College coaches are especially interested in how well a diver can do the harder optionals on the 3M. This is because most of college diving is optionals only. There are very successful divers in this sport who spend very little time on platform during their college years as it is so stressful on their body. Most only concentrate on the springboard events.It is only a small percentage who concentrate on platform and those divers are mainly Nation Team members.
Hope all this helps you understand the sport.