When considering the dimensions for a diving pool, it is not just the size that matters—the distance and space between the diving boards and platforms, and the depth of the water under each, must also be considered to create a safe diving environment.
The regulations detailed below are based on sections 5.1-5.3 of the 2005-2009 FINA Rules and Regulation Handbook.
The diving pool can be a separate diving well or part of the competitive swimming pool. A competitive diving pool should be at least 60 feet (18.29 meters) in length and 75 feet-11 inches (22.89 meters) in width. It should be equipped with two 1-meter springboards, two 3-m springboards and a diving platform with three levels: 5m, 7.5m and 10m.
The diving pool needs to be at a minimum temperature of 26 degrees Celsius. The sides need to be painted either white or light blue, and the bottom must somehow contrast (through a dark line or design) with the walls to help the diver determine the floor of the pool.
The pool must have surface agitators—normally a light sprinkler system—that enable the diver to see the surface of the water.
Each diving board needs to have the following requirements:
- Dimensions: 4.8m long (15.75 ft) and .5m wide (19.68 inches)
- Surface: Boards need to have a non-slip surface and an easily adjustable fulcrum
A fulcrum is an adjustment tool that is .676m long and provides varying degrees of spring to the board. It must sit level to the platform and the diving board must be level to the fulcrum in all the fulcrum settings. The vertical distance from where the fulcrum is installed on the platform to where the springboard rests on top must be 0.365m.
The measurements of the diving board to the water are based on the plummet line of the board, the vertical line extending from the front edge of the diving springboard. The tip of the diving board is often referred to as the “plummet.”
Diving Boards and Pool Dimensions
There must be 2.5m of space from the plummet to the side of the pool for the 1-meter springboard and 3.5m for 3-meter springboards. There must be 2m of space between the plummets of adjacent 1-meter springboards and 2.2m of space between 3-meter springboards.
There must be at least 1.5m of space from the plummet to the pool wall behind the diving boards for both 1-meter and 3-meter springboards; from the plummet to the pool wall in front of the diving board, there must be 9 meters of space for 1-meter and 10.25m of space for 3-meter springboards, respectively.
The space or clearing between the plummet to the ceiling (if in an indoor pool) needs to be 5.0m for both springboards. Five meters of clear space must be present in front of the diving board, behind the board and to each side of the board.
Water Depth for Springboard
The depth of the pool is a critical element in diving. The pool can be deeper, but should never be shallower than specified.
The water must be 3.4m deep directly under the plummet of the 1-meter springboard and 3.7m deep for 3-meter springboards. That depth must extend in front of the plummet for a distance of 5m for the 1-meter springboard and 6m for the 3-meter. From the sides of the diving board, the water must be 3.3m and 3.6m deep for the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards, respectively.
Divers can compete from three different levels in platform diving: 5-meters, 7.5-meters and 10-meters. Some pools will also have a 1-meter and a 3-meter platform, but these are used for preparation work and not in competition. Stairs are always required to access the platform (not ladders).
Platforms are a solid structure usually made out of concrete. All platforms must be rigid and horizontal. The surface of the platform needs to be covered in a non-slip material to prevent slipping. The front edge of the platform must be between 0.2 - 0.3m thick, preferably level. If there is an incline, it can’t exceed 10-degrees.
Each platform must adhere to minimum width, length and height requirements. The minimum dimensions of the platforms are as follows:
- 1-meter platform: 0.6 m wide; 5m long; 0.6 – 1m high
- 3-meter platform: 0.6 m wide; 5m long; 2.6 – 3.0m high
- 5- meter platform: 1.5m wide; 6m long; 5m high
- 7.5-meter platform: 1.5m wide; 6m long; 7.5m high
- 10 -meter platform: 3m wide; 6m long; 10m high
Platform Arrangement in the Pool
Platforms should be staggered, not placed directly above or below, one another. If direct placement is unavoidable, then the platform above must extend a minimum of .75m (1.25m is preferable) beyond the lower one.
The distance from the plummet of the platform to the pool wall behind the plummet must be 1.25m for a 5-meter platform and 1.5m for 7.5 and 10-meter platforms. The distance from the plummet to the walls at the side of the pool must be 3.25m for a 5-meter, 4.25m for a 7.5 meter, and 5.25m for a 10-meter platform. There must be 10.25m, 11m, and 13.5m from the plummet of the platforms to the front pool wall for the 5, 7.5, and 10-meter platforms, respectively.
The distance between the plummet of one platform to the plummet of an adjacent platform must measure 2.25m for the 5-meter, 2.5m for 7.5 - meter and 2.75m for 10-meter.
The clearing from the plummet of the platform to the ceiling (if indoor pool) as well as the clearing above the platform (if indoor or outdoor pool) needs to be 2.25m for the 5 and 7.5-meter platform and 4m for the 10-meter platform. This same amount of space is required behind and to the sides of each plummet.
Depth of Water for Platforms
The depth of the water is a critical regulation in platform diving. The pool can be deeper, but no shallower than outlined.
The minimum depths required for each platform are as follows:
- 5-meter platform: 3.7m
- 7.5-meter platform: 4.1m
- 10-meter platform: 4.5m
The water must be 3.6m, 4m, and 4.25m deep from the front and sides of the plummet for 5, 7.5, and 10-meter platforms, respectively.
Safe Diving Pool
The importance of these dimensions cannot be stressed enough. Critical factors such as the depth of the pool and the proper distance between diving boards and platforms is essential to ensure a safe and fun diving experience for all.