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Understanding Masters Diving

If you are over 21 years of age and want to know if you can start in a sport such as diving, the answer is yes. Masters Diving is a program that is dedicated to adults who want to stay involved — or get involved — in the sport of diving. It is a fun opportunity that is open to all adults, including those without any prior knowledge or background in the sport.

One of the goals of Masters Diving is to encourage adults (over the age of 21) to stay active by participating in a friendly, competitive environment. There are a variety of diving competitions that are opened to Masters divers throughout the year. Masters divers have the opportunity to travel and compete in various cities and countries around the world. Further, Masters Diving is a social group as well as a performance-based activity.

If this opportunity is something that interests you, read on. This guide contains general information about the world of Masters Diving.

History of Masters Diving

Masters Diving started in 1974 by John Deininger, a former professional diver. Deininger was looking for a way to stay involved with competitive diving while at the same time encourage a fun and friendly social environment. The first Masters National Diving Competition was held in 1974 in Texas. The meet was largely a bust, and only seven divers attended!

USA Diving recognizes Masters divers who are between the ages of 21-24. But FINA requires divers to be older than 24 years of age in order to participate in Masters competitions.

After some discussion, it was decided to offer one more Masters National Diving Competition. This time 25 divers attended. The world of Masters Diving had arrived. Today there are thousands of Masters divers around the world.

These divers come from varied backgrounds. Some are former competitive, national, and international diving stars. For others, Masters is their first time diving competitively.

Masters Diving Rules

Masters Diving is supported by both USA Diving and FINA Diving. In the United States, there are two championship Masters competitions: Spring and summer. There is also a series of World Championships that many countries are involved in.

Masters Diving encourages safety among its participants. For this reason, divers are broken into different age groups. These brackets differ depending on the type of competition it is. Here is a general breakdown of the age groups and requirements for springboard diving:

  • 21-29: Divers perform 10 dives. Five voluntary dives (from different dive groups) with a degree of difficulty (DD) limit of 9.5, and five dives from different dive groups with no DD limit.
  • 30-39: Divers perform 10 dives. Five voluntary dives (from different dive groups) with a DD limit of 9.5, and five dives from different dive groups with no DD limit.
  • 40-49: Divers perform nine dives. Five voluntary dives (from different dive groups) with a DD limit of 9.5, and four dives from different dive groups with no DD limit.
  • 50-59: Divers perform eight dives. Four voluntary dives (from different dive groups) with a DD limit of 7.6, and four dives from different dive groups with no DD limit.
  • 60-69: Divers perform seven dives. Three voluntary dives (from different dive groups) with a DD limit of 5.7, and four dives from different dive groups with no DD limit.
  • 70-79: Divers perform six dives. Three voluntary dives (from different dive groups) with a DD limit of 5.7, and three dives from different dive groups with no DD limit.
  • 80-89: Divers perform five dives. Three voluntary dives (from different dive groups) with a DD limit of 5.7, and two dives from different dive groups with no DD limit.
  • 90 & up: Divers perform two dives. One voluntary dive with a DD limit of 1.9, and one dive without a DD limit.

In most Masters Diving competitions, divers can choose from either the 1-meter springboard, 3-meter springboard, or a combination of both.

In national competitions, however, it is separated into 1-meter and 3-meter competitions. Here, divers must perform their list of dives from the designated springboard level. For platform diving, divers may choose from a combination of the three different platform levels: 5-meter, 7.5-meter, or 10-meter.

Amazingly True Story

Viola Krahn was a competitive diver for 85 years. During her tenure as a Masters diver, she won 17 Masters World Titles and was inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame. She retired from diving at 101 years of age, and passed away in June 2004 at the age of 102. Masters Diving honors her memory by devoting a diving award in her name: The Viola Cady Krahn Award is given to a woman diver who has shown outstanding achievement in a Masters National Competition.

Never Too Late

Masters Diving is a great opportunity for adults of all ages and of all diving levels. The first step is to look here on iSport for a local program. Most club diving teams will also offer a Masters program. Once you locate a team, call and inquire about the Masters program in your area. With Masters Diving, it is never too late to join — or re-establish yourself in — the world of springboard and platform diving.

Masters Diving is a program that is dedicated to adults of all ages and diving skill levels. This guide contains all the details of what this program entails.
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