Sport diving is competitive diving for scuba divers. The first competition was played in Zaragoza, Spain in 2000. Sport diving is now an international game with events hosted around the world, but primarily on the European continent.
In a nutshell, sport diving is for scuba divers to compete both individually and in teams . Competitions are usually conducted in a swimming pool ( as a spectator sport) or an approved body of water.
The idea is to compete in underwater events that require the use of tactical, technical and specific psycho-physical conditions in a competitive fashion that tests the proficiency of each participant’s diving abilities.
This underwater sport requires recreational open circuit scuba equipment and involves both competitive individual and team events that test each competitor’s competency in recreational scuba diving techniques.
There are five events in sport diving: Three individual events and two team events.
The individual events are:
- Event M 300 – This is a time trial event over 300m consisting of 6 laps in a 50m pool.
- Lap 1 – Scuba entry, removal of scuba set mid-lap, free swim to surface and snorkel swim
- Lap 2 – Swim on the surface
- Lap 3 – Free dive to locate and dawn scuba set and continue the lap under water
- Laps 4 to 6 – Underwater swim on scuba
- Night Diving – Competitors wear blacked out masks and must find 3 objects on the bottom of the pool within 3 minutes
- Immersion 6k – This event involves being the first to lift a 6kg weight from the bottom of the pool to the surface.
Team events include:
- Obstacle Course – This event is a time based competition where a buddy-pair swims 100m of a obstacle course that spans two swimming lanes while carrying out a number of tasks.
- Briefing – This event requires a team of 4 divers to complete a search and information gathering task while underwater
Below is a synopsis of the objectives, equipment and rules involved in sport diving:
Objectives of Sport Diving:
The international rules of competition contain the following four objectives for Sport Diving – firstly, encourage the further development of recreational scuba diving equipment and technique; secondly, promote scuba diving activities in localities that are remote from suitable diving sites or where open water activity may be prohibited by seasonal or adverse weather conditions; thirdly, to provide an opportunity for recreational scuba divers to practice and improve technique; and fourthly, the promotion of scuba diving carried out in swimming pools as a spectator sport for underwater diving enthusiasts.
Equipment for Sport Diving:
Each competitor is required to have the following recreational diving equipment – a diving mask, fins, a snorkel, a buoyancy compensator, a diving weighting system that is independent of the buoyancy compensator, a diving regulator designed for open circuit scuba and fitted with both an alternative air source for use during the Obstacle Course event (refer below) and a submersible pressure gauge, a diving cylinder with an internal volume between 10 and 18 litres and filled with only breathing air of atmospheric origin, and an exposure suit such as a wetsuit or an isothermal garment such as a dry suit, and footwear such as wetsuit boots. Competitors will also be required to wear a swimming costume of the style used for competitive swimming. The use of the snorkel is usually compulsory for the Event M 300 metres (refer below) and optional in all other events.
Equipment as a diving watch or a diving computer is optional for a competitor to have as underwater timekeeping is carried out by competition officials. The requirements of laws and practices in force at the place of competition may modify or vary the above requirements, i.e. diving cylinder internal volume and pressure rating. Some events such as Immersion 6 kg, Night Diving and Briefing do require additional items of personal equipment (refer below).
Competition Field Specifications:
The sport is conducted in a 50m swimming pool with a minimum depth of 2m. The International rules do allow the Obstacle Course event to be conducted in natural water bodies that satisfy the definition of ‘sheltered water’ (i.e. ‘confined water with swimming pool like conditions’).
For additional information and references refer to the Wikipedia article here: wikipedia.org
Sport diving’s governing body is the Sport Diving Commission of the CMAS Sport Committee. See the CMAS events page here for their latest calendar of events. (* Note 6/21/20 – I just noticed their website certificate has expired so you may get a security warning before entering their website)
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