26 research outputs found

    Intra-Individual Head Depth Variability During the Competitive Swim Start

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    The research on the competitive swim start primarily consists of group mean and maximum depths with little attention given to individual variability. The purpose of this study was to quantify intra-individual racing start depth variability and use it to assess minimum water depth standards. Twenty-two competitive swimmers executed five racing starts into a water depth of 3.66 m. Intra-individual variability was quantified by taking the standard deviation of the maximum depth of the center of the head for the five racing starts executed by each swimmer. The mean value was 0.09 m with a standard deviation of 0.06 m. Analysis of means and standard deviations showed that about one-third of swimmers would be expected to have a head depth deeper than the current minimum water depth requirement (i.e., 1.22 m) for at least 10% of starts. Based on this research conducted in deep water, it seems that swimmers should demonstrate both consistency and control of racing start depth before being permitted to execute starts in shallow water

    Vertical Head Velocity During Worst-Case Scenario Swim Starts

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    The potential for injury exists during the execution of a competitive swim start if an athlete contacts the pool bottom. The aim of the study was to provide vertical head velocities (VHV) at predetermined water depths when competitive swimmers perform worst-case scenario swim starts. A total of 22 swimmers performed starts from a standard starting block into a diving well with a water depth of 3.66 m. The starts were considered worst-case because the swimmers were asked to modify their typical start trajectory by traveling directly towards the pool bottom. VHV was 3.67 ± 0.66 m⋅s-1 at a water depth of 1.0 m and decreased to 1.67 ± 0.62 m⋅s-1 at a depth of 2.5 m. VHV was correlated (p \u3c .05) with height and mass at the seven different depths evaluated. The potential for injury during worst-case starts existed at all depths measured. In terms of risk management for injury potential, there seems to be modest additional benefit to increasing water depth from 1.75 to 2.50 m as more than one third of swimmers would still have a 15% risk of catastrophic neck injury should an impact occur at 1.75 m water depth

    Racing start safety: head depth and head speed during competitive starts into a water depth of 1.22 m

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    From the perspective of swimmer safety, there have been no quantitative 3-dimensional studies of the underwater phase of racing starts during competition. To do so, 471 starts were filmed during a meet with a starting depth of 1.22 m and block height of 0.76 m. Starts were stratified according to age (8 & U, 9–10, 11–12, 13–14, and 15 & O) and stroke during the first lap (freestyle, breaststroke, and butterfly). Dependent measures were maximum head depth, head speed at maximum head depth, and distance from the wall at maximum head depth. For all three variables, there were significant main effects for age, F(4, 456) = 12.53, p < .001, F(4, 456) = 27.46, p < .001, and F(4, 456) = 54.71, p < .001, respectively, and stroke, F(2, 456) = 16.91, p < .001, F(2, 456) = 8.45, p < .001, and F(2, 456) = 18.15, p < .001, respectively. The older swimmers performed starts that were deeper and faster than the younger swimmers and as a result, the older swimmers may be at a greater risk for injury when performing starts in this pool depth

    Water depth influences the head depth of competitive racing starts

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    Recent research suggests that swimmers perform deeper starts in deeper water (Blitvich, McElroy, Blanksby, Clothier, & Pearson, 2000; Cornett, White, Wright, Willmott, & Stager, 2011). To provide additional information relevant to the depth adjustments swimmers make as a function of water depth and the validity of values reported in prior literature, 11 collegiate swimmers were asked to execute racing starts in three water depths (1.53 m, 2.14 m, and 3.66 m). One-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed that the maximum depth of the center of the head was significantly deeper in 3.66 m as compared to the shallower water depths. No differences due to water depth were detected in head speed at maximum head depth or in the distance from the wall at which maximum head depth occurred. We concluded that swimmers can and do make head depth adjustments as a function of water depth. Earlier research performed in deep water may provide overestimates of maximum head depth following the execution of a racing start in water depth typical of competitive venues

    Start depth modification by adolescent competitive swimmers

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    To expand upon previous studies showing inexperienced high school swimmers can complete significantly shallower racing starts when asked to start “shallow,” 42 age group swimmers (6-14 years old) were filmed underwater during completion of competitive starts. Two starts (one normal and one “requested shallow”) were executed from a 0.76 m block into 1.83 m of water. Dependent measures were maximum depth of the center of the head, head speed at maximum head depth, and distance from the starting wall at maximum head depth. Statistical analyses yielded significant main effects (p < 0.05) for start type and age. The oldest swimmers’ starts were deeper and faster than the youngest swimmers’ starts. When asked to start shallowly, maximum head depth decreased (0.10 m) and head speed increased (0.32 ms-1) regardless of age group. The ability of all age groups to modify start depth implies that spinal cord injuries during competitive swimming starts are not necessarily due to age-related deficits in basic motor skills

    Competitive swimmers modify racing start depth upon request

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    To expand upon recent findings showing that competitive swimmers complete significantly shallower racing starts in shallower pools, 12 more experienced and 13 less experienced swimmers were filmed underwater during completion of competitive starts. Two starts (1 routine and 1 “requested shallow”) were executed from a 0.76 m block height into water 3.66 m deep. Dependent measures were maximum head depth, head speed at maximum head depth, and distance from the starting wall at maximum head depth. Statistical analyses yielded significant main effects (p < 0.05) for both start type and swimmer experience. Starts executed by the more experienced swimmers were deeper and faster than those executed by the less experienced swimmers. When asked to dive shallowly, maximum head depth decreased (0.19 m) and head speed increased (0.33 ms-1) regardless of experience. The ability of all swimmers to modify start depth implies that spinal cord injuries during competitive swimming starts are not necessarily due to an inherent inability to control the depth of the start

    Block height influences the head depth of competitive racing starts

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    The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not starting block height has an effect on the head depth and head speed of competitive racing starts. Eleven experienced, collegiate swimmers executed competitive racing starts from three different starting heights: 0.21 m (pool deck), 0.46 m (intermediate block), and 0.76 m (standard block). One-way repeated measures ANOVA indicated that starting height had a significant effect on the maximum depth of the center of the head, head speed at maximum head depth, and distance from starting wall at maximum head depth. Racing starts from the standard block and pool deck were significantly deeper, faster, and farther at maximum head depth than starts from the intermediate block. There were no differences between depth, speed, or distance between the standard block and pool deck. We conclude that there is not a positive linear relationship between starting depth and starting height, which means that starts do not necessarily get deeper as the starting height increases

    Racing start safety: head depth and head speed during competitive swim starts into a water depth of 2.29m

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    The head depths and head speeds of swimmers attained following the execution of racing starts during competition have not been well described. To address this, 211 competitive starts were filmed into a starting depth of 2.29 m with a block height of 0.76 m. Starts were stratified according to age, sex, stroke, and swim meet. Dependent measures were maximum depth of the center of the head, head speed at maximum head depth, and distance from the wall at maximum head depth. Significant main effects existed for age for all three measures: F(1, 106) = 13.33, p < .001, F(1, 106) = 18.60, p < .001 and F(1, 106) = 70.59, p < .001, respectively. There was a significant age by sex interaction, F(1, 106) = 5.36, p = 0.023, for head speed. In conclusion, older swimmers performed starts that were deeper and faster than younger swimmers and nearly all starts exceeded the threshold speeds for injury. As compared to starts previously reported into 1.22 m, starts were deeper, slower, and farther from the starting wall at maximum head depth

    Head Depth and Head Speed During Competitive Backstroke Ledge Starts

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    Recently, a commercially available starting ‘ledge’ designed to reduce foot slippage during the execution of the backstroke start was introduced in competitive swimming. For the purpose of identifying potential safety consequences, the present study investigated the effect of ledge use on head depths, speeds, and distances in backstroke starts of athletes with no prior or only novice familiarity of the ledge. Competitive backstroke starts were performed with and without ledges by high school-aged (14.5 to 19.2 yr, N = 61) swimmers in 1.52 m of water during a closed testing session. A SIMI Reality Motion System in a calibrated space using three cameras was employed for filming starts. Dependent measures were initial head height (Yset), distance from wall at entry (Xentry), entry angle (Angleentry), horizontal velocity at head entry (XVelentry), resultant velocity at entry (ResVelentry), maximum depth of the center of the head (Ymhd), resultant velocity at maximum head depth (ResVelmhd), and distance from the wall at maximum head depth (Xmhd). The ledge (L) condition showed significant increases compared to the non-ledge (NL) condition in Xentry (L 1.61 ± 0.59 m, NL 1.50 ± 0.53 m, p \u3c .001), ResVelentry (L 3.44 ± 0.97 m·s-1, NL 3.08 ± 1.00 m·s-1, p \u3c .001), Angleentry (L 43.13 ± 16.97°, NL 39.66 ± 18.11°, p = .030), Xmhd (L 4.18 ± 0.58 m, NL 4.09 ± 0.63 m, p = .008), and Ymhd (L 0.54 ± 0.21 m, NL 0.49 ± 0.18,
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