Block height influences the head depth of competitive racing starts


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

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