Adding a diving board can increase enjoyment of a swimming pool, but it also drastically increases the likelihood of a drowning or spinal injury. Although federal regulations don’t specify diving board height, most states regulate board height. Insurance companies also provide strict oversight on the height and type of diving structure allowed at a pool. Before installing a diving board, several factors must be considered regarding the board’s height.
Most states require a maximum diving board height of three meters. Larger structures, such as 10-m diving platforms, may be erected; however, in most states, such structures are to be used only by trained competitive divers under the supervision of a coach. In addition, some states have different regulations for diving board heights in commercial pools and backyard pools. Your pool supply company should be able to steer you away from any boards that don’t meet state and local regulations.
Pool Depth and Slope
The appropriate height of a diving board is also determined by the pool into which divers will jump. Nearly every state regulates the minimum depth of the diving well; 10-, 12- and 15-foot minimum depths are the most common requirements for 1-m and 3-m boards. Just as important as water depth is the slope at which the pool dips into the diving well; regulations on diving well size, shape and depth changes may affect the size of diving board you may legally install in a pool.
Because spinal injuries are much more common in pools at which diving boards are installed, insurance demands may play a larger role in determining the availability and height requirements of a diving board. With more stringent depth and slope demands than state requirements, insurance rates often dictate the type and height of diving board that may be installed at a pool.
Competitive Diving Board Heights
If the diving board is installed to be used in diving competition, U.S.A. Diving, in conjunction with international diving associations, requires springboard heights to be set at 1 meter and 3 meters above the surface of the water.