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No Diving Signs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the minimum swimming pool depth for safe diving?

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A. The American Red Cross recommends a minimum water depth of 9 feet for head-first dives in home pools. This recommendation applies to dives from pool decks as well. For pools with diving boards and/or platforms, the recommendations of FINA (the international governing body for World Championships and the Olympics) may be followed. These are:

  • 1m diving board = 11.5ft pool depth
  • 3m diving board = 12.5ft pool depth
  • 1m diving platform = 11ft pool depth
  • 3m diving platform = 12ft pool depth
  • 5m diving platform = 12.5ft pool depth
  • 7.5m diving platform = 15ft pool depth
  • 10m diving platform = 16.5ft pool depth

Q. What are the risks associated with diving?

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A. As per the New York State Department Of Health , it is estimated that approximately 800 spinal cord injuries due to diving into a body of water occur each year in the United States. A fourth of these occur in swimming pools, usually from diving into the shallow end. One badly gone dive can lead to neurologic impairment, partial/full paralysis, broken neck, etc. These injuries are often severe and, at times, even fatal. One has to exercise caution at all times.

Q. Can you list some safe diving tips?

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A. Diving is as risky as it is exhilarating. Entering a pool head-first with gravity pulling you towards the bottom can be rather dangerous if not done cautiously. The following safety rules are crucial:

  • Don't dive into shallow ends of pools.
  • Dive only off the end of a diving board.
  • Don't dive from starting blocks unless under the direct supervision of a qualified coach.
  • Only bounce once before diving.
  • Do not run and dive.
  • Do not dive alone.
  • Follow proper form — do not attempt flips or twists.
  • Know how to control your dive path and steer up.

Given how deceiving water depth can be, it is always best to refrain from diving unless there is a clearly marked safe diving space.

Q. What does a “No Diving” sign mean?

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A. Diving is a fun activity as long as it is performed safely. A "No Diving" sign means the water isn't safe for a head-first entry. A "No Diving" sign indicates that the water is unsafe for a head-first entry. If these signs are ignored and diving performed, it may lead to head injuries, permanent spinal cord damage, paralysis, and in some cases, even death. Hence, diving should only be done under supervision and in areas marked/identified as safe for diving.

Q. Are “No Diving” signs a legal requirement?

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A. Diving accidents are rather dangerous and often prove costly for the victim and the pool facility provider. Almost all states have laws that prescribe pool usage rules, including diving, and most of these laws require the use of conspicuously placed “No Diving” signs. For instance, Arizona State Law requires the use of signs that read “NO DIVING” in 4” or larger letters or display the international symbol for no diving. These signs are needed for public or semi-public pools.
Similarly, California Building Code requires “No Diving” signs for pools with a maximum depth of 6 feet or less. Since pool signs exist at the local level, your county/town may also prescribe requirements pertaining to the “No Diving” sign. It is recommended that you check with your health department or other code enforcement authority to prevent compliance issues.
You can find all state-specific pool rules signs on our website.

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