Apparently Cannonballing Is a Real Sport Now

Learn more about splash diving, which is all the rage in Germany. Is it really a sport?

You know the name of the game—tucking your knees and hugging your legs to make the biggest splash possible when you jump into the pool.

Officially called "splash diving," the activity-cum-sport is beginning to take off in Germany. And the "dives"—and somersaults and twists— are done from a 30- or 40-foot-high platform.

Splash diving champion (and founder) Christian Guth has been cannonballing for 10 years. He told Vice that he and a bunch of his friends started doing it at a local pool to gain the attention of some ladies. Then they got the idea to jump from the diving board and the high platform. And they were hooked. Apparently, it doesn't hurt as much as you think(?)

"Diving is like boxing," Guth said. "When you get in the ring for the first time and get hit with two well-aimed left hooks from the local champion, you will probably be crying about it for the rest of the week. But by your 20th match, you will probably know how to avoid the blow or to block it, and if you get hit, you are better equipped to take it. It's the same with splash diving. With a bit of training, you can get your body ready for almost anything."

Although splash diving is a freestyle discipline, it's got rules. You have to announce your dives in advance—e.g., double somersault with half twist. Thirteen landing positions are possible as well. Each diver gets four dives, but the first one, judged purely on splash, allows no acrobatics. Otherwise, the dives judged on degree of difficulty, takeoff, overall execution, and of course landing.

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