Larry Jankens's picture

    Diving Boards and Dinosaurs

    Apparently, diving boards may be as common as a live dinosaur. Pool companies refuse to install them because they are afraid of liability claims should they fail and Homeowner insurers don’t want to insure homes with diving boards for the same reason. Because businesses are so afraid to get sued the younger generation of kids are deprived of the joy of a well executed cannon ball or the satisfaction of a diving into the pool like a seal getting after fish.

    I usually despise people playing the think-about-the-children-card, as far as I’m concerned the future is now, screw the kids. But I think the nationwide ban on diving boards brings up a fundamental question that we need to ask ourselves and our children: Is this the type of society we want to live in?

    I’ll grant you that diving boards do pose a hazard when they are poorly maintained or shabbily built. But how often to you hear of someone wrecking themselves on a diving board because it malfunctioned? It is more likely that some drunk jackass malfunctions himself into a diving board related injury. They can’t outlaw drunk guys yelling “Hey! Look at me I’m gonna do a front flip!” Or can they? My family reunions would be much more dull.

    Spending my formative years in Phoenix I learned to love the pool dearly. I especially loved jumping off the diving board. Now, because companies and consequently people are too afraid to install a diving board, few people will experience the exhilaration of belly flopping into the pool on a hot day. I think the diving board ban makes us wusses. We are so beholden to our fear of liability that we are making jack-knife jumps extinct.

    America has become so litigious that people would rather go without a diving boards on the slight chance that something could go wrong. I’m not saying that we should all live life with caution to the wind, but how dangerous are diving boards? I’ve never seen a 20/20 or Dateline special report on the epidemic of faulty diving boards and that says a lot because those folks are known for blowing threats out of proportion – that’s how they make their living.


    I dunno how I feel about this one. Diving boards are actually kind of dangerous: I'm generally opposed to rule-by-litigation, but I'm not sure that I would let my kids have a diving board. That said, since I have neither a swimming pool nor kids, the point is somewhat moot.

    As someone with a few diving-related injuries to my credit, I agree completely with you, Larry. I also posit that Genghis is a wuss, and that if he had any children they, too, would be wusses. I'm just sayin'…

    If everything remotely dangerous is outlawed, only outlaws will do things remotely dangerous.

    In which case we can identify the outlaws by the pools with diving boards.

    Seriously, there are some things for which the danger factor outweighs the fun factor. Like giant puddles of mercury. I'm not saying that diving boards should be banned or litigated into extinction, just that the loss of the diving board may not be a national tragedy.

    As someone who enjoys diving, but not baseball, I think I should point out that more people probably get injured playing baseball than diving. Therefore, let's outlaw baseball first. OK?

    <shameless flamebait>

    Oh, and that goes for hockey, as well.

    </shameless flamebait>

    Hell yes!!!!!! Second most boring sport ever to have someone actually pay for a ticket.

    That's baseball, not hockey.

    But again, do we want a society that legislates its citizens to be safe as opposed to relying on the citizens to take care of themselves?  I'd rather be unsafe than less free [insert the Benjamin Franklin quote that people usually whip out at this point of the conversation, you know the one]

    Pshaw. We regulate, litigate, and ban dangerous stuff all the time. As I mentioned, mercury is fun to play with. So are drugs, explosives, and alligators. But that doesn't mean that people have the right to put them in the kids' playroom. Maybe diving boards don't meet the threshold, but they are dangerous, and there is a threshold, so it's at least worth asking the question.

    Baseball, on the other hand, should be banned because it's boring, not dangerous.

    Swimming pools up here freeze solid in the winter. There's nothing worse than remembering that as you regain consciousness, cold, naked and with what you suspect is a concussion. Or so I'm told. Ban the boards!

    If we banned things Canuckleheads had trouble with we'd have to outlaw acting with backbone (they declared their independence in 1984 and the queen didn't even notice) - zing!  j/k acanuck, the "a" doesnt' stand for "Admiral" as in Admiral Canuck, the cousin of Captain Canuck, does it?

    @Larry (and Nebton upthread): I'm not quite as flammable as you imagine. But just wait till Quinn catches up on his reading. He's the enforcer on this team, and he's not averse to taking a five-minute penalty -- even the occasional game misconduct. You've been warned.

    I love it when you all pile on the Canuckles. 

    OMG. You people are so old. And also, OLD.

    Banning diving boards is silly. Next we'll be banning electricity because a kid might stick a fork in an outlet. Little kids should be supervised, and if they're not, their parents are responsible. Teenagers are just stupid and a few of them are bound to sustain stupidity-related injuries, regardless of what we try to ban.

    Larry... I completely agree with you! I was a diver and gymnast as a kid and  I keep telling my kids that I grew up in the best era ever.  And the people that have sued others for MOSTLY their dumb-ass judgement calls are the ones that have ruined it for generations to come!  We have to think of every dumb ass move that someone else is going to make just to cover our asses in case we are sued. I bought a huge trampoline for my kids (& myself) and yah, they bounced off into the trees, fence and ground... but got right back up. brushed themselves off and laughed.  They are now 18 and 21 and we laugh about all the crazy things they tried and do you know... that they have never even broken a bone? I'm in a new house now & have a pool, but couldn't bring my trampoline with me, couldn't put in a diving board or slide, because no insurance company would insure us.  I wanted a super fun, entertaining place for my kids & step-kids, but now all they do is watch TV because everyone is so worried about getting hurt and sued. How sad.

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