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Keegan Laporte and Randall Stroshein

Macomb Math Science Technology Center

Physics 11C

Mr. McMillan, Mrs. Cybulski, Mrs. Tallman

29 May 2014

An Analysis of Forward Leaning Track Start, Back Leaning Track Start, and Grab

Start on Distance and Time off a Swim Starting Block

The purpose of this experiment was done to determine if there is an effect

on the distance and time achieved by swimmers performing one of the three

swim starts. The three swim starts that were measured in the experiment were

Grab Start, Forward Leaning Track Start, and Back Leaning Track Start. The

research was conducted because determining the best method of starting would

give a swimmer a competitive advantage by reducing the time of the first

component of the race and therefore reducing their overall swim time. This study

is unique in its specific analysis of these particular swim starts in a certain way

and will be useful for others to base further research upon. The performance of

the experiment had six divers where each did a randomly chosen start. The data

that was recorded was distance and time. To measure the data, a Measurement

Apparatus which marked the distance of the starts in centimeters was attached to

a lane line and a camera was used to accurately measure the distance. When

the start method was viewed, the distance would be noted by the divers fingers

lining up with the Measurement Apparatus. To measure time, a second camera

was set to capture the swimmers feet position and entry into the water. This was

done to record the start method and accurately measure the time between when

the swimmers first reacted to the start signal, and the time their fingers first

touched the water. The means of these two outcomes were used to conduct an

ANOVA statistical test to see if there is a difference between the different start

positions. When the test was done, the researchers found out that there was not

any significant difference between the distances and times between the three

start types.

Table of Contents

Introduction.............................................................................................................1

Review of Literature................................................................................................3

Problem Statement.................................................................................................6

Experimental Design...............................................................................................8

Data and Observations.........................................................................................14

Data Analysis and Interpretation...........................................................................23

Conclusion............................................................................................................32

Acknowledgments.................................................................................................36

Appendix A: Measurement Apparatus Construction.............................................38

Appendix B: Video Analysis Logger Pro ..............................................................40

Appendix C: Video Analysis Tracker Software.....................................................42

Appendix D: Time Achieved Calculations.............................................................43

Appendix E: Sample Calculation of ANOVA Statistical Test.................................44

Work Cited............................................................................................................47

Laporte Stroshein 5

Introduction

In the world of competitive swimming entire races have been determined

by parts of a second; during the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Michael Phelps beat

Milorad avi in the 100 breaststroke by .01 second winning him his seventh

gold medal in that year. With so much on the line, every detail of a race must be

perfectly shaped and practiced for the best time. Years of research, time, and

money by major swimming companies and sponsors have been put in to finding

strategies and techniques for cutting down mere milliseconds on a swimmers

time. However, with so many components involved and so many different

swimming styles and techniques to choose from. Many of these techniques have

been controversial ever since.

In this research, a formal analysis of the block swim start was conducted

to determine which of three swim starts was the most effective for a swimmer

both based on how quickly they can enter the water, and how far in horizontal

Laporte Stroshein 6

distance they can achieve off of the block. There were three swim starts that

were examined for their effectiveness. The Forward Leaning Track Start has the

swimmer have a more forward shifted center of mass so the swimmer can be as

close to the end of the block as possible, and still be able to use the stance of the

track start to exert the best amount of force while jumping off the block. The Back

Leaning Track Start puts all the swimmers mass behind the swimmers back leg

and is intended to have the most force applied from the feet. This start uses the

track start stance the most effectively because the swimmer has the most time to

push their body off the block. This is demonstrated by the formula below which

demonstrates that impulse increases as the time for applying the force increases.

I =FT

Finally, The Grab Start has the swimmers put their center of mass as close

to the edge of the block as possible, allowing the swimmer get off the block the

fastest. The differences between these three starts are the location of center of

mass and how much force is exerted. The purpose of this research is to compile

better information on these starts to determine their effectiveness and to find

overall which form of swim start is the best for all swimmers. This research will be

very helpful for future swimmers to pick which method of start to use in their

races.

The researchers used two video cameras to record six volunteer

swimmers doing all three start methods to accurately measure the response

variables of time and distance of the swim starts and then analyzed with the

Laporte Stroshein 7

distance in centimeters and the time to the nearest tenth of a second using the

video analysis software(s), Logger Pro 3.6.1 and Tracker Video Analysis. Time

was for to see which start method gets the swimmer in the water first, and

distance was to see how far they go before they enter the water. The researchers

then compared the data using an ANOVA statistical test to determine the

difference between the three start types.

Review of Literature

In doing research regarding a racing technique heavily used in competitive

swimming, it was very important that the researchers used the most accurate

measuring techniques to determine the results of the experiment given the need

for high quality information to be to be given to swimmers in a competitive

environment for them to be the most successful. Because of this, professional

literature was reviewed by the researchers to understand and design the

experiment for best results.

The Grab Start is where a diver puts their feet on the edge of the block,

shoulder width apart, and places hands on the outside of the feet on the edge of

the block. The force of the explosion off of the block for the start is generated

mainly by the extension of the legs as the swimmer jumps off of the block as well

as partly by the arms of the swimmer pushing off the block. The general opinion

on the Grab Start is based around the idea of the forward center of mass given

Laporte Stroshein 8

by the swimmers whole body being on the edge of the start block, versus the

other track start positions, such as the forward and back leaning track start,

having a less forward center of mass. In the research done by James G. Hay,

the grab start has been the most widely used method of starting at all levels of

competition for some years. This states that the most chosen dive throughout

the competition was the grab start.

In Hays research, which was for the analysis of the grab start, he

identified the mechanical characteristics of the hands-between-the-feet grab

starting technique which contribute to a faster start (Hay). The variables

measured were block time, flight time, and water time. Block time is determined

by the horizontal and vertical displacements of center of mass CM and by the

average horizontal and vertical velocities with which these displacements occur

(Hay). Flight time is determined by the three characteristics which determine the

flight time of any projectile: (a) the vertical velocity at takeoff, (b) the height of the

CM at takeoff relative to its height at landing or entry, and (c) the air resistance

encountered by in flight (Hay). These three variables take place when the diver

dives off the starting block. In his conclusion, he determines that these variables

do not have a significant effect alone, but only when combined have an overall

effect on the swimmers performance.

In another article titled A Kinetic and Kinematic Comparison of the Grab

and Track Starts in Competitive Swimming by Cheryl Juergens, it states These

differences were determined for three kinetic variables: average horizontal force

(AVYF), vertical force (ZF), and average vertical force (AVZF). Statistical

Laporte Stroshein 9

techniques for two kinematic variables: block time (BT) and vertical velocity (ZV).

This illustrates that these variables were proved to be different in the three types

of starts.

In Biomechanical Analysis of the Grab, Track and Handle Starts: An

Intervention Study by Brian Blanksby and associates, it states The more

forward centre of mass position was associated with a shorter movement time

and a shorter block time. This demonstrates that the position of the center of

mass has the greatest effect on the swimmers ability to enter the water in the

shortest time.

For the leaning forward track Start, or LF track start, used in this

experiment was based off the method used in Biomechanical Analysis of the

Grab, Track, and handle Swimming Starts: An Intervention Study, written by

Blanksby, Nickson, and Elliot, as one foot on the edge of starting block with the

other foot back, and the body leaning forward so the center of mass is above and

in front of the forward leg (Blanksby 4). In the research done by Blanksby, the

researchers questioned whether the amount of practice given for a particular

start would have a significant effect on the start time. After about 14 practices

each, they tested the swimmers and then determined the results (Blanksby 1).

They found that more practice for the grab start had no significant difference in

the start time; they did find an effect from the practices on grab and handle starts

center of mass to have improved given more practice. This research did not

examine which start was most effective compared to one another.

Laporte Stroshein 10

Kinetics and Dynamics Analysis of Two track Start techniques, analyzed the

differences between the two types of track starts and determined that the leaning

backward track start would be faster than the leaning forward track start when

entering into the water (Vilas-Boas, et al. 5). However, they also calculated that

the increased velocity created by leaning backward start would also increase the

drag value of the swimmer compared to the other start, decreasing the difference

between the starts (Vilas-Boas, et al. 5).

Problem Statement

Problem:

To determine the most effective swim start of three main styles of

swimming, the grab start and the leaning forward track start, and leaning back

track start. The effectiveness will be determined based on the time it takes to

jump from the block and into the water, and the distance achieved when entering

the water.

Hypothesis:

The researchers predict that the shortest amount of time between getting

off the block and entering into the water will be on average the swimmers who

performed the grab start position. However it is also expected that greatest

distance achieved will be on average the swimmers who lean backwards in a

track start position.

Data Measured:

Laporte Stroshein 11

The two main response variables that were measured were the time and

distance achieved between leaving the starting block and the hands entering the

pool. The time was measured from both of the feet leaving the block and the

hands entering the water. The time was recorded in seconds with an accuracy of

a hundredth of a second. The distance was measured from edge of the pool as

defined by the metal gutter to the first point the diver made contact with the

water. The distance was measured in meters with accuracy to a centimeter. The

number of trials that the researchers planned on doing was 130, but due to the

amount of time, they decided to do 90. The statistical test that was used was the

ANOVA. This was used to determine if there was a difference between the

distances and the times from the block to the water between the types of dives.

Laporte Stroshein 12

Experimental Design

Materials:

Diving Block

TI-Nspire Calculator

Noodles) (M.)

(Camera 1)

Velcro Strip

Tripod

Lane Line

Fraser Pool

Velcro

Straps

Scissors

Duct Tape

Pool Noodles

The camera, tripod, analysis software, and TI-Nspire are owned by the

researchers. The pool, and the diving blocks were property of Fraser High

School, and volunteer divers were members of the Fraser High School Swim

Team. The measurement apparatus, shown in Figure 1, was constructed using

materials purchased from a local grocery store. See Appendix A for instructions.

Procedure:

Pool Setup:

1. Put in a lane line along the swim lane that the trials will be conducted. In the

case of the Fraser pool, lane six offered the best space for the cameras to be

positioned so this lane was used for the trials. Ensure the lane line is tight so

that the water does move them around, this extra movement could cause for

less accurate readings from the Measurement Apparatus.

2. Put in the Measurement Apparatus along the lane line and ensure the bottom

of the Measurement Apparatus butts up against the edge of the pool, then

secure it to the wire of the lane line using Velcro strips to keep it from moving

in the water. The Velcro strips are

placed in three positions along

the Measurement Apparatus, at

the beginning of the lane line, and

at the two duct tape points.

Sony Handycam

DCR-SCR200

For camera position one.

3.

Place the tripod and camera on the side of the pool to have a side view of the

divers when they are jumping off the block. The camera should be able to

capture the feet position of the diver as well the point in the water that the

diver reaches. The researchers observed that every diver was at most 30

centimeters from the edge of the Measurement Apparatus. As a standard

distance, allow the cameras view to reach just under the swim flags as

depicted in Figure 2.

4.

For camera position two. Have a researcher stand behind the first

camera at a specific position on top of the diving board, partially pictured in

Figure 3. This gave the camera a higher viewing angle of the dives so the

camera could zoom in on the hand position when the diver went into the

water.

Sony Handycam

Figure 3. Camera Position Two.

DCR-SCR200

32

0

Distance Achieved

Entry Point

Shown in Figure 4, the second camera position should be positioned in

such a way to get a picture similar to this. As described in Appendix B on how

to analyze the data, the distance will be measured vertically from the

swimmers hand position.

5.

Randomize the divers and what starts they are going to do with a

program from the internet called List Randomization from Randomizer.org.

Make a list of 90 trials with the numbers 1, 2, and 3, repeating 30 times. Then

paste this list into the program and it will sort itself randomly. Put this list into a

spreadsheet and change all the 1s to grab start, 2s to forward track start,

and 3s to backward track start. Then put the names of the swimmers in a list

and repeat them for 90 trials. Each diver was assigned to approximately 10

and 20 starts each, with about four to eight starts for each type.

6.

Start both cameras to record the distance and time of the dive. Have

the swimmer move into the proper dive position, and then call the start as

would be done in a swim meet. Take your mark followed by two seconds

with the researcher saying go. Pay attention to who is diving and what dive

they are doing.

7.

Repeat step 6 in order of the randomization until all trials are complete.

8.

To record the data, play the videos of the dives in analyzing software.

One camera will have the view for distance and the other camera will have

the view for time. For distance, when the divers fingers touch the water, stop

the video and use the Measurement Apparatus to get the distance by

comparing it to the 310 cm mark, see Appendix B for details. For time, record

the time when the diver starts to react to the signal for diving off the block,

and the time the divers fingers touch the water, see Appendix C for further

details.

Diagram:

Figure 5 shows the three different dives that are going to be tested. GrabStart is when the diver has two feet on the front of the block and two hands

grabbing the front of the block. The diver leans forward almost standing straight

and the head is tucked in. When diving, the diver leans forward and pushes off

with his or her feet and goes into the water. The Track-Start Leaning Back is

when the diver has one foot on the front of the block and one foot on the back.

The hands are both grabbing the start block. The weight is shifted to the back

foot. When diving, the diver launches by pushing off the block and pulling with

the hands and goes forward into the water. The Track-Start Leaning Forward is

when the diver has one foot on the front of the block and one foot on the back of

the block. The weight is shifted to the front foot. When diving, the diver leans

forward and pushes off with his or her feet and pulls with his or her hands. (Photo

found at blog.swimator.com.)

Table 1

Data and Observation Table For Time Achieved

Trial

Number

Name

Dive Method

Date

Observations

Alec

Front Track

Start

1-May

13

0.87

Trial

Number

2

Name

Dive Method

Date

Observations

Eric

Grab Start

1-May

0.73

Elijsha

1-May

0.73

Alec

1-May

0.77

Eric

1-May

0.87

Elijsha

1-May

0.83

Alec

1-May

0.73

Eric

1-May

0.83

Elijsha

1-May

0.87

10

Alec

1-May

0.8

11

Eric

1-May

0.9

12

Elijsha

1-May

0.87

13

Aaron

Grab Start

Back Track

Start

Front Track

Start

Grab Start

Front Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Grab Start

Back Track

Start

Grab Start

Back Track

Start

Back Track

Start

2-May

0.8

14

Hunte

r

Grab Start

2-May

camera

0.97

15

Eric

2-May

0.87

16

Ian

17

Elijsha

18

Alec

19

Aaron

20

Hunte

r

21

Eric

22

Ian

23

Elijsha

24

Alec

25

Aaron

Hunte

r

26

27

Eric

28

Ian

29

Elijsha

30

Alec

31

Aaron

Hunte

r

Eric

32

33

Back Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Grab Start

Back Track

Start

Front Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Front Track

Start

Front Track

Start

Grab Start

Grab Start

Front Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Front Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Grab Start

Front Track

Start

Back Track

2-May

2-May

camera

Dive went normal trial 17

to 25 and 27 to 35

1.04

1.07

2-May

0.7

2-May

0.93

2-May

0.8

2-May

1.03

2-May

0.87

2-May

0.73

2-May

0.83

2-May

0.97

2-May

0.87

2-May

0.97

2-May

0.93

2-May

2-May

0.87

2-May

2-May

0.89

2-May

0.9

Trial

Number

Name

34

Ian

35

Elijsha

36

Alec

37

39

Aaron

Hunte

r

Eric

40

Ian

41

Elijsha

38

42

Alec

43

Aaron

Hunte

r

44

45

Eric

46

Ian

47

Elijsha

48

Alec

49

Aaron

Hunte

r

50

Dive Method

Start

Front Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Grab Start

Date

Observations

2-May

0.9

2-May

2-May

2-May

Grab Start

2-May

1.1

Grab Start

Front Track

Start

Front Track

Start

Grab Start

2-May

Dive went normal trial 40

to 43

Grab Start

Front Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Grab Start

Back Track

Start

Front Track

Start

Grab Start

3-May

1.27

Grab Start

3-May

1.03

Grab Start

3-May

to 55

2-May

0.9

0.97

0.9

3-May

0.83

3-May

1.03

3-May

1.1

3-May

3-May

to 48

1.2

1

3-May

0.93

3-May

0.87

3-May

0.9

51

Eric

52

Ian

53

Elijsha

Front Track

Start

Grab Start

3-May

1.17

54

Alec

Grab Start

3-May

55

Aaron

Hunte

r

3-May

1.13

3-May

1.07

3-May

to 59

1.24

3-May

1.2

1.13

57

Eric

58

Ian

59

Elijsha

Grab Start

Back Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Front Track

Start

Grab Start

60

Alec

Grab Start

3-May

1.07

61

Aaron

Hunte

r

Grab Start

Front Track

Start

Front Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Back Track

Start

3-May

0.87

3-May

1.2

3-May

0.87

56

62

63

Eric

64

Ian

65

Elijsha

3-May

1.03

3-May

0.97

3-May

3-May

time trial was redone

Dive went normal trial 65

to 67

1.03

1.1

Trial

Number

Name

66

Alec

67

Aaron

Dive Method

Front Track

Start

Front Track

Start

69

Hunte

r

Eric

70

Ian

71

Elijsha

72

Alec

73

Aaron

74

Hunte

r

75

Eric

76

Ian

77

Elijsha

78

Alec

79

Aaron

Grab Start

80

Hunte

r

81

Eric

82

Ian

83

Elijsha

84

Alec

85

Aaron

Back Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Front Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Grab Start

Front Track

Start

Front Track

Start

Grab Start

Back Track

Start

Front Track

Start

68

87

Hunte

r

Eric

88

Ian

89

Elijsha

90

Alec

91

Aaron

92

Hunte

r

86

Date

Observations

3-May

0.8

3-May

1.07

Grab Start

3-May

0.93

Grab Start

3-May

0.87

Grab Start

Front Track

Start

Back Track

Start

Front Track

Start

3-May

Grab Start

Front Track

Start

Front Track

Start

Grab Start

Front Track

Start

1.07

3-May

0.83

3-May

0.93

3-May

0.8

3-May

0.9

3-May

to 77

3-May

0.93

3-May

1.17

3-May

0.84

3-May

to 81

0.93

3-May

1.17

3-May

1.74

3-May

1.04

3-May

1.1

3-May

to 89

1.17

3-May

0.8

3-May

1.6

3-May

0.93

3-May

0.97

3-May

0.83

3-May

3-May

0.94

3-May

1.3

Table 1 shows the observations of the trials and the data that was needed

to carry out the experiment. The data was derived from the reaction time, the

time the diver reacted to the signal to go, subtracted from the time the diver went

into the water. See Appendix D for details.

Table 2

Data and Observation Table For Distance Achieved

Trial Number

Name

Dive Method

Date

Observations

Dive went normal trial 1 to

13

Distance (cm)

Alec

1-May

Eric

Grab Start

1-May

333

Elijsha

Grab Start

1-May

305

Alec

1-May

322

Eric

1-May

312

Elijsha

Grab Start

1-May

301

Alec

1-May

308

Eric

1-May

300

Elijsha

Grab Start

1-May

303

10

Alec

1-May

313

11

Eric

Grab Start

1-May

319

12

Elijsha

1-May

304

13

Aaron

2-May

276

307

Body was out of fit for

camera

Dive went normal

Body was out of fit for

camera

Dive went normal trial 17 to

25 and 27 to 35

14

Hunter

Grab Start

2-May

347

15

Eric

2-May

16

Ian

2-May

17

Elijsha

Grab Start

2-May

18

Alec

2-May

307

19

Aaron

2-May

303

20

Hunter

2-May

354

21

Eric

2-May

311

22

Ian

2-May

339

23

Elijsha

2-May

305

24

Alec

Grab Start

2-May

309

25

Aaron

Grab Start

2-May

305

26

Hunter

2-May

305

27

Eric

2-May

362

28

Ian

2-May

310

29

Elijsha

2-May

343

30

Alec

2-May

290

308

356

307

31

Aaron

Grab Start

2-May

272

32

Hunter

2-May

321

Trial Number

Name

Dive Method

Date

Observations

Distance (cm)

33

Eric

2-May

305

34

Ian

2-May

345

35

Elijsha

2-May

36

Alec

2-May

328

37

Aaron

Grab Start

2-May

314

38

Hunter

Grab Start

2-May

387

39

Eric

Grab Start

2-May

40

Ian

2-May

Measurement Apparatus

flipped over the lane line.

Distance was still able to be

recorded

Dive went normal trial 40 to

43

41

Elijsha

3-May

289

42

Alec

Grab Start

3-May

300

43

Aaron

Grab Start

3-May

318

44

Hunter

3-May

45

Eric

3-May

299

Dive went normal trial 45 to

48

294

347

360

326

46

Ian

Grab Start

3-May

346

47

Elijsha

3-May

327

48

Alec

3-May

298

49

Aaron

Grab Start

3-May

326

50

Hunter

Grab Start

3-May

360

51

Eric

Grab Start

3-May

Dive went normal trial 51 to

55

52

Ian

3-May

53

Elijsha

Grab Start

3-May

327

54

Alec

Grab Start

3-May

297

55

Aaron

Grab Start

3-May

318

56

Hunter

3-May

306

57

Eric

3-May

Dive went normal trial 57 to

59

58

Ian

3-May

59

Elijsha

Grab Start

3-May

60

Alec

Grab Start

3-May

312

61

Aaron

Grab Start

3-May

298

62

Hunter

3-May

346

63

Eric

3-May

295

64

Ian

3-May

65

Elijsha

3-May

66

Alec

3-May

Original trial was a bad

dive. It was redone

Dive went normal trial 65 to

67

Dive could not be recorded

67

Aaron

3-May

68

Hunter

Grab Start

3-May

307

344

306

348

305

353

309

303

Dive wasn't good

344

Trial Number

Name

Dive Method

Date

Observations

Distance (cm)

69

Eric

Grab Start

3-May

70

Ian

Grab Start

3-May

71

Elijsha

3-May

312

72

Alec

3-May

296

73

Aaron

3-May

284

74

Hunter

3-May

351

75

Eric

3-May

Dive went normal trial 75 to

77

76

Ian

3-May

77

Elijsha

Grab Start

3-May

78

Alec

3-May

79

Aaron

Grab Start

3-May

80

Hunter

3-May

355

81

Eric

3-May

282

82

Ian

3-May

349

83

Elijsha

3-May

288

84

Alec

3-May

Dive went normal trial 84 to

89

85

Aaron

3-May

330

86

Hunter

3-May

342

87

Eric

Grab Start

3-May

298

88

Ian

3-May

350

89

Elijsha

3-May

90

Alec

Grab Start

3-May

288

91

Aaron

3-May

321

92

Hunter

3-May

346

93

Eric

Grab Start

3-May

310

94

Ian

3-May

343

95

Elijsha

3-May

283

96

Alec

3-May

281

316

355

293

333

292

Dive went normal trial 79 to

81

267

320

239

294

97

Aaron

Grab Start

3-May

311

98

Hunter

3-May

358

99

Eric

3-May

316

100

Ian

3-May

337

101

eric

Grab Start

3-May

315

102

Elijsha

Grab Start

3-May

273

observations were in trial 90 where the dive could not be counted. Also in trial 73,

the first dive could not be counted either. These issues had hardly any effect due

to the Central Limit Theorem (CLT) which states that the more trials one has, the

more normal the data becomes because with the CLT it was able to get more

trials and not have any effective data.

Table 3

Mean and Standard Deviation of Response Variables of Start Types

Start Methods

Grab Start

Forward Track

Start

Back Track Start

Average

Time (Sec.)

0.986

Average

Distance (cm.)

315.8

Standard Deviation

Time (Sec.)

0.128

Standard Deviation

Distance (cm.)

29.9

0.926

310.0

0.129

17.6

0.944

319.1

0.130

23.7

time, and standard deviation distance for all three types of starting methods. The

average time for the three starts: Grab Start, Forward Track Start, and Backward

Track Start were 0.986, 0.926, and 0.944 respectively. These times were fairly

close to one another so there was not really a difference between the times

achieved. The standard deviations for time of the three dives were 0.128, 0.129,

and 0.130 with respect to the Table 3. The relationship of the three dives

standard deviations was that on a bell curve they were all one within one

standard deviation of each other. The average distances for three dives were

315.8, 310.0, and 319.1 with respect to the data. These were fairly close to each

other which meant that all three dives went about the same distances before

entering the water. The standard deviations for distance of the three dives were

29.9, 17.6, and 23.7 with respect to the table. These values were sort of close to

each other but in a bell curve they were within one standard deviation of each

other.

Diagram:

Shown in Figure 6 is both the positioning of the feet for the divers for each

start method, and what the dive entrance would look like when the swimmer

enters the water. For a full description for the analysis of each dive, see Appendix

B and C for how the researchers analyzed the time and distance of each start.

The data was collected using two high resolution video cameras with the

distance from the starting block to the entry point being measured within

centimeters and the time that it took for that swimmer was measured to a tenth of

a second. The trials were randomized so that there were thirty trials of each type

of dive; this was done to ensure each dive was represented equally. Each diver

was given a random number of each different start type to perform. Thirty trials of

each start type were performed. The researchers assumed that the large number

of trials would make the sampling distribution normal. This experiment should be

replicated further in other research to build onto the collected data so to be more

confident in the results. This experiment was design to control for outside

variables such as swimmer fatigue and improving performance given practice.

This was achieved by the randomization of trials so that all start types would be

affected equally if swimmers were getting tired by the end of the trials or if the

swimmers were loosening up and performing better by the end of trials. However

these variables were seen significantly during trials.

Q1:308

Median:313

Q3:342

281

Q1:300

362

Median:308 Q3:319

272

347

Q1:295

Median:311

Q3:345

239

360

Distance (m)

The box plot of the distances achieved with the three different start types

is shown above in Figure 7. The leaning back track start and the grab start had

the most variability in data and the forward leaning track start had two outliers

that could have affected the mean. These two outliers are removed to make sure

the mean was not skew by these outliers.

Q1:308

Median:313

Q3:342

281

272

362

Q1:30

0

Q1:295

Median:308

Q3:319

347

Median:311

Q3:345

239

360

Distance (m)

Figure 8 shows the data without the two outlier points found when

originally graphed in Figure 7. The boxplots show that all three of the start types

are slightly skewed to the right. This could make the data less reliable than the

researchers would like it to be. Visually it can be easily seen that the medians of

each start type are very close to one another. From this the researchers

expected based on the graph alone that the effects of unique start types on the

distance achieved will be small if not insignificant.

Q1:0.834

Median: 0.934

Q3:1.03

5

1.235

0.701

Q1:0.837

0.734

Q1:0.901

0.734

Median: 0.893

Q3:0.985

1.202

Median: 0.968

Q3:1.068

1.267

Time (Seconds)

The box plot of the time achieved with the three different start types is

shown above in Figure 9. The box plots of each type are very similar with most of

the data overlapping. There were two outliers in the back leaning track start data,

and one in the forward leaning data. This was believed to be because of certain

swimmers having lucky trials, and that it was random. However, these data points

were removed so as to ensure they do not skew the data.

Q1:0.834

Median:0.934

Q3:1.03

5

1.235

0.701

Q1:0.837

0.734

Q1:0.901

0.734

Median:0.893

Q3:0.985

1.202

Median:0.968

Q3:1.068

1.267

Time (Seconds)

Figure 10 shows the same data that was in Figure 9 without the three

outlier points. The boxplots are all about normal, although the forward leaning

track and grab starts are both slightly skewed to the right. This is not believed to

be a significant problem. The boxplots also show the medians of the different

start types to be very close to each other and most of the data to be overlapping.

This lead the researchers to believe that just based on the boxplots the statistical

test would not determine the dive starts as a significant effect.

The researchers performed an ANOVA statistical test because there were

three populations that needed to be compared to determine if there was a

significant difference between any of them. See Appendix E for sample

calculation.

Assumptions:

1. Independent SRS from each population

a. Each dive was performed separate from the other dives.

2. Each population has a normal distribution and is not extremely skewed or

have many outliers.

a. Each population was graphed using a boxplot and was found to be

approximately normal. No extreme skewness was found and any data

points that were outliers were removed to keep the data from being

affected.

3. All populations have the same standard deviation or, while each population is

similar in size, the largest standard deviation is not greater than twice the

smallest standard deviation.

a. All populations had similar size with the largest having no more than

four more trials then the smallest.

Front Track= Back Track

Grab=

H 0 :

The null hypothesis says the mean of each population would be the same.

This would mean that start types had no effect on the distance achieved by the

swimmers. The alternative hypothesis says that at least one mean of the three

populations does not equal the rest. This would mean that at least one start type

had a significant effect of the distance achieved by a swimmer.

Table 4

Anova Statistical Test of Distance Achieved

Title

F

PVal

df

SS

MS

dfError

SSError

MSError

sp

ANOVA

1.224

0.299

2

1419.055

709.528

95

55091.384

579.909

24.081

CLowerList

CUpperList

{327.14, 318.32,

324.502}

x List

Shown in Table 4 were the results of the ANOVA test performed on the

distance achieve by the swimmers. The researchers conclude that with a P-value

of .299 at the accepted alpha level of .05 we fail to reject the null hypothesis.

There is no significant difference between the types of swim starts and the

distance achieved by the swimmer. Another important statistical value that was

computed was a 95% confidence interval shown by the variables CLowerList

and CupperList. These variables show the highs and lows of the expected

range of where the researchers are 95% confident of where the mean is

expected to lie. The values are Grab Start, Back Leaning Track and Front

Leaning Track respectively. The values of the confidence intervals shown overlap

in many cases with at least half of the range of each type of dive overlapping with

each other. This supports the ANOVA test conducted that shows little significant

difference between start types.

Table 5

Anova Statistical Test of Time Achieved

Title

ANOVA

F

PVal

df

SS

MS

dfError

SSError

MSError

sp

1.784

0.174

2

0.059

0.030

85

1.412997647

0.016623502

0.128932159

CLowerL

ist

CUpperL

ist

x List

Shown in Table 5 were the results of the ANOVA test performed on the time

achieve by the swimmers. The researchers conclude that with a P-value of .177

at the accepted alpha level of .05 we fail to reject the null hypothesis. There is no

significant difference between the types of swim starts and the time achieved by

the swimmer. Another important statistical value that was computed was a 95%

confidence interval shown by the variables CLowerList and CupperList. These

variables show the highs and lows of the expected range of where the

researchers are 95% confident of where the mean is expected to lie. The values

are Grab Start, Back Leaning Track and Front Leaning Track respectively. The

values of the confidence intervals shown overlap in many cases. This supports

the ANOVA test conducted that shows little significant difference between start

types.

Conclusion

The purpose of this experiment was to measure the distance and time

achieved by a swimmer jumping off of a starting block and determine which of

the three types of starts: grab start, leaning forward track start, and leaning back

track start was the most effective. This was achieved by performing an ANOVA

statistical test on the average measured values of distance and time individually.

It was important to note that a trial was considered the distance and time

measured by the swimmers initial movement from the starting block to the point

at which their hands touched the surface of the water. This method was chosen

as it would be the easiest to determine the final point of measurement versus the

researchers measuring from the last part of a swimmers foot entering the water.

The researchers original hypothesis was that the grab start position would

be statistically significant in terms of reducing the time it takes from leaving the

block and entering the pool. Similarly, the leaning back track start position was

expected to be statistically significant in terms of the maximum distance

achieved. However, this was not the case in either instance, so the hypothesis

was rejected. The final results indicated that there was no significant difference

between any of the populations (start types) with a P-value of .299 for the

distance achieved and a P-value of .174 for the time achieved. Realistically this

means that body size, muscle strength, flexibility and other are the details

competitive swimmers should look at further in improving their start time and

distance, and the start type they chose will not be as important.

findings that the grab start had no significant effect on the time achieved

(Blanksby). However the study was still necessary to compile on the information

on these start types to be conclusive on this topic.

While it was intended for the data to be conclusive and the results to be

accurate, many flaws were discovered in the process of data measurements that

were unavoidable. Firstly, the method of collection for the distance achieved data

was to aim a digital camera at the approximate area expected for the swimmers

hands to meet the water. The main problem with the method was how the

cameraman was not parallel to the measuring apparatus so the foot or so

between the hands and the measuring apparatus actually made all the gathered

values greater than they would be in reality. While this was originally problematic,

the researcher solved this problem by putting the cameraman in the same

position for each trial and during the video analysis which always compared the

distance directly vertical along the video. This possible flaw was not expected to

skew the data in any way. Another aspect of the experiment was the

randomization for the trials which were done by randomly placing swimmers in

positions for sets of 30 of each start type. While this ensured that the number of

each type of swim start was the same, what was not accounted for was how

many of each start type each swimmer performs. For example, one of the

swimmers had significantly more starts of the grab start method and very few of

the other types of dives. While the researchers do not expect this to make the

data completely invalid, it does weaken the strength of the results of the ANOVA

test.

Another unavoidable problem caused by the time constraints of the

research was the limited number of volunteers available for the trials. This was

mainly due to the swimmers being high school students who were not always

able to attend the trial dates. The main problem this caused was that certain

swimmers contributed more starts to the data than other swimmers. Again the

researchers believe that due to the robustness of the ANOVA test, and the large

sample size that this was not cause to believe the data was inconclusive. If this

research was to be repeated, this problem should be reduced and the swimmers

have as equal as possible number of trials of an equal number of start types for

the data to be most conclusive.

While the researchers believe that this analysis of these specific start

methods conclusively showed an insignificant effect by the three methods, further

research should be done to ensure this finding. Further research should be done

on a swimmer by swimmer basis to look at the individual difference in these start

types, and further analyze in more detail other factors such as hand position, or

what amount of lean would be best in a grab start position, to determine if there

is an effect on distance and time achieved in those ways should be performed.

This topic is very important to highly competitive swimmers and any mistake

done on this subject would subject the swimming population to misinformation,

while any advantage found for competitive swimmers could lead to improved

starts. Milliseconds do not seem important to many, but in the case of Michael

Phelps and other world class swimmers, these details mean everything.

Acknowledgements

The researchers would like to acknowledge certain people for their

assistance, guidance and support throughout their research, through them the

information in this paper was made possible.

The authors would like to thank Mr. Nowinski, Head Coach at Fraser High

School for supporting the researchers, and providing access to the Fraser Pool

for the trials, and background knowledge of the experiments.

Secondly, they would also like to thank Mr. McMillan for technical details

regarding the research design, and assistance with structuring the experiment.

They would also like to thank him for carefully proofreading the scientific portions

of the research.

Furthermore, the authors would like to thank Mrs. Cybulski for her

assistance in the statistical sections and in helping us to design a robust

experiment. We would also like to thank her for proofreading various sections of

the paper.

The researchers would also like to mention David Chapman, a member of

the Fraser High School Broadcasting Club, for providing a second camera and

his camera work throughout the trials, as well as the volunteer swimmers for their

willingness to assist in this research and their patience during the trials.

Finally both authors would like to thank their families for their support

mentally, emotional, and on rare occasions financial for all they have done to

to researchers fellow classmates for their insight and comments throughout the

completion of the work.

Materials:

Pool Noodles (3)

Permanent Marker

Duct Tape

Velcro Straps

Scissors

Meter Stick

Lane Line

Procedures:

1. Lay the Pool Noodles on a flat surface and use the meter stick and

permanent marker to mark each

Scissor

s

Duct Tape

the pool noodles together loosely to

continue marking. Every ten

centimeters write the number of

that mark. Make sure to draw this

Velcro Straps

Pool Noodles

Figure 11. Measurement Apparatus

Materials

number large and bold. Shown in Figure 11 were most of the materials used

in the construction of the Measurement Apparatus, not shown are the meter

stick or permanent marker.

2. Use the duct tape and scissors to connect the pool noodles together with the

measurement marks lining up. Make sure to line up the marks in the right way

and for the marked values to continue in the correct order.

3. Attach the Measurement Apparatus to lane line that was previously placed

into the pool, using the Velcro straps attach the duct tape points of the

Measurement Apparatus to the wire of the lane line.

Logger Pro 3.8.6.2 Video Analysis Software was used to find the Distance

Achieved by the divers. The Distance Achieved was found comparing the divers

hand position to the Measurement Apparatus behind them.

Procedure:

1. Download the latest version of Logger Pro from their website

http://www.vernier.com/downloads/

2. Insert the video from the trials by going to the Insert table and clicking movie.

Browse through the computer to find the video file.

3. Play the video and stop the video in the position shown in Figure 12 so that

the swimmers hands are just entering the water.

4. Using the Logger Pro analysis tools add a line vertical to the hand position.

Make this line long enough to go past the Measurement Apparatus as shown

in Figure 12.

Distance Achieved

5. Set the scale of the video

my marking 20

Entryoff

Point

centimeters

of the black lines made on the Measurement Apparatus

previously.

6. Measure the distance from a single point for all videos, in this case the

researchers measured from the 310 cm mark. Draw a line from this point

along the Measurement Apparatus to the vertical line of the hand position.

Respectfully add or subtract this distance from 310 and record this distance

into the Excel Data Tables.

Tracker Video Analysis Software was used to get the Time Achieved by

the divers. Time Achieved was derived from Finished Time subtracted from

Reaction Time. To use the software, it is needed to be downloaded on a

computer

Procedure:

1. Download the Tracker Video Analysis Software from their website.

https://www.cabrillo.edu/~dbrown/tracker/

2. Insert the first video from the trials. Go to the video tab and click Import.

Browse through the computer to find the video file.

3. Play the video until it is just before the diver begins his dive. Stop the video to

the closest frame to the beginning of the start. Mark this number into the excel

sheet previously set up.

4. Move one frame at a time until the swimmers hands just begin to enter into

the water. Stop here and record the time. Subtract these two time values in an

excel sheet to find the value in milliseconds for the dive.

5. Repeat step 3 and 4 until all the trials are complete.

This calculation was used to figure out the Time Achieved by taking the

Finished Time, or when the divers hands enter the water, and subtract it from

Start Time, when the diver first reacted to the start signal.

Finished TimeStart Time=Time Achieved

Achieved by using the equation above. The Time Achieved is measured in

milliseconds.

Time Achieved=87 .38786.520

This is only one of 90 Time Achieved values. The Time Achieved was then

used in the ANOVA statistical test.

To find the F statistical and P-value for an ANOVA statistical test 2 other

values need to be calculated first: Mean Square Error, Mean Square Group. The

F value as shown below is calculated using these values explained below.

F=

Mean Square Error

The Mean Square Group is the variation among sample means between

each population. This is calculated as shown below by using the sample size,

sample means, the weighted mean, or the number of observations in each

sample times the mean of each sample(shown below), and the number of

populations(I).

x =

Total Observations

With the weighted mean is found the MSG can be calculated using other

parts of the data. As shown in the formula below, MSG is the sample size times

the difference squared of the sample means and the weighted means. This

formula can be extended to make any number of populations.

2

n1( x 1x ) + n2 ( x2 x ) +n 3 ( x3 x ) +...

MSG=

I 1

Finally, the MSE can be calculated similarly using the formula below. The

key difference between the two variables is the MSG is the variation among the

sample means between each population, and the MSE is the variation among

individuals in all samples of each population.

MSE=

N1

Now the F statistic can be calculated to later find the P-value of the

ANOVA test.

x =

16

x =6.67

MSG=

31

MSG=62.15

MSE=

161

MSE=3.48

F=

62.15

3.48

F=17.8592

Shown in Figure 14 is a sample problem how to find the F statistic for an

ANOVA test. To find the P-value the degrees of freedom must be found to use the

list of values. This formula is shown below.

Degrees of Freedom=

I 1

N I

Degrees of Freedom=

31

163

Degrees of Freedom=

2

13

Shown in Figure 15 once the degrees of freedom are calculated the Pvalue can be determined using any F statistic table. The P-value for this sample

problem is 0.000928. This means that there is a significant difference at some

point in these three populations.

Works Cited

Blanksbury, Brian, et al. Biomechanical Analysis of the Grab, Track and Handle

Swimming Starts: An Intervention Study. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.

<http://www.edf.ufpr.br/Especializacao/Natacao/swimming%20start

%20training%20Blanksby.pdf>

Hay, James G. "A Mechanical Analysis of the Grab Starting Technique in

Swimming." International Journal of Sports Biomechanics. Human Kinetics

Publishers, Inc., 1985. PDF file. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.

<http://www.edf.ufpr.br/Es77pecializacao/Natacao/swimming%20grab

%20start.pdf>

Honda, Koji, Peter Sinclair, Bruce Mason, and David Pease. "THE EFFECT OF

STARTING POSITION ON ELITE SWIM START PERFORMANCE USING

AN ANGLED KICK PLATE." Library of the University of Konstanz n. pag.

Uni-konstanz.de. University of Konstanz. (n.d): Web. 10 Apr. 2014.

< https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/cpa/article/viewFile/5189/4765>.

J, Libor. "Track Start vs. Grab Start Explained (Should I Choose the Track Start

or Grab Start for My Races?)." Swimator Blog. N.p., 7 Mar. 2011. Web. 20

May 2014. <http://blog.swimator.com/2011/03/track-start-vs-grab-startexplained.html>.

Juergens, Cheryl A. A Kinetic and Kinematic Comparison of the Grab and Track

Starts in Competitive Swimming Cheryl A. Juergens. October 24, 1994.

Web. 14 Apr. 2014.

<https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/35313/Juer

gensCherylA1995.pdf?sequence=1>

"Swim Sci." Omega Track Start Tragedies Part II ~. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2014.

<http://www.swimmingscience.net/2011/11/omega-track-start-tragediespart-ii.html#>

VilasBoas, J. Paulo, et al. Integrated Kinetics and Dynamics Analysis of Two

TrackStart Techniques. University of Porto, Portugal. J. Paulo Vilas

Boas. n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014

<https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/cpa/article/viewFile/2159/2015>

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