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Freediving, free-diving, free diving, breath-hold diving, or skin diving is a form of
underwater diving Underwater diving, as a human activity, is the practice of descending below the water's surface to interact with the environment. Immersion in water and exposure to high ambient pressure have physiological effects that limit the depths and d ...
that relies on breath-holding until resurfacing rather than the use of breathing apparatus such as scuba gear. Besides the limits of breath-hold, immersion in water and exposure to high ambient pressure also have physiological effects that limit the depths and duration possible in freediving. Examples of freediving activities are traditional fishing techniques, competitive and non-competitive freediving, competitive and non-competitive
spearfishing Spearfishing is a method of fishing that has been used throughout the world for millennia. Early civilizations were familiar with the custom of spearing fish from rivers and streams using sharpened sticks. Currently spearfishing makes use of ...
and freediving
photography Photography is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and int ...

photography
,
synchronised swimming Synchronised swimming (in Modern International English, synchronized swimming) or artistic swimming is a hybrid form of cheerleading Cheerleading is an activity in which the participants (called cheerleaders) cheer for their team as a form o ...
,
underwater football Underwater football is a two-team underwater sport that shares common elements with underwater hockey and underwater rugby. As with both of those games, it is played in a swimming pool swimming pool in Melbourne, Australia A swimming p ...
,
underwater rugby Underwater rugby (UWR) is an underwater team sport. During a match two teams try to score a negatively buoyant ball (filled with saltwater) into the opponents’ goal at the bottom of a swimming pool swimming pool in Melbourne, Australi ...
,
underwater hockey Underwater hockey (UWH), also known as Octopush (mainly in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...

underwater hockey
,
underwater target shooting Underwater Target Shooting is an underwater sport/shooting sport Shooting sports is a collective group of competitive sport, competitive and recreational sporting activities involving proficiency tests of accuracy, precision and speed in shooti ...
and
snorkeling Snorkeling ( British and Commonwealth English spelling: snorkelling) is the practice of swimming Swimming is the self-propulsion of a person through water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, tr ...

snorkeling
. There are also a range of "competitive
apnea Apnea (BrE British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usage and is employed ...
" disciplines; in which competitors attempt to attain great depths, times, or distances on a single breath. Historically, the term ''free diving'' was also used to refer to
scuba diving Scuba diving is a type of underwater diving Underwater diving, as a human activity, is the practice of descending below the water's surface to interact with the environment. Immersion in water and exposure to high ambient pressure have ...

scuba diving
, due to the freedom of movement compared with
surface supplied diving Surface-supplied diving is diving Diving usually refers to: * Diving (sport), the sport of jumping into deep water * Underwater diving, human activity underwater for recreational or occupational purposes Diving or Dive may also refer to: Sp ...
.


History

In ancient times freediving without the aid of mechanical devices was the only possibility, with the exception of the occasional use of reeds and leather breathing bladders. The divers faced the same problems as divers today, such as
decompression sickness Decompression sickness (DCS; also known as divers' disease, the bends, aerobullosis, or caisson disease) describes a condition arising from dissolved gases coming out of solution into bubbles inside the body on depressurisation. DCS most common ...
and blacking out during a breath hold. Freediving was practiced in ancient cultures to , harvest resources such as
sponge Sponges, the members of the phylum Porifera (; meaning 'pore bearer'), are a basal animal clade as a sister of the Diploblasts. They are Multicellular organism, multicellular organisms that have bodies full of pores and channels allowing water ...

sponge
and
pearl A pearl is a hard, glistening object produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shell Shell may refer to: Architecture and design * Shell (structure)A shell is a type of structural element which is characterize ...

pearl
, reclaim sunken valuables, and to help aid
military campaign A military campaign is large-scale long-duration significant military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organization Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of ...
s. In Ancient Greece, both
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Platoni ...

Plato
and
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
mention the
sponge Sponges, the members of the phylum Porifera (; meaning 'pore bearer'), are a basal animal clade as a sister of the Diploblasts. They are Multicellular organism, multicellular organisms that have bodies full of pores and channels allowing water ...

sponge
as being used for bathing. The island of
Kalymnos Kalymnos ( el, Κάλυμνος) is a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its ...

Kalymnos
was a main centre of diving for sponges. By using weights (
skandalopetra ''Skandalopetra'' diving dates from ancient Greece, when it was used by sponge fishermen, and has been re-discovered in recent years as a freediving discipline. It was in this discipline that the first world record in freediving was registered, when ...
) of as much as to speed the descent, breath-holding divers would descend to depths up to to collect sponges. Harvesting of red coral was also done by divers. The
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
had large amounts of maritime trade. As a result of
shipwrecks A shipwreck is the remains of a ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying goods or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, re ...
, particularly in the fierce winter storms, divers were often hired to salvage whatever they could from the seabed. Divers would swim down to the wreck and choose the most valuable pieces to salvage. Divers were also used in warfare. Defenses against sea vessels were often created, such as underwater
barricade Barricade (from the French ''barrique Oak is used in winemaking to vary the color, flavor, tannins (wine), tannin profile and texture of wine. It can be introduced in the form of a barrel during the fermentation (wine), fermentation or agin ...

barricade
s, and hence divers were often used to scout out the seabed when ships were approaching an enemy harbor. If barricades were found, it was divers who were used to disassemble them, if possible. During the
Peloponnesian War The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to ...

Peloponnesian War
, divers were used to get past enemy
blockade A blockade is an effort to cut off Contraband, supplies, Materiel, war material or communications from a particular area by force, either in part or totally. A blockade is not an embargo or International sanctions, sanctions, which are legal b ...
s to relay messages as well as supplies to allies or troops that were cut off, and in 332 BC, during the Siege of Tyre, the city used divers to cut the anchor cables of
Alexander Alexander is a male given name. The most prominent bearer of the name is Alexander the Great, the king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia (ancient kingdom), Macedonia who created one of the largest empires in ancient history. Etymology T ...

Alexander
's attacking ships. In Japan, ''ama'' divers began to collect pearls about 2,000 years ago. For thousands of years, most seawater pearls were retrieved by divers working in the Indian Ocean, in areas such as the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of , ) is a in . The body of water is an extension of the () through the and lies between to the northeast and the to the southwest.United Nations Group of Exper ...
, the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر, translit=al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar; or ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a North ...

Red Sea
, and in the
Gulf of Mannar The Gulf of Mannar ( ) is a large shallow bay A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt w ...
(between
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
and
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
). A fragment of
Isidore of Charax Isidore of Charax (; grc, Ἰσίδωρος ὁ Χαρακηνός, ''Isídōros o Charakēnós''; la, Isidorus Characenus) was a Greco-Roman The term "Greco-Roman world" (also "Greco-Roman culture" or ; spelled Graeco-Roman in the Commo ...
's
Parthia Parthia ( peo, 𐎱𐎼𐎰𐎺 ''Parθava''; xpr, 𐭐𐭓𐭕𐭅 ''Parθaw''; pal, 𐭯𐭫𐭮𐭥𐭡𐭥 ''Pahlaw'') is a historical region located in north-eastern Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and offici ...

Parthia
n itinerary was preserved in
Athenaeus Athenaeus of Naucratis Naucratis or Naukratis ( grc-gre, Ναύκρατις, "Naval Command"; Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a n ...
's 3rd-century ''
Sophists at Dinner The ''Deipnosophistae'' is an early 3rd-century AD ancient Greek, Greek work ( grc, Δειπνοσοφισταί, ''Deipnosophistaí'', lit. "The Dinner Sophists/Philosophers/Experts") by the Hellenistic civilization, Greco-Roman Egypt, Egyp ...
'', recording freediving for pearls around an island in the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of , ) is a in . The body of water is an extension of the () through the and lies between to the northeast and the to the southwest.United Nations Group of Exper ...
. Pearl divers near the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
were also successful at harvesting large pearls, especially in the
Sulu Archipelago The Sulu Archipelago ( Tausug: سوڬ, ms, كڤولاوان سولو, fil, Kapuluan ng Sulu) is a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arc ...

Sulu Archipelago
. At times, the largest pearls belonged by law to the sultan, and selling them could result in the death penalty for the seller. Nonetheless, many pearls made it out of the archipelago by stealth, ending up in the possession of the wealthiest families in Europe. Pearling was popular in Qatar, Bahrain, Japan, and India. The Gulf of Mexico was also known for pearling.
Native Americans Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
harvested freshwater pearls from lakes and rivers like the
Ohio Ohio () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Co ...

Ohio
,
Tennessee Tennessee (, ), officially the State of Tennessee, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The S ...

Tennessee
, and
Mississippi Mississippi () is a U.S. state, state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; a ...

Mississippi
, while others dived for marine pearls from the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles ...
and waters along the coasts of
Central Central is an adjective In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign languag ...

Central
and
South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continent ...

South America
. In 1940, Dottie Frazier pioneered freediving for women in the United States and also began teaching classes. It was also during this time that she began to design and sell rubber suits for Navy UDT divers.


Freediving activities


Recreational hunting and gathering


Spearfishing

Spearfishing Spearfishing is a method of fishing that has been used throughout the world for millennia. Early civilizations were familiar with the custom of spearing fish from rivers and streams using sharpened sticks. Currently spearfishing makes use of ...
is an ancient method of
fishing Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish Fish are , , -bearing animals that lack with . Included in this definition are the living , s, and and as well as various extinct related groups. Around 99% of living fish species are ...

fishing
that has been used throughout the world for millennia. Early civilizations were familiar with the custom of spearing fish from rivers and streams using sharpened sticks. Today modern spearfishing makes use of elastic powered
speargun A speargun is a ranged underwater fishing Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. Included in this ...

speargun
s and slings, or compressed gas pneumatic powered spearguns, to strike the hunted fish. Specialised techniques and equipment have been developed for various types of aquatic environments and target fish. Spearfishing may be done using
free-diving Freediving, free-diving, free diving, breath-hold diving, or skin diving is a form of underwater diving Underwater diving, as a human activity, is the practice of descending below the water's surface to interact with the environment. Immers ...
,
snorkelling Snorkeling ( British and Commonwealth English spelling: snorkelling) is the practice of swimming Swimming is the self-propulsion of a person through water, or other liquid, usually for recreation, sport, exercise, or survival. Locomotion i ...

snorkelling
, or
scuba diving Scuba diving is a type of underwater diving Underwater diving, as a human activity, is the practice of descending below the water's surface to interact with the environment. Immersion in water and exposure to high ambient pressure have ...

scuba diving
techniques. Spearfishing while using scuba equipment is illegal in some countries. The use of mechanically powered spearguns is also outlawed in some countries and jurisdictions. Spearfishing is highly selective, normally uses no bait and has no
by-catch Bycatch (or by-catch), in the fishing industry The fishing industry includes any industry or activity concerned with taking, culturing, processing, preserving, storing, transporting, marketing or selling fish or fish products. It is defined by th ...
.


Collection of shellfish


Breathing techniques, relaxation and inspiration

Beside all the underwater activities, there is a trend in using the sea and nature as a medium and source of inspiration for rediscover of mindfulness. Non competitive breathing techniques and relaxation before the dive and visualization under water are practiced. Mermaid diving also focuses on the beauty under water.


Competitive breath-hold watersports


Aquathlon

Aquathlon (also known as underwater wrestling) is an underwater sport where two competitors wearing masks and fins wrestle underwater in an attempt to remove a ribbon from each other's ankle band in order to win the bout. The "combat" takes place in a 5-metre (16 ft) square ring within a swimming pool, and is made up of three 30-second rounds, with a fourth round played in the event of a tie. The sport originated during the 1980s in the former USSR (now Russia) and was first played at international level in 1993. It was recognised by the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) in 2008.


Competitive spearfishing

Competitive spearfishing is defined by the world governing body CMAS as "the hunting and capture of fish underwater without the aid of artificial breathing devices, using gear that depends entirely on the physical strength of the competitor." They publish a set of competition rules that are used by affiliated organisations.


Synchronised swimming

Synchronized swimming Synchronised swimming (in Modern International English, synchronized swimming) or artistic swimming is a hybrid form of cheerleading Cheerleading is an activity in which the participants (called cheerleaders) cheer for their team as a form o ...
is a hybrid form of
swimming Swimming is the self-propulsion of a person through water, or other liquid, usually for recreation, sport, exercise, or survival. Locomotion is achieved through coordinated movement of the limbs and the body to achieve hydrodynamic thrust whic ...
,
dance Dance is a performing art art form, form consisting of sequences of movement, either improvised or purposefully selected. This movement has aesthetic and often symbolism (arts), symbolic value. Dance can be categorized and described by its ...

dance
, and
gymnastics Gymnastics is a sport Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against each other" spirit bet ...

gymnastics
, consisting of swimmers (either solos, duets, trios, combos, or teams) performing a synchronized routine of elaborate moves in the water, accompanied by music. Synchronized swimming demands advanced water skills, and requires great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control when upside down underwater. During lifts swimmers are not allowed to touch the bottom. Traditionally it was a women's sport, but following the addition of a new mixed-pair event, FINA World Aquatics competitions are open to men since the 16th 2015 championships in Kazan, and the other international and national competitions allow male competitors in every event. However, men are currently still barred from competing in the Olympics. Both USA Synchro and Synchro Canada allow men to compete with women. Most European countries also allow men to compete, and France even allows male only podiums, according to the number of participants. In the past decade, more men are becoming involved in the sport and a global biannual competition called Men's Cup has been steadily growing. Swimmers perform two routines for the judges, one technical and one free, as well as age group routines and figures. Synchronized swimming is both an individual and team sport. Swimmers compete individually during figures, and then as a team during the routine. Figures are made up of a combination of skills and positions that often require control, strength, and flexibility. Swimmers are ranked individually for this part of the competition. The routine involves teamwork and synchronization. It is choreographed to music and often has a theme. Synchronized swimming is governed internationally by
FINA FINA (french: Fédération internationale de natation, en, International Swimming Federation, link=yes) is the international federation recognised by the International Olympic Committee The International Olympic Committee (IOC; french: C ...
(Fédération Internationale de Natation).


Underwater hockey

Underwater Hockey Underwater hockey (UWH), also known as Octopush (mainly in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...

Underwater Hockey
, (also called Octopush (mainly in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
)) is a globally played limited-
contact sport Contact sports are sports that emphasize or require physical contact between players. Some sports, such as mixed martial arts, are scored on impacting an opponent, while others, including rugby football, gridiron football and Australian rules foo ...
in which two teams compete to manoeuvre a puck across the bottom of a
swimming pool A swimming pool, swimming bath, wading pool, paddling pool, or simply pool, is a structure designed to hold water to enable Human swimming, swimming or other leisure activities. Pools can be built into the ground (in-ground pools) or built ...

swimming pool
into the opposing team's
goal A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, Planning, plan and commit to achieve. People endeavour to reach goals within a finite time by setting Time limit, deadlines. A goal is roughly simi ...
by propelling it with a . It originated in
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
in 1954 when Alan Blake, the founder of the newly formed
Southsea Southsea is a seaside resort and a geographic area of Portsmouth, Portsea Island in England. Southsea is located 1.8 miles (2.8 km) to the south of Portsmouth's inner city-centre. Southsea is not a separate town as all of Portsea Island's settle ...
Sub-Aqua Club, invented the game he called Octopush as a means of keeping the club's members interested and active over the cold winter months when open-water diving lost its appeal. Underwater Hockey is now played worldwide, with the
Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) is an international federation that represents underwater activities in underwater sport and underwater sciences, and oversees an international system of recreational snorkel and scuba ...
, abbreviated CMAS, as the world governing body. The first Underwater Hockey World Championship was held in
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
in 1980 after a false start in 1979 brought about by international politics and apartheid.


Underwater football

Underwater football Underwater football is a two-team underwater sport that shares common elements with underwater hockey Underwater hockey (UWH), also known as Octopush (mainly in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Irel ...
is a two-team underwater sport that shares common elements with
underwater hockey Underwater hockey (UWH), also known as Octopush (mainly in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...

underwater hockey
and
underwater rugby Underwater rugby (UWR) is an underwater team sport. During a match two teams try to score a negatively buoyant ball (filled with saltwater) into the opponents’ goal at the bottom of a swimming pool swimming pool in Melbourne, Australi ...
. As with both of those games, it is played in a
swimming pool A swimming pool, swimming bath, wading pool, paddling pool, or simply pool, is a structure designed to hold water to enable Human swimming, swimming or other leisure activities. Pools can be built into the ground (in-ground pools) or built ...

swimming pool
with
snorkeling Snorkeling ( British and Commonwealth English spelling: snorkelling) is the practice of swimming Swimming is the self-propulsion of a person through water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, tr ...

snorkeling
equipment (
mask A mask is an object normally worn on the face The face is the front of an animal's head that features the eyes Eyes are organs An organ is a group of tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organ ...

mask
, snorkel, and
fins A fin is a thin component or appendage attached to a larger body or structure. Fins typically function as foils that produce lift Lift or LIFT may refer to: Physical devices * Elevator, or lift, a device used for raising and lowering people o ...

fins
). The goal of the game is to manoeuvre (by
carry Carry or carrying may refer to: *Carry (name) * Carried interest (or carry), the share of profits in an investment fund paid to the fund manager * Carry (American football), a statistical term equivalent to a single rushing play * Carrying (basket ...
ing and passing) a slightly
ball A ball is a round object (usually spherical of a sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a geometrical object in three-dimensional space Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional s ...

ball
from one side of a pool to the other by players who are completely submerged
underwater The underwater environment refers to the region below the surface of, and immersed in, liquid water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly ...

underwater
.
Scoring Score or scorer may refer to: *Test score, the result of an exam or test Business * Score Digital, now part of Bauer Radio#Score Digital, Bauer Radio * Score Entertainment, a former American trading card design and manufacturing company * Score ...
is achieved by placing the ball (under control) in the
gutter Gutter may refer to: * Rain gutter, a narrow trough or duct which collects rainwater from the roof of a building and diverts it away from the structure, typically into a drain * Street gutter, a depression which runs alongside a city street, usuall ...
on the side of the pool. Variations include using a toy rubber torpedo as the ball, and weighing down buckets to rest on the bottom and serve as goals. It is played in the Canadian provinces of
Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , capital = Edmonton Edmonton ( ) is the capital ...

Alberta
,
Manitoba Manitoba ( ) is a Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada at the Centre of Canada, longitudinal centre of the country. It is Canada's Population of Canada by province and territory, fifth-most populous province, with a population o ...

Manitoba
,
Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador (; sometimes abbreviated as NL) is the easternmost province of Canada The Province of Canada (or the United Province of Canada or the United Canadas) (french: link=no, Province du Canada) was a British North Am ...
, and
Saskatchewan ("From Many Peoples Strength") , image_map = Saskatchewan in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English language, English , capital = Regina, S ...
.


Underwater rugby

Underwater rugby Underwater rugby (UWR) is an underwater sports, underwater team sport. During a match two teams try to score a negatively buoyant ball (filled with saltwater) into the opponents’ goal at the bottom of a swimming pool. It originated from wit ...
is an underwater team sport. During a match two teams try to score a negatively buoyant ball (filled with saltwater) into the opponents’ goal at the bottom of a swimming pool. It originated from within the physical fitness training regime existing in German diving clubs during the early 1960s and has little in common with rugby football except for the name. It was recognised by the
Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) is an international federation that represents underwater activities in underwater sport and underwater sciences, and oversees an international system of recreational snorkel and scuba ...
(CMAS) in 1978 and was first played as a world championship in 1980.


Underwater target shooting

Underwater target shooting Underwater Target Shooting is an underwater sport/shooting sport Shooting sports is a group of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry ...
is an underwater sport that tests a competitors’ ability to accurately use a
speargun A speargun is a ranged underwater fishing Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. Included in this ...

speargun
via a set of individual and team events conducted in a
swimming pool A swimming pool, swimming bath, wading pool, paddling pool, or simply pool, is a structure designed to hold water to enable Human swimming, swimming or other leisure activities. Pools can be built into the ground (in-ground pools) or built ...

swimming pool
using
free diving Freediving, free-diving, free diving, breath-hold diving, or skin diving is a form of underwater diving Underwater diving, as a human activity, is the practice of descending below the water's surface to interact with the environment. Immer ...
or apnea technique. The sport was developed in
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
during the early 1980s and is currently practised mainly in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
. It is known as ''Tir sur cible subaquatique'' in French and as ''Tiro al Blanco Subacuático'' in Spanish.


Competitive apnea

Competitive freediving is currently governed by two world associations:
AIDA International Association Internationale pour le Développement de l'Apnée (AIDA) (English: ''International Association for the Development of Apnea'') is a worldwide rule- and record-keeping body for competitive breath holding events, also known as freedivi ...
(International Association for Development of Apnea) and CMAS (Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques – World Underwater Federation). Historically, there were two more organisations that regulated freediving records and activities -
IAFD The Internet Adult Film Database (IAFD) is an online database of information pertaining to, in United States, the sex industry, pornography industry: Pornographic film actor, actors, Pornographic film actor, actresses, Film director, directors, ...
(International Association of Freedivers) and
FREE Free may refer to: Concept * Freedom, having the ability to do something, without having to obey anyone/anything. * Emancipate, to procure political rights, as for a disenfranchised group * Free will, control exercised by rational agents over t ...
(Freediving Regulations and Education Entity). Each organization has its own rules on recognizing a record attempt which can be found on the organization's website. Alongside ''competitive disciplines'' there are ''record disciplines'' - disciplines that are not held in competitions, that are just for setting world records. There is a third organization which in addition to AIDA and CMAS preside over those record disciplines and that is Guinness. Almost all types of competitive freediving have in common that it is an individual sport based on the best individual achievement. Exceptions to this rule are the bi-annual World Championship for Teams held by AIDA, where the combined score of the team members makes up the team's total points and Skandalopetra diving competitions held by CMAS, the only truly ‘team’ event in freediving - for which teams are formed by two athletes: one acting as an apneista (Voutichtis; diver) and the other acting as an assistant (Kolaouzeris; person who "extracts").


Disciplines

There are currently eleven recognized disciplines defined by AIDA and CMAS, and a dozen more that are only practiced locally. All disciplines can be practiced by both men and women and only CMAS currently separates records in fresh water from those at sea. The disciplines of AIDA can be done both in competition and as a record attempt, with the exception of Variable Weight and No limits, which are both solely for record attempts. For all AIDA depth disciplines, the depth the athlete will attempt is announced before the dive; this is accepted practice for both competition and record attempts. Most divers choose monofin over bifins where there is a choice. ;Overview of the above disciplines BF - BiFins, MF - MonoFin


World records

''Note 1: Best official result in STA is Guinness WR of 11:54 by Branko Petrović in 2014, a freediver who has results in STA over 10 minutes under both AIDA and CMAS.''
''Note 2: Best NLT result is 253.2m by Herbert Nitsch in 2012; intention of having the dive sanctioned by AIDA fell through due to a sponsoring conflict.''
''Note 3: After 2001-12-31 AIDA International no longer separated the records achieved in a lake from those in the sea.''


AIDA recognized world records

The
AIDA ''Aida'' () is an opera Opera is a form of theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event be ...
recognized world records are:


CMAS recognized world records

, the CMAS recognized world records are:


Guinness Guinness () is an Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United King ...
recognized world records

''Note: Only those disciplines that are modifications of existing AIDA or CMAS disciplines and Guinness-exclusive (as it recognizes and inherits some AIDA/CMAS records) or Guinness-conceived (CMAS and AIDA do/did sanction at some time) disciplines.''


Recreational

Freediving as a recreational activity is widely practiced and differs significantly from
scuba diving Scuba diving is a type of underwater diving Underwater diving, as a human activity, is the practice of descending below the water's surface to interact with the environment. Immersion in water and exposure to high ambient pressure have ...

scuba diving
. Although there are potential risks to all freediving, it can be safely practiced using a wide range of skill levels from the average snorkeler to the professional freediver. Compared to scuba diving, freediving offers: * Freedom from cumbersome equipment and short preparation times. * Low cost. * It is quiet and does not disturb fish, the noise of breathing and bubbles can be quite loud on open circuit scuba though
rebreather A rebreather is a breathing apparatus that absorbs the carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide (chemical formula A chemical formula is a way of presenting information about the chemical proportions of atom An atom is the smallest unit of o ...

rebreather
s are much quieter. * Mobility and speed, but for a much more limited period. * No decompression time for deep dives, although it is possible to get decompression sickness, or
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, from repetitive deep free-diving with short surface intervals. * The lack of exhaled air bubbles on ascent gives greater visibility on ascent. * Accessibility, if the site can be walked to it can, potentially, be dived. * Appropriately skilled and fit freedivers can go as deep, or deeper than, recreational scuba divers, the depth being limited only by the willingness to accept the risks; scuba diving is restricted by the level of certification. Freshwater springs, often with excellent visibility, provide good freediving opportunities but with greater risks. Diving into spring caverns with restricted access to the surface is very different from diving in open water. The time available to a freediver to solve problems underwater before hypoxia sets in is severely restricted in comparison with scuba. Freediving into confined cave systems such as Eagle's Nest Cave, Florida and Blue Springs State Park, Florida has resulted in several deaths. Cave freediving is commonly discouraged in basic freediver safety training.


Physiology

The human body has several oxygen-conserving adaptations that manifest under diving conditions as part of the
mammalian diving reflex Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of t ...
. The adaptations include: *
Reflex bradycardia Reflex In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological m ...
: Significant drop in heart rate. * Blood-shift: Blood flow and volume is redistributed towards vital organs by means of a reflex vasoconstriction. Blood vessels distend and become engorged, which in the case of the pulmonary capillaries assists with pressure compensation that comes with increasing diving depth, and without which a largely air-filled chest cavity would simply collapse for lack of compliance. * Body-cooling: peripheral
vasoconstriction Vasoconstriction is the narrowing of the blood vessel The blood vessels are the components of the circulatory system The circulatory system, also called the cardiovascular system or the vascular system, is an organ system that permits bl ...

vasoconstriction
results in cooling of peripheral tissue beds, which lower their oxygen demand in a thermodynamic manner. In addition, Murat et al. (2013) recently discovered that breath-holding results in prompt and substantial brain cooling, just like in diving birds and seals. (Dry) breath-holds result in cooling on the order of about 1 °C/minute, but this is likely to be greater with cold water submersion, in proportion to the magnitude and promptness of the dive response. * Splenic contraction: Releasing red blood cells carrying oxygen.


Techniques

Breath-holding ability, and hence dive performance, is a function of on-board oxygen stores, scope for metabolic rate reduction, efficient oxygen utilization, and hypoxia tolerance. Athletes attempt to accomplish this in various ways. Some divers use "packing", which increases lung volume beyond normal total lung capacity. In addition, training is allocated to enhance blood and muscle oxygen stores, to a limited extent. Most divers rely on increasing fitness by increasing lung capacity. Simple breath-holding practice is highly effective for increasing lung capacity. In an interview on the radio talk show
Fresh Air ''Fresh Air'' is an American radio talk show Talk radio is a radio format A radio format or programming format (not to be confused with broadcast programming) describes the overall content broadcast on a radio station , Sweden , Norway R ...

Fresh Air
, journalist James Nestor, author of the book '' Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art'', stated: "Some divers have a lung capacity of 14 liters, which is about double the size for a typical adult male. They weren't born this way. ... They trained themselves to breathe in ways to profoundly affect their physical bodies."


Ascent


Training

Training for freediving can take many forms, some of which can be performed on land.The
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presents a scientific freediving class that was developed by Claire Paris, a professor and freediver, the class is the first of its kind at the university. One example is the apnea walk. This consists of a preparation "breathe-up", followed by a short (typically 1 minute) breath hold taken at rest. Without breaking the hold, participants then begin walking as far as possible until it becomes necessary to breathe again. Athletes can do close to 400 meters in training this way. This form of training is good for accustoming
muscle Skeletal muscles (commonly referred to as muscles) are organs An organ is a group of tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exist in organ systems. A given organ's tissues can be broadly cat ...

muscle
s to work under
anaerobic Anaerobic means "living, active, occurring, or existing in the absence of free oxygen", as opposed to aerobic which means "living, active, or occurring only in the presence of oxygen." Anaerobic may also refer to: *Adhesive#Anaerobic, Anaerobic ad ...
conditions, and for tolerance to build-up in the circulation. It is also easy to gauge progress, as increasing distance can be measured. Before competition attempts, freedivers perform a preparation sequence, which usually consists of physical stretching, mental exercise and breath exercise. It may include a succession of variable length static apnea and special purging deep breaths. Results of the preparation sequence are slower metabolism, lower heart rate and breath rate, and lower levels of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream and overall mental equilibrium.


Safety


Hazards

The most obvious hazard is lack of access to air for breathing – a necessity for human life. This can result in
asphyxia Asphyxia or asphyxiation is a condition of deficient supply of oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an ...
from drowning if the diver does not reach the surface while still capable of holding their breath and resuming breathing. The risk depends on several factors, including the depth, duration and shape of the dive profile. Latent hypoxia is a specific hazard of deeper freedives. This effect can cause hypoxic blackout during surfacing. There are also a wide range of
environmental hazards A biophysical environment is a biotic Biotics describe living or once living components of a community; for example organisms, such as animals and plants. Biotic may refer to: *Life, the condition of living organisms *Biology, the study of life ...
possible specific to the site and water and weather conditions at the time of diving, and there may be other hazards specific to the freediving activity.


Risk

Failing to respond to physiological warning signals, or crossing the mental barrier by strong will, may lead to blackout underwater or on reaching the surface. Trained freedivers are well aware of this and competitions must be held under strict supervision and with competent first-aiders on standby. However, this does not eliminate the risk of blackout. Freedivers are encouraged by certification and sporting organisations to dive only with a 'buddy' who accompanies them, observing from in the water at the surface, and ready to dive to the rescue if the diver loses consciousness during the ascent. This is only reasonably practicable if the water clarity allows observation, and the buddy is capable of safely reaching the diver. Due to the nature of the sport, the risks of freediving can be reduced by strict adherence to safety measures as an integral part of the activity, but cannot be eliminated entirely. Competition rules may require all participants to be adept in rescue and resuscitation.


Statistics and notable accidents

Nicholas Mevoli, a diver from New York died on 17 November 2013 after losing consciousness on surfacing from a 3-minute 38 second dive to a depth of 72 metres during an official record attempt in the "constant weight without fins" event. He had previously reached greater depths and longer times in other disciplines.


Fiction and documentaries


Documentaries

*''Ocean Men'' (2001) is a documentary film about the art and science of freediving, featuring two of its most outstanding exponents: Francisco Ferreras, Francisco "Pipín" Ferreras and Umberto Pelizzari. *''My Pilot, Whale'' (2014) is a short documentary film directed by Alexander and Nicole Gratovsky, demonstrating direct communication between a human and free pilot whales in the open ocean. The entire underwater part was shot without underwater breathing equipment; both the operator and the person appearing in the frame are freediving.


Fiction

*In the film ''Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation'', Tom Cruise plays super spy Ethan Hunt fighting the forces of evil, and goes freediving in a scene to expose the villains. *''The Pearl (novel), The Pearl'' by John Steinbeck (1947) is a novel about a poor pearl diver, Kino, who finds the 'Pearl of Heaven', which is exceptionally valuable, changing his life forever. The novel explores themes of man's nature as well as greed and evil. *In ''South Sea Adventure'' (1952) by Willard Price the Hunt brothers, marooned on a coral island, use free diving to collect both pearls and fresh water. *In Ian Fleming, Ian Fleming's (1964) James Bond novel ''You Only Live Twice (novel), You Only Live Twice'', the character Kissy Suzuki is an Ama divers, ama diver. This connection was also mentioned in the You Only Live Twice (film), film version. *''Man from Atlantis'' was a 1970s TV series which featured a superhero with the ability to breathe underwater and freedive in his own special way. *''The Big Blue'' (1988) is a romantic film about two world-class freedivers, a heavily fictionalized depiction of the rivalry of freedivers Jacques Mayol and Enzo Maiorca. *In the movie ''Phoenix Blue'' (2001), protagonist Rick is a musician who freedives competitively. *The children's novel ''The Dolphins of Laurentum'' by Caroline Lawrence (2003), which takes place in ancient Rome, describes the applications of freediving (sponge and pearl diving) and its hazards, as one of the principal characters, as well as the main antagonist, try to beat each other to a sunken treasure. *''The Freediver'' (2004) is a film about a talented female freediver who is discovered and brought to an island, where she is trained by an ambitious scientist to break a freediving world record currently held by an American woman. *In the film ''Into the Blue (2005 film), Into the Blue'' (2005) starring Jessica Alba, a group of divers find themselves in deep trouble with a drug lord after they come upon the illicit cargo of a sunken airplane in the Caribbean. Jessica Alba is an accomplished freediver, and did much of the underwater work; some other stunts were performed by Mehgan Heaney-Grier. *In Greg Iles' novel ''Blood Memory'' (2005), the main character Cat Ferry is an odontologist and a freediver. *''H2O: Just Add Water, H2O: Just Add Water'' Series 3 added a freediver (Will Benjamin played by Luke Mitchell) as a regular. Freediving is featured in some episodes. *''The Greater Meaning of Water'' (2010) is an independent film about competitive constant weight freediving, focusing on the 'zen' of freediving. *In the Canada, Canadian television series ''Corner Gas'', the character Karen Pelly (Tara Spencer-Nairn) competed in static apnea, ranking fifth in Canada with a personal best of over six minutes. *In the United States, American television series ''Baywatch'' episode "The Chamber" (Session 2, Episode 17), the character Mitch Buchannon rescues a diver trapped 90 feet below the ocean surface, but almost dies while suffering the effects of
decompression sickness Decompression sickness (DCS; also known as divers' disease, the bends, aerobullosis, or caisson disease) describes a condition arising from dissolved gases coming out of solution into bubbles inside the body on depressurisation. DCS most common ...
; decompression sickness is highly improbable following freediving exposure to this depth. *In the book ''Hornblower and the Atropos'', CS Forester, CS Forester's character Horatio Hornblower is tasked by the Royal Navy to retrieve sunken treasure with the help of freediving Sinhalese people, Sinhalese pearl hunting, pearl divers


See also

* * * * * *


References


Further reading

*DeeperBlue.com (2016) ''The Beginners Guide to Freediving'', published b
DeeperBlue.com
*Callagy, Feargus (2012) ''A Beginners Guide to Freediving'', e-book published b
DeeperBlue.com
*Donald, Ian (2013) ''Underwater foraging – Freediving for food'', Createspace publishing, USA. *Emma Farrell (freediver), Farrell, Emma (2006) ''One Breath: A Reflection on Freediving'', photographs by Frederic Buyle, Pynto Ltd., Hatherley, UK: *Umberto Pelizzari, Pelizzari, Umberto & Tovaglieri, Stefano (2001) ''Manual of Freediving: Underwater on a single breath'', English translation 2004 by Idelson-Gnocchi Ltd., Reddick, FL: *Stig Severinsen, Severinsen, Stig A. (2010) ''Breathology: The Art of Conscious Breathing'', Idelson-Gnocchi Ltd., Reddick, FL: *James Nestor (2015) "Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves", Eamon Dolan/Mariner Books New York, NY:


External links


AIDA InternationalCollaborative cartography of freediving spots/Cartographie collaborative des spots apnée

DeeperBlue websiteThe Beginners Guide to Freediving
- published by DeeperBlue.com
FreedivingCourses.com
- a way to find Freediving instructors and dive centers around the world
DiveWise.Org
- non profit organization dedicated to freediving education and safety
Explore Freediving
- Freediving and Snorkeling events and instructor directory
Freediving Spots Borgosub.fr
French association to promote Wreck freediving
Freitauchen-lernen.com
- deutschsprachiger Freediving Blog
www.apnoetauchen-lernen.de
- German Center for education and development of freediving. {{DEFAULTSORT:Free Diving Freediving, Individual sports Underwater sports