The plunge for distance is a common event in the backyard pool, but it is hardly a great spectator sport. The competitors begin with a standing dive, then have to remain motionless underwater for one minute or until their head break the surface of the water, whichever comes first. The longest distance recorded wins.
According to the 1920 Official Swimming Guide of the American Swimming Association, The Plunge for Distance 'is a dive from a stationary take-off which is free from spring from a height of 18 inches above the water. Upon reaching the water the plunger glides face downward for a period of 60 seconds without imparting any propulsion to the body from the arms and legs."
There is evidence of plunging events from the mid-1800s. This unusual sporting event was once held at the 1904 Olympic Games as part of the swimming program, but not surprisingly it was never seen again on the world's greatest sporting stage. The event continued to be part of swimming championships, though by the 1940s it was all but forgotten.
Is it really extinct?
I was under the impression that the sport died out soon after its peak in 1904, but there was a recent reference to an Australian Plunge for Distance Diving Association, and possibly more people around the world that are involved in this sport. A World Championships was planned for 2012, but did it happen?