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  • Published: Apr 16th, 2011
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Diving is Too Expensive

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This is a big one. First, remember what you’re getting for your money besides just the dive: A day on the water. A day in the sun. A picnic. A chance to hang out with old friends and make new ones. Maybe one of those once-in-a-lifetime underwater experiences. The opportunity to watch members of the opposite sex struggle in and out of wetsuits.

Piggyback diving. A way to stretch both time and money is to piggyback dive trips on to business or family trips ­the travel is already paid for. How many times have you seen business people traveling with golf clubs or tennis rackets? Why not a mask and regulator?

Make your stay less expensive. Check to see if there are accommodations with cooking facilities, such as a condo or an efficiency. Buying a few groceries local and having one or two meals a day “at home” will save a bundle.

Reason for the season? High season is often simply a measure of how many people are on vacation from school and work or are fed up with winter and ready to go anywhere warmer. It does not mean it’s the best time to be there for diving, but it does mean higher prices and bigger crowds. Check your dive travel specialist for destinations where low season coincides with the best diving conditions.

Pay less­, carry a big club. Dive clubs are able to negotiate group rates for diving and travel. Resorts will often offer free spaces for group leaders and the savings can be split among the entire group.

Watch the world. Keep up-to-date on your destinations­. For example, the current global financial crisis is making some of the best diving in the world suddenly more affordable.

Tax actions. It’s about time the government paid for some of your diving. Expenses incurred while participating in diving activities like fish counts and reef surveys organized for non-profit corporations are tax-deductible. Your dear Uncle Sammy may be happy to pay for almost a third of these dive trips­. Just don’t tell him how much fun they are. Also, any cost to join a marine-related non-profit organization that is considered a donation is deductible.

Solution: Realize what a great bargain you’re getting; scrimp and save; be a smart dive consumer.

Finally the NHL can laugh at a sport about TV Coverage.

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The biggest international soccer game in the last 20 for the US team is not going to be on any English speaking TV network. The US vs. Mexico on August 12th will be broadcast in the US only on Spanish TV. The NHL’s deal with the Vs. Network doesn’t look so bad.

Maybe the Vs network was too busy covering the US Turtle Assoc. races to bother with US soccer. At any rate, any hope that the US performance in the most recent tournament has sparked massive interest in the sport can be put to rest. The question is with millions of young adults having played soccer in their very early life, why has soccer never taken off as a major sport?

The explanation is simple—we Americans don’t watch what we won’t win. In most of the world, the best athletes that a nation has become soccer players. Here, the best athletes play in the NBA, NFL, and MLB. As a result, we don’t win many international competitions. Americans don’t enjoy tuning in to see the US team get pounded by faster, more athletic teams from South America and Europe.

The MLS has done its best to try to tap into the adult population that played youth soccer. But it hasn’t worked so far. The best players in the MLS tend to be foreign imports. Even teams that do well in the league struggle to get attendance and sponsorships.

Analysis: I don’t believe that the MLS will be the key to US soccer expansion. The best hope for soccer in the US is that the Hispanic population coming from Central and South America will be the future of the sport. Those are very sophisticated fans and will not accept substandard quality play. They will watch soccer but it will be the MLS. It will be the Central or South American leagues.

In the future, the demand for soccer should grow. Maybe it will reach the level that the Vs. Network will be interested.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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