The diving instruction manual

While watching the World Cup, have you ever watched a player execute a perfect, ahem, "simulation" and wondered to yourself, "how in the world do they get so good at it?"

While watching the World Cup, have you ever seen a player execute a perfect, ahem, "simulation" and wondered to yourself, "how in the world do they get so good at it?"

Well, has been watching too, and we and our thousand-strong team of simulation scientists (your taxpayer dollars at work!) have done extensive research on the act, which is normally called by its derogatory term, "diving."

Don't be fooled by the grumblings of the general populace, or those who practice the art of "rational thought." Simulation is an art form, honed by years of practice and, when executed perfectly, can con the most eagle-eyed referee (however, the approximately 1,000,000 replays which will inevitably be shown afterward is a different matter).

So here, for the public's benefit, we have created a step-by-step approach to the act of diving which, when implemented correctly, can give someone a convincing edge on any pitch, from the fields in Europe to your local house league.

Just don't expect to be invited to any post-game celebrations any time soon.

The simulation instruction manual

Step 1: When there's contact (?), assume a truck just hit you

  • No matter how minimal (or non-existent) the contact was from the defender, always assume that either a) an 18-wheeler just ran you over or b) you and your boat were just capsized by the Exxon Valdez. This will get you in the perfect frame of mind to continue the sequence.

Step 2: Jump no lower than four (4) feet into the air

  • For this step, imagine you're competing in the high jump event at the Olympics. Because the air time you get, the more serious it looks.

Step 3: Pretend you are Superman

  • Nothing says "legitimate" more than fully extending your arms while you are parallel to the ground.

Step 4: Produce a scream that shakes the pillars of Olympus

  • Create in your heart the same anguish you feel when someone just ahead of you in line orders the final doughnut of your favourite flavour. Scream accordingly.

Step 5: Hit the ground and roll six (6) times

  • Any more will look really ridiculous. Any less means you're really hurt.

Step 6: Vigorously wave the trainer over

  • Remember parts in war movies when a horribly-maimed soldier waves a medic over? Do that. It will remind the referee of those movies, and he will say "wow, just like in those war films! He must be really hurt." Bonus points if you call for the stretcher. IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure the trainer brings the magic spray!!

Step 7: Pretend you are knocked out and/or dead.

  • For this step, imagine you're in the middle of a very heavy nap. Or, even better, fall asleep for real.

Step 8: Keep eyes closed. Ask trainer about family.

  • You will look like you're explaining how hurt you are.

Step 9: Hold head in hands when helped/carried off pitch.

  • It will seem like you are really sad that your career might be over. Also has the added benefit of covering up any case of the giggles you might have, which would probably not help your cause too much.

Step 10: Time for Magic Spray!

  • Let the trainer treat you with his Magic Spray, which, through its combined ingredients of pressurized water and air, will heal you miraculously.

Step 11: Return to the pitch. With amnesia.

  • When waved into play again, run back onto the pitch in a full sprint, as if nothing happened. When opposing players question your motives, say "injury? What injury? I don't remember that." This will make them think that you may be playing with a concussion.

Final Note: For Pete's sake, don't actually hurt yourself!

  • You don't need me to tell you that injuring yourself while simulating a foul would be highly painful and embarrassing.