As a spectator
of the sport of diving, your appreciation is greater if you
know what to watch for...what makes a great dive.
TYPES OF DIVES: There are six different groups of platform
and springboard dives. The first four types involve rotating
in different directions relative to the board and the starting
position, while the fifth group includes any dive with a twist
and a sixth group involves an armstand starting position on
Group: The diver faces the front of the board and rotates
toward the water. Dives in this group vary from the simple
front dive to the difficult forward four and one-half somersault.
Group: All the dives in the backward group begin with
the diver on the end of the board with his back to the water.
The direction of rotation is away from the board.
Group: Formerly called "gainers," these dives begin with
the diver facing the front of the board (using a forward approach)
and rotating toward the board.
4. Inward Group:
The diver stands on the end of the board with his back to
the water and rotates toward the board or opposite of the
backward group's movement. The earlier term for these dives
Group: Any dive with a twist is included in this group.
There are four types of twisting dives: forward, backward,
reverse, and inward. Because of the many possible combinations,
this group includes more dives than any other.
Group: In platform diving, there is a sixth, unique group
of dives called "armstands." Here, the diver assumes a handstand
position on the edge of the platform before executing the
When each type
of dive is performed, the diver utilizes one or more of the
four different types of body positions:
body is bent at the waist and knees, the thighs are drawn
to the chest while the heels are kept close to the buttocks.
legs are straight with the body bent at the waist. The arm
position is dictated by the particular dive being done or
by the choice of the diver.
This position requires that there be no bend at the waist
or knees. However, there may be an arch in the back, depending
on the dive. As in the pike position the arm placement is
either the diver's choice or defined by the dive done.
is not an actual body position but a term used to describe
the diver's option to use any of the other three positions
or combinations thereof when performing a dive which includes
somersaults and twists.
As you watch more
and more diving, especially by talented performers, you will
observe that although several divers may do exactly the same
dive, it never looks quite the same. This is because each
individual has different mannerisms, characteristics of movement,
strengths and sense of timing-which all add up to an abstract
but observable phenomenon called "style".
Style is difficult
to assess by any standard, except whether or not you like
it. This is why it is hard to judge diving. Even though there
are criteria of execution all divers must meet, evaluation
remains a subjective process. No matter how well a dive is
performed, artistic likes and dislikes of the judges play
a large part in the outcome of any contest, and for this reason
there are usually differences of opinion among coaches, competitors,
judges and spectators about the accuracy of results.
A dive is scored
between zero and 10 points in either full or ½ -point
increments by each judge. A table of the scores and the criteria
for how they should be awarded follows:
½ - 2
2½ - 4½.
6 ½ - 8
8 ½ - 10
a dive into one of the judging categories, certain parts of
each dive must be analyzed and evaluated, and an overall award
obtained. The parts of a dive are:
Should be smooth but forceful, showing good form.
Must show control and balance plus the proper angle of landing
and leaving for the particular dive being attempted.
The amount of spring or lift a diver receives from the takeoff
greatly affects the appearance of the dive. Since more height
means more time, a higher dive generally affords greater accuracy
and smoothness of movement.
This is most important, for this is the dive. A judge watches
for proper mechanical performance, technique, form and grace.
The entry into the water is very significant because it is
the last thing the judge sees and the part probably remembered
best. The two criteria to be evaluated are the angle of entry,
which should be near vertical, and the amount of splash, which
should be as little as possible.
Seven judges are
used in a National Competition. When the judges awards are
given, the two highest and two lowest scores will be eliminated.
Usually five judges are used at preliminary or invitational
competitions with the one highest and lowest score eliminated.
The remaining three scores are totaled and that number will
then be multiplied by the degree of difficulty rating assigned
to that dive. The DD is predetermined with a table range from
1.2 to 3.5 in one-tenth increments