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Fan's Guide to Swimming and Diving Page 5 of 5 (Diving)

Diver1- History & Object
2- Strokes
3-The Essentials (events, scoring, etc.)
4- Pool Diagram
5- Diving


Diving is one event during a swim meet. Athletes jump from a one-meter springboard and perform aerial maneuvers before entering the water. There are five classifications of dives, including: forward, back, reverse, inward, and twist. Divers usually perform 11 dives: two from each category and one additional dive from any category. Below is a description of the five classifications of dives:

Forward: Diver jumps off the board forward and performs a forward dive of any rotation.

Back: Diver stands on the edge of the diving board with his back facing the water and performs a backward dive of any rotation.

Reverse: Diver jumps off the board forward and performs a backward dive of any rotation.

Inward: Diver stands on the edge of the diving board with his back facing the water, and performs a forward dive of any rotation.

Twist: Diver rotates the body at least 180 degrees during any type of dive.

While in the air, divers rotate their bodies. Dive rotations are measured in half-point increments. A dive is considered a half rotation, a somersault is considered a full rotation, and all rotations past one full rotation are recognized by number of somersaults (e.g. 1.5 somersaults). The diver enters the water head-first on all half dives (e.g. .5, 1.5, 2.5) and feet-first for all full dives (e.g. 1, 2, 3).

There are four different positions that a diver can perform in the air: tuck, pike, straight, and free.

Tuck: Diver’s knees are bent, together, and tucked close to the chest. Toes are pointed.

Pike: Diver’s body is bent at the hips, with legs straight and toes pointed.

Straight: Diver’s body is kept completely straight and toes are pointed.

Free: Diver’s body can be in a number of positions to allow for twists.

To put it all together, dives are explained by their category, rotation, and position. For example, a dive that is announced as “a forward one-and-a-half somersault in the pike position” is a forward dive in which the diver rotates 1.5 times in the air in the pike position before entering the water headfirst. Based on the complexity of the maneuver, each dive is assigned a degree of difficulty. The dive mentioned above carries a degree of difficulty of 1.7.

Three to nine judges rate each dive from 0 to 10 points, in half point increments, with 0 being a failed dive and 10 being an exceptional dive. When assigning points, judges consider six different parts of the dive: starting position, approach, hurdle, take-off, flight and position, and entry. They also deduct points for flaws in the dive. Points awarded by the judges are then multiplied by the degree of difficulty to derive a total score for the dive. The cumulative score of all dives determines the final ranking of the divers.


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