What is Diving

Diving is a Dynamic and Exciting Sport

Breaking new boundaries of courage, skill and athleticism. Diving is similar to the sport of gymnastics and first started off by gymnasts as a way to perform more manouvers in air while ensuring a soft landing. It combines the athleticism of gymnastics, the grace of a ballet, and the concentration and accuracy of a archer.

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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.  The fifth group includes any dive with a twist.  The final group, used in platform diving, begins with an armstand.

  1. Forward Group:  The diver faces the front of the board and rotates towards the water.  Dives in this group vary from the simple front dive to the difficult forward four and one-half somersaults.
  2. Backward Group:  All the dives in the backward group begin with the diver on the end of the board with the back to the water.  The direction of rotation is away from the board.
  3. Reverse Group:  These dives begin with the diver facing the front of the board (using a forward approach) and rotating towards the board.
  4. Inward Group:  The diver stands on the end of the board with back to the water and rotates toward the board or opposite of the backward group’s movement.
  5. Twisting 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.
  6. Armstand 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 dive.

Body Positions

When each type of dive is performed, the diver utilises one or more of the four different types of body positions.

  1. Tuck:  The body is bent at the waist and knees, the thighs are drawn to the chest while the heels are kept close to the buttocks.
  2. Pike:  The 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.
  3. Straight:  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.
  4. Free:  This is not an actual body position but a diver’s option to use any of the other three positions or combination thereof when performing a dive which includes somersaults and twists.  However, in dives of this kind the tuck position is rarely used, while a combination of the other two positions is the most common occurrence.


Divers are judged by a panel of seven judges who each give a score between zero and 10 points for each dive performed. The following table gives an indication of the points awarded for dives:


0                    completely failed

½ – 2             unsatisfactory
2½ – 4½        deficient
5 – 6½           satisfactory

7 – 8              good
8½ – 9½        very good

10                  excellent


In classifying a dive into one of the judging categories, certain parts of each dive must be analysed and evaluated, and an overall award obtained.  The parts of the dive are:

  1. Approach:  Should be smooth but forceful, showing good form.
  2. Take-off:  Must show control and balance, plus the proper angle of landing and leaving for the particular dive being attempted.
  3. Elevation:  The amount of spring or lift a diver receives from the take-off greatly affects the appearance of the dive.  Since more height means more time, a higher dive generally affords greater accuracy and smoothness of movement.
  4. Execution:  This is most important, for this is the dive.  A judge watches for proper mechanical performance, technique, form and grace.
  5. Entry:  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 here are the angle of entry which should be vertical and the amount of splash, which should be as little as possible.

This is a typical Diving Session Plan:
0-5 mins – Check in, Hello and well-being check. Introduction of diving and rules

5-40mins – Warm up, Conditioning, Dryland drills
Warm-up, cardio, flexibility, basic strength and conditioning exercises

40-80mins – Pool session
Safety rules. water confidence, basic diving drills on pool side, 1m board, 3m board
*If there is lightning alert or heavy rain, students will remain in dryland for dryland drills and games.

80-90 mins – Last dive, debrief, and wash up and change.

We share with the students at the start of the first session that it is not going to be pool diving from the start to the end of a session. Warm up, physical conditioning and dryland drills are important.

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