Diving Competition Rules and Regulations


With the Summer Olympics just around the corner, you may be curious about why announcers go wild over one diver's performance, while another's seemingly flawless display of grace and courage completely misses the mark. What follows is a general overview of international diving rules and regulations for judging dives, so that you'll understand why the final score can either soar, or fall off the deep end.

Most diving competitions involve three general categories: Springboard diving (1 meter and 3 meter), platform diving, and synchronized diving. World class diving events fall under the jurisdiction of FINA, the governing body for international swimming and diving competitions.

To view the organization's official diving rules and regulations, please visit www.fina.org. For the complete, official set of diving rules and regulations for use in competitions in the US, visit USA Diving at www.usadiving.org.

General Diving Rules and Regulations

Judging the Dive

Judges base their overall impression of a dive on the following elements:

The rules state that the diving judge must not be influenced by any factor other than the technique and execution of the dive, and have no regard to the starting position, the difficulty of the dive, or movement beneath the surface of the water. A few other things judges have to consider are:

*Dive types are assigned corresponding numbers. There are six types of dives, and every dive number begins with one of six numbers in order to determine the type of dive performed (Dive Numbers and The Written Description; by Woody Franklin; www.about.com).

Starting Position

Standing Dives

Running Dives

Arm Stand Dives

The Approach

The Takeoff

The Flight

The Entry

General Diving Rules and Regulations

Judging Synchronized Diving

Besides taking into consideration the obvious - how synchronous the divers are - the rules for judging this category are very similar to how individual dives are judged, which are on the following elements:

Factors Judges Consider

In Conclusion

Hopefully now you have some idea how dives are judged. So when you tune in the 2012 London Games this summer, you'll see why one fancy descent from a platform above is given an excellent rating, or why another earns a low score even though it may have appeared flawless to you! And who knows, with the help of a knowledgeable trainer and a great facility, you just might want to take your own diving skills to new heights.

The Diving Point System

Excellent10 Points
Very Good8 to 9 Points
Good7 to 8 Points
Satisfactory5 to 6 Points
Deficient2 to 4 Points
Unsatisfactory to 2 Points
Completely Failed0 Points

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