Our Divers are the acrobats of the water. Although diving is just one event out of a high school swim meet, it is a complex sport in its own right.
Diving is a very technical event and is filled with many rules. While there are too many to list on this page, below are some of the basic rules that are more common to occur in a meet.
Diving is event 5 and counts as one of athlete's entries for a competition.
If a diver fails two dives, they are disqualified.
If a diver hits the board, the dive is scored as unsatisfactory.
2 points will be deducted from each judge's award if the diver balks.
Divers must submit their signed dive sheet/list for review prior to competition starting.
Divers cannot repeat any dive in the same competition.
Diving is a subjective sport. A score for a dive is based on a lot of variables carefully scrutinized by a judge panel and referee. Judge panels generally consist of three or five judges. For championship meets, a judge panel will consist of five, seven, or nine judges. In addition to the judge panel, a diving referee will be present. A diving referee does not score dives, but instead watches for rule infractions and oversees the judge panel and flow of competition. Points given for a dive range from 0 to 10. The total score for a dive is given by cancelling the highest and lowest scores, adding the 3 remaining middle scores, and then taking that sum multiplied by the degree of difficulty for that dive. Below is a guide to awarded points:
10: Excellent; No visible flaws - Approach, hurdle, height, distance, execution, and entry are all exceptional.
8.5 to 9.5 Very Good; Approach, hurdle, height, and distance slightly affected. Execution well defined.
7 to 8 Good; Approach and hurdle unaffected. Height and distance acceptable. Execution defined, entry controlled, but slightly affected.
5 to 6.5 Satisfactory; Approach and hurdle acceptable. Height and distance adequate. Execution complete and entry slightly over and under.
2.5 to 4.5 Deficient; Approach and hurdle affected. Height and distance inadequate. Execution affected and entry over or under.
0.5 to 2 Unsatisfactory; Approach and hurdle affected. Height and distance inadequate. Execution not complete or broken position. Entry significantly affected.
Reading a dive
There are many dives an athlete can pick from when building their list. A full list can be found here. Hearing an announcer read off a dive can sound like a foreign language while sitting in the stands, but here is a guide to crack the code. Let's break it down into 3 parts.
Dive number. This tells you what type of dive is going to be performed. The categories or groups are forward (100s), back (200s), inward (300s), reverse (400s), and twist (5000s). For the forwards, backs, inwards, and reverses, the last number will tell you how many summersaults will be done for the dive in half increments. For example, a 402 would be a reverse, one somersault dive; whereas, a 303 would be an inward, one and one half somersault dive. The twist dives are indicated by the 5 in front of the dive number. When a twist dive is read, the number of summersaults will move to the tens place and the ones place will indicated how many twists will be performed in the dive in one half increments. So, for example, a 5122 means a forward twisting dive with one somersault and one full twist.
Position. There are four position types a diver may hold while performing the dive. The position is indicated by a letter after the dive number. The four positions are: A, Straight; B, Pike; C, Tuck; and D, Free. See the glossary for detailed definitions and see the pictures on the left for examples.
Degree of Difficulty. This is the last number the announcer reads. This is the multiplier used on the sum of the judges scores. In general, the more flips and twists the dive contains, the higher the degree of difficulty will be for a given dive.
When everything is all together, it will sound like this from the announcer: Athlete name, 5321D, Reverse one somersault, half twist, free, 1.8.
Fun Fact: The Story of Ray Rude
Ray Rude is credited with revolutionizing the sport of springboard diving through his development of the Duraflax diving board. Rude's story begins when he hitch-hiked his way to California with only five dollars in his pocket at the age of 15. He initially got a job driving taxi and pumping gas for pennies an hour, but eventually got a job with Lockheed Aircraft, where he worked his way from sweeping floors to a lead tool maker for the P-38 Lightning of WW2. One day in 1948, Rude heard a neighbor cursing the rain for preventing the varnish on a wooden springboard from drying in time for a party. Rude, who was now working as a tool engineer for aircraft companies in Southern California, took a rejected wing panel, bolted it to the neighbor's pool, and affixed some non-slip bathtub strips to the surface. It worked so well that it would launch people into the shallow end.
Ray patented this diving board and began developing it in his “off” time. His invention became the springboard for the Duraflex diving board company. Rude's diving board would launch people like no other before, allowing divers to perform more flips and twist in the air. By the late 1950s, his first Duraflex board had been tested and accepted by many divers, including Gary Tobian who went on to win the springboard gold medal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, using a Duraflex board. Prior to those 1960's Games, it was customary for Olympic divers to bring their own boards and to try out other boards during practice sessions. When Rude’s board became so popular in Rome, two additional boards were flown in to handle the demand. Along with Tobian, Ingrid Kramer of the German Democratic Republic won the women’s springboard on a Duraflex board that she had been practicing on for several months. Since that time, the Duraflex became the accepted board and the only board used in Olympic competitions thereafter.
Rude's developments have impacted athletic performance, safety and consistency and have rewritten the history of Olympic and World-level diving. He would later become the first person who was not a coach or an athlete to be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. But what makes this a fun fact for our state in particular is that the Duraflex diving board can trace its roots back to North Dakota, because Ray Rude was from Stanley, ND. His philanthropy efforts to the state include the Ina Mae Rude (his wife of 44 years) Aquatic and Fitness Center in Stanley, Mountrail County Health Center, scholarships and technology upgrades to the schools of Stanley, as well as the Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center located on the University of North Dakota campus. After his wife's passing, Ray spent his last years in Stanley where he kept busy in his shop, a hangar at the Stanley Airport where his workbench was a diving board.