Spectator Guide

Types of Dives

Of the six dive types, the first four involve rotating in directions relative to the board and starting position. The fifth includes any dive with a twist. The final group begins with an armstand.

Forward 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.

Backward Group

All dives in the backward group begin with the diver on the end of the board with back to the water.
The direction of rotation is away from the board.

Reverse Group

Formerly called “gainers,” these dives begin with the diver facing the front of the board and rotating toward the board.

Inward Group

Formerly called “cutaways.” The diver stands on the end of the board with back to the water and rotates toward the board.

Twisting Group

Any dive that uses a twist (excluding armstands) is included in this group. There are four types: forward, backward, reverse and inward.

Armstand Group

Here the diver assumes a handstand position on the edge of the platform before executing the dive. This position is not used on the springboard.


Divers use one or more of the four body positions during each dive:


The legs are straight with the body bent at the waist. Like the straight position, arm placement is dictated by the particular dive or by the choice of the diver.


No bend at the waist or knees. Depending on the dive, there may be an arch in the back. Arm placement is the diver’s choice or is defined by the dive performed.


Body is bent at the waist and knees, with thighs drawn to the chest and heels kept close to the buttocks. Feet and knees should be kept together and toes should be pointed.


Indicates the diver’s option to use any of the above three positions, or combinations thereof, when performing a twisting dive.


Although several divers may do the same dive, each performance never looks quite the same. This is because each individual has unique mannerisms, characteristics of movement, strengths and timing — all adding 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 judging is difficult. 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 (full or half point increments) by each judge. A table of the scores and how they should be awarded appears to the left. Note that the guidelines do not indicate an award of 10 as “perfect,” but instead as “very good.”

Categories of Judging

Certain parts of each dive must be analyzed and evaluated, and an overall award obtained. The parts of a dive are:


Three or more steps forward to the end of the board before the hurdle and takeoff. Form: Should be smooth but forceful, showing good form.


A diver’s lift from the board prior to execution of the dive. 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. Form: Since more height means more time, a higher dive generally affords greater accuracy and smoothness of movement.


The dive itself. Form: 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. Form: 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 individual competition. When the judges awards are given, the two high and two low scores will be eliminated and the remaining Three scores totaled. The number will be multiplied by the degree of difficulty rating assigned to the dive. The DD is predetermined with a table range from 1.2 to 3.7 in one-tenth increments.

There are nine judges in the synchronized diving events, two judges will rate one individual diver, two other judges will rate the second individual diver, and five judges will rate the synchronization of the pair. The high and low individual scores and the high and low synchronization scores will be thrown out.st

Student Testimonials

"I have personally known Dave Burgering for the last fifteen years and can't say enough good things about him as a world class diving coach, motivator, and mentor. Dave has played many roles in my life through the years--the obvious one is that of a great coach and mentor....but Dave is much more then that to me he is also a second father and one of the very first people to this day who I pick up the phone to call and share adversities and triumphs." BD

"My daughter has been diving with Dave Burgering since age 9. She is now a freshman athlete at the University of Alabama. Dave Burgering taught her the skills she needed to be successful on the college level. I have found him to have a vast knowledge of the sport as well as compassion for all of his athletes. He has brought much success to the Fort Lauderdale dive team as a sincere, dedicated coach who is always willing to go the extra mile for his athletes."

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