About the Sport of Diving

In all diving contests, whether it is a high school swimming and diving meet or the Olympic Games, divers are required to perform a specified number of dives from which a winner is determined.

These requirements are set in place to show that a diver has mastered a set of skills needed to succeed in the sport at the level of difficulty in which they choose to compete. At the heart of these requirements are two categories of dives – voluntary and optional.

The use of these dives in competition make up what is known as a diver’s list; and how many of each of these types are used depends on the the particular level of the competition (age group, high school, international, etc.) and the age of the competitor.

Voluntary dives are generally the easier, or compulsory dives. The voluntary dives that are included in a diver’s list are limited by their total degree of difficulty; a measure of how difficult a dive is to complete.

In diving contests optional dives are much more difficult, involve multiple somersaults and twists, and have a much higher degree of difficulty than “voluntaries.” No matter how many optional dives are required for a diver’s list, there is no limit on the total degree of difficulty.

High School Diving Competition

For dual meets, each diver must complete 6 dives.  Divers are required to perform one voluntary dive and five optional dives for a total of six dives for each meet.  For championship meets, each diver must complete 11 dives which must include all dive categories.  Each dive is judged on a scale from 1 to 10 in 1/2 point increments by three judges. Those scores are added and multiplied by the degree of difficulty.  The scores for all dives are added for a total diving score.

The 5 dive categories are Forward, Back, Inward, Reverse and Twist.  The first 5 finishers score: 1st – 6 points; 2nd – 4 points; 3rd – 3 points; 4th – 2 points; 5th – 1 point.

Diving takes place immediately after the 50 Freestyle.

You can find the degree of difficulty for all dives here: Diving DDs