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Types of Dives used in Springboard and Platform Diving

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Six types of dives are used in springboard and platform diving. Four of these involve somersaulting either toward or away from the diving board or platform and include using a forward approach and hurdle or a backward press. A fifth type adds twists to any of the other five and finally, the armstand combines somersaults and twists and is used exclusively in platform diving.

  • Forward
  • Back
  • Reverse
  • Inward
  • Twisting
  • Armstand

Forward Dives

Kristian Ipsen and Troy Dumais
Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images
Divers face the end of the board and the water, and approach the end using a forward approach and hurdle. Once the diver reaches the end and leave the springboard, he or she will rotate away from the diving board for as little as 1/2 of a somersault or as many as 4 1/2 somersaults. Examples of dives from the forward group:
  • Forward Dive in the Pike Position
  • Forward 1 1/2 somersaults in the Tuck Position
  • Forward 2 1/2 Somersaults in the Pike Position
  • Forward 4 1/2 Somersaults in the Tuck Position

Back Dives

Ken Nee Yeoh of Malaysia competes in Sydney in 2000.
Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images
Dives from the backward group are executed with the diver standing on the end of the board with their back to the water. After executing a backward press and takeoff, the diver rotates away from the springboard for as little as 1/2 of a somersault or as many as 3 1/2 somersaults. Examples of dives from the backward group:
  • Back Dive in the Straight Position
  • Back 1 1/2 Somersaults in the Straight Position
  • Back 2 1/2 Somersaults in the Pike Position
  • Back 3 1/2 Somersaults in the Tuck Position

Reverse Dives

Christina Loukas
Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images
Also known as a "gainer," the diver faces the end of the board and the water and after a forward approach and hurdle rotates back toward the diving board while moving forward and away from the diving board for as many as 3 1/2 somersaults. Examples of dives from the reverse group:
  • Reverse Dive in the Tuck Position
  • Reverse 1 1/2 Somersaults in the Pike Position
  • Reverse 2 1/2 Somersaults in the Pike Position
  • Reverse 3 1/2 Somersaults in the Tuck Position

Inward Dives

Allison Brennan at the 2007 World Championships
Photo: Quinn Rooney
Inward dives begin with the diver on the end of the springboard with the back to the water. The diver executes a backward press and takeoff and then rotates toward the diving board while moving away from the board, for as many as 3 1/2 somersaults. Examples of dives from the inward group:
  • Inward Dive in the "Open" Pike Position
  • Inward 1 1/2 Somersaults in the Tuck Position
  • Inward 2 1/2 Somersaults in the Pike Position
  • Inward 3 1/2 Somersaults in the Tuck Position

Twisting Dives

Guo Jingjing
Photo: Feng Li/Getty Images
Any dive that uses a twist can be considered a twisting dive. Twisting dives can be executed from the forward, back, reverse and inward direction, and also performed from an armstand. While many armstand dives include twists, they are not listed in the degree of difficulty table with "twisters," but grouped rather with the "armstand" category. Examples of dives from the twisting group:
  • Forward 1 Somersault, 1 Twist in the Free Position
  • Back 1 1/2 Somersaults, 1 1/2 Twists in the Free Position
  • Reverse 1 1/2 Somersaults, 2 1/2 Twists in the Free Position
  • Forward 2 1/2 Somersaults, 1 Twist in the Pike Position

Armstand Dives

Sara Hildebrand of the U.S. competes in Athens in 2004.
Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
All armstand dives are performed from the platform; either at 5-meters, 7.5-meters or 10-meters. The diver executes a handstand from the edge of the platform facing either forward (their back facing the water) or backward (their front facing the water), and performs the dive from this starting position. The start of this type of dive begins when both diver's feet leave the platform surface. Examples of dives from the armstand group:
  • Armstand Forward 2 Somersaults in the Pike Position
  • Armstand Reverse 2 Somersaults in the Tuck Position
  • Armstand Back 2 Somersaults, 1/2 Twists in the Pike Position
  • Armstand Back 2 Somersaults, 1 1/2 Twists in the Free Position
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