Judges Do Their Own Thing
The reality is though, that when a judge is sitting next to the pool and wants to deduct for something that they don’t like, not much can to be done about it. It may not be fair, but sometimes judging isn’t fair and why, at least for important contests, it is advisable to have more than three judges.
The key here is experience and education. If a diving judge has experience they are less likely to throw out individual biases and pet peeves such as how much time a diver spends on the board, and judge the dive itself according the five basic elements in judging.
Once you get outside the realm of high school diving, the nature of judging begins to shift toward allowing judges more leeway in making decisions. Why is this, you would assume it is because the judges are more experienced … you would assume!
A major tenant in judging is that judges should not allow specific mistakes or errors in execution to overwhelm the “overall impression” of a dive.
A major flaw in a dive means, quite succinctly, that it is not a good dive and will not earn good scores. But if a diver has a slight twist, a slight crow hop, or even slightly touches the board, it does not mean that it is a bad dive and should be considered deficient or unsatisfactory. It simply means that it is not as good as someone who didn’t have that slight twist.
Time on the Board
So is taking too much time a major flaw? Again, the answer is depends on the situation, but generally no. That being said, If a diver stands on the board for two minutes because they are scared to death, chances are that the dive will not be one of their best and the scores will show that.
But a slow and methodical diver, one who takes their time prior to the dive, should not be penalized because they want each dive to be their best. That is pretty much why we have contests, to see who can do the best.