Dives used in competition are described and entered onto a diving score sheet using two methods: a written description, or numerical identification known as a dive number. Depending on the nature of the competition, both may used on a diving sheet.
Written descriptions are self-explanatory. You write a description of the dive! A forward 2 ½ somersaults in the pike position is written on a dive sheet as . . . you guessed it - forward 2 ½ somersaults in the pike position.
Dive numbers get a bit more complicated but are actually more important than the description. In a diving contest that requires dive numbers – all USA Diving, AAU and FINA competitions, if there is a controversy or debate as to what dive is to be executed, the dive number is always the final word.
If a diver were to write down a forward 2 ½ in tuck on the dive sheet, but the dive number says 104C (a forward 2 somersaults tuck), the diver must perform the forward double tuck or incur a penalty.
So how does a diver decipher this code and make sure that the correct dive is listed on a dive sheet? Let's start with the forward, back, reverse and inward dives.
Forward, Back, Reverse and Inward Dive Numbers
The first step is to understand that there are six types, or categories of dives, and that each type of dive has a corresponding number. Every dive number will begin with one of the six numbers, and that number will determine what type of dive will be performed.
Each type of dive will begin with one of the follow numbers:
- Forward Dives – 1
- Back Dives – 2
- Reverse Dives – 3
- Inward Dives – 4
- Twisting Dives – 5
- Armstand Dives – 6
For example, the dive number for a forward 1 ½ somersaults in the pike position is 103B. Since the dive number begins with a 1, we understand that it will be a dive that spins forward, or away from the board. A reverse dive tuck is 301C. The number 3 designates that the dive will be a reverse dive – a dive that begins with a forward approach and spins back toward the diving board.
The second numeral in a dive number that is not a handstand and does not include twists, will always be a zero (0). I will explain the twisting numbers later so let’s go on the assumption that it is 0 for now.
The third number denotes how many rotations, or somersaults will be performed in the dive. The list below shows the number for each somersault that is performed.
- ½ (a dive) – 1
- 1 somersault - 2
- 1 ½ somersaults - 3
- 2 somersaults - 4
- 2 ½ somersaults - 5
- 3 somersaults - 6
- 3 ½ somersaults - 7
- 4 somersaults – 8
The final identification for the dive denotes the position of the dive.
- Straight position – A
- Pike Position – B
- Tuck Position – C
- Free Position – D
Here are a few examples:
101B – Forward Dive in Pike Position
203C – Back 1 ½ Somersaults in Tuck Position
305C – Reverse 2 ½ Somersaults in Tuck Position
403B – Inward 1 ½ Somersaults in Pike Position