The sport of diving consists of a diver jumping from a springboard or platform and performing acrobatic manoeuvres before plunging into water. The depth of the water in modern diving pools varies between 3 and 6 metres.



Springboards are set at heights of 1 metre or 3 metres above the water surface. They are 5 metres in length and are usually made from aluminium. There is an adjustable fulcrum which allows the diver to control the amount of spring in the board.


Photo courtesy of David Paton


Platforms, or highboards, are set at 5 metres, 7.5 or 10 metres above the water. They are usually made of concrete or steel, covered with a non-slip surface. They are at least 6 metres long and 2 metres wide.



Dives are divided into 6 groups:

Forward The diver faces forwards and rotates forwards
Backward The diver faces backwards and rotates backwards
Reverse The diver faces forwards and rotates backwards
Inward The diver faces backwards and rotates forwards
Twisting A twisting dive can be performed forwards, backwards, reverse or inwards, and involves a lateral (sideways) twist
Armstand These dives are performed only from platforms and begin from a handstand. They can be performed forwards, backwards, or reverse, and may include twists.



Rotation is the forward or backward momentum of the dive. A simple dive is counted as a half-somersault. Competition divers can perform up four and a half somersaults from the 10 metre platform.



Dives may be performed in three different body positions:

Tuck The diver bends at the hip and knee, curling the body into a ball
Pike The diver bends at the hip, keeping the legs straight
Straight The diver keeps the whole body straight.

In twisting dives, a combination of these shapes may be shown. This is designated as the 'free' position. A 'flying' dive is one where the first portion of the dive is performed in the straight position, before another shape is shown.


Novice or Masters Diving?

What is the difference between Novice and Masters diving? Is it age or skill? Read more to find out...

If you are 18 or over, you may choose to dive in either Novice or Master events, using the guidelines below:

1) You are a novice diver until you decide to compete in a masters events in a competition (up to the diver & their coach to decide if they are ready).
The Masters' Director can promote divers to masters level for a particular board, on the basis of that diver's performance in other competitions on that board...there's no point in staying a novice if winning competitions easily and not pushing to learn more dives !

2) You can choose to enter a masters event on one board but stay in the novice level events for the other boards, if you so desire (eg: enter a master level 1m event, but remain a novice for the 3m and high boards).

3) Once you have dived a board as a master, rather than novice, you must dive at the master level for that board in all future competitions.

4) If you dive in an international competition where there is no novice event, you move up to master level for the boards dived from then on.

5) Winners of Novice events have to dive Masters the following year for the respective boards they won on.

Note: The number and type of dives novice events involve are listed in the competition entry forms.
Generally, novice level events involve doing 3 or 4 dives from either each board or all the boards combined...depends on the competition.