How Do Diving Competitions Work?
Diving competitions are fairly sedate, quiet events, allowing divers to focus on their dives, however, applause is always appreciated once a diver surfaces!
Divers compete by age; usually in groups of 2 years e.g. 8/9, 10/11, 12/13 and note that the diver's age is taken as of 31st December of the year.
Each age group might have between 10 & 20 divers in it, depending on the size of the competition.
Divers will have a set number of dives to perform. Some dives may be compulsory and for the others, the dives are usually selected from a list of set dives for the competition.
A typical diving competition (e.g. our Welsh Novice League) will involve 2 dives pool side, 4 dives from the 1m board & 2 dives from the 3m board.
Divers will have practiced all their dives in the weeks running up to the competition and on the day of the competition, each age group will have a chance to practice their dives first, with a coach present before the actual competition starts.
During the competition, divers will compete in a strict name order, diving each dive on their individual list ("dive sheet") from each "board" in turn. Divers are accompanied by a poolside marshal to ensure divers are in the correct start order & the marshall will also remind divers of their next dive before they take to the board.
Once the diver is ready to dive, the announcer will also normally read out the divers's name & the dive to be performed.
Each dive is awarded points out of 10, normally by 3 judges. Each jusdge enters the score on to an electronic keypad that gets sent to a computer to record the scores for each dive. Dives are scored on the approach, the take-off, the execution and the entry into the water. The total score is then multiplied by a figure, the "DD" (degree of difficulty). The harder dives have a bigger DD, so they can achieve a higher final score if performed well.
At the end of the competition (or each event), medals are awarded for the 1st, 2nd & 3rd placed divers for each age group & with separate medals for girls & boys.
Every time a diver competes, they get more used to the competition environment & are able to perform their dives with fewer nerves, more focus & ultimately higher performance. Great skills to develop for later life!
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