What is Diving?

Diving is the sport of entering the water from high above the pool. While in the air divers twist and turn gracefully before entering the water. Judges decide how good each dive is.

Springboard diving is done from a plank 1 metre or 3 metres over the water. The divers can bounce high into the air so they can dive further and do more tricks in the air.

Platform diving (also called high diving) is usually done from a tower 10 metres high. Unlike in springboard diving, divers cannot jump high into the air. But they can perform more tricks in the air because their dive takes longer. Platform can be dangerous because divers are falling very quickly (at 60 kilometres* per hour or faster) when they enter the water.

*Cars often travel at this speed.

Diver on board
Diver jumping off board. Image courtesy of www.wikipedia.org
Diving History

The first big diving competition, we know of, was in 1871 off the London Bridge in London, England. Since then diving events have taken place at swimming competitions.

Men's diving became part of the Olympic Games in 1904. Back then it was called fancy diving. Women's diving joined the program in 1912 and synchronised diving became a medal event in 2000.

Types of Dives

There are six different groups of platform and springboard dives. In the first four types divers spin in different directions. The fifth group includes any dive with a twist. The last group, used in platform diving, begins with an arm stand (which is like a handstand):

1. Forward Group: The diver faces the front of the board and spins toward the water.

The easiest dive in this group is a forward dive. The hardest dive requires the diver to do more than four somersaults in the air.

2. Backward Group: All the dives in this group begin with the diver on the end of the board with their back to the water. The diver spins away from the away from the board.

3. Reverse Group: These dives begin with the diver facing the front of the board and spinning towards the board.

4. Inward Group: The diver stands on the end of the board with their back to the water and spins toward the board. This is the opposite of what divers do in the backward groups' dives.

5. Twisting Group: Any dive with a twist is included in this group. There are four types of twisting dives; forward, backward, reverse and inward. There are so many ways divers can twist in a dive that this group has more dives in it than any other.

6. Arm stand Group: In platform diving there is a sixth, special group of dives called 'arm stands'. Here the diver starts in a handstand position on the edge of the platform before they dive.

What are synchronised events?

In these events, two divers dive at the same time. They try to dive exactly the same as each other. These dives can be great to watch but are very hard for the divers.

Male Olympic Events
  • Men's 3 metres Springboard
  • Men's Synchronised 3 metres Springboard
  • Men's 10 metres Platform
  • Men's Synchronised 10 metres Platform
Female Olympic Events
  • Women's 3 metres Springboard
  • Womenís Synchronised 3 metres Springboard
  • Women's 10 metres Platform
  • Women's Synchronised 10 metres Platform

Divers are judged by a panel of seven judges who give a score between zero (0) and ten (10) points for each dive performed. There are many parts of a dive that get judged including how well and high the diver jumps off the board or platform, how the diver moves through the air and how they enter the water.

Australian Medallists

To view them please click on the following links:

  • 25 Gold medals
  • 22 Silver medals
  • 20 Bronze medals
  • 67 Medals in all
Current and Recent Australian Divers
  • Steven Barnett
  • Loudy Tourky
  • Chantelle Newbery
  • Robert Newbery
  • Nicole Ng
  • Mathew Helm
  • Irina Lashko
Training Tips

Elite divers train in between 20-30 hours per week. Morning and afternoon sessions last 2-3 hours on most days. Divers train on dry land as well as in the pool. During training sessions, divers practice new skills and work on strength and flexibility. Training usually starts at an early age as years of skill and strength development are required.


The first round is held in the morning and finals in the evening of the same day. Each competitor must perform 4-5 dives without limit. Each dive is marked separately out of 10 half marks. Men perform eleven dives in the 3m springboard event, whilst women perform ten dives. In the 1m springboard event, men perform 6 dives and the women perform 5. In the platform events, ten and eight dives are performed respectively. A diving meet could last four to six days with the competition for board or platform being held on separate days.

Training Nutrition

Before an early morning training session some divers choose not to eat a regular breakfast as they feel solid food causes discomfort whilst training. Divers having this problem should try a (energy) carbohydrate-rich drink such as low-fat milk, a smoothie or juice before the session. This will help maintain energy levels throughout training.

Fluid Balance

Water loss is harmful to a diverís performance as it decreases skill level and concentration. A diverís training and competition environment is often warm and humid, (especially on pool deck), therefore this could increase fluid loss from the body. To prevent water loss divers should consume fluid regularly during both dry land and pool training.

Find out more about starting diving inÖ
References & Sources

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