Diving is a sport that requires strength, power, agility, balance, flexibility and, certainly, a dose of fearlessness. In both the individual and synchronized diving competitions, each dive is awarded a degree of difficulty based on the type of maneuver performed. The diver’s position, the number of somersaults and twists, and the take-off height are all considered. The degree of difficulty ranges from 1.4 for easier dives to 3.8 for the most difficult dives. A dive consists of the following stages: 1) starting position and approach, 2) jump, 3) flight and execution, and 4) entry into the water. At the Olympic Games, the judges’ panel consists of seven judges who award the dives, with a score between zero and 10, based on the execution of the dive.
Competitors dive into a pool from either the springboard (3m) or the platform (10m). The dives are divided into five groups according to the direction the diver is facing before take-off (backward, forward or handstand position) and the way the diver leaves the board (reverse or inward). During the dive, the diver may be in a straight, pike, tuck or free position. The latter is only used in difficult dives that include twists. The free position consists of a combination of the other three positions. There are more than 100 recognized dives with assigned degrees of difficulty for both springboard and platform diving.