How Is Diving Scored? Everything You Need To Know

Read Time:7 Minute, 24 Second

You might discover that the allure of competitions is calling you once you start diving. Divers are scored in diving competitions using a points system based on a variety of criteria, such as difficulty level and execution.

Understanding the order of a dive is necessary before explaining the scoring system for diving.

Four Basic Parts To A Dive

  1. The diver’s forward motions as they move toward the end of the board are known as the approach to the dive. Three steps or more are typically required for this. The diver must stand upright when starting, with arms straight, to the sides, or over the head. The judges are looking for a smooth and straight approach to the board’s end.
  2. Immediately following the approach, the diver hops or springs to the end of the board, taking off from one foot and landing on two feet before stepping off the board. By a certain safety margin, the takeoff must clear the board.
  3. Execution refers to the act of performing the dive, during which the diver aspires to demonstrate proper technique and grace as they saunter into the water. Each dive’s parts must be executed with restraint and held for a sufficient amount of time for the judges to clearly see them.
  4. Entry: the part of a dive where the diver first touches the water. The ideal entry is with the body almost vertically straight, but it can happen either feet-first or head-first. Toes should point forward and feet should be close together. A smaller entry splash is preferable.

What Are The Rules For Diving Scoring?

Each judge assigns a point value out of ten for competitive diving. Each of the seven judges in an Olympic competition scores a dive according to the following four criteria: approach, take-off, execution and entry into the water. It is customary to have five judges at other competitions.

Without taking the difficulty level into account, each dive is evaluated. (The tariff later takes this into account).

The synchro diving is evaluated by nine judges. Four focus on the dive technique, while five evaluate the synchronization, or how closely the two mirror each other’s movements in terms of timing, height, distance, and rotational speed.

The scores from the remaining judges are added together in both types of competition, with the highest and lowest marks being ignored. This score is then multiplied by the dive’s difficulty (or “tariff”), which is determined by the quantity and variety of manoeuvres attempted, including somersaults, pikes, tucks, and twists.

Judges award whole or partial points based on the following criteria:

  • Completely failed — 0 points
  • Unsatisfactory — 0.5 to 2 points
  • Deficient — 2.5 to 4.5 points
  • Satisfactory — 5 to 6 points
  • Good — 6.5 to 8 points
  • Very good — 8.5 to 10 point

Diving Scores And Degrees Of Difficulty

Each dive has different characteristics that make it more or less difficult than other dives, and this is reflected in the diving scores. This includes:

  • The body positionor combinations of positions
  • From what approach, or group, the dive will be taken.

There is no distinction between running and standing take-offs, and each dive has its own tariff or degree of difficulty, defined by FINA.

A dive is split into five parts

  1. The Starting Position
  2. The Approach
  3. The Take-Off
  4. The Flight
  5. The Entry.

Dives must be executed either head-first or feet-first into the water, although feet-first entries are typically only used for some 1m springboard dives at junior level or for high diving. The body must always be straight, the feet must be together, and the toes must be pointed.

The arms must be extended beyond the head for head-first dives and at the sides for feet-first dives. The entrance into the water needs to be vertical, or very close to it.

Diving Scores And Judges

Divers use a scale from one to ten, in ½-point increments. By first adding the total awards given by the judges, the score for each dive is determined.

Five or seven judges are typically present—seven at some significant international competitions—and they are solely concerned with the execution of the dive. A dive’s tariff serves as a sign of how difficult it is.

The judges’ highest and lowest dive scores aren’t taken into account when determining an individual dive’s overall score.

The dive score is calculated by multiplying the remaining three judges’ scores by the tariff if there are five judges.

The five remaining scores are combined if there are seven judges. In order to compare results, the outcome is then mathematically transformed into three scores.

A panel of seven or nine judges oversees competitions in synchronized diving: two to to give diving scores to one diver, two to mark the execution of the other, and three or five to judge the synchronisation.


Individual Events

Seven FINA-appointed judges evaluate dives at the Olympics. The execution of each dive is rated by the judges on a scale of 1 to 10, with half-point margins included. The top two and bottom two scores for each dive are disqualified after all seven judges have submitted their ratings. The total score for the dive is calculated by multiplying the remaining three scores by the dive’s degree of difficulty (DD) rating. 

Let’s use a springboard diver who just attempted a reverse 3½ somersault tuck (307C) as an example. This dive currently has a degree of difficulty rating of 3.5. The judges give our diver the following evaluations: 7.5, 8.0, 7.0, 7.5, 8.5, 7.0, 8.0. Only 7.0, 7.5, and 8.0 remain after the elimination of the two lowest and two highest scores (both 7.0s) and the 8.5 and one of the 8.0s. The total score for the dive is 80.50 because the sum of these scores—7.5, 7.5, and 8.0—equals 23, which is then multiplied by the DD, or 23 by 3.5. 

Four areas of each dive are to be scrutinized by judges: the starting position, the take-off, the flight, and the entry into the water. The opinions of all four judges must then be added up to determine an overall score, which is represented by the following scale. 

Excellent:                   10 

Very Good:             8.5-9.5 

Good:                      7.0-8.0 

Satisfactory:           5.0-6.5 

Deficient:                2.5-4.5 

Unsatisfactory:       0.5-2.0 

Completely failed:      0  

Synchro Events

There are 11 judges present for the Olympic synchronized diving competition. Six judges—three for each synchro partner—rate the execution of each diver separately from that of his or her partner. The same guidelines that were applied to the individual events are applied here. The remaining five judges give synchronization a grade. 

Six factors are used to determine synchronization scores: the approach; the take-off, including similarity of height; the coordinated timing of movements during flight; the similarity of angles of entry; the comparative distance from the board at entry; and the coordinated timing of entry.  

Five scores are left after subtracting the highest and lowest scores for each diver and the pair’s synchronization (leaving one score for each diver and three for synchronization). The total of those scores is then multiplied by 0.6 to roughly align it to an individual event score, where only the scores of three judges are taken into account. To determine the dive’s official score, the result is multiplied by the level of difficulty.  

How Do I Calculate A Dive’s Score?

An illustration would be a diver performing a forward somersault with a tuck from the 3m board. An 1.5 out of 10 difficulty rating applies to this.

Scores from the seven judges for the diver are 8.5, 8, 8, 8, 7.5, 7.5, and 7. The total of the remaining five scores is calculated while disregarding the high (8.5) and low (7.0). This amounts to 39 in this instance.

The total is multiplied by the level of difficulty (1.5), which equals 39. The total point score for the dive is 35.1 points when the number (58.5) is multiplied by 0.6.

Average Rating

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

How Does Scoring Work In Diving? - What Should You Know?
Diving Knowledge

How Does Scoring Work In Diving? – What Should You Know?

Divers are graded in diving competitions using a points system based on a variety of criteria, such as difficulty level and execution.

Read More
Ocean Or Space - Why Have We Explored More of Space Than the Ocean?
Diving Knowledge

Ocean Or Space – Why Have We Explored More of Space Than the Ocean?

You may have read or heard that 95% of the oceans on Earth have not yet been explored. Despite the slight exaggeration, we actually don’t know as much about the ocean as we would like to.

Read More
PADI vs SSI Certification for Scuba Diving - Differences & How to Choose
Diving Knowledge

PADI vs SSI Certification for Scuba Diving – Differences & How to Choose

PADI and SSI courses are somewhat comparable to one another. The way that lessons are taught varies the most. The course can be further customized or expanded upon by SSI instructors.

Read More