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Diving FAQ

Q: How should my child prepare for dive practice?

Diving requires getting in and out of the water, so bring plenty of towels in case it gets chilly. Snacks are highly recommended, especially if your child has back-to-back swim and dive practices. Other than that, the only things needed are a swimsuit and a good attitude!

Q: What dives are required for each age group?

Below is a list of the minimum requirements for each age group. Each requires 1) a front dive or line up 2) a back dive, line up, or jump, and 3) a number of optional dives that increases as the diver gets older.

A line up a is a head-first entry into the water without a jump/bounce, just gravity taking the diver along.

In most situations, a dive must be preceded by a jump/bounce. 

In most situations, a front or back jump can count as an optional dive. 

"Optional" dives in this context denote dives that are not the required front dives/ line ups or back dives/ line ups (or inwards for the oldest divers). Each optional dive must be chosen from a different one of the five dive groups. The five dive groups are 

  1. fronts
  2. backs
  3. reverses
  4. inwards
  5. twisters.

Most dives are performed in one of three positions:

  1. straight
  2. pike
  3. tuck

Some dives can be performed in the "free" position.

8 & Under: Forward dive, any position, or line up; back jump, front jump (3 dives total)

9-10: Forward dive, any position, or line up; back dive, any position, or line up; 1 optional dive (3 dives total)

11-12: Forward dive, any position, or line up; back dive, any position, or line up; 2 optional dives (4 dives total)

13-14: Forward dive, any position, or line up; back dive, any position, or line up; 3 optional dives (5 dives total)

15-18: Forward dive, any position, or line up; back dive, any position, or line up; inward dive, any position, 3 optional dives (6 dives total)

Q: How are age groups determined?

Your child's age group is determined by their age as of June 1 of the season. For example, if a diver's birthday is on June 1, and they turn 13, they will compete in the 13-14 age group.

Q: My child does not have all the required dives yet. Can they still compete?

Yes! They will compete as "exhibition divers," meaning that they will compete and earn an individual score but will be ineligible to earn team points (see How do dive meets work? for further explanation). Meets that are competed as exhibition do not qualify towards the two meet minimum requirement for eligibility to compete in Divisionals or All-Stars.

Q: How do dive meets work?

We highly recommend attending the Manor Woods "Pre-Meet" on June 12th, 4pm-6pm. This is a "practice meet" where parents, volunteers, and divers can get a feel for how a typical dive meet works. 

Coaches are responsible for creating a dive sheet (list of dives to be competed) which the divers are required to sign, confirming that these are the dives they wish to compete. 

Events are determined by age group and by gender, i.e. 8 & Under Girls, etc. Five judges score on a scale of 1-10, with the highest and lowest scores being dropped. The remaining three scores are added together and multiplied by the degree of difficulty (DD) for that dive. (Less complicated dives have lower DDs while more complicated dives have higher DDs.) Each diver's total points are added together, with the highest total score determining the winner!

The winner of an event earns 5 team points, second place earns 3 points, and third place earns 1 point towards the team score. A team may not have more than two divers earn team points for each event.

If you are used to swim meets, dive meets are generally quieter as divers need to focus when they are diving, but we always love to see and hear cheering and applause when the dive is done!

Q: How should my child prepare for a dive meet?

Wear the team suit (other good options are solid blue or solid green) and bring plenty of towels, snacks, water, and team spirit! For home meets, our warmups generally begin one hour before the meet start time. At away meets, warmups for the visiting team begin 30 minutes before the meet start time. Please make sure your child is arriving with plenty of time to park, unpack, and stretch before it is time to get in the water.

At most meets, a second warmup period is allowed for older divers mid-way through the meet.

Q: How can my child qualify for the Divisional Championship Meet?

To qualify, each diver must have competed in at least two Dual Meets in the season. Coaches choose two divers from each event to compete in the Divisional Championship. In most cases, these two divers will be those with the highest average scores over the season.

Q: How can my child qualify for the All-Star Championship Meet?

Divers who place first, second, or third in each event at the Divisional Championships are eligible to compete in All-Stars. There is also a Wild Card process that allows each team to select up to 2 Wild Card Divers. These Wild Card Divers do not have to compete in Division Championships, but they are required to have competed in at least two Dual Meets in the season.

Q: What are dive numbers and how do I read them?

Parents are not required to learn dive numbers, but they are useful to know. Dive numbers are four to five digit codes that represent a dive. The first number represents the direction of the dive (1=forward, 2=back, 3=reverse, 4=inward, 5=twisting... 6=armstand on platform, but we don't see that in the summer season!). The third number represents the number of half rotations. In non-twisting summer dives, the second number is always a 0. For twisting dives, the third number represents the number of half rotations, while the fourth number represents the number of half twists. For all dives, letters represent the position (A= straight, B=pike, C=tuck, D= free).

Here are some common dives that you will see in the summer season and their numbers:

100d = Forward Jump (1 = forward, 0 = no rotations, d = free position)

001d = Forward line up (0 = not a dive, 1 = forward, d = free position)

101a = Forward dive straight (1 = forward, 1 = one half rotation, a = straight)

103b = Forward 1 1/2 somersault pike (1 = forward, 3 = three half rotations, b = pike)

202c = Back somersault tuck (2 = backward, 2 = two half rotations, c = tuck)

5121d = Forward 1 somersault 1/2 twist free (5 = twisting dive, 1 = forward, 2 = two half rotations, 1 = one half twist, d = free position)


This information and loads more is available in the Montgomery County Diving League (MCDL) Handbook

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