How to Enter a Diving Competition

Entering a diving event can seem a bit daunting the first couple of times you do it. This document will take you through what you need to do.

  1. Check the conditions
    • Decide if you have enough dives to enter this event.
  2. Enter and pay
    • You need to do this by the closing date to give the event organisers time to prepare.
  3. Submit your divesheet
    • In consultation with your coach, decide on your list of dives.
    • Submit your list as soon as you can.
  4. Turn up in good time
  5. Check and sign your divesheet
    • Check your divesheet carefully as these are the dives you will perform.
  6. Enjoy the event!

Check the conditions

You need to be able to dive the dives required for the competition you are entering. Often the conditions will be "x" dives from "y" groups or something a bit more complicated like "x" dives from "y" groups up to "n.m" plus "z" dives.

The dive groups are forwards, backwards, reverse, inwards and twists (plus armstand for highboard events), so if the conditions say 4 dives from 3 groups to 5.6 plus 2 dives your first 4 dives will need to be selected carefully to make sure you cover 3 different groups and the tariff of the 4 dives added together does not exceed the limit. Your last 2 dives will need to be different from any of the first 4 in your list but can be as difficult as you wish.

Enter and pay

For club and regional events you will usually be asked to put your paper entry into the competitions box on poolside along with a cheque for your entry fee. Often club competitions will involve more than one event on the same evening so make sure your entry clearly shows which events you would like to enter. Your entry will not be processed unless you attach your payment of the entry fee.

For national events you normally need to enter by sending your entry form to the ASA. The ASA have a strict late entry fee so ignoring the entry deadline can become very costly.

Submit your divesheet

In consultation with your coach, decide on your list of dives and make sure these meet the conditions for the event.

For all club and increasingly some regional and national events you will need to enter your divesheet over the internet. Browse to, select "online divesheets" and fill in the forms. The Cambridge Dive Team club code is CDT. You will need to use the alphanumeric dive coding system explained below and once you have completed the form you will receive an email confirming your divesheet.

For some regional and national events the club will make a bulk divesheet entry. In this case you will need to ensure that your coach is fully aware of the dives you wish to perform. Remember, you are still responsible for your own dive list - after all it's you who will need to dive it.

For many club competitions more than one event is run off the same physical dives so, for instance, the club might run an under 14 event requiring 6 dives and an open event requiring 7 dives on the same night. You will only need to dive a total of 6 or 7 dives depending on which event(s) you enter with the first 6 scores being added together to give your score for the under 14 event and all 7 dives counting for the open.

Check and sign your divesheet

When you arrive at the pool for the event you must check and sign the master paper copy of your divesheet. There will be a cut-off time by which you must do this; you are likely to be withdrawn from the event if you don't.

Remember to carefully check each dive and if the event is one where you can choose which board you dive from check that it is correct in each case. Entering the wrong board height is one of the most common (and sometimes also the most painful) of mistakes. Once the cut-off time has passed you will be asked to perform the dive shown on your divesheet unless the referee decides it's unsafe!

If twisting dives are a new thing for you and you enter a twister be careful to make sure the dive code means what you intend to dive. It's very easy to confuse the number of half somersaults and the number of twists and end up in a knot. If you're not certain ask the head recorder before you sign your sheet.

Enjoy the event

There will be a list of everyone's dives somewhere near the boards (look for the huddle of divers checking which dive comes next). There will also be a poolside steward to make sure you are ready when it's your turn to dive.

When the diver before you has dived their dive you should get onto the board and set the fulcrum to the right setting for you. Listen carefully to the announcer saying your name and telling everyone which dive you are about to perform and check that he or she has got it right. The scoreboard will also show your name and dive. Check that is right too. If they have announced the wrong dive, stop and tell the referee.

Once the referee has blown their whistle you should perform your dive. Good luck!

Before the competition there may be a parade of all competitors for that event. Make sure you listen to the stewards and stand in the correct position. You may be asked to wear a top - make sure you have a club T-shirt / top with you.

After the competition there will be an award ceremony for the best divers. All divers being presented with a medal or trophy must wear a top (a club T-shirt is best) so make sure you have yours with you.

Dive Codes - Groups and Tariffs

Your divesheet will list your dives by their alphanumeric code and will show a tariff for each dive.

The tariff is the number by which the score awarded by the judges for your dive will be multiplied so the higher the tariff the more you will score for the same quality of dive.

Dive codes consist of 4 or 5 characters.

The first digit shows the group for the dive:

1 = Forward
2 = Backward
3 = Reverse
4 = Inward
5 = Twist
6 = Armstand

For groups 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 the second digit is 0 and the third shows the number of half somersaults.

For group 5 twisting dives things are a little different. The second digit shows the starting group, the third the number of half somersaults and the fourth the number of half twists.

In all cases the final letter then shows the position:

A = straight
B = piked
C = tucked
D = free

So for instance:

102B means group 1 (forwards), 2 half somersaults piked. Or as you would hear an announcer read it "forward single somersault piked".

5231D means group 5 (twisting), starting group 2 (backwards), 3 half somersaults, 1 half twist, free position. Or as you would hear an announcer read it "back one-and-a-half somersaults, half twist in the free position".


Have you:

  1. Entered and paid?
  2. Submitted your divesheet?
  3. Checked and signed your divesheet?

Posted 08/05/2007.