Dive formula dive numbers. Competition warm up - image

Dive Formula describes elements of a dive. A universal diving language

Dive Formula describes elements of a dive. A universal diving language

Dive formula describes the elements of a dive. It’s important, as competitions are held up to world international level. It is a numbering system that describes a dive so that everyone can understand. Dive numbers or dive formula is universal,  and one for all!

Every dive has a Dive formula -otherwise a number. You’re a fantastic diver now! You’re standing on the board in another country whilst your dive is announced. H-E-L-P! you don’t understand what you are hearing. Is it the correct dive? if it isn’t the correct one and you perform the dive in the  competition YOU were expecting to do, the referee will fail the dive. This is where the universal dive numbering or dive formula serves a good purpose.

Dive formula Diver unhappy - image

Remember also that the judges and other officials are of mixed nationality and therefore need to understand and be prepared for the dives they are judging.  In the previous sections we talked about the groups (directions turned in the air- see below, you can recap) and the body positions to be used for competition diving (see below and you can recap)

From these groups and body positions, a language has been invented that everyone understands – no matter the language spoken.  Using the dive numbers code,  either a number board is placed on the poolside, or the dive with the divers name, and number of the dive is projected onto the dive recorders screen.   This is projected onto large screens around the diving pool for you and spectators to see.   It also adds excitement because the running totals and positions of each diver is screened as the competition progresses.  Incidentally the judges also receive the dive number into their handsets.

Once you have mastered how to work out the dive formula or numbers, and what they mean, you’ll feel assured that the dive announced was either correct or incorrect. The judges also will not be left guessing and they will have split second preparation time to mark the dive when it’s performed.

Dive formula. Diver much happier

Our diver on the board in a diving competition now looks a lot happier doesn’t he? He knows by reading the number 103C that it is the correct and expected dive to be performed.

Right…now how is this number 103c  worked out?

For translation we have to think of the “diving groups“; the number of “half somersaults”  A reminder is here.

and the “body positions”  A B C D; in order to give the answer.  A reminder here. Continue below reminders…

Body Positions during flight through the air when diving

 Dive formula is how to describe a language in diving language How to work them out - image

1 represents the group forwards
0 represents non – flying dive
3 represents the number of half somersaults
C represents the body shape – tucked.
The dive number thus is a forward one and a half (1.5) somersault with tuck = 103C

We talked about flying dives with two body shapes.  In this case 1 represents “flying” ( holding body position straight for half a somersault before tucking and piking)
If the dive description was a “Flying” 1.5 somersault C then the dive formula or number would be 113C

Test! what are
203C?  302B?  404C?  213B?  101A?

Now let’s go a bit wild
What happens when you are going to perform a dive in the diving competition when it has a twist with somersaulting action in any of the turning directions?
Let’s take from the dive numbers a 5132D?

Group 5 is the twist group. When a dive has a twist, the dive number ALWAYS starts with 5 – instantly recognisable. So…
5 represents the group – twist
1 represents the next group – forwards
3 represents the number of half somersaults – 1.5
2 represents the number of half twists – 1
D represents the shape – free position
Thus the dive is a  forward 1.5 somersaults with 1 twist in the free position

Think this way
Remember the two outer numbers are concerned with the twisting part – think of a log rolling.
The two inside numbers are concerned with the turning direction and number of half somersaults – think of gamboling!

Test! can you make out these?
5233D   5111A?

Here is the 5111A dive.

dive formula says this is a 5111A - image

Beautiful and yet very rarely seen these days. Possibly because the flight in the air does not provide a basis for building up into a more complex dive. But it does exercise control of the take off from the springboard.

It doesn’t finish here!
What about the Handstand Group – Group 6

In Diving competition the code is  immediately recognisable that it’s a handstand. The Handstand or Armstand group always start with 6.
The handstand may rotate or turn forwards…which would then be followed with 1 for forwards, followed by the number of half somersaults. 

The handstand may begin to rotate forwards then move backwards to bring through the arms (cut through). Think again of a car beginning to drive forwards then reversing back into the garage.  This in fact is a reverse action therefore the 1 would be then followed by a 3 for reverse followed by the number of half somersaults

The handstand may rotate or turn backwards and continue backwards turning. This is the backward action therefore followed by 2 for backwards followed by the number of half somersaults


6 represents the handstand group
1 represents the forwards group
2 represents 2 half somersaults
C represents the tucked position.
Thus the description of the dive is… A handstand forward somersault with tuck.  A reminder of handstands and their directions below.

Note: When announcing piked or tucked dives for the judges during a diving  competition, for clearer hearing within an echoey building, piked is “piked”; tucked is “with tuck.”

TO CHAPTER 17 – ” Who are the Competition Officials?”

Competition Team of Who’s who and What’s what. Making it all possible

All Chapters
Intro, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, Collation