In the London Summer Olympics diving competition, there will be a total of eight events. These can be divided three different ways: by gender (male or female), by apparatus (springboard or platform), or by divers (individual or synchronized pair).
2012 Summer Olympics Diving Events and Dates
-Men's 3-meter springboard on August 6-7, 2012
-Men's 10-meter platform on August 10-11, 2012
-Men's synchronized 3-meter springboard on August 1, 2012
-Men's synchronized 10-meter platform on July 30, 2012
-Women's 3-meter springboard on August 3-5, 2012
-Women's 10-meter platform on August 8-9, 2012
-Women's synchronized 3-meter springboard on July 29, 2012
-Women's synchronized 10-meter platform on July 31, 2012
For the individual events, there are three phases. In the first phase, the top 18 divers advance to the semifinals or second phase. In the semifinal, the top 12 divers advance to the finals or phase three. The synchronized event is different because it only has one phase. There will only be eight pairs of divers in the synchronized event, and they must pre-qualify in specific international events prior to the Olympics.
Olympic Diving Scoring
During each phase the divers will perform a series of dives. There are six dives for men and five dives for women. A composite score for each dive is calculated based on a formula that includes a degree of difficulty, level of execution, and, for the synchronized pairs, a score for how well they are synchronized. All dives in a phase are added together, and the divers with the highest scores advance. The scoring system is based on a 0 to 10 scale with half-point increments.
The degree of difficulty is determined prior to the start of competition. FINA, the governing organization that sets the standards, has both a set degree of difficulty for specific dives, and a formula for calculating the degree of difficulty for dives not already on the list.
During the competition judges must assess several aspects for a dive that only lasts a few seconds. The judges will be watching how the diver sets up and initiates the dive. Evaluation continues for the diver's take off and flight. Body position, transition between positions, and position as the diver enters the water are all taken into account. Finally, the splash that the diver makes on entry is even evaluated. A small splash means a clean entry and good position.
With so many aspects making up a score, it's important to remember that divers are not only superb athletes, but also artists as they perform gracefully in competition.
Jan has been active in water sports for over thirty years. She has a broad range of experience with diving and other water sports as competitor, coach, instructor, and fan.
Related articles by this contributor:
Federation Internationale De Natation http://www.fina.org
Official London 2012 website: http://www.london2012.com/diving/about/