Types and Positions

Types of Dives

There are six different groups of platform and springboard dives. In the first four types, divers spin in different directions. The fifth group includes any dive with a twist. The last group, used in platform diving, begins with an arm stand (which is like a handstand):

Forward Group

The diver faces the front of the board and spins toward the water. The easiest dive in this group is a forward dive. The hardest dive requires the diver to do more than four somersaults in the air.

Backward Group

All the dives in this group begin with the diver on the end of the board with their back to the water. The diver spins away from the away from the board.

Reverse Group

These dives begin with the diver facing the front of the board and spinning towards the board.

Inward Group

The diver stands on the end of the board with their back to the water and spins toward the board. This is the opposite of what divers do in the backward groups' dives.

Twisting Group

Any dive with a twist is included in this group. There are four types of twisting dives; forward, backward, reverse and inward. There are so many ways divers can twist in a dive that this group has more dives in it than any other.

Arm stand Group

In platform diving there is a sixth, special group of dives called 'arm stands'. Here the diver starts in a handstand position on the edge of the platform before they dive.

Dive Positions

During the flight of the dive, one of four positions is assumed:


With no bend at the knees or hips (the hardest of the four)


With knees straight but a tight bend at the hips (the median in difficulty of the four.) The open pike is a variant where the arms are reached to the side, and the legs are brought straight out with a bend in the hips.


Body folded up in a tight ball, hands holding the shins and toes pointed (the easiest of the four.)


Indicates a twisting dive, and a combination of other positions. In the transition between two positions the diver may for example bend their legs or curve at the waist, and points will not be deducted for doing so.

These positions are referred to by the letters A, B, C and D respectively.

Additionally, some dives can be started in a flying position. The body is kept straight with the arms extended to the side, and the regular dive position is assumed at about half the dive.
Difficulty is rated according to the Degree of Difficulty of the dives. Some divers may find pike easier in a flip than tuck, and most find straight the easiest in a front/back dive, although it is still rated the most difficult because of the risk of over rotation.