Many Beautiful Minds – divers’ decoding tasks
Diving is a very complex and difficult discipline, where beside excellent physical and psychical conditions competitors need to have outstanding decoding skills.
It is a totally common situation when the scoreboard displays some confusing combination of different characters about the competitor right before diving, such as: Laura Wilkinson, 107B DD 3.0. If you think you are a lucky person to snatch the hotel room number, personal ID or any important parameters of your favourite divers, you are wrong in fact. But what is the proper meaning of these numbers and letters?
Right before the start of a competition the exact dives to be performed shall be submitted in a detailed format. In order to avoid wasting time and confusion a uniformed code system has been set up identifying dives by the combination of three (or four) numbers and a letter. For decoding such combinations, it is important to be familiar with their meaning.
All dives are categorized into five main groups with a number:
1 = Forward: diver stands facing the water and leaves the board/platform forward.
2 = Backward: the opposite of forward, diver stands with their back to the water and leaves the board/platform backward.
3 = Reverse: diver stands facing the water and leaves the board/platform backward.
4 = Inward: diver stands with their back to the water and leaves the board/platform forward.
5 = Twister: rotation of the body around its axis.
6 = Armstand: diver leaves the platform from an armstand position.
These numbers make the first digit of the code followed by two more digits standing for the execution of dives concerning somersaults and twists.
For forward dives 3-digit codes are used. The second digit is normally 0 (except if it is a flying dive, then the middle number is 1), while the last digit represents the number of somersaults:
1 = ½ somersault
2 = 1 somersault
3 = 1 ½ somersaults
4 = 2 somersaults
Cherry on top, a letter is added to the end of the 3-digit combination of numbers which indicates the position of the dive.
A - Straight or Layout (no bend or curve to the body): no knee or hip bends are allowed, legs are kept straight and toes pointed. The arm position is the choice of the diver. When a twist is added to the straight dive the twist cannot be generated manifestly on take-off.
B = Pike: Body bent at the waist, legs straight without bending knees, toes pointed. The arm position is the choice of the diver. The pike movement shall be clearly identifiable.
C = Tuck: Legs are bent into the body at the hip and knees alike, knees and feet are kept together, each hand should grasp the leg on the shin, midway between the knee and the ankle.
D = Free position: the position of the body is the choice of the diver, legs must be together with the toes pointed.
Straight body during diving.
The codes generated this way can clearly identify and describe any forward, backward, reverse or inward dives. Here are some examples:
- 113A –Flying forward one-and-a-half somersaults, straight
- 205C – Back 2½ Somersault, tuck
- 405B – Inward 2½ Somersault, pike
In fact, there is another twist in the code system coming from – not surprisingly- twisters. For twisters the code consists of 4 digits instead of 3, the first one is always 5 standing for the main category, the second depends on the direction of the dive (categories from 1 to 4), the third digit is determined by the number of half somersaults, while the last one indicates the number of half twisters.
- 5132D – Forward 1½ Somersault 1 Twist. Free
- 5233D – Back 1½ Somersault 1 1/2 Twists. Free
Backward diving with twist.
The most confusing category is that of armstands. In this case 3 as well as 4-digit codes are used. The shorter indicates dives without twists while the longer code stands for dives with twists. The first digit is number 6 standing for the main category, the second digit indicates the direction (categories from 1 to 4), the third digit is determined by the number of half somersaults.
- 612B – Armstand forward somersault, pike
- 6243D – Armstand Back Double Somersault 1½ Twists. Free.
After becoming an expert of codes divers shall focus on making sure they submit the code on the diving list identical to the performance they plan to execute. If a diver accidently writes a 5122 D (forward one somersault with one twist) and actually intended on performing a 5132 D (forward one-and-one-half somersault with one twist); the diver will need to execute the dive written on the dive sheet, or it will be a failed dive.
In the introduction the code shown as an example contained the letters DD as well. Each dive is given a specific degree of difficulty which influences the final score greatly. DD levels are determined by the judges in office, after divers submit their diving list and the score for executed dives is multiplied by this tariff.
Now there is nothing else left (or forward, backward, inward, reverse) to do but to execute the dive which – in light of the detailed coding method- might seem the easier part of the entire process.