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About Diving

Diving can be strange for new parents, whose only exposure comes every 4 years in the Olympics. We have written this guide to help you understand more about the sport and how the diving league is organized.

Dominion Hills competes in the Northern Virginia Swimming League (NVSL), a developmental league that divides the 48 member dive teams into 8 divisions of 6 comparably competitive teams.

"A" Meets

There are five regular season NVSL meets against the other teams within our division held each Tuesday night at 6:00 PM at either Dominion Hills or the other home-team pool. Each team is permitted to send 32 divers to each meet, however, each diver must meet a basic level of skill for their age group to qualify.

"B" Meets

In Arlington, we are very fortunate to have other nearby NVSL teams who have many divers who aren't quite ready for the A Meets but desire an opportunity to experience the fun and excitement of a meet - and maybe compete against friends they know from school or other sports. Those meets are typically held on Thursdays at either Dominion Hills or another Arlington pool (Overlee, Donaldson Run or Arlington Forest).

B Meets are open to all divers who have not yet finished in the top three places of an A meet in that season.

Divisional Championship Meet

After the end of the regular season, the individual championship meets begin. The first meet is the Divisional Championship Meet, where each team sends a maximum of 16 divers to compete for the Divisional Champion of each age group. The top 6 finishers in each event earn a plaque.

All Star Championship Meet

The top 2 finishers in the Divisional Meet for each event qualify for the All Stars Meet. At this meet, the top 2 finishers for each age group from all 8 divisions come together to award the overall All Star Champion.

Cracker Jack Meet

This meet provides developing divers an opportunity to participate in a "big" meet on the scale of Divisionals or All Stars. Divers who do not go to Divisionals or do not meet a minimum score at an A Meet qualify for the Cracker Jack Meet.

Divers whose A meet scores all fall below the qualifying score below are eligible.

FG – 67 FB – 65 JG – 99 JB – 95 IG – 136 IB – 129 SG –155 SB – 155

Wally Martin Meet

The Wally Martin Meet allows divers to compete in two different events on the same day:

  • 3 Meter Springboard - For those divers that have experience on 3 Meter boards
  • 1 Meter Syncro - A pair of divers (of the same gender) can compete as a team where they are judged on how well the dives were performed together as well as overall execution.

Competing in this meet requires that the diver have the required 3 Meter experience or an opportunity to practice synchronized diving with a partner. 

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What goes on at a Dive Meet?

If you are new to diving, we encourage you to come to a meet and check out what it's all about. We understand the meet can be confusing, so here's what happens at an A meet. Some things change for B meets, and those differences will be communicated as the B meets occur.

Diver Groups

The divers are divided into age/gender groups. For each gender, the breakdown is as follows. Ages are the divers age as of June 1. Divers as old as 18 can compete regardless of when they graduated high school.

Freshmen 10 and under
Juniors 11-12
Intermediates 13-14
Seniors 15-18


Each age group must perform a required number of dives per meet. All age groups must perform a front dive and a back dive, followed by a number of optional dives that are the diver's choice. Additionally, Senior divers must perform an additional required dive. See the chart below for the number of dives to be completed by age group.

Age Group Required Optional Total Dives
Freshmen* (3 total) 2 (front, back) 1 3
Juniors (4 total) 2 (front, back) 2 4
Intermediates (5 total) 2 (front, back) 3 5
Seniors (6 total) 3 (front, back, inward) 3 6

*Freshmen are allowed to substitute front or back fall-ins for the required dive(s)

Announcing the Dive

The announcer will announce the diver followed by the dive they are about to perform, then the degree of difficulty for that specific dive, followed by the first name of the next diver in line. Sometimes the international dive number may also be used in addition to (or instead of) the dive name. For example.

"Josh will be performing a 101c, Forward Dive Tuck, 1.2. Jack on deck"

Performing the dive

After the dive is announced, the judges will evaluate how well the diver performed the announced dive. Dives will be one of 4 positions: Front, Back, Inward or Reverse; and one of three positions: Tuck, Pike or Straight. Some twisting dives do not have a designated position, and they will be described as "Free".

Scoring the dive

The judges are looking for (among other things) grace in approach, height off the board, distance from the board, quality of the announced position, verticality of the dive and a clean entry into the water.

Judges will judge on a scale of 0 to 10. A score of 5 is considered adequate, but misses many aspects that keep it from being a very good dive. If a diver receives a "thank you diver", they failed to perform the announced dive, or the dive wasn't legal. This goes in the books as zero.

The judges are volunteer parents. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a judge contact a dive rep or check the schedule for the available clinic dates.

In a five judge panel, the highest and lowest scores are thrown out and the remaining three are added together, then multiplied by the degree of difficulty (DD). The scores from each dive are then summed to obtain the diver's score for that event. The diver with the highest score in his/her age group and gender wins his/her event.

What is going on at the table?

In addition to the announcer there are other important roles required for the meet to run. There are two people writing down the scores as they are read, then there are two calculators who calculate the score and a meet secretary, who is responsible for recording the results. Each score recorder and calculator are doing the same job for error-checking and redundancy.

Those working the table are volunteer parents. If you are interested in learning more about those jobs, contact one of the dive reps.

Who wins the meet?

Recall that there are 8 different events at a meet. 4 age groups for each gender. The winner of each event earns 5 points for the team, second place earns 3, and 3rd place, 1. The team with the most points wins the meet!

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2019 DH End of Year Video!

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