10 Words Divers Use that Make You Say “Huh?”

KNOXVILLE, TN - July 31, 2014: An Unknown Diver during the 2014 USA Diving Age Group and Junior National Event at Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Matthew S. DeMaria
Photo Courtesy: Matthew S. DeMaria

By Shelby Iava, Swimming World College Intern

On the pool deck, you might hear many different terms or just a whole new language. Swimming and diving each come with their own lingo. At times, talking to my swimmer teammates, I can slowly start to see the confusion written all over their faces. Talking to swimmers about diving is just the same as if you were talking to a diver about swimming– not everyone is on the same page 100 percent of the time, but we’re learning more jargon every season.

1. Balk

Photo Courtesy: Hayley Good

Photo Courtesy: Hayley Good

A “balk” is an illegal movement. It’s when the diver starts the motion on the board, as if they are going to perform a dive, but then stops at the end and doesn’t complete their task.

2. Crow Hop

A “Crow Hop” known to others as crows hopping, but when it comes to divers, it’s the lifting of one or both feet, before jumping off the board from a backwards position.

3. D.D

The “D.D.” or also known as the degree of difficulty is a rating raging from 1.2 to 3.5 for executing a specific dive. The D.D. is then multiplied by the sum of what the judges score the diver in figuring out the total score.

4. Short

KNOXVILLE, TN - July 31, 2014: John Crow dives of the Platforms during the 2014 USA Diving Age Group and Junior National Event at Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Matthew S. DeMaria

Photo Courtesy: Matthew S. DeMaria

Being short of a dive doesn’t mean it’s small or not tall enough, being short of a dive means that the body rotated less than the desired amount to successfully complete the dive.

5. Stuck

Everyone gets stuck now and again, it just happens mid-air for divers. Being stuck in the position in the air, which basically puts the diver in a helpless position as a result of not enough rotating of the body to complete the dive.

6. Kick Out

A “kick out” is a strong explosive extension motion of your legs from the tuck position of a somersault.

7. Reverse

“Reverse, reverse” or spinning back in forth during the Cha Cha Slide is what people think of when they hear that word. As for many divers and myself included, reverse is one of the top dives no one wants to do ever, but since it’s in the books, we have to do it. A reverse dive is where the diver can either stand or take an approach to the end of the board facing the water, in a forward motion. Once the diver is in the air they make a backwards motion pivoting or spinning their body back towards the board.

8. Approach

Stanford Swimming vs. Arizona

Photo Courtesy: Jeff Commings

An “approach” consists of three or more steps forward toward the end of the board before hurdle and take off.

9. Hurdle

The final step in the diver’s approach to takeoff. It consists of a spring to the end of the board, taking off from one foot to landing on two feet at the end of the board.

10. Fail Dive

Failing a dive is probably one of the worst feelings in diving right next to smacking the water. When you fail a dive it means you unsuccessfully attempted to complete the dive resulting in zero points.

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Paulette Juilfs
8 years ago

I must be doing ok as a dive parent , I knew most of these Sammie Juilfs 🙂

Christine Aitchison
8 years ago

Better learn these, Lexy Aitchison as your roommate, Lizzie, is a diver.

8 years ago

I wish that the diving announcers would say the name of the dive such as a 1 1/2 somersault with a half twist pike position instead of saying that the diver will do a 5131B.

On the other hand, I’ve now watched enough diving to know that my specialty is a 101A. I do this dive every day to get into the water.

Dottie M. Shepard
8 years ago

Congratulations, great article Shelby Iava .

Carolyn Mars Angioli
8 years ago

For your girls Carole Borner Alessandrino.

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