Rules Changes Made In High School Swimming And Diving By Nfhs

Forward approach definition altered in high school diving

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Two significant changes in high school diving were among the six rules revisions approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Swimming and Diving Rules Committee at its recent meeting in Indianapolis. The rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

The definition of the forward approach in diving was revised to reflect current trends in the sport. In between the initial three steps and the jump off one foot to a landing on both feet at the end of the board, divers now may use additional steps, hops, leaps and/or jumps.

The revised Rule 9-5-2 now reads as follows: “The forward approach shall begin with not less than three steps and finish with a hurdle, defined as a jump off one foot to a landing on both feet at the end of the board. The diver may use additional steps, hops, leaps and/or jumps between the initial three steps and the culminating hurdle. The forward takeoff shall be from both feet simultaneously to an adequate height to perform the dive.”

“This change supports the advancement of high school diving and reflects the current trends in the variations of the forward approach and the athleticism of today’s high school divers,” said Becky Oakes, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Swimming and Diving Rules Committee.

Another important diving change deals with the order of divers in championship meets. Beginning next season, in addition to determining the order by lot, the meet director will have the option of seeding based on the diver’s best competitive 11-dive score submitted. If the seeding is done by dive scores, divers without 11 dive scores will be seeded by lot at the beginning of the diving order.

The flexibility of seeding divers, which also may be used in non-championship meets that are conducted under the championship-meet format, is similar to the option in swimming.

Two additional diving rules were revised by the committee. A note in Rule 9-5-6 was expanded to clarify that flying dives demonstrating 1½ somersaults require the straight position to be maintained until the body has rotated to the vertical position.

The degree of difficulty for three twisting dives were changed as follows: 5227D from 3.1 to 3.2; 5126D from 2.7 to 2.8; and 5136D from 3.0 to 3.1.

In swimming rules changes, the committee changed the starting procedure for pools with a water depth of less than 4 feet and at least 3½ feet. Beginning in 2011-12, swimmers must start in the water rather than from the deck in pools with 3½ to 4 feet of water.

“For risk minimization purposes and to reflect current trends, this is a more appropriate starting restriction in water with a depth of less than 4 feet and at least 3½ feet,” Oakes said. “This rule change does not require any change in equipment.”

The final change is one that has been approved by the NFHS Board of Directors for use in all NFHS rules books regarding the meet referee’s jurisdiction. The rule extends the clerical duties of the referee beyond the end of the contest through the completion of any reports required from actions that occurred while the referees had jurisdiction.

Swimming and diving ranks No. 10 in popularity among boys sports with 131,376, according to the 2009-10 High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the NFHS. The sport ranks eighth among girls programs with 158,419 participants.