High school swim and dive is one competition. Thus, both the swim and dive teams compete against the same schools in the same meets. The season begins with seven dual meets against our Concorde District. Depending on where the meet is being held, diving is conducted either before or during the swimming competition, based on the size of the pool. Swim and dive points are added together for each team to determine the meet scores for both the girls' swim and dive team and the boy's swim and dive team.
The format for dual meets can get a bit confusing. Divers are required to perform one voluntary dive and five optional dives for a total of six dives for each meet. Voluntary dives are typically the simpler ones, such as a front dive, a back dive, a reverse dive, or an inward dive. Optional dives can be any dive except the one performed for the voluntary dive. For example, if you perform a front dive for your voluntary dive, you may use a back dive, a reverse dive, or an inward dive for your optionals, as well as any other dive that is listed in the Virginia High School League list of dives. If you thought that part was confusing, just wait. Each week, the voluntary dive that must be performed changes. The first meet, a front must be done for the voluntary; the second meet, a back; the third meet, an inward; the fourth meet, a twister; the fifth meet, a reverse; and that cycle continues until the dual meet season is over. If you've been thinking hard about this format, you might have realized that there are only five groups but the divers are required to compete six dives. What is nice about this format is the voluntary dive is counted completely separate from the optional dives. Therefore, the divers must perform five optionals from at least four groups, without repeating the dive they did for their voluntary. While this can be confusing, the coach understands the format and continues to teach the divers throughout the season.
For those who are familiar with the judging format of NVSL diving, it is the same in high school diving. There are five parent judges, two from the home team and three from the visiting team. For each dive, each judge throws one score. The high score and the low score are dropped in an attempt to eliminate any biases. The three remaining scores are added together and multiplied by the dive's degree of difficulty. Each dive, no matter what it is, is assigned a degree of difficulty based on how difficult the dive is to perform. There is a very long formula to figure out each dive's degree of difficulty, so it won't be covered here. Just know that, the more difficult the dive is, the larger multiplier will be applied to the judge's scores. This gives the divers an incentive to perform the more difficult dives.
Each dive's total score is added up to get a final score, which then determines the final ranking of the divers. Unfortunately diving counts as only one event in the meet (Event #9 for the boys, Event #10 for the girls), so the placings are scored the same way as an individual swimming event.
The format for the championship meets is completely different from the dual meets, yet they are scored the same way. In Districts, Regions, and States, the divers perform 11 dives rather than the six performed in dual meets.Of these dives, fives are voluntary dives and six are optional. Thus, divers must do two dives from each group: front, back, reverse, inward, and twister, and they must do three dives from one of those five groups. There is a very specific sequencing of the dives that must be adhered to and the field of competitors gets cut after the fifth and eighth rounds.
Robinson Diving Tradition
Robinson has a long-standing tradition as a dominating force in diving from its early days in the Patriot District, through its current placement in the Concorde District and also in the state of Virginia. Between 1998-2001, the Robinson Men's Dive Team, apart from the swim team, were Patriot District, Northern Region, and Virginia State Champions. With the help of state record holder Andy Bradley, who went on to place 6th at the 2004 Olympic Trials, and John Appleman, the head coach at Dominion Dive Club, the Robinson Men's Dive Team was unbeatable.
The next season, the Robinson Women's Dive Team had their turn at success with a 4th place finish at states by freshman Lina Tichamirova. In 2005, Junior Michael Papageorge won the State title.
Last year, the teams returned to prominence with sophomore Cory Bowersox winning his second State title and senior Frank Burdell finishing fourth. The girl’s team was dominant with three Robinson divers finishing in the top 5 at States: Junior Laura Gartrell placed 2nd; senior England Barimo, 4th; and senior Brynn Rollo, 5th. Though we lost a lot of talented divers to graduation, we have a number of excellent new divers joining the program.