How are NISCA All America Divers Chosen?

Every June, the top 100 male and female high school divers are selected to be NISCA All Americans. It’s a fascinating process, and IST is proud to be a part of it.

What is All America Diving?

The National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) selects All Americans in Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Academics, as well as supporting the Scholar Team program and National Dual Meet Program.

In order to qualify for All America Diving consideration, a diver must be in 9-12th grade, competing for an interscholastic team, academically eligible based on their state’s requirements and diving in an 11-dive Championship format meet. Boys must score a minimum of 375 points with a D.D. of 13.3 or higher for their optional dives. Girls must score a minimum of 375 points with a D.D. of 13.0 or higher for their optional dives.

At each 11-dive meet through the season, coaches or parents record the diver performing the dives. They also collect a copy of the final, signed dive sheet.

All America Diving Applications

The application process begins on November 1st, when the on-line All America application portals open. Coaches can enter up to 2 applications per diver. Each application is for a single 11 dive meet, no compilations are allowed.  A video, copies of the signed dive sheet and a signature sheet accompany the application. Videos are uploaded to YouTube or Drop Box and a link supplied in the application. A DVD can also be mailed with the accompanying paperwork.

Once the application has been submitted and accepted, the videos are compiled into a list onto “master” DVDs. There is one set for boys and one set for girls. They organize the paperwork to match the order of the divers on the DVDs. This is an ongoing process through the year.

AA Diving Weekend

On the first weekend in June, 16 diving judges from around the country convene in Bloomfield Hills at the home of Don Mason, the NISCA All America Diving Chairperson. They arrive on Wednesday for training and socializing, and on Thursday morning they begin the process of judging.

The judges are dived into 2 groups, a boys room and a girls room. Each room has a computer operator, a video operator, an announcer and 5 judges. The computer operator uses a specially modified version of the IST MEETWARE Diving software which has the list of divers and their individual dives that were uploaded from the applications earlier in the week. Instead of doing everyone’s 1st dive, the software walks through each diver’s list of 11 dives from top to bottom.

Judging the Divers

First, the announcer reads the name of the diver off the sheet. The computer operator confirms the name. The video operator cues up the first dive in the video. Then the announcer reads the first dive number, the computer operator confirms the dive and the video operator plays the first dive. The video is paused at the end of the dive and the judges key in their scores on their IST Judge-Touch consoles. Finally the computer operator reads all the scores out loud, then they move to the next dive.

It takes about 5 minutes to judge each diver’s video. The sheet is set aside to be researched if there are issues. Issues can include dives out of order, not matching the dive sheet or missing dives.  If the discrepancies can be resolved, the video is judged later. The judges try very hard to judge every video and give the kids a fair shot. Occasionally videos come in that are incomplete or scrambled and can’t be judged. Notes are made on those applications as to why they weren’t judged.

This weekend the judges will be watching 11 dives for 230 boys and 290 girls. They have a rotation, so that periodically they can take a 5-minute break from judging. They don’t judge any diver that they know or is from their state. There is a “spare” judge in the room that will judge those videos instead. The panels rotate through both rooms. Periodically both rooms take a full 15-minute break to move around, stretch, grab a drink of water or check their phones.  They will judge for about 8 hours on Thursday and Friday, and another 4 or 5 hours on Saturday.

The Volunteers are Incredible!

Don Mason and the judges volunteer their time to put together and judge the All Americans each year. They are a dedicated group of individuals that are absolutely devoted to advancing their sport. IST is proud to provide the hardware and software that helps make their job a little easier. At least they don’t have to do the score calculations by hand anymore!

For more information about the All America Diving program or other All America programs supported by NISCA, visit the NISCA Website.

For more information about IST’s diving software and touchscreen diving modules, visit our website at https://www.istime.com/products/diving-scoring-systems/.