Generally, the act of deliberately entering a body of water by jumping in, with arms pointed out stretched parallel with the straightened legs and torso, in an inverted position to minimise drag against the water. Competitive swimmers enter the water by diving from blocks above the ends of the pool.
Competitive diving involves performing dives into a pool off either springboards - long, flexible planks that bend as the divers repeatedly jump on the end of the board to gain height and speed before diving, or rigid platforms of greater height. In elite competition, there are two springboard height competitions, one with the springboard at 1 metre above the pool surface, and one at 3 metres, and a platform competition at 10 metres.
Divers can perform a variety of different dives, performing somersaults and twists in various orientations and from different starting positions (including, from the platform, dives from a handstand starting position). Divers are judged on whether they completed all aspects of the dive, the conformance of their body to the requirements of the nominated dive, and the amount of splash created by their entry to the water (less being better). The raw score is then multiplied by a difficulty factor, dives containing more movements rating higher difficulty factors than dives with less. The diver with the highest total score after a sequence of dives (usually eight in elite competition) is declared the winner.
While not a particularly popular participant sport, diving is one of the more popular Olympic sports with spectators. Successful competitors posess many of the same characteristics as elite gymnasts, including strength, flexibility, and kinaesthetic judgment. Many world and Olympic diving champions are from China.
There's a place in South America somewhere where people go "cliff diving" from a 30 metre cliff into a natural pool. Anyone know where it is?