All About Diving

Diving icon


\ ˈdīv \

intransitive verb
  1. to plunge head first into water.
  2. an attempt by a player to gain an unfair advantage by falling to the ground and possibly feigning an injury, to give the impression that a foul has been committed. Dives are often used to exaggerate the amount of contact present in a challenge. […] Players do this so they can receive free kicks or penalty kicks, which can provide scoring opportunities, or so the opposing player receives a yellow or red card, giving their own team an advantage.

- Wikipedia

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How to recognise a dive

Five behaviours can be used to identify deceptive intent in players:

1. Lack of Temporal Contiguity

There is a time lag between the impact and its apparent effect on the tackled player.

2. Lack of Ballistic Continuity

The tackled player moves farther or in a different direction than expected from the momentum of the tackle.

3. Lack of Contact Consistency

The tackled player nurses a body part other than where the impact occurred.

4. The ‘Archer’s Bow’ Pose

The tackled player falls in a posture resembling a drawn bow, counter to normal reflex mechanisms to protect the body in a fall.

5. Fall with no Contact

The challenged player falls to the ground before any impact occurs.

Based on a 2009 study by Paul H. Morris & David Lewis from University of Portsmouth, UK: Tackling Diving: The Perception of Deceptive Intentions in Association Football (Soccer)

Interested in the Diving Report?
 Here's what you will find...
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Laws of the game

Law 12: Fouls and Misconduct

Section 3: Disciplinary action

Subsection: Cautions for Unsporting Behaviour

There are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour including if a player:

1. attempts to deceive the referee e.g. by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled (simulation)



An action which creates a wrong/false impression that something has occurred when it has not (see also deceive); committed by a player to gain an unfair advantage.


Act to mislead/trick the referee into giving an incorrect decision/disciplinarysanction which benefits the deceiver and/or their team.

Extract from Laws of the Game by the International Football Association Board (IFAB)