Parents Manual

Find out all the basics for being a Diving Parent in our Parents Manual.


Welcome to Upstate NY Diving

You have found the #1 Developmental Diving Club in the United States. We are happy you are here! On this page you will about the many opportunities that diving will bring to your child. Get ready to dive into in the most fun and exciting diving club in the US.

Upstate Diving Vision

Upstate New York Diving will train over 200 divers in the Upstate New York Area.
Upstate Diving will be a top 10 National Team in the United States.

Philosophy of Upstate Diving

Upstate New York Diving is committed to developing great athletes who are also great people. We strive to demonstrate and build the following attributes in each one of the divers we instruct. Our Upstate Diving principles are: Safety, Integrity, Courage, Commitment, Desire, Excellence, Teamwork, Strength, Speed, Power and Fun.  

Club Policies

No Coaching Your Child – Or Others
Do not coach your child or talk to the coach or any divers during practice. Do not give instructions or coach your child from the stands. This is distracting and confusing for your diver. Attend as many practices as you would like, but remember it is a good idea to occasionally let your diver practice without you at the pool to let them focus on the instructions from their coach.

Make-up practices are generally encouraged. If a session is full, individual make-up practices may not be available. If classes are full please contact the program director for a make up time.

Payment is due the first of each month. If there is a waiting list, the spots will be reserved by payment. If a diver has not paid they will lose their spot in the session.

Late Fees
Late Fees are assessed after the Sign up deadline. The sign up date for each session is posted on the sign up page. The late fee is $20 per diver.

Refunds are only given when a pre-payment has been given and a session has not begun. After a session has begun NO refunds are available. Refunds after a session has started are NOT available for any of the following reasons: Religious obligations, school obligations, musical practices, recitals, trips, other athletic practices or events, family obligations, vacations, school trips, failure to obtain transportation or any other reason.

Pro-rating of practice fees is available for new Upstate Participants if they have started in the middle of the session. This is a one time benefit. No other type of prorating is offered once a diver has registered with the club.

Group Levels
Group levels are assigned by skill groups. Divers are assigned a group and must pay that level’s diving fees. If diver wishes to only practice in a reduced number of practices for that session, the same group practice fees apply. No pro-rating is offered for divers who cannot attend all the practices in a session.

Individual Practices
Practices when a diver is not signed up for a session is $30 each practice. This does NOT include private lessons. If a session is full, individual practices may not be available.


If a diver is injured they may not practice. In order to return to practice they are required to bring a note from a licensed doctor stating that they are healthy and physically able to perform all the skills and exercises required in diving practice.


Upstate Diving is a skill based diving club. This means that our divers are instructed in a set of skills and when the skill set is mastered the diver advances to the next level in the club. Understanding skill names and positions are key to a child’s progression. Please see the advancement schedule above to find the specific skills your diver will need to advance to the next level. With each level of advancement, there is also an increase in time and financial commitment. The coaches will explain the time and financial requirements for each group whenever a diver is about to “level up”.

Advancement Schedule

Advancement to the next diving group is done by testing up. Divers must be able to perform all of the required skills and dives and receive a score of at least a 5 from the Program Director. Divers must also be able to perform all skills or dives from lower levels to advance to the next group. Advancement testing must be scheduled with the Program Director and is normally done directly after practice. Advancement testing may be done at any time during the month but the diver will only be able to attend the new group when the new month begins and the new diving group fees have been paid. Advancement forms may be found online or requested from any coach. There is a $20 fee for advancement testing. This is a nonrefundable testing fee whether the diver passes or fails the advancement test. 

Divers advance at different rates. Some divers progress slowly at first and then make quick progress after two or three years of diving. Others will progress quickly then spend a long time at one level as he/she adjusts to their growing body and other challenges from outside the pool. The most important thing to remember is that everyone will progress at his/her own pace. There is no standard time for “leveling up” and when the diver is ready, they will be tested up to the next group. Some divers may plateau for a long time and become frustrated, but as with any sport, it requires dedication and commitment to succeed. Support your diver in making good decisions that will help them grow and mature. Be supportive by continuing to focus on the long term goals of the diver. If the time comes where the diver feels that it is time to stop diving, please take a few minutes and discuss the decision with their coach. 


There are many different types of competitions. They include League meets, AAU Meets, United States Diving Meets, and Masters Meets. The coaching staff will decide what the are the best meets for the divers. Upstate New York Diving Competition Team is available for all diving levels from Sparks to Elite. Some competitions require team members to pay the meet entry fees in advance. All Upstate divers competing in meets must wear competition team apparel that is in good condition. This includes a team suit and team warm up provided exclusively by The Deep End. Divers must be currently enrolled in the diving club and have their coach’s approval to attend a competition. See below for more on competitions. 

Travel Competitions

Travel meet costs and meet coaching costs are not covered by the Club. They must be raised by the fundraising or paid out of pocket by the divers. Divers will have to pay for all aspects of their own travel and entry fees if there is no fundraising by the divers. Divers will also have to pay all aspects of coaches’ travel, lodging transportation, parking, food and coaching fees for each meet if there is no fundraising. The more divers that attend each meet the more that they will be able to defray the cost per diver for the coaching expenses. The more divers are able to fundraise the less they will have to pay out of pocket. Because advanced and elite divers travel the most, they will get the most benefit from fundraising, and should be the leaders in promoting fundraising efforts. Advanced and elite divers will also get the most benefit from having large team participation in meets and should be the leaders in promoting meet attendance. Fundraising funds will first cover coaches’ expenses then Elite Divers then Advanced Divers then Intermediate Divers then Beginner Divers’ expenses. When at competitions or traveling to away meets, divers represent their amilies, Upstate New York Diving and themselves. Upstate Divers should maintain the highest standards of behavior, speech and attitude. This means that divers found doing anything not in keeping with the highest standards of behavior may face disciplinary action, removal from the competitive team, or removal from the Club. If an action merits removal from the team, no refunds for practice, meet fees, or equipment will be given. Inappropriate behaviors include, but are not limited to: 

o Tantrums or water splashing after a dive 

o Talking back to a coach – Any coach 

o Taunting or trash talking 

o Swearing 

o Any type of insubordination 

o Curfew violations 

o Skipping warm-ups 

o Tobacco, alcohol or illegal drug use

Governing Bodies


Diving in the United States was originally organized under the AAU, and later broke off to become a separate entity known as USA Diving. In 2004 the AAU again began to sponsor diving. Its ability to simply and affordably register divers made it grow larger than USA Diving in just one year. Now AAU Diving has 5 times as many divers than USA Diving and has many other benefits. AAU Diving offers better insurance, and the management of the national office is much more responsive to local clubs. Most importantly, the objectives of AAU Diving reflect the goals and objectives of Upstate New York Diving. Upstate New York


Upstate Diving is located in the Niagara District of the AAU. The District Championships are held locally each year in western NY each May and the National Championships are held in different locations around the country each year in late July. To attend the National Championships you must qualify in one of two ways: Achieve a National score in a FINA (See below) competition or finish in the top 3 at the Niagara District championships. USA Diving is governing body for competitive springboard and platform diving in the United States. USA Diving has a competitive system that runs in the spring and summer and allows advanced level divers to compete in regional, zone and national competition. Divers must have the necessary dives to be able to compete in these meets. The dive requirements for these meets are listed below. Advanced (Blaze and Elite) divers who are chosen to compete in these competitions need purchase a USA Diving Membership in addition to the AAU Membership. This allows them to be able to compete in the Regional, Zone and National meets sanctioned by USA Diving. Typically these meets require substantial travel, and a large time commitment. The rewards for attending are equally substantial. These meets are attended by college coaches who have scholarship money available and recruit divers from this level. These competitions also provide the rigorous competition experience that gives Upstate Divers an edge when competing in other areas of their lives.

Team Equipment and Apparel

Please visit The Deep End for Team Equipment and The Athletic Outlet for your official Upstate Diving Team Equipment. Open the team locker room and order your suits, warm-ups, sammy towels, and much more! For the Upstate Diving Username and password, please contact

Upstate polo shirt copy

Check out the Upstate Diving Spirit Wear!

For more Information Contact


Where do you teach diving lessons?
Most of our diving classes are taught at RIT. Rochester Institute of Technology has one of the safest, cleanest and most technically advanced diving wells in the Western New York.

How much does diving cost?
Our Learn to Dive classes start at $85 per month. Our intermediate diving classes are $100 a month and our national team practices start at $165 a month.

How long are diving classes?
The Learn to Dive classes are 45 minutes long. Intermediate classes are 1 ½ hours long and the advanced level divers are in practice for two hours.

How long do divers stay in the Learn to Dive Class?
It usually takes about one year for divers to complete the Learn to Dive class. Every diver is different. Some divers will advance from our Learn to Dive Class (mostly older children) in about nine months.

How safe is Diving?
Diving is very safe. Some of the attributes that make diving safe are:

Supervision – our highly trained coaches make sure that divers understand safe diving practices. We have a certified lifeguard on deck for all of our pool practices. Diving is performed over water and it is very rare to have a serious injury in the water. 

Design – The diving board is designed to move divers away from the diving board and into the water. The depth of the water is sufficiently deep that beginner children will rarely touch the bottom. The walls of the pool are a safe distance away from the diving board so it is very difficult for divers to come close to a wall after jumping. Many adults will remember Greg Louganis hitting his head on the diving board. This is actually extremely rare. (Also remember that required no hospitalization and was able to win a gold medal the next day.)

How long does it take for divers to advance?
Divers will generally advance one level each year. There are five different levels of diving. Learn to dive, Sparks, Fire, Blaze, and Elite.

Do new divers have to compete?
No. New divers do not need to compete. Competition is available to divers when all three parties – diver, parents and coaches are in agreement that the diver is ready for competition. Children interested in competition will usually start competing in fun novice events.

When do divers start competition?
Divers start competition when the family is ready to try a competition for their diver. Upstate Diving has a recreational track that allows divers to go through the Learn to Dive program and then to the Lessons program where they continue to dive recreationally. Some divers may never feel ready for competition and they are still welcome to come to upstate diving lessons practices.

Are college scholarships available to divers?
Yes. Division I diving institutions offer scholarships to divers. The scholarship process is quite long and complicated. There is, of course, no guarantee that a diver will get a scholarship. But approximately 85% of Upstate divers who train on the competition team are offered an athletic scholarships. College scholarships are usually offered to club divers with extensive 1 m, 3 m and platform diving experience. High school diving does not have 3 m or platform and generally does not offer enough experience for divers to secure a scholarship.

How cold is the water?
The water at the RIT pool is kept at a consistent 80°. The air temperature is kept at 85°. This is a comfortable temperature for diving. It is not a sauna, but it is not Arctic either.

What is diving dryland training?
Dryland training is a series of training exercises that are done outside of the pool. These training exercises involve trampolines and diving boards that go into large foam pads. Dryland training allows divers to do about five times more skills than what they are able to accomplish at the pool. It eliminates the time of getting out of the water and waiting in line. The trampoline offers literally hundreds of skills to be accomplished in just a short time. This type of training keeps diving fun and keeps the divers moving. Upstate Diving has the only complete Dryland Facility in NY State.

What is the difference between Upstate Diving and other diving clubs?
The primary difference between Upstate Diving and other clubs is our focus on developing divers for long-term success. By starting divers with a safe and successful environment they are able to progress to reach their full potential. Upstate diving began in 2006 and is the largest club in Western New York. Upstate Diving has the most experienced coaches in the area with more youth and national experience than any other club in New York.

What is the difference between Learn to Dive group and the Lessons group?
Learn to Dive is for children that have no diving experience. Children from ages 5 to 12 may start in the Learn to Dive program.

The Lessons group is for divers who have some experience and want to continue to dive recreationally. This group is for divers 12 and up.

How many divers are in each class?

Most of the diving classes have about 10 children. In the Learn to Dive classes we try to keep a coach to diver ratio of 1 to 5.

What are dead-end dives?
Dead-end dives are dives that, when practiced regularly, will actually hurt your progress in the sport. These dives have been phased out of much of the diving world, but some coaches continue to teach these detrimental skills. It is important to make sure that divers do not practice these dead-end dives and impede their progress in the sport. Upstate coaches do not teach these dives and have a progress plan that helps divers reach their highest potential.

How good of a swimmer does my child need to be to start diving?
Young children who would like to start diving do not need extensive swimming experience. There are two swimming criteria to start at Upstate Diving.

  1. Children need to be able to swim approximately 15 feet without assistance.
  2. Children need to be comfortable in the deep end.

That’s it! If they can swim 15 feet in the deep end they are ready to start diving!

How high are the diving boards?
RIT has two levels of diving boards. The 1 m board is approximately 3 ½ feet high and the 3 m board is approximately 10 feet high. The University at Buffalo platforms (where we train our platform divers) has platform levels of 1 m, 5 m, 7.5 m and 10 m. The 10 m platform is approximately 33 feet high.

Do beginner divers have to go off of the high board?
No. New divers are not required to go off the high board (3 m diving board). If children are not comfortable doing a skill or going off the high board they should wait until they feel ready and safe going off of the high board. Our coaches are trained to know when it is the right time for divers to go up to the high board.


Dhruv Tyagi 2009 – Stanford

Jenny Chiang 2009 – Notre Dame

Alyssa Menz 2010 – Columbia University

Ashley Broderick 2010- University of Pittsburg

Chris Iafrati 2010 – University at Buffalo

Devin Zdanowski 2011- Binghamton University

Rachel Eckert 2011 – Old Dominion University

Patrick Alverman 2012 – Bucknell University

Troy Birdsall 2013 – University at Buffalo

Scott Lazeroff 2014- Auburn University

Emily Budziuskski 2014 – Case Western Reserve

Sean Riley 2015 – Louisville University

Ali House 2016 – The Ohio State University

David Petrison 2018 – Notre Dame

Red DiGaetano 2018 – Towson University

Koz Vincent 2018 – Cleveland State

Hall of Fame

AAU Champions

Corey Neas – 4 Times

Scott Lazeroff – 5 Times

Ashley Broderick – 2 Times

Kiran Natarajan – 1 Time

Dhruv Tyagi – 3 Times

 USA Diving Champions

Scott Lazeroff – Age Group

USA Diving Regional Champions

Elina Natarajan

Dhruv Tyagi

Jamie Kotalik

Senior National Qualifiers

Jenny Chiang

Dhruv Tyagi

Scott Lazeroff

Rachel Eckert

Ali House

NYS HS Champions

Jenny Chiang

Ashley Broderick

Dhruv Tyagi

Scott Lazeroff

Ali House

Hannah Butler

Alex Kenyon

Alice Diakova


Orthopaedic Associates of Rochester
Orthopaedic Associates of Rochester