The Football Dive – skill cheating or art?

I thought I would take a look at the Football Dive. This is a hot Football topic at the moment so I am asking myself  this important question is Diving in  Football a skill, cheating or art .  Is it a skill that can be learnt like any other football skill or is it just plain cheating? A way to con the referee to get a penalty foul or an opponent yellow or red carded.

The way some players throw themselves to the ground I am beginning to think it may even be described as a form of art.

Yes you may laugh at that statement but think about it.

How do you manage to fling yourself to the ground in a ridiculous fashion when there is no other player anywhere nearby you? It sometimes looks as if that player has been shot by a sniper.

If you think I am joking keep reading, I will take a closer look at this and try figure out why any player would want to do this when playing the beautiful game. Then take a look at the clips of some of the worst Football dives ever that I show you later in this article, try not to find them to funny, like I did.

After this you can make up your own minds and ask yourself is Diving a skill, cheating or art?


the football dive






What exactly is Football Diving?

In basic terms it is an attempt by a player to gain an unfair advantage by throwing themselves to the ground. It can also be called simulation.

The player will often over exaggerate the contact they have received from an opponent. Sometimes they will go to ground when no contact has been received at all from an opponent.

The aim of that player is show the referee that they have been fouled to gain a penalty or free kick.

This Football problem is always up for debate as to whether the player was actually fouled or not. You see sometimes the speed at which the player is running means that even the slightest touch will cause them to go off balance and to go down.

Why does it drive all us football fans mad?

When the contact is so minimal or even none at all, but the player feels the need to throw themselves to the ground anyway, that is what gets us all going mad. This is when the debate starts amongst us fans.

Diving is always a controversial and can provide many hours of debate.

Did they or did they not Dive?


What Punishment does a player get for diving?

If a player attempts to deceive the referee by pretending to be fouled or be injured, (simulation) this is considered unsporting behaviour or misconduct.

This act should result in a player receiving a yellow card.

Diving (simulation) is on the up in Football with more and more players trying it.

So the question to ask is a yellow card enough of a punishment for trying to con the referee?

I am of the opinion no it should be a red card but the problem in the modern fast paced game, referees now need to be 100 percent certain that it was a dive, if they are to issue a red card and send  a player off.

Will Football be expecting some new laws and stiffer punishments for diving?

This could well be the case in future as the use of VAR (Video Assisted Referee) has started to be used throughout Football matches.



Is it Art, Cheating or a skill?

To be honest I think it might be all of 3 of the above. It is certainly cheating if they manage to deceive the referee.

It would have taken hours on the practice pitches at training to get the skill of going to ground like they do to perfection. You know what they say practice leads to perfection.

The hardest one to convince myself of, is to call it Art. What is Art these days? I have seen a pile of toilet rolls packet together and presented as modern art so why not football diving?

If done correctly it can be quite moving and dramatic and funny for you and I to watch, just like an art form.

Which one of the three do you think most fits the Modern day Football Diver?

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How to become an expert at the Football Dive in 5 easy steps.

( just a bit of fun these ideas, please don’t go practicing them)

  1. Take some acting lessons.  You need the over the top facial expressions to make it look like this is the end of everything for you.
  2. Improve your pain threshold.  Try walking over some hot coals and see if this drops you to the ground as quickly, as the pain you will feel when your opponent goes nowhere near you.
  3. Get some knee pads for practice time so the grass burns don’t destroy your knees.
  4. When flying through the air remember to make sure you open your arms wide for extra dramatic effect.
  5. When on the ground make sure you practice taking a sneaky look towards the referee to see if he is taking action again your opponent.


The Worst Ever Football Diving clips

Take a look at this video below and enjoy some of the most dramatic Football simulation you are likely to see.


When will diving stop?

If a player thinks they can gain an advantage for his team then it is going to be very difficult to stop this problem.

Winning has become everything. Yes that means some players will try whatever it takes within their power to make sure that this happens.

If it can be proved they have cheated then I say throw the book at the player caught diving. It’s time players learned a lesson. If someone gets a fair punishment then it may stop other players from trying it on to deceive the referee.

Will things ever change? I am not so sure as it will always be so hard to decide if there was any form of contact or not. You can guarantee a player and football club will fight their corner and not accept any severe punishment given to them.

They will alway try and get away with it…just like diving!

Please leave me a comment about this topic

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Best wishes


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6 thoughts on “The Football Dive – skill cheating or art?

  1. Ohhhh man.  While I agree with you in the end, that it is really one of the many reasons I’m so put off by pro sports of all types these days (while still loving the games.)  

    If you are getting paid handsomely , please play with integrity.  It’s so hard to know though, isn’t it, as to what leads up to these moments?  Are pro ballers paid to entertain the masses and keep football club rivalries strong or, are they paid to play with integrity?

    I don’t think you did it on purpose but, your segment title that reads “The Football Dive – skill cheating or art? is the best typo if it is one!  You could brand ‘skill cheating’ *laughs at herself.*  

    My opinion is definitely that it is both skilled cheating AND almost an art form!  Albeit a sad and goofy one.   We should ask all the players in these dive clips to get a field show going all together putting on a show that would make even the Harlem Globe Trotters applaud their wizardry! 

    1. Hi  Fyre

      Thank you for some very interesting thoughts on this topic.

       You made me laugh these players should definitely put on a game against the Harlem Globe Trotters, now that would be entertainment.  The football divers would be made to look like fools, oops they already do by there antics on the field.

      I hope that most professionals do play with integrity but somehow they loose control when they feel the need to go down so easily.

      I think that if they act this way they will get more attention from the media leading to more money in there bank account, if that is at all possible.

      I don’t think Football diving will ever leave the game as the punishment, a yellow card, does not fit the crime for doing it in my eyes.

      We find it a laugh and amusing, but sad that it is still happening in the game today.

      Lets just call it skill cheating and leave those that do the Football Dive…to just get on with it.

  2. I do watch football games even though I really can’t understand I usually enjoy seeing the athletes running and diving as you call it.

    It’s amazing that this diving is not done with a good purpose but to cheat.

    I would accept the 5 easy steps for a football player to practice not to cheat but to arm himself for a possible unwanted accident.

    1. Hi Abagatan

      It must be that a professional player does the diving to cheat otherwise why else would the do it?

      I would find it embarrassing to try and pull it off in the first place. If it’s to add to the entertainment value then I would prefer the players to score more spectacular goals.

      How about an overhead kick from 40 yards, now that would be more fun to watch.

      I don’t see how the Football dive will ever be stopped as they players will always try anything to gain the slightest advantage to win.

       Even if it means conning the referee.

      Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment on this post.

      Best wishes


  3. Hahaha!! you got me today, laughed  my head off  watching that video, I think it must be an art, we cannot say its a skill because the way some of the players do it mmmmh, really funny. I think a yellow card is enough though but there must be some situations where players must be handed red cards, especially when they want another player to be given a card for a foul he didn’t commit.

    Thank you so much, nice time reading your posts, interesting as ever.  

    1. Hi Ngonidzashe.

      Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment. It’s still amazes me how any professional sports person can go down so easily especially as they are paid well to entertain us.

      Yes I too still laugh when you see some of those clips in the video the worst ever dives.

      I think I would be embarrassed to show my face and play on after I had done something like that.

      A yellow card should be enough but it does not seem to stop the Football Divers so I am not sure how the issue will ever be resolved?

      Take care and thanks for reading

      Best Wishes


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