If someone were to bring up the topic of jump rope or skipping, odds are you would remember time spent on the playground shouting rhymes and mastering the art of Double Dutch. The childhood game of jump rope as we know it has been taken to a whole other level by skilled jumpers. These high intensity skippers belong to the world of competitive jump rope.
Worldwide there are elite jumpers and established competitive skipping federations. At world and national championships, jumpers can compete in single or team events using a single rope or Double Dutch. There are three competition disciplines:
Freestyle: Jumpers develop routines that show off skills in the footwork, strength, multiple unders (when the rope passes under the jumper two or three times in a single
jump) and rope manipulation. Different combinations of skills and degree of difficulty will earn jumpers higher points. All routines are given a time limit and are typically choreographed to music. Some of the most difficult sequences are those that contain release maneuvers (releasing one end of the rope to catch again).
Power: Competitors simply try to complete as many double and triple unders in a row as possible. During doubles, skippers are timed but during the triples they are allowed to go as long as it takes for them to miss a step or give up.
Speed: Events can be done individually or as a relay. Jumpers aim to complete as may skips as possible in an allotted time. Three judges are assigned to each participant and their counts are averaged to determine the final score. In the three minute category the world record is 500 skips, set by Chu Ting Ho of Hong Kong in 2012.
This year’s Rope Skipping Canada National Championships took place in Abbottsford, British Columbia in May. If you want to have a look at some of the amazing talent displayed, go check out the championship highlights where you definitely won’t find any playground rhymes.
References Available from the SIRC Collection:
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