The Sport of Competitive Jump Rope

Worlds 2010While everyone has skipped or watched kids jump rope, few realize that skipping or jump rope is also practiced at a competitive level. Serious jump rope athletes train rigorously year-round. Jumping rope takes immense strength, endurance, focus, and patience, and can be much more than a schoolyard game of chanting rhymes.

Athletes compete in individual and team events using single or double ropes ("Double-Dutch") in speed, endurance and freestyle events. In freestyle events, athletes have a set time limit to demonstrate a combination of skills which are choreographed to music. During the speed events, athletes try to complete as many jumps as possible within a particular amount of time. For example, the world record for 30 second speed is 194 jumps, an amazing 388 revolutions per minute. At that speed, the rope moves at 130 km/hr, fast enough to pass most cars on our highways. Jump rope exhibitions are also frequently staged at events such as festivals, charity functions, and sporting half-time shows.

Competitive jump rope teams attend workshops, training camps, perform for the public, and compete against each other throughout the year. Competing teams consist of athletes of all ages, but are most commonly elementary to high school-aged individuals.

In Canada, the governing jump rope organization is the Canadian Rope Skipping Federation, with assistance from its provincial counterparts such as the Ontario Rope Skipping Organization. With 41 Jump Rope teams and almost 1400 competitive jump rope athletes, Canada makes up about 10% of the world-wide jump rope community of 400 teams and 13,000 athletes.