Skipping rope

Last updated

skipping rope
Ghanaian kid (skipping rope) 06 (cropped).jpg
A Ghanaian boy playing with a skipping rope.
Availability16th century–
Boy jumping a long rope in Virginia. Fairfax County School sports - 22.JPG
Boy jumping a long rope in Virginia.
A child playing with a skipping rope in Japan

A skipping rope (British English) or jump rope (American English) is a tool used in the sport of skipping/jump rope where one or more participants jump over a rope swung so that it passes under their feet and over their heads. There are multiple subsets of skipping/jump rope, including single freestyle, single speed, pairs, three-person speed (Double Dutch), and three-person freestyle (Double Dutch freestyle)


There are a few major organizations that support jump rope as a sport. Often separated by sex and age, events include hundreds of competitive teams all around the world. In the US, schools rarely have jump rope teams, and states do have sanction official events for elementary school. In freestyle events, jumpers use a variety of basic and advanced techniques in a routine of one minute, which is judged by a head judge, content judges, and performance judges. In speed events, a jumper alternates their feet with the rope going around the jumper every time one of their feet hits the ground for 30 seconds, one minute, or three minutes. The jumper is judged on the number of times the right foot touches the ground in those times.

In the Philippines, about 180,000 fourth graders and teachers from at least 3,600 schools nationwide were chosen as beneficiaries of jump ropes through the joint project of the energy drink company, Department of Education (DepEd), and Philippine Jump Rope Association (PJRA).

The Jump Rope for the Public School System project aims to complement with physical fitness by introducing children to home- based sports such as Jumping Rope. (Source : Philippine News Agency)


1800 illustration of a woman with a skipping rope 1800-jumprope-pinup-Sophia-Western.jpg
1800 illustration of a woman with a skipping rope

Explorers reported seeing aborigines jumping with vines in the 16th century. European boys started skipping in the early 17th century. The activity was considered indecent for girls because they might show their ankles. Girls began skipping in the 18th century, [1] adding skipping chants, owning the rope, controlling the game, and deciding who may participate. [2]

In the United States, domination of the activity by girls occurred when their families moved into the cities in the late 19th century. There, they found sidewalks and other smooth surfaces conducive to skipping, along with a host of contemporaries. [2]


There are many techniques that can be used when skipping. These can be used individually or combined in a series to create a routine.

Solo participants

For solo jumping, the participant jumps and swings the rope under their feet. The timing of the swing is matched to the jump. This allows them to jump the rope and establish a rhythm more successfully. This can be contrasted with swinging the rope at the feet and jumping, which would mean they were matching the jump to the swing. This makes it harder to jump the rope and establish a rhythm.

Basic jump technique US Navy 101004-N-6427M-149 Airman David Hall, from Buffalo, N.Y., jumps rope during a training session in the hangar bay aboard the aircraft carrie.jpg
Basic jump technique
Alternate foot jump technique US Navy 101101-N-2821G-032 Rear Adm. Mark D. Guadagnini, commander of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, leads a.jpg
Alternate foot jump technique
Criss-cross technique Jumping Rope Criss-cross.jpg
Criss-cross technique
Leg over technique Peter Nestler - Jump-roping around the world.jpg
Leg over technique

Basic jump or easy jump

Jump with both feet slightly apart over the rope. Beginners usually master this technique first before moving onto more advanced techniques.[ citation needed ]

Alternate foot jump (speed step)

Use alternate feet to jump off the ground. This technique can be used to effectively double the number of jumps per minute as compared to the above technique. This step can be used for speed events.[ citation needed ]


Also known as crossover or cross arms. Perform the basic jump whilst crossing arms in front of the body.

Side swing

The rope is passed by the side of the participant's body without jumping it.

EB (front-back cross or sailor)

Perform the criss-cross whilst crossing one arm behind the back.[ citation needed ]

Double under

A high basic jump, turning the rope twice under the feet. Turning the rope three times is called a triple under. In competitions, participants may attempt quadruple (quads) and quintuple under (quins) using the same method.[ citation needed ]

Boxer jump

One foot is positioned slightly forward and one foot slightly back. The person positions their bodyweight primarily over their front foot, with the back foot acting as a stabiliser. From this stance, the person jumps up several times (often 2-3 times) before switching their stance, so the front foot becomes the back foot, and the back foot becomes the front foot. And so forth. An advantage of this technique is that it allows the back leg a brief rest. So while both feet are still used in the jump, a person may find they can skip for longer than if they were using the basic two-footed technique.


Perform the criss-cross with one arm crossing under the opposite leg from the inside.

Leg over / Crougar

A basic jump with one arm hooked under the adjacent leg.

Awesome Annie

Also known as Awesome Anna or swish. Alternates between a leg over and a toad without a jump in between.

Inverse toad

Perform the toad whilst one arm crosses the adjacent leg from the outside.[ citation needed ]


A cross between the inverse toad and the toad, with both arms crossing under one leg.[ citation needed ]

Frog or Donkey kick

The participant does a handstand, returns to their feet, and turns the rope under them. A more advanced version turns the rope during the return to the ground.[ citation needed ]


A triple-under where the first 'jump' is a side swing, the middle jump is a toad and the final jump in the open.

Competition techniques

Advanced competition technique Doubletime poster (cropped).jpg
Advanced competition technique
Double Dutch - Competition during a steel beach picnic on the ship USS Saipan (LHA-2) US Navy 030303-N-9109V-006 Steel Beach picnic aboard USS Saipan.jpg
Double Dutch - Competition during a steel beach picnic on the ship USS Saipan (LHA-2)

In competitions, participants are required to demonstrate competence using specific techniques. The selection depends on the judging system and the country in which the tournament is held.[ citation needed ]

Health effects

Skipping may be used as a cardiovascular workout, similar to jogging or bicycle riding, and has a high MET or intensity level. This aerobic exercise can achieve a "burn rate" of up to 700 to over 1200 calories per hour of vigorous activity, with about 0.1 to nearly 1.1 calories consumed per jump, mainly depending upon the speed and intensity of jumps and leg foldings.[ citation needed ] Ten minutes of skipping are roughly the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile. Skipping for 15–20 minutes is enough to burn off the calories from a candy bar and is equivalent to 45–60 minutes of running, depending upon the intensity of jumps and leg swings. Many professional trainers, fitness experts, and professional fighters greatly recommend skipping for burning fat over any other alternative exercises like running and jogging. [3] [4]

Weighted skipping ropes are available for such athletes to increase the difficulty and effectiveness of such exercise. Individuals or groups can participate in the exercise, and learning proper techniques is relatively simple compared to many other athletic activities. The exercise is also appropriate for a wide range of ages and fitness levels.

Skipping grew in popularity in 2020 when gyms closed or people stayed home due to coronavirus restrictions across the world. [5] These workouts can be done at home and do not require specialized equipment.



There are two main world organizations: International Rope Skipping Federation (FISAC-IRSF), and the World Jump Rope Federation (WJRF). There have been 11 World Championships on every alternate year by (FISAC), with the most recent held in Shanghai, China. There have been 7 World Jump Rope Championships held every year by (WJRF); the most recent taking place in Orlando, Florida. Other locations of this championship include Washington DC, France, and Portugal.

In 2018 the International Rope Skipping Federation (FISAC-IRSF) and World Jump Rope Federation (WJRF) announced a merged organization called International Jump Rope Union. [6] The International Jump Rope Union (IJRU) has become the 10th International Federation to gain GAISF Observer status. The decision was taken by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) Council, which met during SportAccord in Bangkok. Observer status is the first step on a clear pathway for new International Federations towards the top of the Olympic Family pyramid. Those who wish to proceed will be assisted by GAISF, leading them into full GAISF membership through the Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport (AIMS), and the Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF).

In 2019 the International Rope Skipping Organisations IRSO re-emerged and reactivated its activities. The organization is headed by the founder of Rope Skipping / Jump Rope sport Richard Cendali. [7] IRSO [8] disagree and was not happy the way both organizations International Rope Skipping Federation and World Jump Rope Federation ignored several long-standing organizations in this merger. Various organizations that have long-standing for the development of the sport but eft out of the merger came under IRSO under the leadership of Richard Cendali. USA Jump Rope Federation and newly formed Asian Rope Skipping Association also joined IRSO and decided to host their World Championship in conjunction with AAU.

World Inter School

The first World Inter-School Rope Skipping Championship [9] was held at Dubai, November 2015 [10] [11] .[ citation needed ] [12] The second World Inter-School Rope Skipping Championship was held at Eger, Hungary. The Championship was organized by World Inter School Rope Skipping Organisation (WIRSO). [13] Second, third and fourth [14] World Inter-School championships held in Hungary 2017, Hong Kong 2018 and Belgium 2019 respectively.


NoYearHost City, Country
1 2015 Dubai, UAE
2017 Eger, Hungary
2 2018 Hong Kong
2019 Antwerp, Belgium

United States

Historically in the United States there were two competing jump rope organizations: the International Rope Skipping Organization (IRSO), and the World Rope Skipping Federation (WRSF). IRSO focused on stunt-oriented and gymnastic/athletic type moves, while the WRSF appreciated the aesthetics and form of the exercise. In 1995 these two organizations merged to form the United States Amateur Jump Rope Federation (now, USA Jump Rope). USA Jump Rope hosts annual national tournaments, as well as camps, workshops, and clinics on instruction. Jump rope is also part of the Amateur Athletic Union and participates in their annual AAU Junior Olympic Games. [15]

Speed jump ropes are made from a thin vinyl cord. They are best for indoor use, because they will wear down fast on concrete or other harsh surfaces. The beaded ropes make rhythmic jumping very easy, because the jumper can hear the beads hitting the ground and strive for a rhythmic pattern. The leather jump rope tangles less than the speed rope.

See also

Related Research Articles

Gymnastics Type of sport that requires a wide variety of physical strength and flexibility

Gymnastics is a sport that includes physical exercises requiring balance, strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and endurance. The movements involved in gymnastics contribute to the development of the arms, legs, shoulders, back, chest, and abdominal muscle groups. Gymnastics evolved from exercises used by the ancient Greeks that included skills for mounting and dismounting a horse, and from circus performance skills.

High jump Track and field event

The high jump is a track and field event in which competitors must jump unaided over a horizontal bar placed at measured heights without dislodging it. In its modern, most-practiced format, a bar is placed between two standards with a crash mat for landing. Since ancient times, competitors have introduced increasingly effective techniques to arrive at the current form, and the current universally preferred method is the Fosbury Flop, in which athletes run towards the bar and leap head first with their back to the bar.

Long jump Track and field event

The long jump is a track and field event in which athletes combine speed, strength and agility in an attempt to leap as far as possible from a takeoff point. Along with the triple jump, the two events that measure jumping for distance as a group are referred to as the "horizontal jumps". This event has a history in the ancient Olympic Games and has been a modern Olympic event for men since the first Olympics in 1896 and for women since 1948.

Triple jump Track and field event

The triple jump, sometimes referred to as the hop, step and jump or the hop, skip and jump, is a track and field event, similar to the long jump. As a group, the two events are referred to as the "horizontal jumps". The competitor runs down the track and performs a hop, a bound and then a jump into the sand pit. The triple jump was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games and has been a modern Olympics event since the Games' inception in 1896.

Show jumping Competitive equestrian sport

Show jumping, also known as "stadium jumping", is a part of a group of English riding equestrian events that also includes dressage, eventing, hunters, and equitation. Jumping classes are commonly seen at horse shows throughout the world, including the Olympics. Sometimes shows are limited exclusively to jumpers, sometimes jumper classes are offered in conjunction with other English-style events, and sometimes show jumping is but one division of very large, all-breed competitions that include a very wide variety of disciplines. Jumping classes may be governed by various national horse show sanctioning organizations, such as the United States Equestrian Federation in the USA or the British Showjumping Association in Great Britain. International competitions are governed by the rules of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports. Horses are very well-known for jumping in competition or even freely.

Water skiing

Water skiing is a surface water sport in which an individual is pulled behind a boat or a cable ski installation over a body of water, skimming the surface on two skis or one ski. The sport requires sufficient area on a stretch of water, one or two skis, a tow boat with tow rope, two or three people, and a personal flotation device. In addition, the skier must have adequate upper and lower body strength, muscular endurance, and good balance.

Ski jumping Skiing winter sport

Ski jumping is a winter sport in which competitors aim to achieve the farthest jump after sliding down from a specially designed curved ramp on their skis. Along with jump length, competitor's aerial style and other factors also affect the final score. Ski jumping was first contested in Norway in the late 19th century, and later spread through Europe and North America in the early 20th century. Along with cross-country skiing, it constitutes the traditional group of Nordic skiing disciplines.

Bungee jumping Activity that involves jumping from a tall structure while connected to a large elastic cord

Bungee jumping, also spelled bungy jumping, is an activity that involves a person jumping from a great height while connected to a large elastic cord. The launching pad is usually erected on a tall structure such as a building or crane, a bridge across a deep ravine, or on a natural geographic feature such as a cliff. It is also possible to jump from a type of aircraft that has the ability to hover above the ground, such as a hot-air-balloon or helicopter. The thrill comes from the free-falling and the rebound. When the person jumps, the cord stretches and the jumper flies upwards again as the cord recoils, and continues to oscillate up and down until all the kinetic energy is dissipated.

Dick Fosbury American retired high jumper

Richard Douglas Fosbury is an American retired high jumper, who is considered one of the most influential athletes in the history of track and field. Besides winning a gold medal at the 1968 Olympics, he revolutionized the high jump event with a "back-first" technique, now known as the Fosbury Flop, along with Debbie Brill and her Brill Bend, adopted by almost all high jumpers today. His method was to sprint diagonally towards the bar, then curve and leap backwards over the bar, which gave him a much lower center of mass in flight than traditional techniques. He continues to be involved in athletics and serves on the executive board of the World Olympians Association.

Wingsuit flying Variant of skydiving activity involving a specially designed suit which offers control surfaces

Wingsuit flying is the sport of flying through the air using a wingsuit which adds surface area to the human body to enable a significant increase in lift. The modern wingsuit, first developed in the late 1990s, creates a surface area with fabric between the legs and under the arms.

The Fosbury Flop is a jumping style used in the track and field sport of high jump. It was popularized and perfected by American athlete Dick Fosbury, whose gold medal in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City brought it to the world's attention. The flop became the dominant style of the event; before Fosbury, most elite jumpers used the straddle technique, Western Roll, Eastern cut-off or scissors jump to clear the bar. Landing surfaces had been sandpits or low piles of matting and high jumpers had to land on their feet or at least land carefully to prevent injury. With the advent of deep foam matting, high jumpers were able to be more adventurous in their landing styles and hence experiment with styles of jumping.

Plyometrics Maximum intensity explosive exercises

Plyometrics, also known as jump training or plyos, are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed-strength). This training focuses on learning to move from a muscle extension to a contraction in a rapid or "explosive" manner, such as in specialized repeated jumping. Plyometrics are primarily used by athletes, especially martial artists, sprinters, arm wrestlers and high jumpers, to improve performance, and are used in the fitness field to a much lesser degree.

Chinese jump rope

Chinese jump rope, also known as Chinese ropes, jumpsies, elastics, yoki (Canada), French skipping, American ropes/Chinese ropes, gummitwist, and Chinese garter in the Philippines is a children's game resembling hopscotch and jump rope. Various moves are combined to create Chinese jump rope patterns which are often accompanied by chants.

Chinese jump rope combines the skills of hopscotch with some of the patterns from the hand-and-string game cat's cradle. The game began in 7th-century China. In the 1960s, children in the Western hemisphere adapted the game. German-speaking children call Chinese jump rope gummitwist and British children call it elastics. The game is typically played in a group of at least 3 players with a rope approximately 16 feet in length tied into a circle. Traditional Chinese jump ropes are strings of rubber bands tied together, but today many varieties of commercial rope exist. Two players face each other standing 9 feet apart, and position the rope around their ankles so that it is taut. The third player stands between the two sides of the rope and tries to perform a designated series of moves without making an error or pausing.

Artistic roller skating Type of sport similar to figure skating

Artistic roller skating is a sport similar to figure skating but where competitors wear roller skates instead of ice skates. Within artistic roller skating, there are several disciplines:

A skipping rhyme, is a rhyme chanted by children while skipping. Such rhymes have been recorded in all cultures where skipping is played. Examples of English-language rhymes have been found going back to at least the 17th century. Like most folklore, skipping rhymes tend to be found in many different variations. The article includes those chants used by English-speaking children.

World Association of Kickboxing Organizations

The World Association of Kickboxing Organizations is an international organization of kickboxing. The governing body of amateur kickboxing certified by WAKO is created to develop support and govern at an amateur level In addition to holding world championship events, WAKO sanctions the champions of kickboxing. WAKO is the only organisation worldwide that is recognised by the GAISF and the IOC.

Parachuting Action sport of exiting an aircraft and returning to Earth using a parachute

Parachuting, including also skydiving, is a method of transiting from a high point in the atmosphere to the surface of Earth with the aid of gravity, involving the control of speed during the descent using a parachute or parachutes.

<i>Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne</i>

The Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne, commonly known by the acronym UIPM, has been the international governing body of modern pentathlon since its foundation in London in 1948. Its headquarters are in Monte-Carlo, Monaco and it has 115 national federation members. Modern pentathlon was introduced at the 5th Olympiad in Stockholm (SWE) in 1912, comprising the contemporary sports of pistol shooting, fencing, swimming, horse riding and running, which embraced the spirit of its ancient counterpart.

Dog agility Dog sport

Dog agility is a dog sport in which a handler directs a dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. Dogs run off leash with no food or toys as incentives, and the handler can touch neither dog nor obstacles. The handler's controls are limited to voice, movement, and various body signals, requiring exceptional training of the animal and coordination of the handler.

The International Jump Rope Union, also known as IJRU, is the highest authority and world governing body for the sport of jump roping and rope skipping.


  1. Robert-Shaw, Scott. "The History of Skipping" . Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  2. 1 2 "The Jump Rope Book". 1996. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  3. "Jumping rope is cheap, portable, and burns more calories than you might think". WebMD. Retrieved 29 July 2007.
  4. Jumping rope has Physical and Mental benefits | Washington Post | By Pam Moore | June 2, 2021 \ requires a deep concentration ... “If you’re not present, you’re going to trip.”
  5. "Why The Jump Rope Workout Is Everyone's New Fitness Obsession This Quarantine".
  7. "Richard Cendali Interview - International Rope Skipping Organisation".
  9. "Video of the Week — Chinese Student Displays Insane Skill at World Inter-School Rope Skipping Championships".
  11. "UAE pupils skip to keep fit and win". 28 November 2015.
  12. "Wirso-hk - 2nd World Inter-School Rope Skipping Championship Eger".
  15. "AAU Jump Rope Home" . Retrieved 1 April 2014.

Further reading