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Jump rope (American English) or skipping rope (British English) is the primary tool used in the game of skipping played by children and many young adults, where one or more participants jump over a rope swung so that it passes under their feet and over their heads. This may consist of one participant turning and jumping the rope, or a minimum of three participants taking turns, two of whom turn the rope while one ored beginning when the skipper jumps in and ending when the skipper messes up.
Jumping rope techniques
Some of the techniques that can be used when jumping rope are:
- Basic jump or easy jump
- The jumper keeps both feet slightly apart and jumps at the same time over the rope. Beginners usually master this technique first before moving onto more advanced techniques.
- Alternate foot jump (speed step)
- The jumper uses alternate feet to jump off the ground. This technique can be used to effectively double the number of skips per minute as compared to the above technique. This step is used for speed events.
- This method is similar to the basic jump with the only difference being that while jumping, the left hand goes to the right part of the body and vice versa for the right hand, with arms crossing in front of the body.
- Side Swing
- This is a basic technique where the rope passes the side of the skipper's body, without jumping it. Usually the skipper performs a basic jump after a side swing, or a criss-cross.
- EB(front-back cross)
- This is similar to the criss-cross except one arm crosses behind the back.
- Double under
- The participant jumps higher than usual while swinging the rope twice under his feet. It is possible to have the rope swing three times under the feet (triple under). In competitive jump rope, triples, quadruples ("quads"), and quintuples ("quins") are performed.
- Double Dutch
- In Double Dutch skipping, two long jump ropes turning in opposite directions are jumped by one or more players.
- This is more complicated. The jumper performs the "Cross" manoeuvre with one arm crossing under the opposite leg from the inside.
- Leg Over
- The jumper skips in a normal open jump, but with one arm hooked under the same leg.
- Awesome Annie
- The jumper alternates between a Leg Over and a toad without a jump in between.
- Inverse toad
- This is similar to the toad, except the arm crosses the same leg from the outside (rather than the opposite leg from the inside).
- A cross between the inverse toad and the toad, where both arms cross under one leg, rather than one.
- Frog/Donkey kick
- This is a variation of a handstand, with a beginner version and an advanced version. In the beginner version, the jumper does a handstand, comes down and then pulls the rope under. In the advanced, the jumper pulls the rope while coming down from the handstand.
- Combination jumps
- There are many more difficult jump roping techniques that combine two or more of these techniques to make a single trick. These combinations can also be used in Chinese Wheel, Double Dutch, Egg Beater, triangle and Long Rope.
- The James Hirst
- This requires a more complicated technique. The jumper performs a backflip into a split and then back to a skip in the upright position.
- Other variations are possible. These include: "skier", a side-to-side jump keeping the feet together; "bell", a front-and-back jump keeping the feet together; "scissors", a jump putting one foot forward and the other back, then switching back-and-forth; "jumping jack", a jump putting the feet apart and then together; and "can-can" a jump with one leg up and bent, followed by a jump with both feet on ground, followed by a jump kicking the foot out. The possibilities are endless, and many Grand National champions have routines consisting of tricks they made up.
In competitive jump rope, competitors are required to have three elements in their routine: Multiple unders (when the rope passes under the feet multiple times in the air), strength or inversion/displacement, which consists of tricks utilizing a jumper's strength such as the frog/donkey kick, and rope manipulations, when one or both of the handles are released and caught, when jumpers cross the rope over their body, or when they wrap it around one of their limbs. Crosses, side swings, EB jumps, toads, and inverse toads are all examples of rope manipulations.
In contrast to running, jumping rope is less likely to lead to knee damage since the impact of each jump or step is absorbed by the balls of both feet rather than the heels. This decreases the ground reaction forces through the patella-femoral joint greatly.
Skipping as exercise
Skipping may be used for a cardiovascular workout, similar to jogging or bicycle riding. This aerobic exercise can achieve a "burn rate" of up to 700 calories per hour of vigorous activity, with about 0.1 calories consumed per jump. Ten minutes of jumping rope is roughly the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile. Jumping rope for 15–20 minutes is enough to burn off the calories from a candy bar.
Weighted jump 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 jump rope technique is relatively simple compared to many other athletic activities. The exercise is also appropriate for a wide range of ages and fitness levels.
Jump rope is also considered a sport. Athletes compete in individual and team jump rope events using single ropes or double Dutch. In freestyle routines, jumpers have a set time limit to demonstrate a combination of skills in four categories- footwork, strength, multiple unders and rope manipulations; in some competitions these 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 102 right foot only jumps, set by Jolien Kempeneer (Female World Masters) from Belgium on August 7, 2012. Jake Eve (Male World Masters), from Australia, skipped 100 right foot only jumps on the same day. Chu Ting Ho from Hong Kong, skipped 500 in the 3 minute right foot only jumps in the Male World Masters competition on August 7, 2012. Paul Morning, from United States of America, has set the world record for most jumps in 10 seconds with 72 jumps.
The FISAC-IRSF World Rope Skipping Championships are held in July every other year. In 2006 Toronto, Canada hosted the event and in 2008 it was held in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2010, it was in Loughborough, England. It was held in Tampa, Florida at the University of South Florida from July 30-August 9, 2012. Countries that competed in the 2012 World Championships and World Youth Tournament are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Japan, Macao, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom and USA. The 4th Asian Rope Skipping Championship was held on 9 February 2007 at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi, India, organized by the Rope Skipping Federation of India. Jump rope exhibitions are also frequently staged at events such as festivals, charity functions, and sporting half-time shows.
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 jump rope moves, while the WRSF appreciated the aesthetics and form of jump roping. In 1995 these two organizations merged to form The United States Amateur Jump Rope Federation (USAJRF). USAJRF hosts annual national tournaments, as well as camps, work shops, and clinics on instruction. Jump rope is also part of the Amateur Athletic Union and participates in their annual AAU Junior Olympic Games.  
- "Jumping rope is cheap, portable, and burns more calories than you might think". WebMD. Retrieved 2007-07-29.
- "USA Jump Rope About Us". Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "AAU Jump Rope Home". Retrieved 2014-04-01.
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