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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 not sanction official events for high school or 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.
Explorers reported seeing aborigines jumping with vines in the 16th century. European boys started jumping rope in the early 17th century. The activity was considered indecent for girls because they might show their ankles. Girls began to jump rope in the 18th century, adding skipping chants, owning the rope, controlling the game, and deciding who may participate.
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 jumping rope, along with a host of contemporaries.
There are many techniques that can be used when skipping. These can be used individually or combined in a series to create a routine.
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 or easy jump
Jump with both feet slightly apart over the rope. Beginners usually master this technique first before moving onto more advanced techniques.
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.
Also known as crossover or cross arms. Perform the basic jump whilst crossing arms in front of the body.
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.
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.
Boxer jump rope
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.
Also known as Awesome Anna or swish. Alternates between a leg over and a toad without a jump in between.
Perform the toad whilst one arm crosses the adjacent leg from the outside.
A cross between the inverse toad and the toad, with both arms crossing under one leg.
Frog or Donkey kick
A triple-under where the first 'jump' is a side swing, the middle jump is a toad and the final jump in the open.
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.
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. 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.
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. These workouts can be done at home and do not require a lot of 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. 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. IRSO 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  was held at Dubai, November 2015. 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). Second, third and fourth  World Inter-School championships held in Hungary 2017, Hong Kong 2018 and Belgium 2019 respectively.
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.
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.
- Robert-Shaw, Scott. "The History of Skipping". Retrieved 6 December 2017.
- "The Jump Rope Book". HistoricalFolkToys.com. 1996. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
- "Jumping rope is cheap, portable, and burns more calories than you might think". WebMD. Retrieved 29 July 2007.
- "Why The Jump Rope Workout Is Everyone's New Fitness Obsession This Quarantine".
- "AAU Jump Rope Home". Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- Peter Skolnik (1975). Jump Rope. Workman Publishing Company. ISBN 0-911104-47-X.
- Elizabeth Loredo and Martha Cooper (1996). The Jump Rope Book. Workman Publishing Company. ISBN 0-7611-0448-8.
- Edward Jackowski (1995). Hold it!. Fireside. ISBN 0-671-89077-8. Compares jumping rope to other exercises
- Buddy Lee. Jump Rope Training. Human Kinetics Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7360-8159-7.
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