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The Secret World Of Competitive Jump Rope

Jump rope has far passed its playground stereotypes. Here's your guide to the growing competitive sport you didn't even know existed.

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In this event, the jumper has to repeatedly execute speed steps as fast as they can for an allotted period of time.

Usually, there are three judges for each jumper who use clickers to keep track of how many times their right foot touches the ground.


Seems a little easy, no? Well things are about to get a whole lot harder with the freestyle events.


A single freestyle routine is 60 to 75 seconds, usually made up of four different sequences. Most freestyle routines are performed in a 40' x 40' space taped off into four quadrants.

Power tricks showcase how fast the jumper can move the rope around and under their feet in a single jump.


For example, the slowed-down gif above would be considered a quadruple-under because the rope makes four rotations in the air before the jumper's feet hits the ground.


A good speed dance is made up of many tricks that require movement in the feet or arms and a quick change of pace.


The tricks are strung together in a fast pace that requires extreme coordination and agility.

The speed dance sequence is a good opportunity for the jumper to move across their allotted space and give quick smiles to the judges.


If a jumper doesn't hit all four quadrants during their freestyle routine, the judges will mark them down.

One of the most creative sequences in a freestyle routine is called the manipulation sequence.

Rope manipulations are any tricks that require arm action. (e.g. arm tucks, crosses, whirls, etc.) These tricks take the longest to perfect but are hypnotizing to watch.


If you mess up doing a strength trick, your score will take a whipping.


For some jumpers, it's better to play it safe and have a polished routine largely made up of the other three elements than risk their rope flying while attempting a strength trick.


And if that's not enough routines to perfect, jumpers often compete in the Team Show event.


These team routines are set to music and made up of anywhere from six to a maximum of thirty jumpers per team.

But a jumper can't exert all of their energy into their freestyle routines. If they want to stay competitive, they need to jump higher than ever before for the Triple Unders event.


Unlike speed events, this one isn't timed because each jumper goes until they mess up. The jumper who does the most triples wins.

And yes, the rope goes under the jumper three times in one jump.

If you want to learn more about competitive world of jump rope, skip on over to the USA Jump Rope site.

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