What is Jump Rope?

There are three different forms of jump rope (which is called skipping outside of the U.S.).  They are: single rope, Double Dutch and Chinese Wheel.

Single Rope

An example of single rope
Single Rope

Single rope is when one person turns and jumps the same rope.  There are three main events – speed, power and freestyle.


Speed jumping is just what the name suggests – how fast can you go!  In competition it is judged over 30 seconds, 1 minute and 3 minutes (which is also called endurance).  The participants are judged on how many times they jump a single revolution of the rope during the allowed time.  In competition there are different variations for teams of four called Speed Relay and Speed Medley.


Power is a more advanced skill that requires sustained strength.  There are two key events double-unders and triple-unders, meaning that the rope is turned twice or three times, respectively, between each double footed jump.


Single rope freestyle is when the participant performs a routine (sometimes to music) either alone, in a pair, or as part of a larger team.  In competition the participant is judged on the content and presentation of the tricks they perform.

Double Dutch

An example of Double Dutch
Double Dutch

Double Dutch is performed by three or more people.  Two people turn two long ropes (one held in each hand) in opposite directions while one or more people jump the rope.


Like single rope, there are speed and freestyle events in competition.

Chinese Wheel

An example of Chinese Wheel
An example of Chinese Wheel

There are a number of different variations of Chinese Wheel including:

  • Two people with two ropes, both jumping but sharing different rope handles.
  • Two people jumping one rope, but both turning.
  • Two people with one rope and one person turning.  Both people jumping.
  • One person traveling down a line of other jumpers with both people jumping.  This trick is known as The Traveler and is popular at performances. 

The different variations of Chinese Wheel normally feature in shows or in competition as part of a pairs or team freestyle routine.