Jump rope, also known as rope skipping in various countries, dates back for centuries in some form. The sport has been played competitively in the US since the 1970s. “It’s a sport anyone can do. Whether they want to have their own fitness journey or get competitive, we will support them with that and connect them with people to learn from, all the way up to our elite level competitors that are competing up to World Championships,” Chris Brown, President of the American Jump Rope Federation says. Brown, a former jump-roper himself, used to travel the world competing in jump rope competitions and now volunteers his time to grow the sport in the US.
The American Jump Rope Federation (AMJRF) was founded in 2016 as the national governing body for the sport jump rope in the United States recognized by the International Jump Rope Union. The organization held its first national tournament in 2019 and is now back to hosting in-person nationals, with an open RFP for the 2023 event. Throughout the calendar year, the group is involved in regional tournaments. Their teams and clubs also put on their own tournaments in various areas. “We are trying to promote the sport of jump rope in the US. Our board members come from across the US. I’m here in Columbus, OH, but we have board members out in Seattle, etc.,” Brown shares.
The beauty of the sport is how much can be done with a jump rope. AMJRF events are broken into speed and freestyle events. The speed events are all about how fast athletes can go and are scored by how many jumps are done in a given time. AMJRF also has a consecutive triple under event. That is how many ‘triple unders’ athletes can jump while having the rope pass under them 3 times for every jump. At the freestyle events, individuals and teams can create routines, like Double Dutch freestyle, for example. “Individuals can participate in freestyle, or they can compete in teams. There are so many different events. People can specialize if they’d like and just focus on just one event. Or, many of our jumpers like to do a bunch of different events. There is that option as well,” Brown notes. The organization holds around 12-15 events per year, from regional tournaments up to Nationals.
The National Championships welcomes all ages, with categories ranging from an 11 and under group, 19+, 30+ and 50+. The 2022 National Championships were held from June 21-25th at the University of Cincinnati. The event was live streamed and also drew in-person spectators.
AMJRF is currently searching for their 2023, 2024, and 2025 National Championships locations with an open RFP on Playeasy. “Right now, we are working on securing our 2023 location. We are also looking to fill years in the future as well. We are open to pretty much anywhere. We’d love to connect with people about holding our events,” Brown shares. The group needs a couple of basketball-sized courts, as well as practice space for people in an auxiliary gym. “On our Finals Day, where the top overall score competes to become the Grand National Champion, we have that in a performance hall or theater, really upping the production value,” he continues.
Jump rope saw an increase in participation throughout the pandemic, as many individuals picked up ropes and started jumping thanks to the low cost and ability to do it at home. AMJRF also strategically grows the sport through its social media, events, and partnerships with various sports organizations. “It’s social media, and I think really it’s just connecting with people. Jump rope is such a healthy activity. Anyone can do it, whether they want to jump and/or turn a rope for someone else. You can do it at any level you want. We also have partnerships we’re working on with multiple types of sport organizations. We are holding tournaments where people can compete at the level they’d like,” Brown mentions.
Individuals can sign up as members of the American Jump Rope Federation, or teams can sign up as group members. The organization’s role is to ensure that teams and clubs that are hosting events are supported. “We also handle the qualifying to the World Championships. We try to put out as many resources as we can for our members to help jump rope grow in the US,” Brown notes.
We’ve seen a lot of people just pick up a rope and start jumping during the pandemic. Especially because it’s something you can do in your home. Ropes are inexpensive. We have social media that we put out and we can connect to people with different tutorials and videos. We have several jumpers that are current and former jumpers that show you how to do different skills. That is one of the coolest parts. You can unlock new skills and learn new things and there are so many different possibilities of what you can learn. You can connect with us on social media and/or go to our website, and if you have questions, reach out to us at [email protected]Chris Brown, President, AMJRF
AMJRF is looking to get jump rope involved in some way in the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, like possibly putting on half time shows at certain events. In the future, the goal is to become an Olympic sport, and the group is working with the Olympic and Paralympic Committees in the US. AMJRF also focuses on connecting with different communities, striving to get jump rope organized in every state. “At the end of the day, we also just want people to enjoy jump roping and to see individuals from all over the country jumping,” Brown says. “We want to ensure our events and sport are mutually beneficial for everyone: the communities that host us, the athletes, and spectators. We work to host and attend different events in the community and draw people in by providing them access to this healthy sport that connects people,” he adds.
Check out the 2023 National Championships RFP here to see if you could be a good fit to host this exciting event!
For more information on the AMJRF, or to connect on how you could host a future event, head to their Playeasy profile here!