USA Jump Rope All Star Update

I just got back last night from judging the 2007 USA Jump Rope All-Star Team tryouts and my adrenaline is still pumping! The future of this sport is in great hands. Out of 50 candidates, we selected 24 jumpers that will spend the next 2 years being ambassadors for the sport of Jump Rope as they travel around the world performing and teaching. These 24 jumpers were selected by a panel of 12 judges that observed each candidate of the course of the last 3 days.

Each candidate had to go through a very rigorous selection process. On Friday they had to dress up for a 5 minutes taped interview in front of our panel of judges. On Saturday they had to teach an all day workshop while the judges observed and scored them on their teaching ability. On Sunday they had to go through a very difficult day of demonstrating their jumping ability. They were judged in 4 separate events. Each jumper had to learn a very difficult single rope group routine. After that they had to do a single rope freestyle. Then they were randomly assigned to a 3 person team and had to create a double dutch freestyle. Finally they had to demonstrate their mastery of 3-person chinese wheel.

I was very impressed at how far the sport has come in the last few years. These jumpers have taken everything I was doing 10 years ago to an entirely new level. They didn’t just pass me in skill level, they leap frogged me and did a backflip TJ triple before landing.

Here is a taste of what these kids can do. I had the chance to meet some of the jumpers in this video this weekend. This video is of the Bouncing Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are the subject of the new jump rope documentary “Doubletime” by director Stephanie Johnes. They are great kids and amazing athletes. I can’t wait to see what tricks they will come up with next.

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Dr. Jump – Ken Solis

Ken Solis (aka “Dr. Jump“) has been involved with jump rope since the late 70’s. I had the opportunity to work with Ken on the board of directors for USAJRF in the late 90’s. As an engineer myself, I really appreciate Ken’s academic approach to the science and history of jump rope.

Ken has a distinct performance style that is unique in the world of Jump rope, which is demonstrated in this video. I think he deserves a lot of credit as an early innovator in the area of rope manipulation.

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Japan Worlds Double Dutch Routine

One of the things I really love about jump rope is the infinite variety of things that can be done. The opportunity to be creative is literally unlimited in this sport. I’ve been involved with jump rope for over 20 years, and I still see new things all the time. This team from Japan has a series of unique double dutch tricks that are really cool. I really love the spin move that the girl does with her leg raised while the turners stall the ropes. I also like their incorporation of break dance moves.

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