Speed Signals Sounds and Call-Outs

This week on the blog, we will discuss the speed timing tracks. We have identified some key differences and issues that we are attempting to resolve with clearer definitions than FISAC-IRSF and WJRF had respectively. And this week, we’d like to guide you through our suggestion for new time tracks, part by part.

Start

This is the part where the event is presented to the athletes and where the athletes prepare for the event.

The Technical Congress have identified one key problem with the FISAC-IRSF and WJRF time tracks where a simple merge cannot occur. FISAC-IRSF uses "skippers ready" and WJRF uses "jumpers ready" when preparing the athletes for the start. IJRU's standpoint is that "Skipping/Jumping" (Rope Skipping/Jump Rope") should always be used in an official context, but we all agree that "jumpers slash skippers ready" sounds flat out bad in a “ready, set, go” call-out. Because of this, the Technical Congress proposes the wording "Athletes ready" to provide a neutral solution.

Therefore, all speed time tracks should start as follows:

"<Event Name> <Event Time> <2.000 seconds silence> Judges Ready? <0.500 seconds silence> Athletes Reday? <0.500 seconds silence> Set <0.500 seconds silence> <0.350 seconds BEEP>"

Where “<Event Time>” is defined as "[<N> times] <Time> seconds" where [<N> times] is only required if the event is performed in a relay fashion. (For example: “four times thirty seconds” or “one hundred eighty seconds”) All time definitions in the event presentation come in seconds. We wanted to add the time definition of the event to the start of the timing track to make it easier to confirm that the correct timing track is being played.

speed-start-timeline.jpg

We also identified a problem where athletes sometimes misinterpret switch signals in FISAC-IRSF as a stop signals, because they sound exactly alike. However, to make the switch and stop signals as audible as possible, and as easy as possible to distinguish from the time call-outs we want to use beeps instead of spoken signals. Therefore, we want to use different frequencies for the start/stop signal and the switch signal.

As a baseline we averaged the frequencies of the sound FISAC-IRSF uses (a square wave with a frequency of 694 Hz) with the sound WJRF uses (a square wave with a frequency of 463 Hz). We then ended up at a square wave of 578.5 Hz, which conveniently enough is really close to the tone D5 (578.3 Hz) in standard tuning (A = 440 Hz).

To separate the start/stop beeps from the switch beeps we simply moved one whole step down the chromatic scale to a C5 (525.3 Hz) for the switch beeps.

Both the FISAC-IRSF and WJRF beeps are approximately 350 ms long, and we don’t see any reason to change that.

If we evaluate where those frequencies land in a Fletcher-Munson Curve, which approximates the loudness a normal-hearing person can perceive different frequencies, we can draw the conclusion that the IJRU sound should be well within an easily audible range. Below we’ve marked (from left to right) the FISAC-IRSF beep sound, the IJRU beep sound and the WJRF beep sound.

 “ Approximate equal loudness curves derived from Fletcher and Munson (1933) plus modern sources for frequencies &gt; 16kHz. The absolute threshold of hearing and threshold of pain curves are marked in red. Subsequent researchers refined these readings, culminating in the Phon scale and the ISO 226 standard equal loudness curves. Modern data indicates that the ear is significantly less sensitive to low frequencies than Fletcher and Munson's results. ” Image and description from  this fantastic article by Monty from xiph   Green vertical lines added compared to original image, used with permission (C) Copyright 2012 Red Hat Inc. and Xiph.Org

Approximate equal loudness curves derived from Fletcher and Munson (1933) plus modern sources for frequencies > 16kHz. The absolute threshold of hearing and threshold of pain curves are marked in red. Subsequent researchers refined these readings, culminating in the Phon scale and the ISO 226 standard equal loudness curves. Modern data indicates that the ear is significantly less sensitive to low frequencies than Fletcher and Munson's results.” Image and description from this fantastic article by Monty from xiph

Green vertical lines added compared to original image, used with permission (C) Copyright 2012 Red Hat Inc. and Xiph.Org

While looking at the image above it might seem like the “optimal” frequency would be around 3500 Hz (approx. a G#7) but that doesn’t sound as pleasing. 1000 Hz was, however, a promising candidate for a beep sound.

We also reviewed a bunch of videos from competitions and speed events and what sounds were heard during those. Interestingly, we could see that there’s relatively little sound around 400-600 Hz where we’ve suggested placing the beep sounds, which should once again make them as audible as possible. We also recognized that when the audience began cheering at the end of the events the frequencies around 1000 Hz got very crowded, and that could in turn make a 1000 Hz beep less audible. Therefore, we decided to keep the beeps with lower frequencies to make them a bit more audible.

 Sound spectrogram of  this  speed event from the FISAC-IRSF Championships in Sweden 2016. X-axis is time, y-axis is frequency. more red means more sound in that frequency at that time, blue represents less.

Sound spectrogram of this speed event from the FISAC-IRSF Championships in Sweden 2016. X-axis is time, y-axis is frequency. more red means more sound in that frequency at that time, blue represents less.

We had discussions about replacing the spoken “judges ready? athletes ready? set.” part with a series of beep sounds, like in alpine skiing, however, we felt that a spoken time track does feel less robotic and thus a bit more welcoming.

We also discussed randomizing the time between the “set” and the start beep every time the event occurs, like in a track sprint event, for example. However, we’ve decided that we’re more interested in testing the athlete’s speed than testing the athlete’s reaction time, and we believe that randomizing the start time is not beneficial.

Time Call-outs

To distinguish time call outs from start, stop, and switch signals, we are proposing keeping those as spoken call-outs; and to avoid unnecessary wordiness we have omitted the word “seconds” in those call-outs.

We have tried to derive a formula for time call-outs, like we’ve done with the start of the time tracks. Best described with the following table.

We did this so that if events are added in the future, or if you run a local competition with different speed events, it should be easy to know exactly how the time track for that event should sound.

Athlete compete time
Less than or
equal to 1 minute
More than 1 minute Soft Limit
Event
duration
Less than or
equal to 1 minute
Every 10 seconds
More than 1 minute Every 15 seconds Every 30 seconds
and last 15 seconds
No Limit At soft limit

For triple unders and the call-outs would be “15”.

For all the IJRU team speed events the call-outs would be “15” and for Double Dutch Speed Sprint on “15, 30, 45”.

For Single Rope Speed Sprint the call-outs would be “10, 20”.

For Single Rope Speed Endurance the call-outs would be “30, 1 minute, 30, 2 minutes, 30, 45”.

In addition to these rules, we are proposing that any events this table doesn’t cover, that are shorter than or equal to a minute, should have call outs after half the event, rounded to the closest 5 seconds. If each athlete’s section is longer than a minute, call outs should be made every 30 seconds, and once halfway between the last “30” or “X minute(s)” call-out and the end beep, rounded to the closest 5’th second.

Examples

Note that these examples are NOT the final or official time tracks. Although, they are accurate in timing, some different accentuations might be made in the final versions, and a different voice might be used.

Community Commentary

We are still working through your feedback from last week, and will resume the community commentary feature next week.

Please take a moment to reply to the survey on last week’s post about Presentation Judging! We really want your input!

Also, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get notified when we publish a new blog topic!

Until next week,
The IJRU Technical Congress

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Presentation Judging Part 2: The Athlete and the Routine

This week on the blog, we will continue our discussion on presentation judging. We will outline the two different types of presentation judges that the Technical Congress recommends and what aspects each set of presentation judges will be responsible for judging. This will hopefully help to clear up some of the questions that members of the community had in regards to last week’s post on repeated skills.

The previous WJRF presentation judging system consisted of 1 set of 3 presentation judges. These 3 judges were responsible for evaluating the technical presentation and entertainment value of a routine. They used a tablet and software app to insert the presentation score in real time by pressing +/✓/- buttons. A plus was awarded anytime an athlete excelled in their presentation, a check was awarded for average presentation, and a minus was used when something detracted from the presentation. We believe that having three judges is too few to evaluate all presentation components. However, we like the idea of using an electronic device to input scores in real time. We feel this will help remove the potential for bias and human error from a judge trying to tabulate a score at the end of a routine. This also removes calculations from the judges’ responsibilities.

The previous FISAC-IRSF presentation judging system consisted of 1 set of 5 presentation judges. These 5 judges watched for use of music, skipping to the beat, movement, form and execution, originality, and overall impression. Presentation judges were asked to make marks on paper each time they saw an athlete use their music, for example. At the end of the routine, the judges would add up these marks and tabulate a total score based on the weighting of each component. We like that FISAC-IRSF included more presentation judges and divided presentation into 6 different components. However, we think that moving to an electronic device will help eliminate any potential tabulation errors, and splitting them into two types of presentation judges will allow each judge to focus on evaluating fewer components.

The Technical Congress has decided to divide presentation judging into two separate types: 1 that judges the choreography of the routine and 1 that judges how well the athlete performs the routine. By dividing these tasks, we hope to make presentation judging easier for the judges because they are watching for less. We also hope this will result in more consistent judging that will ultimately benefit the athletes and sport. We have not determined how many judges will be included in each set of presentation judges, but there will likely be a minimum of 3 per presentation judge type, which is more than either WJRF or FISAC-IRSF. We also want the judges to regularly enter scores in a concrete way throughout the routine.

Presentation Judge Type 1: Athlete Presentation

One set of presentation judges will be watching how well the athlete performs their routine. This will then be subdivided into two components: form/execution and style.

Form and Execution

  • Posture/clear lines

    • For this component, judges will watch to make sure that athletes are not hunched over during skills, that their legs are straight for certain gymnastics moves, that they don’t sag in their push-ups, etc. There are a number of skills that are more impressive if performed using proper form and posture. As a result, we believe the form and body positioning of the athlete should be judged.

  • Amplitude

    • defined as how high the athlete jumps during skills. Multiples and some power/gymnastics skills, for example, are more impressive when athletes get a lot of height on their jumps. This makes the routine more exciting to watch and demonstrates a strong level of execution.

  • Bobbles/wobbling rope/arch of the rope

    • Because we have eliminated minor and major misses, we believe it is important to watch and deduct for any bobbles, wobbling ropes, or ropes that catch on an athlete, but don’t actually stop. These types of execution errors detract from the overall performance in a freestyle routine and should be judged.

Style

  • Confidence

    • Presentation judges will reward athletes who make eye contact with the judges and audience, rather than looking at the floor. Some display of confidence adds to the overall presentation of a routine.

  • Professionalism

    • The way an athlete behaves while on the competition floor can also impact their overall presentation. We want to encourage athletes to conduct themselves in a professional manner. For example, laughing after a mistake, eye-rolling, arguing with teammates during a routine will negatively impact the presentation and this will be reflected in the score. Conversely, an athlete who performs with poise and professionalism should be rewarded.

  • Appearance

    • We want our athletes to look professional and part of that is through appearance. Uniforms should be clean, hair should be pulled off the face and not interfere with the performance in any way, and jewelry (if worn) shouldn’t interfere with or detract from the performance.

  • Showmanship/Stage presence

    • Here the judges can watch for personality, how well the athlete commands attention from the audience, and their overall style. A great performer will draw in their audience and make a connection. 

Presentation Judge Type 2: Routine Choreography

The other set of presentation judges will be watching how well the routine was choreographed. This will then be subdivided into two components: entertainment and musicality.

Entertainment

  • Creativity/uniqueness

    • We have identified creativity as a key component in a winning routine and believe that unique skills, combinations, and choreography add to the entertainment value of a routine. As a result, judges will reward athletes that put together unique and creative routines by looking for innovative skills and combinations that help push the sport forward. 

  • Lack of repetition/repeated skills

    • Repetition and repeated skills detract from the entertainment of a routine. When a routine consists of repetitive skills, it becomes boring for the audience; this also includes large sections of a routine that contain similar looking skills. In order to account for this, athletes will receive a lower presentation score if their routine is repetitive.

  • Movement

    • Movement across the competition floor also adds to the entertainment value. If an athlete remains in the same place for their entire routine, this can look repetitive and it will be less dynamic and entertaining for the audience. As a result, athletes will be rewarded for moving across the floor in a creative and unpredictable way.

  • Flow

    • Routines that look choppy are not as entertaining as those that flow smoothly from start to finish. Creating smooth transitions will add to an athlete’s presentation score.

  • Wow factor/unexpected skills

    • We also want to encourage athletes to push the boundaries of the sport in their choreography and skill selection. Having skills that are really impressive and unexpected adds to the wow factor of a routine and is something that the presentation judges will reward. That being said, we don’t want athletes to attempt skills that they have not perfected. An athlete’s presentation score will decrease if they fall or stumble while attempting a skill. This will encourage athletes to only attempt skills that they can safely perfom.

Musicality

  • Beats/Accents

    • Routines that are well-choreographed to the music are more exciting to watch, and the use of music can add to the overall presentation. If an athlete is able to use the music by jumping/skipping to the beat and hitting accents, they will receive a higher presentation score.

  • Story-telling/mood matching

    • Selecting a song and altering the mood and style of choreography to match the song is one way that an athlete can tell a story in their routine.

Additional Information

  • We are aware that some of the categories and components that we have identified overlap in a number of ways. At this stage, we are still working through this system and are interested in hearing your feedback. Do you think any aspects of presentation are missing from this system?

  • We have also not yet assigned a weight for each category and component of the presentation judging system. Our working process is to first create a basic outline of the judging system that includes the presentation judging categories and components, as well as the difficulty levels for each skill/type of skill. Then, once that is completed, we will test the system by judging a wide range of routines at a variety of skill levels. This will allow us to understand the impact that certain decisions will have on the score of a routine.

  • Below we have outlined two ways we could approach the weighting of presentation. We are looking for general feedback on each and are open to alternative suggestions.

    • Each category could be worth the same percentage of the total score. For example, if presentation was worth 40% of the total score, each category could be worth 20%. Then each of the four components could also be weighted equally at 10% each. In this scenario, we would be weighting each category and component the same because we believe they are equally important aspects of a winning routine.

    • Alternatively, we could weigh some components of presentation higher than others. For example, the Routine Choreography category could be worth 25% of the score and the Athlete Presentation category could be worth 15%. Then each subcategory could also be weighted differently. In this scenario, we would be valuing Routine Choreography more in the judging system.

Please fill out the survey at the end of the post to provide your feedback, questions, and comments on this basic outline of the IJRU presentation judging system. This is still very much a work-in-progress, so all suggestions are welcome!

Community Commentary

What is the definition of a repeated skill?

Many comments we received last week questioned how IJRU defines repeated skills. We feel it is important to clarify this issue and provide a more substantive definition. A repeated skill is any time an athlete or team completes the exact same skill within a routine. For example, a frog is a different skill than a frog-cross, double under frog, or frog-AS. The way in which athletes enter and exit skills, turner involvement, and multiples can add variation to a base skill and these skills will not receive deductions for repetition. However, if an athlete in a double dutch freestyle completed a standard frog during their routine and then another athlete on the same team completed a standard frog later, the routine would receive a deduction for repetition. This can be hard for judges to track throughout a routine, so we understand that this will likely only be detected if it is obvious to the judges that skills are being repeated. We also believe that repetitive movements should be avoided and therefore they will receive detract from the presentation score as well. For example, if an athlete completed a long multiples combination that was made up of mostly forward side-swing multiples without leg crosses or rotating, over time this will begin to look repetitive and will detract from the entertainment value of the routine. We understand that presentation judging will always include some subjectivity, but we would like the judging and training system to be as accurate and objective as possible.

Will presentation judges really be able to account for each repeated skill in a routine. Are we just moving the problem of repeated skills from the difficulty judges to the presentation judges? Should there be a separate panel of judges that only look for repeated skills?

We feel that repeated skills and repetitive choreography act in opposition to original/unique skills and combinations. As a result, we feel that it makes sense logically for presentation judges, specifically those watching the entertainment value of a routine, to account for repeated skills. Because we have decided to divide up presentation judging into two judge types that each watch for different components, we don’t feel we are asking too much of these judges.

I think a lot of people are waiting to see the whole draft rulebook/judging guide so we can start our own regional and national discussions. We were told in July that the rules would be sent out in October and although I have been enjoying the blog posts (which are very informative), it is very slow and at this rate we won't know the whole system until it's too late to make suggested changes before countries have to start implementing the rules.

We understand that the community is eager to see an entire draft of the rulebook, but we also want to make sure that we spend time carefully considering each rule and testing it to make sure that it will fit with the larger vision the IJRU has for the growth and development of the sport. We are also committed to receiving input and feedback from the community and this inevitably takes time. The IJRU Board of Directors stated that 80% of the rules would be communicated to the general membership between October 2018 and January 2019, and this is one of the roles of the blog. We are working diligently to have a draft version of the rulebook available in late January/early February to allow time for consultation and feedback prior to the AGM in July.

We have started writing and editing a copy of the rulebook, and we want the community to understand that this process takes time. Each word and phrase must be carefully considered to ensure that we are adequately communicating each rule with the intended meaning and in the simplest terms. We also need to structure the rulebook so that it is logically organized and easily searchable. Please continue to stick with us as we work through this process together.

Until next week,
The IJRU Technical Congress

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Presentation Judging Part 1: Repeating Skills

This week on the blog, we are discussing repeating skills. Variation was one of the key elements of a winning routine that the Technical Congress identified. We believe that the rulebook can promote variation by encouraging athletes to avoid repetition. We want athletes to be rewarded for creating original choreography that demonstrates a large range of skills. One way we have done this is through required elements, which were discussed on the blog last week. Athletes are required to perform a variety of different types of skills during their freestyle routines, in order to avoid a deduction. Another way this can be done is by deducting from the presentation score when a skill is repeated.

In the FISAC-IRSF judging system, repeated skills were not scored. Although this is one way to encourage athletes to avoid repetition, we believe that this is not the most effective method. In the IJRU judging system, every single skill that an athlete performs will be judged and scored by the content/difficulty judges. If an athlete performs a skill for a second or even third time during their routine, that skill doesn’t actually become any less difficult. As a result, we believe the skill should be awarded a difficulty level and corresponding point value. Instead, the IJRU Technical Congress has decided to subtract from the presentation score each time a skill is repeated during a routine. We believe that repeating skills actually detracts from the originality and creativity of a routine; therefore, it makes sense for this to fall under the presentation score. In order to meet this need, we plan to make the presentation judging system as objective as possible. Judges will be asked to input scores while watching a routine in real time. This way, any time a repeated skill is identified by a presentation judge, they will input a deduction to the system as it happens.

Both FISAC-IRSF and WJRF wanted to encourage athletes to be creative and avoid repetition. We agree and believe that this is best tackled by the presentation judges. Next week, we will continue to discuss presentation judging in more detail. 

Community Commentary

I believe that interactions are an important required element for single rope, but requiring 4 may be too time consuming.

Thank you for your comment. In order to address this, we will explain how we have defined interactions for single rope more clearly. An interaction is defined as any skill that involves two or more people, including scoops, stacked power, assisted gymnastics, and exchanging handles. Each individual skill completed in this way is considered an interaction; therefore, we don’t believe they will take significantly longer to complete than any of the other required elements. For example, if an athlete scoops another athlete while doing a multiple and then does a cross-scoop during the next jump, this would be considered two skills. In previous judging systems, an interaction was defined as any time the athletes came together, performed a series of skills, and then separated. In our definition, each skill performed while the athletes are interacting, even within the same combination or sequence, are considered individual interactions. As a result, we don’t think it will be too time consuming to complete this required element.

Will an athlete/team have to fulfill all required elements to receive no deduction or will it be like FISAC-IRSF in that you can get a maximum score by fulfilling a minimum required elements standard?

In order to receive no deduction, athletes will need to fulfill all of the required elements. The IJRU system does not require as many elements as the FISAC-IRSF model, and as a result, this rule will not impact an athlete’s ability to create an original and engaging routine. We also believe that if a certain element is “required,” there should not be a way to get full points without actually completing each element. In the IJRU system, failure to meet each required element will result in a deduction, instead of additional points. You can also get a partial deduction if you only complete some, but not all, of the elements. For example, if you completed 3 of 4 power/gymnastics skills you would receive 1 deduction, and if you completed 2 of 4 power/gymnastics skills you would receive 2 deductions.

Crosses are just as foundational to single rope freestyle as multiples and power. They act as a building block for a number of different skills and perhaps should be included as a required element.

We can discuss the option of adding crosses to the list of required elements. They could possibly be added to the section on wraps and rope throws if we rename that element rope manipulations. It may not be necessary to require crosses, since most routines will include at least four crosses, regardless of whether or not they are required by the ruleset. What do you think? Should crosses be added as a required element? Should they be combined with wraps and rope throws as a form of rope manipulation? Or should they be their own distinct element?

I believe there should be more turner involvement skills required in double dutch freestyle.

We understand that turner involvement is a very important aspect of double dutch freestyle and is one way that athletes can add to their difficulty score. It is important to remember that just because we are only requiring 4 skills doesn’t mean that athletes can’t complete more than 4 turner involvement skills in their routine. Athletes are encouraged to be creative and choreograph dynamic and difficult routines. The number of required elements act as a minimum not a maximum.

Until next week,
The IJRU Technical Congress

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Required Elements

This week on the blog, we will be discussing required elements. We have made some changes to the way both FISAC-IRSF and WJRF scored required elements. The Technical Congress believes that the purpose of required elements is to ensure that athletes display a variety of skills in their routines, in order to make them entertaining and dynamic for audiences.  Required elements also encourage athletes to become well-rounded freestyle athletes because they need to demonstrate that they can complete a number of different types of freestyle skills, rather than rely solely on power or multiples, for example. We feel that the FISAC-IRSF and WJRF rules didn’t fully promote these outcomes. We believe the FISAC-IRSF rule included too many required elements and we felt that this could limit an athlete’s ability to creatively put together an entertaining routine. In contrast, we think the WJRF rules didn’t place enough emphasis on required elements. We felt that only requiring athletes to perform one skill doesn’t adequately demonstrate that they have a basic ability in that element of the sport.

In the IJRU judging system, required elements will be counted by deduction judges. Deduction judges will also count mistakes, space, and time violations. For every required element an athlete has not completed, they will receive a deduction from the total raw score.

The difficulty level of all required elements will be awarded by the difficulty/content judges. Competitive athletes should be able to complete the required elements regardless of their skill level. This means that there will be no difficulty level associated with required elements. For example, a level 1 power skill will count as a required power element.

Single Rope Required Elements

  • 4 Different Multiples

    • These multiples can be double unders, triples, quads etc. In the former FISAC-IRSF rulebook, multiples needed to be completed in sets. In the IJRU rulebook, multiples do not need to be completed in a set, however, athletes can choose to perform all 4 multiples in a row. We do not want to restrict athletes by requiring a large number of sets, which may result in freestyle routines looking similar. Instead, athletes have the ability to choreograph their routine as they see fit, as long as they include a minimum of 4 multiple skills.

  • 4 Different Gymnastics/Power Skills

    • The athlete(s) can choose to perform 4 different gymnastics and/or power skills with their rope. Any combination is accepted. For instance, athletes could choose to do 1 gymnastics skill and 3 power skills, or 4 power skills and no gymnastics skills, in order to fulfil this required element. This allows the athletes a bit of freedom to choose skills and will help to ensure that skills are performed safely. We don’t want to see athletes perform gymnastics skills that they have not fully perfected in order to avoid a required element deduction. We feel that gymnastics and power skills both test strength and power and as a result are interchangeable. Because it has been determined that a difficulty level should not be associated with required elements, athletes do not need to pull the rope under themselves before landing power skills, but will need to jump/skip the rope after landing for the skills to be counted.

  • 4 Different Manipulations (Wraps/Releases)

    • The athletes are required to perform 4 different wraps and/or releases. Wraps and releases showcase an athlete’s ability to complete intricate rope manipulations. As a result, we feel as though both wraps and releases test a similar skillset. In order for a skill to count as a wrap, the rope must wrap and then unwrap. Similarly, in order for a release to count, the athlete(s) must release and then catch the rope. If an athlete releases a handle and then catches it with another body part, then wraps and unwraps the rope around a body part, and then catches the rope in their hand, this would count as 1 release and 1 wrap and the athlete would fulfil 2 of the manipulation elements in one sequence. Athletes do not need to jump/skip the rope during a wrap or release in order to fulfil the required element; instead, this will impact the difficulty level of the skill and will be recorded by the difficulty/content judges.

  • 4 Different Interactions

    • In pairs and team freestyle, interactions are required. When athletes interact with each other during pairs and team freestyle events, it makes these events more appealing to watch. Interactions also make pairs and team freestyle events different from an individual single rope routine and as a result, we want to encourage athletes to perform these skills. Interactions in single rope freestyle events include, but are not limited to, scoops, assisted flips, stacked power, switching handles, etc.  

Additional Information

  • In single rope pairs and team freestyle events, all the athletes must do the required element at the same time. For example, a scoop frog is only an interaction. It is not a power required element because all athletes aren't performing the power skill.

  • More than one required element can be completed in a single skill. For example, a double under frog/mule kick is a multiple required element and a power required element.

  • Athletes will not be awarded a required element skill if they are not holding the rope handles. For example, if an athlete puts the rope down and performs a gymnastics skill, that is not considered a jump rope skill and will not fulfil one of the gymnastics/power required elements. Athletes need to complete the skill while holding the rope and then jump the rope immediately after the skill in order for it to count.

Double Dutch Required Elements

  • 4 Different Gymnastics/Power Skills

    • The team can choose to perform 4 different gymnastics and/or power skills with the ropes. Any combination is accepted. For example, a team could do 3 gymnastics skills and only 1 power skill, or 4 power skills and no gymnastics skills in order to fulfil this required element. A power combination that contains a frog to split to push-up to crab includes 4 different power skills and would fulfil the required element.

  • 4 Different Turner Involvement Skills

    • In order to make double dutch freestyle more dynamic, turner involvement can raise the difficulty level and entertainment value of a routine. As a result, we want to encourage teams to include turner involvement. Turner involvement includes, but is not limited to, multiples, wheel, turning with one or both arms in a restricted position, jump-throughs, power/gymnastics skills while holding the ropes, etc.

  • 4 Different Interactions (Double Dutch Pair & Double Dutch Triad Freestyle)

    • We want to encourage athletes to complete athlete interactions during double dutch pairs and triad events because this makes the event more dynamic and also creates a significantly different routine than a double dutch singles freestyle. Athlete interactions include any skills completed while athletes make contact with each other, or move over/under or around each other. For example, a subway, assisted flip, leap frog, stacked power, linked arms etc would all count as skills that involve interactions. The athletes do not need to be performing the same skill in order for an interaction to take place. Switches are not considered interactions.

  • 4 Skills Performed in the Ropes

    • In all double dutch freestyle events, every athlete on the team needs to jump and turn at some point. This demonstrates that the athletes are well-rounded and creates a more dynamic and entertaining routine. In order to fulfil this required element, each individual on a team must complete 4 skills in the ropes. These 4 skills do not need to be completed in a row in order to count. For example, an athlete could perform 2 skills, then switch with a turner and later in the routine re-enter the ropes and perform 2 more skills.  

Additional Information

  • The required elements listed above do not need to be completed by each athlete on the team. For example, one athlete could complete all 4 of the gymnastics/power skills.

  • In double dutch pairs and triad, all jumpers do not need to be completing the same power/gymnastics skill in order to count a required element, but they all need to be completing a power/gymnastics skill simultaneously. For example, one athlete may do a push-up while another athlete does a frog over their feet, which would count as 1 power/gymnastics skill. Similarly, in triad, if two athletes do a front tuck and one athlete does a back tuck at the same time, this would count as 1 power/gymnastics skill. If one athlete does a push-up while the other athlete does a side straddle over their legs, this is not considered a power skill because both athletes are not completing a power skill. The only exception to this rule is assisted power/gymnastics. If one athlete assists another athlete during a power or gymnastics skill, this will count towards the required element. The reason for this is because the athlete assisting is still using strength and power to help complete the skill. For example, an assisted aerial would count as 1 power/gymnastics and 1 interaction by the deduction judges.

  • Skills that are performed outside of the ropes will not be counted towards required elements. For example, if an athlete performs a round-off outside of the ropes as a way to move across the floor, it will not be considered a gymnastics required element.

Community Commentary

We would like to thank everyone for sharing their thoughts and suggestions with the Technical Congress over the past few weeks and we would like to encourage you to continue reading, commenting, and sharing our weekly posts with those in the jump rope/rope skipping community. The majority of respondents to last week’s survey agreed with our definitions for each deduction, however, we did receive a few suggestions for alternative ways to define space/time violations, as well as mistakes. We will be taking this feedback into consideration as we continue to develop the rule book. Here are a few suggestions that we received:

Maintain two different types of mistakes, but instead of distinguishing them with time (i.e. two seconds), distinguish them by counting two beats.

In this case, we still believe that asking the judges to count two beats of music or two seconds of time is too subjective, leaves room for error, and the length of time between beats of different songs varies. Instead, we feel that if any noticeable mistake is made, a consistent amount should be deducted. Any bobbles could be deducted in the presentation score. This will help to make the judging of freestyle more consistent.

In speed, if an athlete is jumping on the boundary and one foot continually goes out of the box with every jump, don’t count the jumps, but also don’t continue to give a space violation every time their foot touches outside the boundary.

We will discuss this suggestion at an upcoming meeting as a group. We could change the wording to include that you cannot receive another space violation until you have completed a skill/jump within the set boundary. In other words, you must fully re-enter the boundary before a second space violation can be issued.

What happens if devices/programs read times on music files differently?

We feel this type of discrepancy can be avoided by using a consistent device and program to play the music. This is something we will consider further to ensure that there is consistency between athletes and we can adequately discern the length of each music track.

Could we adjust the definition of a miss/mistake to remove the word “unintentionally” and add more clarification of when the rope(s) could stop and not be considered a miss instead? Asking judges to read the intent of an athlete could very likely result in variance of how judges score misses and introduce subjectivity, which I believe you are rightly trying to avoid. I have discussed this with several athletes and judges and maybe we could build off a definition something like the following: “A mistake/miss is defined as any of the following:

  • any time a rope stops, unless an athlete is wrapping the rope, changing the direction of the rope, trapping the rope on a body part, and/or catching the rope in a pose

  • if an athlete attempts to grasp the rope and misses catching any part of the rope during a release

  • if a rope is pulled out of an athlete’s hand during a skill because the rope caught on an athlete’s body” (the implication for the rope being pulled out of the athlete’s hand is that they need to clearly release/let go of the rope for a miss to not be counted, rather than it accidentally catching on their body and being pulled out of their hand)

Are there other examples we can think of where it would not be a miss to stop the rope?

This is something the Technical Congress will need to discuss further before we can fully respond. We agree that a mistake needs to be clearly defined and will take this wording into consideration. At this point, we would be interested in hearing other feedback from the community regarding the wording of this definition. Is there anything that could be added to this definition that would help judges adequately identify a mistake?

Until next week,
The IJRU Technical Congress

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Freestyle Deductions

This week on the blog, we will be discussing a variety of different freestyle deductions, including mistakes, required elements, space, and time violations. This post will define each category and why we think a deduction should be made when these occurs. We will also discuss which judges will watch for deductions and why. As usual, if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please fill out the survey at the end of the post so we can engage with your feedback next week!

Deduction Judges

In the IJRU judging system, deduction judges will count mistakes, required elements, space, and time violations. The reason for creating a separate panel of deduction judges is to divide up the tasks each judge is asked to perform, so that each judge (deduction, difficulty/content, and presentation) can focus on less tasks at a time and can have a better opportunity to produce more accurate scores.

Mistakes

In both FISAC-IRSF and WJRF, mistakes were divided into two categories: major mistakes and minor mistakes. A major mistake was defined by both organizations as any mistake that took longer than two seconds to recover. A minor mistake was any mistake that took less than two seconds to recover. Major mistakes resulted in a larger deduction than minor mistakes. The IJRU Technical Congress has decided to define mistakes differently. Asking judges to count 2 seconds in order to determine the type of mistake leaves room for error and/or variance between judges. Major mistakes can result in a significant deduction for an athlete and we don’t believe identifying a mistake should be subjective in any way. Instead, we have decided to only identify one type of mistake and this will receive a single and consistent deduction. The difference between a short and long recovery time will be accounted for by the presentation judges, because a longer mistake will detract more from the overall performance of a routine.

A mistake is defined as any time the rope unintentionally stops. If an athlete drops a handle or misses catching the handle during a release, this is defined as a miss. A miss is not counted for a bobble, where the rope catches on the body, but the athlete is still able to complete the jump. Instead, this will be accounted for by presentation judges.

Space Violations

A space violation in freestyle will be given each time part of the athlete’s body touches the floor outside of the competition area. This means that an athlete could receive multiple space violations in a single event trial.  The arc of the rope can exit the competition area without causing a space violation. The reason for this distinction is to make it easy for the judges to determine when a space violation has occurred. The location of the judging panel makes it difficult to fully determine if a rope crosses a boundary. For example, it may be difficult to tell if an athlete’s rope has crossed the back boundary if you are seated at a judging panel at the front of the competition floor. In order to remove this subjectivity, we decided to make a space violation easier to detect. Also, no competition area will border another competition area. This means that a rope crossing the boundary has almost no chance of interfering with another competitor. Similarly, if an athlete’s arm waves outside of the competition area or their leg is kicked out of the area, they will not receive a space violation. The body part actually needs to touch the ground outside of the boundary for a space violation to be given. If part of an athlete’s hand or part of an athlete’s foot crosses the boundary and touches the floor, a space violation will be deducted.  For example, if half of an athlete’s hand is outside the boundary during a frog, this is considered a space violation.

When an athlete is outside of the competition area, no skills will be judged until the athlete re-enters the competition boundaries. In team events, a space violation is awarded each time any athlete on the team exits the competition boundary. This means that if one athlete is out of the boundary and then another athlete on the team exits the boundary, two space violations will be deducted at the same time.

The purpose of creating competition boundaries and penalizing athletes for space violations is to ensure that each athlete performs their events in the same environment. Athletes are being asked to create a routine within a standardized space, so in order to treat each athlete equally, deductions will  made each time an athlete leaves the space.

Space violations will result in the same penalty as one mistake. This will be deducted from the raw score. The exact number deducted for misses and space violations has not been determined.

Time Violations

The technical congress has decided to make some changes to the way that freestyle events are timed. The event call outs can detract from the overall performance and we would like to work towards creating an atmosphere similar to competitive figure skating. During figure skating programs, music is played and the routine lengths are standardized and so well-choreographed that no time signals are necessary. In order to move towards this goal, we have decided to remove the minimum time for freestyle routines at the IJRU World Championship level. In our proposed system, if an athlete completes a routine that is under 45 seconds in length, it will be very difficult for them to perform enough skills to reach a score higher than an athlete who performs a routine that is 75 seconds long, especially at a world level. As a result, we don’t believe as though it is necessary to set a minimum time requirement. This will also allow us to remove time call-outs midway through the routine, which can detract from the overall performance and professionalism of the sport.

That being said, athletes can still receive a time violation in freestyle events by continuing to perform after the maximum time limit of 75 seconds. All athletes will be required to submit a music file that does not exceed 75 seconds in length. This way, if an athlete continues to perform after their music has stopped, a time violation will be awarded. The music track should act as the time track in all freestyle routines. If a music track is longer than 75 seconds and the athlete continues to perform after 75 seconds, this will also result in a time violation. It will be up the athletes and coaches to ensure that all music tracks do not exceed 75 seconds.

A time violation can also be awarded for a false start during a freestyle routine. An example would be if an athlete begins to move to perform their routine before the music starts. Because the music track is acting as the timing track, any movement prior to the music will be considered a false start and the athlete will receive a time violation deduction. All time violations will be awarded the same deduction as one mistake.

This rule may not apply to the Youth or Open tournaments, because routine lengths and music requirements may be different. We are still in the process of developing the Youth and Open tournament rules.

Required Elements

Next week on the blog, we will be diving into the specific details surrounding required elements, but today we will briefly introduce the topic and discuss how they will be assessed by the deduction judges. Required elements are used to ensure that routines are dynamic and they also encourage athletes to become well-rounded freestyle jumpers. Essentially, athletes will be required to perform a certain number of multiples, power/gymnastics skills, rope manipulations, partner interactions, and turner involvement skills. The required elements will vary slightly depending on the event. For each required element that is not successfully completed during a routine the athlete(s) will receive a deduction from their raw score. FISAC-IRSF awarded points each time a required element was completed, in addition to the difficulty and presentation of the skill. We believe that since these skills already receive points to related to their difficulty level and how well they are performed, required elements should not earn additional points. Instead, failure to complete a required element will result in a deduction from the total raw score. The exact amount that will be deducted has not been determined at this point.

Community Commentary

If a team of 5 enters the Single Rope Team Overall category and nominates 2 team members to compete in the Single Rope Pairs Double Unders and/or Single Rope Pairs Freestyle - can 2 of the remaining 3 team members compete in either/both of those events individually?

Yes. If there are members of a team not competing in a specific event for their team (ie Single Rope Pairs Freestyle, Single Rope Pairs Double Unders 2x30, Double Dutch Singles Freestyle, Double Dutch Speed 1x60), they can compete in that individual event as long as they qualified. Only those entered into the overall category will impact the placement of the overall teams. This means the placements of event specialists will be removed from the field in order to tabulate the overall champions.

We have received a lot of positive feedback in relation to the event selection for the 2020 IJRU Wold Championships that were announced a few weeks ago. That being said, we have received some concerns, primarily in relation to the Triple Under event being included in the Individual Overall category. The concern is that this event is “inherently harmful for the athletes” and that we shouldn’t be asking athletes to compete to “a state of complete exhaustion.”

The Technical Congress is aware that Triple Unders used to be part of the Masters overall event in previous FISAC-IRSF tournaments and was removed as a result of complaints from some coaches, athletes, and parents that the event was harmful to the body and put unnecessary stress on the athlete’s joints. We take the health and safety of all athletes very seriously and are in the process of looking into medical studies that have been conducted specifically on the Triple Under event in order to help guide our decision making. One particular study focuses on the issue of incontinence. We also recommended to the IJRU Board of Directors that they study the potential health/safety issues associated with all events, not just Triple Unders. We believe that it is important that we gather empirical data to help make these decisions, rather than rely solely on anecdotal information. We do not have conclusive data to show that the Triple Under event causes more injuries than any other event in the sport of jump rope/rope skipping. Eventually, we would like the IJRU to create a database that records all jump rope related injuries. This will allow us to see when/how our athletes are being injured and will help the organization develop solutions and educational materials that can be shared with athletes and coaches. 

It is also important to note, that some athletes and countries have continued to compete the triple under event. With proper training and conditioning, some of the potential risks associated with this event, and others, can be avoided. For example, it is important that athletes competing at a high level engage in cross-training and weight training in order to develop strong enough muscles to support their joints. This is something the IJRU could help educate coaches and athletes around.

The Technical Congress also believes that many sports test athletes to the point of exhaustion. For example, running a marathon is meant to test the limits of human endurance. Our athletes already compete to a state of exhaustion in most events. In other sports, athletes are tested to their limits. For example, weight lifting, high jump, and a number of track events ask athletes to continue until they can’t go any further. We don’t believe as though the Triple Under event is any different from other sporting events. Pushing the limits of human capability is one aspect of competitive sports, and we don’t think this alone is a legitimate reason to remove the Triple Under event from the overall category.

Finally, it is important to remember that the events that have been announced are only for those competing in the World Championships. We have not announced events for the Youth or Open tournaments. In order to take into consideration long term athlete development, we may modify some events (i.e. length, skill) in order to help encourage healthy physical development.

Until next week,
The IJRU Technical Congress

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Elements of a Winning Routine

The Technical Congress has decided to take a funnel approach to the construction of the IJRU rule set. This means we are starting our conversation in broad terms. Each individual decision we make will be based off our larger vision and help guide the development of specific rules. In order to facilitate this approach, we began our discussion in Norway with a conversation about the specific components of a winning routine. During this conversation we asked the following questions: What makes a routine enjoyable to watch? What elements should be rewarded? What should cause deductions? This big picture conversation has helped us to narrow our focus and categorize the different elements of a winning freestyle routine, which will in turn help guide the creation of the rule set and judging system. The list of elements below have been identified by the Technical Congress as essential to a winning routine. In this post, we will list each element and provide some background information about why it was selected. We feel that a winning routine should be:

  • Varied (in both style and skill)

    • The Technical Congress feels that routines should be entertaining to watch. One way to do this is by encouraging athletes to avoid repetition and create routines that incorporate a variety of different elements (i.e. multiples, power/gymnastics, rope manipulations, partner interactions, turner involvement, etc.).

  • Original (something unique and different)

    • We would like athletes to continue to create new and exciting skills that push the sport forward. This can be done by awarding originality through the judging system.

  • Performed well under stress (in competition and with an audience)

    • To be an elite athlete, it is important that individuals can perform at their top level under pressure and in front of an audience. Usually the difference between champions and the rest of the field is being able to hit a routine in competition when it counts. Therefore, routines that are performed well and with few errors should be rewarded in the judging system.

  • Technical (athletes should use proper form)

    • A routine that is enjoyable to watch is often one that is performed well. Not only does the athlete include difficult skills and creative elements, but also excellent technique and form. This can vary depending on the athlete’s style. An elite athlete’s technical ability should almost make a routine appear easy. This includes, but is not limited to good posture, pointed toes, straight lines, etc.

  • Choreographed to music

    • Music, when used properly, can raise the overall performance of a routine making it more entertaining. As such, the music shouldn’t exist as background noise, but should be an integral part of the performance, with the athlete fully committed to the choreography. Athletes should use the music to guide their choreography by hitting accents, jumping to the beat, and/or communicating an overall mood or emotion.

  • Difficult (include many difficult, but not dangerous skills)

    • A winning routine should also be packed with difficult skills. We feel an individual should not be able to win by choreographing and performing an easy and well-executed routine. Therefore, difficulty should be substantially rewarded. Although we want to encourage athletes to attempt difficult skills that push the boundaries of athleticism, we also want to keep athletes safe. Athletes should not be encouraged to include difficult or dangerous skills in their freestyle routines, unless the skills have been perfected. Attempting skills for which the athletes are unprepared can lead to injury. This is something that the Technical Congress needs to explore further, but it could be addressed through the education and training of jump rope/rope skipping coaches and/or through the judging system.

  • Clean (few mistakes, reward cleanliness)

    • If an athlete’s routine includes a significant number of mistakes, we feel this detracts from the performance. Therefore, mistakes should result in some form of deduction from the score. This will encourage athletes to train their routines to perfection. That being said, we also want athletes to attempt difficult skills in competition in order to raise the “wow factor” of the sport. A balance will need to be met between the ways in which mistake deductions are weighted against the difficulty level of the routine. 

  • Entertaining (routines should be fun to watch even for those not in the sport)

    • In order to grow the sport by attracting new members and reaching new audiences, routines need to be entertaining to watch for those both inside and outside of the sport. We want to find a way to encourage our athletes to create entertaining routines using a combination of difficult and original skills, promoting the use of music and choreography, and rewarding technique, style, and overall performance abilities.

  • Athletic (display athleticism and stamina)

    • The IJRU is committed to getting jump rope/rope skipping recognized as an official sport by all member countries. In order to promote jump rope/rope skipping as a sport, we need to be able to demonstrate the raw athleticism and stamina that is necessary to be successful at a world level. Our sport incorporates many of the fundamental skills of sport, including strength, agility, balance, coordination, and speed. The events that we compete at the world level should highlight these skills.

  • Not too long and not too short

    • We can address the length of routines directly in the rule set by setting a maximum time limit. The Technical Congress wants to make sure that the length of the routine doesn’t inhibit athletes from continuing to perform difficult and high energy elements throughout. If the time limit is too long, the end of the routine could appear strained or filled with easy tricks. One way this could be addressed is by ensuring that the time limit isn’t too long and/or rewarding skills performed at the end of a routine with a higher difficulty score. We also don’t want the time limit to be too short because this may detract from an athlete’s ability to include entertaining choreography and creative elements. A balance will need to be reached.

  • Scored accurately (ability to differentiate skills at all levels and between routines)

    • The Technical Congress identified difficulty as a key component of a winning routine. In order for difficulty to be consistently and correctly rewarded by the judges, it needs to be relatively easy to differentiate between the different difficulty levels. We are committed to creating a difficulty judging system that is easy to teach and implement. This can be further supported through the use of technology and digital tools. Limiting the amount of human error in our judging procedure will help to ensure that difficulty is rewarded accurately throughout an event.

  • A demonstration of all types of skills with no weakness in any area

    • A winning routine should not rely too heavy on any one element. For example, a routine that is comprised solely of a variety of multiples will become boring to watch as a result of the repetition in movement. We can address this issue by including required elements in the judging system.

Many of the elements of a winning routine identified above overlap in significant ways. After reading through this list, it becomes quite apparent that a winning routine must be put together in a creative way, performed and executed at a high level using proper technique, and there needs to be a variety of difficult and original skills. Over the next few months, as we build the IJRU ruleset and judging system, we will make sure that we are working towards rewarding routines that include what we have identified as the winning elements. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey below and let us know what you think. Have we missed anything? Are some of these elements more important than other? We look forward to reading your feedback and answering your questions.

Community Commentary

Last week, we announced the events that will be competed at the IJRU World Championships in 2020. So far, we have received a few questions that we wanted to address.

Will teams in the overall categories continue to be comprised of 4-5 people?

The Technical Congress discussed this at length in Norway and took into consideration a number of different jump rope/rope skipping systems from around the world. It has been decided that teams can consist of anywhere from 4 to 6 people. This is slightly different than the system currently used by both FISAC-IRSF and WJRF. Adding the option for another athlete on a team will make the sport more inclusive globally.

How will the single rope events be weighted in the individual overall category? Is freestyle equally weighted to the speed events? Triple unders as well?

This is not something that the Technical Congress has finalized at this point. Does anyone have suggestions or thoughts around weighting in the individual overall category? We would be happy to engage with community feedback as we discuss this and make our final decision.

Until next week,
The IJRU Technical Congress

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Let the Training Begin…

This week on the blog, we are excited to announce and discuss the events that have been selected and approved for the 2020 IJRU World Championship. In this post, we will list all of the events and provide some additional information behind the decision-making process. There are a few new events and some changes to both the former FISAC-IRSF and WJRF competition events and overall category structure. We feel these changes require some additional explanation, so let’s jump in!

Individual Events and Individual Overall

  • Single Rope Speed, 1x30

  • Single Rope Speed, 1x180

  • Single Rope Triple Unders (no time limit)

  • Single Rope Freestyle

Each event listed above can be competed on its own or as part of the Individual Overall competition. All of these individual events were previously competed at FISAC-IRSF and WJRF tournaments, however, the Triple Under event was not included in the overall competition. We feel that the major components of single rope that should be tested in an overall category are: speed, endurance, power, and freestyle. The Triple Under event tests the power and endurance components of single rope in a significantly different way than any of the other events, and so we feel it should be included in the overall category.

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It is important to note that these events have only been selected for the 2020 World Championship and will not necessarily apply to the Youth tournament. We have not yet finalized those events, so stay tuned. Triple Unders will likely not be included at the Youth tournament.

Single Rope Team Events and Single Rope Team Overall

  • Single Rope Speed Relay, 4x30

  • Single Rope Pairs Double Unders, 2x30

  • Single Rope Pairs Freestyle

  • Single Rope Team Freestyle

All Single Rope team events listed above can be competed individually or as part of the Single Rope Team Overall and/or the All-Around Competition. The Technical Congress wanted to make sure that each overall category evenly tested all components of the sport. As a result, we believe it is important that there are an equal number of speed and freestyle events. Single Rope Speed Relay, 4x30 was competed at both FISAC-IRSF and WJRF competitions and it was decided that this event should remain. We added Single Rope Pairs Double Unders to the overall category in order to make sure we had an equal number of speed and freestyle events. We also feel that it was important to keep double unders in the sport. Many recreational participants know about double unders and it has become an important part of CrossFit and gym culture. By including a double under event, we hope to appeal to a wider audience. Single Rope Pairs Freestyle and Team Freestyle were competed at FISAC-IRSF and WJRF competitions and these events test a team’s ability to perform freestyle skills at a high level and in a synchronized fashion. Therefore, we feel they should remain in the sport.

Double Dutch Team Events and Double Dutch Team Overall

  • Double Dutch Speed Relay, 4x30

  • Double Dutch Speed, 1x60

  • Double Dutch Singles Freestyle

  • Double Dutch Pairs Freestyle

All of the events listed above can be competed individually or as part of the Double Dutch Team Overall and/or All-Around Competition. You will notice that both double dutch speed events are new to the sport. There were formerly three double dutch speed events competed at the international level: 2 for WJRF and 1 for FISAC-IRSF. Due to time and space constraints, we were unable to keep all of the events. As such, we needed to limit the number to two in order to create an equal weight of freestyle and speed in the Double Dutch Overall category. We looked at what skills each former speed event (4x45, 3x40, and 2x60) tested and wanted to make sure that the two events we selected adequately tested each of those skills. We feel that a relay-style event that asks each athlete on a team to demonstrate both jumping and turning skills is essential. We also wanted to make sure that we included a double dutch speed event that is competed by four individuals on a team. As a result, we decided to combine elements of the previous 4x45 and 3x40 events to create the new 4x30 event. This new event focuses on creating well-rounded athletes and emphasizes speed, because of the short length of time each athlete is jumping. For the second double dutch speed event, we wanted to test something slightly different. We liked that in the former 2x60 event, athletes were able to specialize slightly (not everyone needed to jump and turn), and there was more of an emphasis on endurance. The new 1x60 event fulfills both of these aims and reduces the overall time necessary to compete the event. We are really excited about both new double dutch speed events and can’t wait to see them on the competition floor in 2020! The two double dutch freestyle events selected, DD Singles Freestyle and DD Pairs Freestyle, were both competed at WJRF and FISAC-IRSF tournaments and we feel that they should continue at IJRU tournaments.

The DDC competition, as it was competed under WJRF, will run under the Japan Double Dutch Association rules alongside the IJRU 2020 Championship.

Additional Events

The Technical Congress also wants to continue to promote innovation and diversity in our sport. As a result, we decided to include Pairs Wheel Freestyle and Double Dutch Triad Freestyle. These are two events that were competed at the WJRF tournament and have become favourites among athletes. We decided that these events would only be competed if the time and space allowed.

Why are there so many overall categories?

We wanted to make sure that our overall categories took into consideration the unique abilities of our global community. As a result, we chose to include separate Single Rope and Double Dutch Team Overall categories. This will allow members to specialize in specific disciplines, which we feel will help to grow the sport and push the level of competition forward.

That being said, we also wanted to give teams an opportunity to focus on developing well-rounded athletes that excel in all disciplines and components of the sport. As a result, we included an All-Around Competition that combines all of the events from the SR Overall and DD Overall categories. Any team that competes at the 2020 World Championship in both the Single Rope Team Overall and Double Dutch Team Overall with the same group of athletes will automatically be entered in the All-Around Competition. Each event will only be competed once by a team, and they will be entered into the individual event category, the SR or DD Overall, and the All-Around.

What will happen to the events that have been removed?

The Technical Congress is in the process of making a list of all the events that have been competed internationally in the sport of jump rope/rope skipping in the past. As we look into the future, we see our sport growing to a point where there may be separate Speed, Freestyle, Single Rope, or Double Dutch competitions. When this happens, we can reintroduce some of these events. The sport of jump rope/rope skipping, like all sports, will continue to evolve and change over time. The events that have been announced today are not permanent and we will continue to assess each event, and work with our community and stakeholders to grow the sport and push the boundaries of athletic ability.

If you have any questions, comments, or feedback that you would like to share with the Technical Congress, please fill out the survey below. Each week, we will read through the feedback and pull out a few common topics to address in our next blog post. We look forward to hearing from you!

See you next Wednesday,
The IJRU Technical Congress

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Welcome to the IJRU Technical Congress Blog!

The Technical Congress has been tasked with creating a number of recommendations regarding the events, competition structure, rules, judging, and scoring systems that will be used at IJRU tournaments going forward. We are committed to making recommendations that benefit all athletes and help to grow the sport of jump rope/rope skipping at the local and international level. One way we hope to fulfill that goal is by creating a space where we can share our decisions, ideas, and rationale in an open and public platform. We also want to encourage the global jump rope/rope skipping community to provide us with feedback, ask questions, and offer suggestions.

To meet this aim, the Technical Congress has decided to publish a weekly blog that will include a section for feedback. Each week, the blog will highlight an important topic in relation to the sport and we will also try to address any common questions or concerns from the feedback we received the previous week. If you are interested in following along, please come back and read our posts each Wednesday!

Until next week, we’ll see you in the gym!
IJRU Tech Congress