How to Play Chinese Jump Rope

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Jump rope is one of the most popular outdoor games for kids, and it’s also a great way to get a jump rope workout. Chinese jump rope is a fun and challenging take on traditional jump rope games. It was first played in the 7th century by children in China. It was reintroduced to English children in the 1960s and remains popular around the world today.

An elastic jump rope and at least three people are all you need to play. The two people holding the ends of the rope are called the “enders”, and the person jumping is referred to as the “jumper”.

Rules

  • The jumper continues jumping until they “miss”, or make a mistake.
  • A “miss” is when the jumper touches the rope incorrectly, or jumps “out” instead of “in”.
  • The jumper changes positions with an ender after a miss.
  • On the next turn, the jumper must start over at the very beginning.

Starting Position

  1. Enders face each another and step inside the rope.
  2. Place the rope around the ankles and step back until it is stretched taut, creating two parallel jumping ropes about one foot long.
  3. The jumper stands outside the rope.

Chinese Jump Rope Steps

  • IN – Both feet land inside the rope.
  • ON – Both feet land on top of the ropes, the left foot on the left rope and the right foot on the right rope.
  • OUT – Both feet land on the outside of the rope, together and on one side.
  • SIDE OUT – Both feet land outside the rope on one side. The jump is made from one side of the rope, over the top of both ropes, to the other side.
  • STRADDLE OUT – The left foot lands outside the rope to the left side and the right foot lands outside the rope to the right side.
  • SIDE BY SIDE – Jump quickly from one side to the other. The jump begins with both feet together and “out” on one side of the rope. The jump is then made to one side with the left foot landing outside the left rope and the right foot landing inside the rope. Then the jump back to the other side is made with the left foot landing inside the rope, and the right foot landing outside the right rope.

How to Play Chinese Jump Rope

The jumper calls out the steps while jumping. A set pattern can be used or the jumper may choose randomly. A variation on this type of Chinese Jump Rope, is to let the enders call out jumps to the jumper.

If there are no enders around, you can still play Chinese Jump Rope by yourself, or practice alone to amaze your friends. Draw two parallel lines with chalk on the sidewalk or other paved area (stay out of the road!). Play as normal with the lines as your “jump ropes”.

Popular Jumping Combinations

Try some of these popular jumping combinations to get started playing Chinese Jump Rope. Or, make up your own as you play!

  • JUMP ONE – IN, OUT, SIDE BY SIDE, ON, IN, OUT
  • JUMP TWO – IN, STRADDLE OUT, SIDE BY SIDE, IN, OUT, SIDE OUT
  • JUMP THREE – SIDE OUT, ON, SIDE OUT, ON, SIDE OUT, ON
  • JUMP FOUR – SIDE BY SIDE, STRADDLE OUT, IN, SIDE OUT

The game can get challenging, so try starting out by learning the basic jumps. Once you get these down, you can come up with your own combinations, or use the ones above. The object of Chinese Jump Rope is to jump as long as possible without getting a miss. Good luck and have fun!

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