Taryn Hodgson

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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