USF World News

Roping in the Competition
July 27, 2012

Beginning July 30th teams from 19 countries will descend on USF’s Sun Dome to compete in the 2012 FISAC-IRSF World Rope Skipping Championships. International athletes as young as 12 will jump rope while tumbling, flipping and dancing; all the while making it look easy. The World Championships are a bi-annual event and contest categories include Single Rope and Double Dutch competition for individuals and teams.

Australia, China, India, South Africa and Germany are just a few of the countries that will be represented at this year’s championships. “It’s amazing to see the different styles of rope skipping that different countries bring to World Championships every year! The flavors of music and dance that are infused into the performances are what make the crowds really cheer,” explains Billy Smale, President of FISAC-IRSF. This tournament will feature judges from the North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia who have met the minimum qualifications set by the IRSF.

Approximately 1,100 competitors, coaches and volunteers are staying the Andros buildings, making this the largest conference USF housing has ever hosted. USF Assistant Director of Housing Services, April Sager, says she is excited to host such a diverse group of athletes. “This is a great opportunity for USF and for our student staff who will have the opportunity to interact with international competitors of all ages.”

Official rope skipping competitions are relatively new to organized sports; the first competitions took place in the late 1970’s in Boulder, Colorado. An American, Richard Cendali, created the first International Rope Skipping Organization, and under the new association was the first to promote rope skipping as a sport. Over time the organization has gained in popularity and in 1997 the first World Championship event was held in Sydney, Australia where eight countries were represented. “International Rope Skipping continues to expand every year. We’ve got strong, experienced athletes in every continent, and continue to grow our membership all the time,” said Smale.

Spectators will get to see a special performance featuring Jungle Boogie, a group that was featured on Season 5 of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew.  

The competition starts on July 31st and ends August 7th. For those interested in attending, spectator passes can be purchased at the Sun Dome.