Jump Double Dutch

Double Dutch is a form of jumping rope that involves two ropes and one or more jumpers. Two people rhythmically turn the ropes while the jumper(s) hop over them. Double Dutch started as a street game, but now has advanced to competitions with awards and prizes. It is a fun and challenging game that you can learn with a few friends.


Getting Started

  1. Gather a minimum of three people. This accounts for the two that will turn the ropes and at least one who will jump. You will always have two people turning the ropes, but you can have more jumpers. You can jump two at a time and change jumpers as you go. This means you can have up to eight or so participants and everyone can have a chance to jump.[1]
  2. Choose quality ropes. There are all types of jump ropes and everyone has different preferences. The material of the rope is up to you. Try a few and see what feels comfortable. There are cloth ropes, speed ropes, leather ropes, and beaded ropes; it simply depends on your preference. The important thing for getting started is to find ropes that are {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} long. This is sufficient length to fit a jumper in the middle. Make sure to get two ropes that are the same length and material.[2]
  3. Decide who will turn the ropes and who will jump in. The two people who turn the ropes should be able to maintain a steady rhythm. If anyone is already familiar with Double Dutch, those people should be turners because this role is fundamental to the success of the game. Without consistent turners, it is not possible for the jumpers to succeed. Turners are of vital importance in setting the cadence of the game. Choose your turners wisely and let the others be jumpers.[1]
Children playing double Dutch in Buenos Aires. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Turning the Ropes

  1. Stand properly. Your stance is highly important in maintaining your balance. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. This will allow you to move your arms freely without throwing yourself off balance. Make sure you don’t inadvertently move in towards the middle when the jumper joins. Your feet should stay still.[2]
  2. Grip the ropes. Having a solid grip will allow you to move the ropes at speed without them slipping. Hold the rope with your thumb and forefinger and curl the rest of your fingers under the thumb. Your grip should be firm, not clenched. If you hold too tightly, this can hinder your movement.
  3. Rotate the ropes. Decide which rope will start and begin to rotate. To ensure you and your partner begin rotating at the same time, one of you can say, “Ready, set, go.” The first rope can start on “set” and the second on “go.”[3] Keep your elbows near your sides with your forearms extended. From the elbow, move your left arm clockwise towards the center of your body in a circle, and move your right arm counterclockwise towards the center in circle. The circles should not overlap, but should just barely touch in the middle. Your hands should be opposite one another so that when your right arm is up high, your left arm is down low. The circles should span from about your chin to your waist.[2]
    • It is important for the circles to be the same size. Oftentimes, beginners struggle with one arm and are more comfortable with the other. Work on consistently making the same circle with both arms, even though these circles move in different directions.
    • If you are struggling to learn the movement, practice without rope. Use pencils or sticks or anything that is similar to a jump rope’s handles. Practice the movement against a wall, tracing the circles on the wall. This will help you to get comfortable with the rotation without having to worry about the rope or your partner’s timing.[2]
  4. Find your rhythm. This will be best accomplished by listening to the ropes. You are looking for a consistent sound. Try counting 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, and stay on beat. When you and your partner hear the same rhythm, you will be able to stay in sync. Make sure the ropes go high enough to encircle the person who will be jumping. The ropes should be taut and graze the ground each rotation. Try turning the ropes at different speeds once you get comfortable with your initial rhythm.[2]
  5. Have the jumper join. The turner will often say, “Ready, set, go.” Then the jumper enters on “go.” If the jumper is new to Double Dutch, you may want to slow down a bit for them to enter. You can practice it a few times as well so that they get comfortable with the entrance.[4]
  6. Adjust to the jumper. Once the jumper(s) join in, it is the responsibility of the turners to adjust to their speed. This is why the role of turner is so important; the outcome rests largely on the turner's ability to adapt to the jumper and stay on beat. Just be sure to keep a consistent rhythm as you change pace. Continue to listen to the ropes and to the jumper so that everyone is in sync.
  7. Incorporate Double Dutch rhymes. Turners often rhythmically chant rhymes. You can recite one such as, “Ice cream soda pop cherries on top, how many boyfriends have you got? Is it 1, 2, 3…" You can also make up your own! These chants add to the fun and help you stay on rhythm.


  1. Learn the rhythm. Before you enter, take time to watch the turners and listen to their rhythm. Try a couple of jumps outside of the rope so that the turners can become familiar with your pace. This way, you will all be starting at the same speed and can avoid any mixups. It is important for all of you to function as a unit. Teamwork is key to Double Dutch success.
  2. Enter diagonally. Start beside one of the turners. It can be tempting to start from the center, but this is actually more difficult.[1] The turner should say, “Ready, set, go,” and you will enter on “go.” This should happen when the rope closest to you hits the ground. As that rope lifts, take a big step into the center and begin hopping on both feet. For example, if you are on the right hand side of the turner, jump in when the rope in their left hand hits the ground. Try this a few times with the turners until you are comfortable making a seamless entrance.[5]
    • If you are struggling to enter into the middle, you can mark the middle with tape or chalk. This way you will have a target to aim for as you enter.
    • If you are having a hard time entering, you can try starting in the middle before the turners begin to rotate the ropes. This will help you get used to finding your rhythm and can eliminate some of the initial awkwardness of making an entrance.
  3. Start with a two-footed hop. Your feet should be together and your knees slightly bent. Your jumps should only be about 2” off the ground and should be at a steady rhythm. Keep your arms near your stomach so that they don’t get in the way. Start slowly and as you get comfortable, try to speed up and slow down. The turners will match your pace.[4]
  4. Try different footwork. Once you get used to the basic hop, you can try mixing it up. You can move laterally back and forth between the turners. Try raising your knees in a way that is similar to running in place. You can also try crisscrossing your feet for an added challenge. You could even rotate while jumping to gradually turn around in a circle. The possibilities are endless!
    • Try jumping on only one leg and then switching to the other. To stay on balance, pick out a stationary point of focus and stare at it. This will help you to stay centered while you switch legs so that you aren’t swayed by the swinging ropes or moving people.
    • To rotate while jumping, start by making a quarter turn and land on both feet. After you make it around in a circle by quarter turns, try to complete a half turn. Eventually, you can rotate in a full circle on one jump. To make this even more difficult, you can try it on one leg!
  5. Add additional jumpers. Once one person has a solid rhythm in the middle, have another person join them. Two people is more challenging and a lot of fun. As these jumpers fatigue, switch them out with others who are waiting. Try to keep the rope going at all times as jumpers enter and exit. When another jumper joins, move over slightly so that there is enough room for both of you. Try to stay in sync with the other jumper.
  6. Exit gracefully. Exiting from jumping is similar to entering. You will want to exit diagonally towards one of the turners. Try exiting in the opposite direction as you entered. After the rope on the side you will exit hits the ground, take a large step out of the middle and land on both feet. For timing, you can even have the turners count, "Ready, set, go."[1]
  7. Take it to the next level. When playing with friends, you make can make up rules of who goes first and how many games you have to jump in order to win. You can also compete in a competition. Double Dutch competitions have pre-established rules to follow, just like any competition that awards trophies and prizes. To improve and win, spend time practicing. You will continually get better.
    • If you are competing against teams, doubles are made of two turners and two jumpers while singles have two turners and one jumper. Make sure to build your team accordingly.[6]



  • The most important idea is to have fun and get moving.
  • While learning how to jump Double Dutch, start out slowly. You have to learn the basic jumps first. Success takes excellent coordination and dedication.
  • To learn, find two friends to turn the rope, and you can practice alone. Then you can be one of the turners, and one of your friends will practice jumping.
  • Consider creating a team.
  • Jump in when there is an opening in the ropes, and you'll need to jump over the rope that is closest to you as it's coming down. It's easier to jump in from a diagonal. After several tries, you should have the hang of it.
  • After you’ve learned, you can find another group to compete with.
  • When first starting, find quality turners so that you can start in the middle.


  • Make sure you are in excellent health before dutch jumping. It takes a lot of energy.
  • If you are not sure of your health, check with a doctor before Double Dutch jumping. If you have any heart problems or illnesses that will affect your heart, do not Double Dutch until you get checked out by your Doctor. This is a sport requiring a high level of fitness and can cause heart strain and cramps.

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