Double Dutch Sport From The Street
"If working together with people who are there to makes things easier, then you are determined to succeed."— Jacqueline L. Smith
Double Dutch ordinated in New York City in the 1970s and the first official competition was held in 1974. In the early 1980s, Double Dutch was strongly associated with New York hip hop culture. Competitions in Double Dutch range from block parties to the world level. During the spring of 2009, Double Dutch became a varsity sport in New York City public high schools. Double Dutch is a game in which two long jump ropes turning in opposite directions are jumped by one or more players jumping simultaneously. It is believed to have originated among Dutch immigrants in New York City and is now popular worldwide.
I Played Double Dutch Daily
I like to reminisce about fun times when I was growing up in my teenage years in New York City in the 1980s. I wanted to share a story about growing up playing Double Dutch with my sisters and when we were taught by other friends how to play. They were patient in teaching me and my sisters how to play. Also, how to hold the rope, and how to position our arms to turn the rope properly.
It’s a skill that must be taught to get the rope to move simultaneously and if the rope isn’t turning correctly then the person jumping isn’t going to have fun. So, the rope turners must know what they're doing. Jumping also takes practice and turning the rope takes practice too. After my sisters and I learned from our friends we were getting better at it every day.
Eventually, we had more fun playing as we got better, and we had a lot of fun just taking turns jumping and turning the rope. If the jumper was tired, then the jumper could turn instead, and many girls loved playing Double Dutch all day. Besides, after doing our homework after school we'll start again. We were excited to get out there and just start jumping and turning the rope. We were so good at playing Double Dutch that it was becoming an obsession.
"If you are focused to do what is interesting to you the most, then the possibilities are endless."— Jacqueline L. Smith
I Loved Playing Double Dutch
We would go outside even during the weekend early in the morning, as soon as we would get out of bed before doing anything, then we will play Double Dutch. We didn't want to eat our breakfast right away or do our hair or change our pajamas. We were extremely happy to just go out in front of the house to play double Dutch all the time. Sometimes girls and boys were always crowding my family's door just to watch my sister's and I play. Also, our friends played Double Dutch in the morning, noon and night too.
We didn’t know that we were going to do so well at playing Double Dutch. After a while, we began attracting many other kids around the neighborhood who were good and obsessed at jumping Double Dutch too. My sisters and I were experienced after playing for years. Just playing Double Dutch was one of the most favorite games that a lot of young people loved doing. Even though my friends and I were never in any competition because there weren't any at the time, but we would challenge each other often.
Furthermore, we didn’t care who wanted to join us to play. It could be someone walking by who wanted to jump or just wanted to be a spectator. Young people at that time were happy to do something that was always fun and never boring. Many young girls never fight or wouldn’t argue about who was going first or who was going last. The team worked together, and it was a powerful thing because we were so young between the ages of 12-16 years old. No adults were directing us about what to do or how to play the game. We weren't told about any competitions that we could be apart of.
Double Dutch was my Life
All we did was play every day for hours and doing so kept the kids busy and many of them stayed out of trouble. Also, when the kids were at school, the teachers would purchase the ropes that were available for the girls to use so they could play during recess to stay active. The teachers would take gym class activities very seriously and the kids had to do something to stay active to control their weight.
If not participating, then the kids would fail gym class and to be active before going to class was mandatory for students. I didn’t mind that because I was always active in my neighborhood doing something to keep myself busy. Especially in the summertime, that’s all I wanted to do as a young person growing up. Even though playing Double Dutch was a part of my life and the teamwork with the other girls was great.
I also remember that my grandmother would also enjoy watching my sisters and I play Double Dutch. She would get a chair and sit to watch us play for hours and she was happy that we wouldn't get into any trouble. She didn't mind that we even stayed out late at night on a hot summer night to play if it was too hot in the house. She was excited to see us play Double Dutch because she was entertained all the time. Especially when she didn’t have much to do inside the house.
"After having a tremendous amount of experience that was taught in life. Many experiences aren't easily forgotten."— Jacqueline L. Smith
Cable Double Dutch Ropes
However, one of the difficulties that my team of Double Dutch players endured, was getting our favorite jump rope stolen. Someone would take it, then we will have to figure out what to do next. One of the team members was able to ask around and get an old telephone cord or cable cord that wasn't being used and was being thrown out by their parents. Some of the girls would ask their parents sometimes if they had an old broken lengthy telephone cord or cable cord. So, they could use when they didn’t have the right rope.
The girls needed a strong rope to be successful at jumping for a long time. So, we would test the rope and if the rope was to light to turn, we didn’t want it or if it was too heavy, we didn’t want it. Only the telephone cord moved just right and the girls didn't have any problems afterwards. Besides as the year pass, we were growing up and many of the girls began moving in different directions in their life. Therefore Double Dutch was drifting from all of us because we were getting older.
Double Dutch Competition 2020
Besides, jumping was an opportunity for young girls to show their skills with enthusiasm. Today, playing Double Dutch continues because it's fun and the people can connect in person. They need to stay off the cell phones and the computers for a little while without being online all the time. They need to engage in doing something active with other people. Therefore, playing can help young people learn that it's alright to do other things than obsessing with social media.
Furthermore, playing outdoors is important and to communicate will start a conversation to talk more instead of always texting. After all, no Technical devices allowed when playing Double Dutch. If there were cell phones when I was growing up, I probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to play Double Dutch in my life. Still, Double Dutch competitions are coming back to play more often.
Recently a celebrity name Toya Johnson from the popular show Tiny and Toya show was excited to have her first competition. Many celebrities joined Toya to have the recent Double Dutch competition, and it was successful. She also shared her knowledge about growing up playing Double Dutch and how much playing meant to her. She also loves the sport and she mentioned that jumping can fight childhood obesity. I agree I loved the energy to just keep moving my body and moving to stay in shape.
"Always have confidence and calmness in showing other people what they are willing to learn too."— Jacqueline L. Smith
© 2020 Jacqueline L Smith