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Kgadi/jump rope is a rhythmic jumping game that was popular with young girls, but in recent years has become an activity played by boys. The opposing team swings a rope while singing a rhyme and the other team has to try to jump through the rope without making a mistake. When the whole team is out they change roles.

Also known as Ugqaphu/Kgati/Ntimo.

Contents

Equipment

  • A skipping rope, or different materials can be used to make a rope long enough for several girls to jump over, either one by one or simultaneously. In the absence of a rope, stockings or strips of cloth are tied together for rope-jumping.
  • Rope size: 3-5 metres

The play area 

A piece of open ground with an even, hard surface. The ground should not be covered with grass. The skipping rope should swing freely and the players should be able to jump over it with ease.

Team composition and roles

A minimum of three players is required, as two players will swing the rope while the third jumps over it. Any number of players can take part. Players can spontaneously join in the game, or one player may be selected to call out the names of the children who will then take turns to jump.

Game description

Two players can choose or be nominated to swing the rope. They take up position opposite each other. These players swing the rope to form a loop and swing it low across the surface of the ground (almost as though they are sweeping it). The other players jump over the rope when it reaches the lowest point.

During spontaneous play, the players can jump over the rope in any order. However, they can also nominate a specific order for jumping. They can also toss a coin to determine who will go first.

The game is played with rhythm and rhymes. The rhyme differs from area to area.

One example is as follows. Swing the rope around twice and say the rhyme as follows:

  • One, two amashigogo shigogo x 1
  • Pause
  • One, two amashigogo shigogo x 3
  • Pause
  • One, two amashigogo shigogo x 1
  • Pause
  • One, two amashigogo shigogo x 3

The players decide how many jumps will make up the competition. For instance, it can be decided that players must jump 100 times according to the following pattern:

  • 100 times with legs together (landing together on both feet)
  • 100 times with a single leg
  • 100 times while alternating the legs
  • 100 times on both hands and feet.

Rules

  • No gymnastics movements are allowed
  • Players must sing while swinging the rope and jumping
  • Players should warm up before competing
  • The field of play must be a hard, grass-free surface
  • Dress code: preferably shorts; no tracksuits or long pants
  • Cones should be used to demarcate the playing area

Scoring 

Scoring is based on the following:

  • Speed
  • Co-ordination
  • Fitness / flexibility of the players
  • Extra points are scored for demonstration of creativity in the free style category

Players achieve a score out of 10 points, judged by two technical officials, e.g. judges, scorers, manager, coach.

If a player makes a mistake either with the number of jumps, the type of jumping or by tripping over the rope, then the game is over for that player. When one jumper goes out, then the next one will come in to have her turn. A specific order is followed until everyone has had a turn to jump. The participants swinging the rope should be replaced and have a turn to jump. If there are two teams, once all the players on a team are out, the teams change around.

Variations

  • When the name of a new player is called out, then the jumper runs out and the new jumper runs in.
  • The swingers swing the rope in a figure of eight. The second player then chases the first one in a figure of eight around the players swinging the rope. If the second player catches the first one, then the first one is out. If, however, the second child fails to catch the first one, they continue until the second one is too tired to carry on and a volunteer takes the chaser’s place.
  • Players can also jump according to different patterns, for example, jumping three times, followed by ducking under the rope, which is swung over their heads on the fourth swing.