Dear Rope Skipping Enthusiasts:
The sport of rope skipping is facing a crisis.
In 2018, International Rope Skipping Federation FISAC’s board voted to begin working with WJR (World Jump Rope) to form IJRU (International Jump Rope Union). In July, 2019, a vote will be taken to dissolve International Rope Skipping Federation FISAC - IRSF. Some of you may be in agreement with this decision. However, it is important that all countries, teams, and athletes understand the problems that have arisen due to these decisions.
What is the role of an International Federation? An International Federation has two primary responsibilities:
1. To expand the sport throughout the world.
2. To govern international competitions ONLY.
Below is a summary of the problems that exist.
1. WJR convinced a few board members of International Rope Skipping Federation FISAC - IRSF to join with them to create the brand new International Jump Rope Union (IJRU). This was done without the majority consent of International Rope Skipping Federation FISACIRSF board members and without the approval of the member nations. These individuals signed a Memorandum of Understanding in October 2017, which has never been made public. Nor has it been voted upon in accordance with the International Rope Skipping Federation FISAC - IRSF constitution and bylaws. It therefore has no legal standing. The board of the new International Jump Rope Union IJRU was selected by the current executives from FISAC and WJR. They were not elected by the member nations. This is not democratic. It is not legal. Board members cannot just elect themselves. There is a dominance of US leadership running International Jump Rope Union IJRU. US may have financial resources, but the direction of member countries of IJRU are being dictated.
2. The board of the new International Jump Rope Union IJRU has been deciding which national federation shall be the IJRU recognized federation in countries where both FISAC and WJR exist. This is not in accordance with the FISAC constitution and bylaws, nor the norms of international sport. Membership is decided by the members. Any such board decision is at best a recommendation that needs the approval of the member nations, which has not occurred.
3. For some countries, World Jump Rope Federation WJRF did not like the current national federation. Instead of working with these federations, World Jump Rope Federation WJFR formed its own national federation. IJRU did not work at unifying federations in these countries. Instead, IJRU selected the federation that was formed by World Jump Rope Federation WJRF or International Jump Rope Union IJRU. These federations have no history or experience.
4. Some of the rules International Jump Rope Union IJRU is announcing are problematic. For example, IJRU’s new bylaws state that national rules cannot be in conflict with IJRU rules. IJRU is dictating what national federations can and cannot do within their own country. IJRU has no authority to determine what a national federation can do.
5. IJRU’s bylaws state that the Board of Directors will make all critical decisions. This is not how international federations work. All decisions of the board are subject to approval by the member nations. Otherwise, a small group of individuals with personal ambitions and financial interests could easily ignore the will of the majority of members. We fear this will happen.
6. Bylaws state that IJRU has the authority to approve local events. It is not IJRU’s task to organize local tournaments. It also can be in violation of national laws. Such authority has been struck down in America as a violation of U.S. law in similar situations in other sports. This can also happen in your country.
7. The formation of IJRU is NOT following its responsibilities – to expand the sport and to govern international tournaments ONLY. Instead IJRU is trying to control local and national tournaments, federations, etc.
When International Rope Skipping Federation FISAC - IRSF was formed in 1996, it was done to unify the sport of rope skipping and in the best interest of the athletes. The formation of IJRU has NOT unified the sport of rope skipping. Instead, because of the way this merger has been improperly pushed forward, the sport is further divided and the situation will get worse. We propose to move forward in a positive way in the future and urge you to seriously consider what needs to be done for our sport.
A significant number of countries around the world are very displeased with the way IJRU is trying to take control. These countries want the sport to be unified and want to work together, legally and democratically, to grow our sport, achieve financial stability and work towards getting rope skipping recognized as an Olympic Sport. We believe that everyone involved in our sport wants this. However, the formation of IJRU has not followed a democratic or legal procedure. This may not affect your country directly now, but eventually it will, if only indirectly, as the sport degenerates and organizations are being ignored by IJRU. We now stand opposed to this new organization, convinced that this merger is not in the best interest of this sport and that the people behind it are not the ones most capable of leading the sport in the future.
We have set up a website where the facts are presented to clearly support our points. We urge you to consult this web site and engage in open discussions of what needs to happen now.
We propose to move forward in a positive way in the future and urge you to seriously consider what needs to be done for our sport. We are happy to announce that there will be a Unity World Championship in conjunction with the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Junior Olympic Games in 2020. The tournament will be held at the end of July and the beginning of August. Exact dates to be determined. AAU Junior Olympic Games will have over 15000 athletes participating in over 20 sports. The AAU Junior Olympic Games are known as the largest national multi-sport event for youth in the United States. AAU has worked closely with the International Olympic Committee. We look forward to seeing you at this tournament! Let’s unite and move our sport forward the correct way!
Sincerely, Friends of Rope Skipping