2008_07_doubledutch.jpg
Photograph by urbanblitz on Flickr

The transition of the beloved neighborhood past time of double dutch into the official realm of NYC high school varsity sport is examined in the NY Times today. A physical education teacher who will teach a co-ed team, Shani Newsome, said, “In Bed-Stuy it’s an unspoken rule that you have to learn how to jump rope. You can’t stay outside if you don’t know how to double-dutch.”

David Walker, a former police sergeant, is credited with writing about the game's history and for being a vocal supporter--he founded the National Double Dutch League. Walker died last week, and the Apollo Theatre noted his passing on its marquee--the theatre hosts double dutch competitions there during the year. (Barry Popik also has some explanation, including Walker's history, on double dutch.)

There's also an interesting Times graphic of other varsity sports offered at schools (including bowling!). Potential varsity sports: cycling, badminton and netball.