Double Dutch isn’t just a jump rope game played by city kids; as of this spring, it’s the newest official varsity sport in New York City public schools.
And it got its start in Manhattan in the 17th century, supposedly brought by Dutch settlers. The story goes that British kids living here saw Dutch children playing, so they starting calling it Double Dutch.
The game thrived on playgrounds and sidewalks though World War II. Its popularity dipped until the early 1970s, when a city police detective looking for an activity girls could get involved in revived it as a competitive team sport.
Okay, this video for Double Dutch Bus is only nominally about the game, but it’s got some great shots of New York circa 1980.