THE YARD — Unequivocally, jump rope, especially the needle game, was my favorite playground game.
If you haven't heard of the needle game (or you called it something else), let's break it down a little. In the game, all the kids would line up then jump into an already moving jump rope. You can only jump once then you run out again. The person behind you had to jump the very next hit of the rope on the pavement. Anyone who tripped up the rope or otherwise missed their jump was out for the round. At my school, we could even get it going to two people as long as they could be speedy enough to run around the jump rope turners in time.
The trick to needle is timing and no fear. You just had to go for it and keep your head in the game. Even then, the funny thing about needle is that you have to work as a team to survive as an individual in the game, so maybe that's why the Chinese firefighters use it as a training exercise in this video.
But I'll tell you what, this training does not depict the needle game of my grade school playground. Sure, sometimes our games got intense, but ours was still a game of elimination. This training game is entirely about everyone doing their part to make it through with an incredible speed and precision. Everyone is a leader and everyone is a follower.
It's an intense three minutes that is a true test of speed, endurance and precision. This video has three things going for it. 1) It's an amazing sight of physical prowess. 2) The robot-like precision also makes it seem a little goofy, thus adding another layer of entertainment. 3) The hit of the rope and the liquid movements of the line of men make the video rather hypnotic and relaxing.