A hoop is an apparatus in rhythmic gymnastics and may be made of plastic or wood, provided that it retains its shape during the routine. The interior diameter is from 51 to 90 cm (about 20 to 35,4 inches), and the hoop must weigh a minimum of 300g (about 10,6 oz). The hoop may be of a natural colour or be partially of fully covered by one or several colours, and it may be covered with adhesive tape either of the same or different colour as the hoop.
Fundamental requirements of a hoop routine include rotation around the hand or body and rolling, as well as swings, circles, throws, and passes through and over the hoop.
Many of the techniques of rhythmic gymnastics have been adopted by the modern hooping community.
Hoops can be made collapsible for easy transport and versatility: each hoop breaks down into four or more pieces to later be reassembled. Other collapsible hoops are simply twisted down, and folded in half for easy storage.
Fire hoops comprise of a plastic hoop with four to six spokes radiating outward. The spokes typically extend 6-8 inches from the connection points on the hoop, and are capped with a roll of cotton and Kevlar wicking, which can then be lit on fire. This design keeps the fire a fair distance from the hooper's body, although getting burned at some point is a high probability. Making one's own fire hoop and playing with it while burning can be very dangerous. It is recommended that those who want to make their own hoop proceed with caution and take a fire safety class before lighting up.
LED hoops have internal batteries and are lit with light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and make mesmerizing patterns when spun at night outdoors or in low light environments. These hoops take advantage of the "persistence of vision" phenomenon which occurs when bright lights are moved at high speeds within the observer's field of vision.
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