Learn How To Juggle

Balls are roughly spherical objects,[1] usually small enough that several can be held in one hand at a time. They are the most common prop used for toss juggling and bounce juggling, and they are the prop that most people learn to juggle first. Most jugglers consider balls to be easier to juggle than rings or clubs. Beanbags are the most common type of juggling ball, and are preferred by many jugglers, especially numbers jugglers.

The earliest known record of ball juggling is an Egyptian wall painting of female dancers and acrobats juggling balls in the 15th Beni Hasan tomb, dating from the middle kingdom period of about 1994-1781 B.C.[2]

The highest number of balls that have been qualified (at least twice as many catches as objects) is 11 for toss juggling and 10 for bounce juggling, and the highest number of balls that have been flashed (same number of throws and catches as objects) is 14 for toss juggling (by Alex Barron) and 12 for bounce juggling (by Alan Sulc).[3][3]

3 balls[edit | edit source]


Patterns 5

3 ball tricks by Tsubasa Murakami

The 3 ball cascade is usually the first juggling pattern a beginning juggler learns. The world record for 3 ball endurance is 12 hours and 5 minutes by David Slick.[4]

4 balls[edit | edit source]


4ball juggling

4 ball tricks by Tsubasa Murakami

4 balls are most commonly juggled in a fountain pattern (2 balls in each hand). The wimpy pattern may be more difficult for beginning 4 ball jugglers because the balls collide easily, but since crossing throws are generally easier than non-crossing throws, the wimpy pattern is easier than the fountain for higher numbers. The 4 ball endurance world record is 2 hours, 46 minutes and 48 seconds by Zdeněk Bradáč.[5]

5 balls[edit | edit source]


The WJF Drop Free Top Three

5 ball competition routines at WJF 6

The basic pattern for 5 ball juggling is a higher (and/or faster) version of the 3 ball cascade. 5 is the minimum number of balls used in the competitions in the WJF overall championship.[6] 5 balls was originally the minimum for the advanced ball short program;[7] since 2010, that competition is for 5 balls only. The overall championship also includes a 5 ball freestyle competition (best trick contest; held since 2006). Before 2015, the overall championship included a 5 ball 360s competition (most 5 up 360s in 1 minute).[6] The world record for 5 balls is 2 hours, 41 minutes and 26 seconds by Ofek Snir.(video) Thomas Dietz claims to have juggled 5 balls for 3 hours and 47 minutes.

6 balls[edit | edit source]


6 ball juggling

6 ball sequence by Thomas Dietz

The WJF overall championship included a 6 ball freestyle competition from 2006 to 2014.[8] The 6 ball world record is 25 minutes and 16 seconds by Adolfo Almonacid.(video)

7 balls[edit | edit source]


7 Balls, the New 5

7 ball tricks by David Ferman

Until 1984, there were only two divisions in the IJA Numbers Championships - one for 7 objects (competitors could use either 7 balls or 7 rings in the same division) and one for 5 clubs. Since 1984, the IJA has had competitions with a separate division for each prop, where competitors are scored higher for juggling higher numbers.[9] The WJF overall championship includes a 7 ball freestyle competition (held since 2004),[6] and also included a 7 ball isolated endurance competition (endurance contest with competitors standing on chairs to allow only accurate, controlled patterns) from 2007 to 2014.[8] The world record for 7 ball juggling is 16 minutes and 25 seconds by Adolfo Almonacid.(video) The world record for the longest 7 ball bounce juggling run with publicly available video evidence is 11 minutes and 20 seconds by Tayron Colombaioni.

8 balls[edit | edit source]


8 ball 8up 360 Qualify (watch in HD if you want to see it)

8 ball 8 up 360 by David Ferman

The first person to juggle 8 balls in the IJA's numbers endurance competition was Dan Bennett in 1984, and the first person to juggle 8 balls in the bounce juggling numbers competition was Fritz Grobe in 1993.[9] 8 is now the minimum number of balls used in the IJA's numbers endurance competition.[10] 8 balls was the minimum number of balls used in the WJF's numbers endurance competition[11] until 2010. Since 2011, the WJF ball endurance competition has started with 9 balls.[6] The 8 ball juggling world record is 1 minute and 13 seconds by Anthony Gatto.[3](video) The world record for bounce juggling 8 balls is 4 minutes and 12 seconds by Alan Sulc.[12](video) The following people have juggled 8 balls for over 100 catches on video:

Other jugglers reported to have done over 100 catches of 8 balls:

9 balls[edit | edit source]


9 ball 7up 360

9 ball 7 up 360 to a collect by David Ferman

The first person to juggle 9 balls in the IJA's numbers endurance competition was Anthony Gatto in 1989, and the first person to bounce juggle 9 balls in competition was Nate Seefeldt in 2001.[9] 9 is the minimum number of balls used in the WJF's numbers endurance competition,[6] and is the highest number of balls that have been qualified in any of the numbers endurance competitions at the IJA[13] and the WJF. The world record for 9 balls is 54 seconds by Anthony Gatto.[3](video) The world record for bounce juggling 9 balls is 1 minute and 7 seconds by Cao Kai.(video)

The following people have juggled 9 balls for over 100 catches on video:

Other jugglers reported to have done over 100 catches of 9 balls:

Tricks that have been done with 9 balls include:

10 balls[edit | edit source]


10 Balls - 33 Catches

Former 10 ball world record by Alex Barron

Several jugglers are recorded as having done 10 balls in the early 20th century, including Frank LeDent, Pierre Amoros, Enrico Rastelli, and Jenny Jaeger.[14][15] No one has successfully toss juggled 10 balls in the numbers endurance competitions at the IJA[13] and the WJF, which require a qualifying run. The first person to successfully bounce juggle 10 in competition was Robert Mosher III in 2007.[9] The world record for bounce juggling 10 balls is 51 catches by Mathias Ramfelt.(video) The following jugglers have qualified 10 ball non-multiplex toss juggling on video:

Other jugglers reported to have qualified 10 balls:

Patterns and tricks that have been done with 10 balls:

11 balls[edit | edit source]


11 Balls - 33 Catches

11 ball world record by Alex Barron

11 is the highest number of balls that have been performed onstage. Frank LeDent, who was performing with 11 in 1907, is the first person credited with juggling 11 balls.[14] Bruce Sarafian was the first person to flash 11 balls on video, in 1992.[17] In 1994, he broke his own world record with 12 catches,[18] and in 1997 Jason Garfield tied for the record, also getting 12 catches.[19] In 2000 Jason beat Bruce's record with 14 catches,[20] and in 2001 Bruce regained the record, getting 15 catches.[21]

This remained the world record for 11 balls until 2010, when Alex Barron also got 15 catches,[22] and then 17 catches three days later.[23] Three days after that Peter Bone broke the record with 18 catches,[24] and in four more days, Alex did 19.[25] Two days later Alex Barron got 21 catches of 11 balls.[26] Alex claimed to have done 23 catches four days after he did 21, but his camera got knocked over by the wind just before he did it,[27] so there was no video evidence of the qualify until he was able to get 23 catches again in 2012.(video) Later in 2012, he did 11 balls for 25 catches.(video) In 2017, Alex did 26 catches,(video) and later set the current 11 ball world record with a run of 33 catches.(video) Tom Whitfield is the only other person who has qualified 11 balls. He did 27 catches in 2019.(video)

Patterns and tricks that have been done with 11 balls:

12 balls[edit | edit source]


12 Balls - 20 Catches (wimpy)

12 ball world record by Alex Barron

The following jugglers have all done at least a flash of 12 balls on video:

Luke Burrage and Josh Turner both claim to have also flashed 12 balls, and Nik Meier claims to have done 12 balls for 14 catches.

Other patterns and tricks that have been done with 12 balls:

13 balls[edit | edit source]


13 Balls - 15 Catches-0

13 ball world record by Alex Barron

Peter Bone claims to have flashed 13 balls in 2005, but has no video evidence. Alex Barron was the first person to flash 13 balls on video[3], in 2011. He increased the record to 15 catches in 2013.(video) In 2019, Dylan Tweed became the second person to flash 13 balls on video, and the youngest at age 15.

Bill Coad has done 13 ball quintuplexes for 25 catches,(video) and 13 ball sextuplexes for 30 catches.(video)

14 balls[edit | edit source]


14 Ball Flash

14 ball flash by Alex Barron

Alex Barron is the only person who has done 14 balls in a non-multiplex pattern. He flashed 14 in an asynch fountain in 2017.(video)

Bill Coad has done 14 ball sextuplexes (a multiplex pattern where 6 balls are thrown at a time) for 30 catches.(video)

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. http://www.juggling.org/records/rules.html
  2. https://www2.bc.edu/~lewbel/jugweb/history-1.html
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 http://www.juggling.org/records/records.html Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "jiscon" defined multiple times with different content
  4. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/longest-duration-juggling-three-objects-
  5. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/longest-duration-juggling-four-objects
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 http://thewjf.com/competitor-files/competition-rules/advanced-overall-championship/
  7. http://wayback.archive.org/web/20040902062628/http://thewjf.com/competitions/balls.html
  8. 8.0 8.1 http://www.thewjf.com/allevents.php
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 http://www.juggle.org/ija/championships/
  10. http://www.juggle.org/ija/championships/files/2015/04/NumbersRules2015.pdf
  11. http://wayback.archive.org/web/20051102232307/http://thewjf.com/rules.html
  12. http://wayback.archive.org/web/20120717065702/http://www.bouncepage.com/records.htm
  13. 13.0 13.1 http://www.juggle.org/ija/championships/numbers-records/
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 http://ezine.juggle.org/2014/11/17/juggling-firsts-part-one-balls-and-ball-bouncing/
  15. http://ezine.juggle.org/2014/05/19/common-juggling-misconceptions/
  16. http://wayback.archive.org/web/20120414225947/http://www.juggling.org/records/records.html
  17. http://dev.juggle.org/history/archives/jugmags/46-2/46-2,p27.htm
  18. 18.0 18.1 http://wayback.archive.org/web/19970613223149/http://www.juggling.org/records/records.html
  19. http://wayback.archive.org/web/19971014123652/http://www.juggling.org/records/records.html
  20. http://wayback.archive.org/web/20000618075927/http://www.juggling.org/records/records.html
  21. http://wayback.archive.org/web/20011222223103/http://www.juggling.org/records/records.html
  22. https://youtu.be/2_nEVVPiDj4
  23. https://youtu.be/aqbtugSVYp8
  24. https://youtu.be/_WIdWu5LXb4
  25. https://youtu.be/9b9405uteA8
  26. https://youtu.be/CPmAWY1dAaE
  27. https://youtu.be/PFUAbbrfxxs
  28. http://wayback.archive.org/web/20120629050419/http://www.juggling.org/records/records.html
  29. http://wayback.archive.org/web/20120717011211/http://www.juggling.org/records/records.html
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.