This article is about Denis Paumier's topological notation system for throws that go around parts of a juggler's body.

Notating throws with numbersEdit

A throw normally starts with a prop held in one of your hands in front of your body. If you just do a basic throw, the prop stays in front of you, but if you throw it so it goes around any part of your body, it goes behind you and then comes back in front of you. (The division between front and back is flexible, so you can make a prop go "behind" your leg by holding your leg out in front of you and throwing the prop under your leg, or by keeping your leg on the ground and actually bringing the prop behind your leg before you throw it between your legs.) Whenever a prop goes from being in front of you to being behind you or vice versa, it has to go through one of these five spaces:

  • "0" is the space between your legs.
  • "1" is the space below the right arm (between an arm and a leg).
  • "2" is the space above the right arm (between an arm and the head).
  • "3" is the space above the left arm.
  • "4" is the space below the left arm.

A throw is notated as two (or four or six...) numbers that indicate which spaces the prop goes through. Any pair of numbers can actually be interpreted as six different kinds of throws (though they may not all be physically possible to do), because the prop can still be thrown and caught in different positions:

  • Throw from the normal position in front, reach around and catch the prop in front, and carry it around the body.
  • Throw in front, reach behind you and catch in back, and bring the prop back to the front.
  • Throw in front, let the prop go behind you and come back in front of you while it's in the air, and catch in front.
  • Bring the prop behind you, throw and catch it behind you, and bring it back to the front.
  • Bring the prop behind you, throw from the back, and catch in front.
  • Carry the prop around the body, throw in front, and catch it in the normal position in front.

Throws are always notated as if the ball starts and ends in front of the body, although you might not actually do them that way in patterns where an arm is always reaching through the same space(s) every time it throws or catches.

Notating throws with lettersEdit

To avoid confusion when working with siteswaps, body moves can be notated using letters instead of numbers:

  • "BOL" is the space between the legs (BOth Legs).
  • "AL" is the space between an arm and a leg (Arm-Leg).
  • "AC" is the space between an arm and the head (Arm-Cranium).
  • "OP" means the prop moves over to the opposite side of the body (OPposite the last space the prop went through or opposite the throwing hand).

These can be put together to make words like "albol" and "alopac" that represent different kinds of throws. When combining this notation with siteswap, a word is written after the siteswap number representing the same throw. 423 with the 4s done as shoulder throws can be written as 4alac23.


(Thrown from the right hand)

  • 00 or bolbol: Froggy style juggling
  • 03 or bolopac: Body throw or under the opposite leg
  • 10 or albol: Under the leg or back-to-front body throw
  • 12 or alac: Shoulder throw
  • 13 or alopac (crossing): Backcross or pass up the back
  • 14 or alopal (crossing): BBB, behind the back looking, behind the back pass, contortion throw, or contortion catch
  • 20 or acbol: Quasi-blind catch
  • 21 or acal (non-crossing): Penguin catch or reverse shoulder throw
  • 23 or acopac: Behind the neck throw
  • 24 or acopal (crossing): Reverse backcross
  • 32 or opacopacop: Behind the neck throw from the opposite side
  • 34 or opacal (crossing): Penguin catch or reverse shoulder throw
  • 41 or opalopalop (crossing): Body wrap throw and catch
  • 42 or opalopac: Body wrap
  • 43 or opalac: Under the arm
  • 1004 or albolbolopal: Throw and catch under the leg
  • 1034 or albolopacal (crossing): Under the leg reverse shoulder throw
  • 1414 or alopalopalopal (crossing): Contortion throw and catch
  • 4321 or opalacopacalop (crossing): Throw and catch under the arm
  • 102304 or albolacopacbolal: Behind the neck throw, thrown and caught under the leg
  • 042310 or bolopalacopacalbolop: Behind the neck throw, thrown and caught under the opposite leg
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