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Mills mess is a trick invented by Steve Mills. The pattern is a repeating sequence of three different kinds of throws:

7b_mills_attempt

7b mills attempt

7 ball Mills mess by Daniel Eaker

  • The first throw is an outside throw. The next catch made by the hand making this throw should be done with that arm crossed over the other arm.
  • The second throw is made under the arm, and the arms stay crossed so that the next catch made by that hand is also done under the arm.
  • The third throw is made starting with the arms crossed, uncrossing them while throwing with the hand that's on top. This prop, when thrown with the right hand, goes over the top of the pattern from left to right. The next catch made by the hand making this throw should be done with the arms uncrossed.

These three throws are done starting with the right hand and the left hand alternately.

Unless this trick is combined with a siteswap, in a Mills mess pattern with an odd number of objects the objects are always thrown with one hand and caught with the other hand, and in a pattern with an even number of objects each object is always thrown and caught with the same hand. Because all the throws are made on the outside of the pattern, it's easier to transition into Mills mess from a reverse cascade or fountain than from the basic pattern.

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3 ball Mills mess

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4 ball Mills mess

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5 ball Mills mess

Learn_to_juggle_MILLS_MESS_-_Intermediate_Juggling_Tutorial

Learn to juggle MILLS MESS - Intermediate Juggling Tutorial

3 ball Mills mess tutorial

How_to_juggle_4_BALL_MILLS_MESS_-_Advanced_Juggling_Tutorial

How to juggle 4 BALL MILLS MESS - Advanced Juggling Tutorial

4 ball Mills mess tutorial

World records[]

Mills mess records with publicly available video evidence:

  • 3 ball Mills mess: 2 hours, 58 minutes, and 28 seconds by Jason Armstrong in 2019 (video)
  • 4 ball Mills mess: 21 minutes and 22 seconds by Dominik Braun in 2018 (video)
  • 5 ball Mills mess: 10 minutes and 43 seconds by Thomas Dietz in 2009 (video)
  • 6 ball Mills mess: 1 minute and 26 seconds by Adolfo Almonacid in 2020 (video)
  • 7 ball Mills mess: 22 catches by Michael Pearce in 2018 (video)

Records with insufficient video evidence:

  • 4 ball Mills mess: 22 minutes and 58 seconds by Patrick Quin in 2018 (video no longer available)

Unverified claims:

Alternative names[]

Variations[]

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Flo's mess

After the under-the-arm throw, you uncross your arms and do an outside throw instead of doing a cross-armed throw.

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Half mess or single Lubman

Three throws of Mills mess followed by another outside throw so you start from the same side each time you repeat the pattern.

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Reverse Mills mess

For 3 balls, this is the same as a normal Mills mess except the under the arm throw is made on the inside of the pattern, going up in between the other two balls.

Reverse_Mills_Mess_(In_Time)_Juggling_Tutorial_27

Reverse Mills Mess (In Time) Juggling Tutorial 27

Reverse Mills mess tutorial

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531 mess with the 5 under the arm

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531 mess with the 3 under the arm

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531 mess with the 1 under the arm

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633 mess with the 6 under the arm

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633 mess with the first 3 under the arm

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633 mess with the second 3 under the arm

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645 mess with the 6 under the arm

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645 mess with the 4 under the arm

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645 mess with the 5 under the arm

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