the Passing DataBase

(Illustration from: Charlie Dancey's Compendium of Club Juggling, p. 90, "Golden Rules of Club Passing", by kind permission of the author.)

Usually when you juggle you throw alternately, first with the right hand, then with the left hand, or vice versa. Occasionally you might even throw with both hands simultaneously. There are not many patterns in which the same hand throws several times in succession. Yet those patterns can really add a touch of spice to your juggling. The term "hurries" has come to be generally accepted for these moves, for reasons which will become obvious when you first try them. After a while, though, you can learn to calm things down a bit. And for most hurries there is also a variation that involves both hands throwing alternately as usual. More about that in the Theory section, which also contains some notes on the site swaps. But let's begin with the practical side. I've described the tricks in considerable detail and drawn causal diagrams to make it easier for you to get into the patterns and the causal diagrams.
To enable the same hand to throw twice in succession, it has to catch two clubs in succession. In all of the patterns described in this series so far, that doesn't happen. Why not? Because both jugglers dutifully throw to the hand whose turn it is to catch next. But what if this order is broken? Take P7 from Part 2 of the series, for example: the 6 club 3-count. Most of you will have tried this out in the meantime. It helps a lot to use a different colour for the clubs that get passed to distinguish them from the self-clubs. It's always the same club that gets passed diagonally, and always the same club that gets passed straight.

P13 6 Club 3-Count, 1 Single Cross Pass

<3px 3* 3|3px 3* 3>

Here is a variation on that pattern: Juggler A passes with the right hand - but for the sake of devilment, she doesn't pass straight to B's left hand but diagonally to B's right hand. For A, nothing has changed so far, but B now has a problem. This shows up clearly in the causal diagram: the first pass from A (top line) goes from right to right and forces B to throw twice with his right hand - first a pass and then immediately afterwards a self. As a consequence, each juggler now throws with opposite hands: A left, B right, etc. The revenge for A's deed comes a few throws later, when she suddenly gets a club thrown back at her wrong hand (see Fig. 13)
If you're superstitious, you'll find the numbering of this trick highly appropriate: it just refuses to work, because both throw the following pass on the same side of the pattern, A with the left, B with the right, increasing the likelihood of collisions.

P14 6 Club 3-Count, 2 Single Cross Passes

<3p 3 3 3px 3 3 3px 3* 3|3p 3 3 3p 3* 3 3p 3 3>

To make life easier for both of you, A decides to throw another diagonal pass, this time left to left. That gets you back into the normal 3-count.
As you can see from the causal diagram, the Hurries are equally divided between the two jugglers after the two passes: the first is B's problem, the second is A's. After that, both can throw in the normal 3-count pattern. This ends our first (successful?) expedition to the world of the Hurries.

P15 Jim's 3-Count

<3px 3 3 3px 3* 3 | 3p 3* 3 3p 3 3>

This is surely the most famous pattern of the outgoing 20th century. It is nothing other than P14, but without a break. This is a real right-left pattern with Hurries for both. Try it, it's really not as difficult as you think. (The other day we managed it during a "right-left passing for beginners" workshop.)
After the first diagonal pass from A the passes are always thrown twice in succession from the same hand, i.e.: right pass, left pass, left pass, right pass. Of course, there are also a number selfs in between, but they would only have got in the way if I'd included them here.
The diagram (Fig. 15) shows only the first half of the pattern. As the hands are swapped around at the end of P14, the second part of the pattern is simply a mirror image of the first half.

P16 6 Club 3-Count, 2 Single Cross Passes

<3px 3 3 3p 3 3 | 3p 3* 3 3px 3* 3>

Another way of getting out of the problem you've created for yourselfs in P13: A and B always pass diagonally in alternation. Then all the Hurries are at B's end. A passes with both hands to B's right hand. B only passes with his right hand, alternating between straight and diagonal throws.

P17 6 Club 3-Count, Self Double Hurry

<4x* 2* 3px | 3 3 3p>

This is another pattern in which one juggler is lumbered with all the Hurries. B "forces himself" to throw a Hurry (unlike P13, in which it was A who forced her partner into the Hurry). B begins with a double from the right, immediately after a pass. Doubles normally go to the same hand, but he throws this one to his left hand, causing the problem for himself - in a few moments this club is going to land in his wrong hand. Before that happens, B simply waits. In the causal diagram you'll notice that the arrow from the left hand points back to the same hand, which simply means: keep hold of the club. But then the double from the right has to be caught - with the left hand. And that is also where the pass from A is about to land. So B has to empty that left hand as quickly as possible. He can't pass straight ahead (because the pass from A is winging its way in, see P13), so he has to pass diagonally (see P14). Again, this pattern can be repeated continually without a break.

P18 7 Club 3-Count, Diagonal

<4p 3 3 4p 3* 3 4p 3 3| 3 5px 3 3 5px 3 3 5px 3*>

In the normal 7-club 3-count one juggler passes straight and the other passes diagonally. However, now B, who should be passing straight, decides to throw all passes diagonally. This naturally creates Hurries, which are equally distributed between the two partners. Even so, the pattern is somewhat unbalanced in the sense that one hand passes more often than the other. Which hand does more passing depends, of course, on how you start. What better way of exercising your weaker hand? As in P15, the causal diagram shows only the first half of the pattern.

Notes on the diagrams:
In part 2 of this workshop series the causal diagrams did not indicate which hand is throwing. This is now essential, however, whereas there is no longer any need to indicate whether a throw is a single, a double, or a whateverelse - that naturally follows from the length of the arrow (see part 2, A Causal Puzzle).
Following Martin Frost's suggestion (in Jugglers World, Summer 1994) I have marked the Hurries with an asterisk *.


Mathematicians reading this article will probably have torn out all their hair by now. Each of the so-called site swaps contains a few special characters to denote whether the same hand throws again (indicated by *) or whether a pass should be diagonal instead of straight (x). This doesn't have much to do with the good old site swap notation in its classic form. Instead, I have noted down what you think you're throwing. I'd be happy to answer any questions on this subject by e-mail (see address at the end of this article). If enough readers would be interested, I could go into the background in more detail in the next Kaskade.

For many Hurries there are variations which do without Hurries. You simply insert a hold (a 2 in site swap) between the Hurries and adjust the length of the other throws accordingly. Thus, a Hurry with the right hand disappears in a hold with the left and a throw from the right. As a consequence, diagonal passes have even site swap numbers. Take a look at P15. A throws diagonally, her passes are therefore 4p; B throws straight, which is 3p. If the holds are now inserted and the Hurries removed, the pattern becomes:
<4p 3 3 4p 2 3 3 | 3p 2 3 3 3p 3 3>
To ensure that both partners throw to the same height, A delays her throws by half a beat (see part 1 of this workshop series), and both pass to a height of 3.5. This pattern is only half as much fun, though, because the Hurries are missing.
Here's a question to wrestle over: In which of the patterns can you not get rid of the Hurry using this method?

On the Causal Puzzle:

Lay the pattern onto the basic puzzle framework you kept from part 2 of this workshop. Note in pencil which hand is throwing. I'm not going to recommend using a ball-point pen because I don't get a cut from the sales of Kaskade or the revenues of your copy shop.

Charley Dancey, Compendium of Club Juggling, ISBN 1898591 14 8
Jugglers World, Summer 1994
Jugglers World, Fall 1997