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Holding through the gap

Passing the hole is a problem that comes up when a club ends up on the ground during a passing pattern.  It may be a pattern with two people or a group pattern, and the number of clubs you started with doesn't really matter (although we are only concerned with patterns with 3 clubs per juggler on this page).

The idea is as follows.  The missing club creates a hole in the pattern.  The club in question is on the ground, and let's suppose it's close enough to one of the jugglers that he can pick it up.  But he can't do it unless he only has 2 clubs in his hands.  Therefore, the hole must be passed to this juggler. 

Basic principles for 2 jugglers

From your point of view (as opposed to that of your partner), you have two choices:  either you keep the hole, or you pass it along when it comes (aka holding through the gap).  To keep the hole, all you need to do is continue passing each time (keeping only 2 clubs and handing over the club each time to keep it going).  To pass the hole, you must not pass until you have to (when you have 3 clubs and it's time to pass).

Now you need to know who's going to pick up (in general, the one who's closest to the dropped club, but a well-placed kick can inverse the roles).  So we have two cases:

  1. your partner's going to pick up. In this case, it's imperative that you pass the hole.
  2. you're going to pick up. You can keep the hole until you pick up, but Charlie Dancey finds this method inelegant.  The other solution is to have both jugglers pass the hole, and in this manner, you'll retrieve the hole eventually. 

Below you will find several methods to pass or keep the hole in 4-count or in 2-count.

Passing the hole

To pass the hole in 4-count or in 2-count, you only need to pass when you have 3 clubs.  Basically it boils down to:
juggling--pass--pause with the hole

Passing the hole in 4-count

Passing the hole in 2-count

In 2-count, you may also continue to juggle when you have just 2 clubs, i.e. go on as if the hole was a club.  The hole goes around a little slower but you earn points for style (Note:  of course this is possible in 4-count, but it's easy to trip up, and the hole moves really slowly).

hand:
right
left
right
left
right
left
rightleftrightleftrightleft
throw:
pass
self
hole
self
pass
self
pass
self
pass
self
pass
hole

Passing the hole in 2-count, juggling the hole (the hole corresponds to the black arrows)

Keeping the hole

If you want to keep the hole regardless of what Charlie thinks about it, just continue to pass in rhythm, even if you only have 2 clubs.  You then hand the club across (or do selfs) so you can catch your partner's passes.

keeping the hole in 2-count

keeping the hole in 4-count

With more than 2 jugglers

The instructions above apply to the special case of 2 jugglers, but think a bit about the potentially useful concept of group passing (feed, line...) to get the hole to the person in the best position to pick up.

Generally, if you get the hole but can't pick up the club on the ground, continue to juggle anyway, passing the hole.  There's a good chance that it will get to the person who can pick it up.  If you can pick up, wait until the hole comes back and make use of it.  If you need a little time to think, you can send it (the hole) around another time, or keep it (recommended in certain cases--for example, if you are a feedee in a feed).