How to use siteswaps ?

If you are able to juggle some of the basic siteswaps you will hopefully reach that point where you start to ask yourself

  • yes I can do it but isn´t that boring like hell
  • will the audience or my non juggling friends ever see the differences of beauty between 741 and 714
  • where has all the creativity gone to
  • could I pimp my juggling-routine more with another chainsaw, a unicycle or with another smashing 97531
  • will all the jugglers look the same if the WJF takes over


  • will siteswap enable me to actually extend my juggling skills
  • is it possible to be creative with siteswaps


  • how can we add movement, rythm and finally again fun to siteswap
  • is that the end
  • what will come next

Be sure there is an answer to all this.

First of all we should understand that siteswap notation describes basic juggling patterns. It is limited because it does not provide any information on throw-point, catch-point or the manner and style in which the balls (props) are thrown. Even Mills Mess with three balls would be written 333. However it is possible to write down the Mills Mess so that juggling simulators will understand it – but it is terribly exhausting.

Siteswap gives an easy potential of upgrading your tricks. You just define a different behaviour to each digit. To start with, use only one digit to alternate the pattern.

Try out to add the following modifiers to different tricks:

  • Body throws. For example you might define the 3 in 531 as a backcross throw. Or use under leg throws, behind the neck throws – reverse back crosses etc.

  • Types of catches. Change how you catch a special ball. Claw, Penguin Catch, back of the hand. Moreover you could try to change the hand to another part of your body. Knee, neck, foot, armpit, ellbow … and so on.
    [see list of places of interest here]

  • Positions. Change the position of:

    where the ball is thrown
    where the ball is catched
    where the ball is transfered to before the throw
    where the ball is placed
    where the ball is grabbed
    where the ball is bounced
    where the ball is rolled

You can do that with all kinds of juggling props – rings, balls, clubs maybe even with


to be continued soon.