Passing (juggling)

Passing (juggling)
Manuel and Christoph Mitasch, world record holding club passers.

Passing is the act of juggling between more than one person. It is a very social part of juggling and is very impressive to watch. It is possible to pass with any juggling prop, but ball passing is fairly rare and club passing is very popular. This is because clubs have a handle, making it easy to catch a club which has been correctly thrown to you, and club passing looks more impressive.

In general, two people face each other a few metres apart, each holding three clubs. On a signal, both start juggling in time with each other. To pass, each replaces a normal throw to themselves directly across to the other person. Both people do this at the same time, for example with their right hand, and then receive the incoming pass with their left hand. From the point of view of their pattern, the incoming pass behaves exactly as if they had thrown it themselves.



A good club pass comes from the side of your body and arrives at your partner after completing a single spin. It should arrive vertically upwards, slightly outside (away from the centre) of the body (around 20cm) although everyone has their own preference. This is where the pass is easiest to catch for the receiver. This also applies to left hand and right hand passes.

Passing patterns

Six Clubs

A basic variation in the pattern depends on how often the "self throw" is replaced with a pass.

Four-count, or "Every others"
One of the most basic forms of passing is called four-count. In four-count, every fourth throw — that is, every second right-handed throw — is a passing throw.
Three-count, or "Waltz"
In three-count, every third throw is a pass. This means that the passing throw alternates from the left hand to the right hand, with the same club being passed each time.
Two-count, "Solids", or "Everies"
Every right-handed throw is a pass. This is a fast-paced pattern which can be maintained for a long period of time with practice.
One-count, or "ultimates", also referred to as a "thunder shower"
Every throw is a pass. Effectively, two separate juggling patterns are formed: One between the left hand of the first juggler, and the right hand of the second, and vice versa. This is a very quick pattern which is rarely maintained for long periods. It requires equal skill with both hands.

Other popular patterns are;

Pass Pass Self
Literally where both people perform Pass, Pass, Self.
Book Ends
Where both people perform Pass, Self, Pass, Self, Pass. The hand you are passing with should change hands after three passes with no selves in between.
Jim's patterns are a variant of passing where one juggler passes crosses (diagonally) whilst the other passes straights. This leads to interesting complexities such as hurries (where one hand will throw receive a pass and throw again whilst the other holds a club). Jim's can be applied to most if not all patterns, although the six club Pass Pass Self pattern leaves the person throwing straights never passing with the left hand.
Chocolate Bar
The Chocolate bar is a variant on the one-count passing pattern where you alternate between self-throws and passes. The pattern is two passes followed by two self-throws. It allows passers to get practice passing ultimates while at the same time getting the occasional break.
Every eighth throw is a trick shot pass. Similar to four-count, but on the second pass- that is, the eighth throw- the pass is made by a trick shot. One juggler could pass behind the back, the other could pass under the leg. Popularised by Chichester based jugglers the Jalfrezi Brothers- Clyde Macfarlane and Timothy Longland.

7 Clubs

7 Singles
Similar to the 6 club two-count, however the rhythm is changed. The rhythm becomes galloped where the left hand throws only after a little time after the right hand has thrown. The passes are also made floaty to let the extra club fit in. The second person (starting with three clubs) makes their first throw when their partners’ first club is halfway across.
7 Doubles
Similar to 6 club two count and 7 singles however passes are made as doubles to let the extra club fit in. The second person (starting with three clubs) makes their first throw when their partner’s first club is halfway across.
7 four-count
Similar to 6 club Four-count but each pass is made as a triple to fit the extra club into. The second person (starting with three clubs) makes their first throw when their partner’s first club is halfway across. Alternatively the second person can start with two selves at the same time.
Each person performs the same routine but the first person starts halfway through the second persons routine. Each perform Right hand crossing self triple, left hand single, Right hand double parallel pass, left hand single, right hand single. The first person (with four clubs) throws their tramline double pass and waits till the return one is halfway across before they throw their first double. The second person waits till the first persons double is halfway across before making their triple.


There are many tricks that can be performed over the pattern, including varying the throwing method (under the leg, behind the back, spinning the wrong way, not spinning at all) and the throwing height (which requires the other person to fill in while he waits to catch it). It is also possible to pass with more than two people, and with more than three clubs each.


Two conventions are commonly used:

Slow start
Both jugglers begin with self-throws, as if they had just received an incoming pass. Thus for four-count, each juggler will make four self-throws and pass on the fifth.
Fast start
Both jugglers begin with a pass.

Slow start is generally preferred by beginners, but fast start is more popular amongst confirmed passers.


There are three main types of rhythm. The first is the usual where each hand throws with equal time between each other. The second is sometimes referred to as a galloped rhythm, when the left hand only throws after a little after the right hand has thrown. The third is synchronous, when both hands throw at the same time.


A collision is when two or more clubs hit each other in the air. Usually they are unrecoverable. There are ways of avoiding collisions. For example, in 6 club Ultimates, both throwing from in to out can prevent the clubs from colliding. Other ways are to make one person throw wider than they would normally do.


As for solo juggling, world records for passing are kept. The rules generally require that two-count passing be used, and that the number of successful catches be four times the number of props, in order for a passing attempt to be successful. Current world records are as follows:

  • 13 clubs: 26 passes caught, by Wes Peden and Patrik Elmnert in 2009 [1]
  • 12 clubs: 76 passes caught, by Manuel Mitasch and Christoph Mitasch in 2008 [2]
  • 11 clubs: 237 passes caught, by Manuel Mitasch and Christoph Mitasch in 2010 [3]
  • 10 clubs: >600 passes caught, by Manuel Mitasch and Christoph Mitasch in 2008 [4]
  • 9 clubs: 1392 passes caught, by Manuel Mitasch and Christoph Mitasch in 2007 [5]
See also: Passing records

External links

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