3 51


by the numbers

[23] (4,2x)(2x,4)

This is an animated tutorial on the Siteswap notational system for juggling patterns, the rec.juggling standard. The thumbnail juggler applets illustrating the text (like the four above) can be linked up with a master juggler; double click on one to send its pattern to the main juggler, where you can play with it!

Single clicking toggles a juggler running or stopped; the thumbnails are for the most part stopped when you first see them, and just show up as black squares, usually captioned with their assigned pattern. Read the "About the animator" page to see the specifications for well-formed juggling patterns.


  • Why a notation for juggling patterns?
  • Sales pitch for siteswap (over other possible notations)
  • A brief history, and references
  • Glossary of relevant juggling terms
  • A sample batch of cool patterns (recommended for the impatient)
  • About the juggling animator (and what makes a well-formed pattern)
  • Theory

  • Space-time diagrams
  • Vanilla siteswap
  • The general idea and the vanilla restriction
  • The "0" and "2" kludges
  • Working backwards from numbers to patterns
  • The averaging rule (and misconceptions about)
  • Orbits
  • More general notations (rocky road siteswap)
  • Synchronous siteswap
  • Multiplexing
  • "Site swaps" and the averaging theorem
  • Examples

  • Basic 3, 4, and 5-ball tricks
  • Transitions into and out of showers
  • Baby-juggling patterns
  • About the authors