Contact Juggling Ball Theory


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An essay about different ball types and Contact Juggling with them.

The Basic Theory Small V.S. Large Start with a big ball for ball rolling tricks and work it down to your performanc­e ball. Start with a small ball for ball spinning tricks and work it up to your performanc­e ball. I call this upsize for spins and downsize for rolls. Make sure to practice with the ball you will perform with. Unfortunat­ely some tricks take time and only practicing with your performanc­e ball could slow you down.

Heavy V.S. Light I find that if you have the strength that a heavy ball is easier to learn rolls with. I have not found an advantage to standard spinning using heavy or light balls, but upside down spins have improved when I could use heavy balls and then I switched to light balls.

Tacky V.S. Smooth For ball rolling tacky balls can make a trick easier. The ball has a harder time slipping from the skin. For spinning 3 balls tacky balls like lacrosse balls are more difficult because you must keep them apart. If you put the 4th ball on top it is actually easier because the top ball pushes the bottom three apart for you.

"Tell" Marks Clear or Reflective balls have less or no "tell" marks. A tell in poker is when you have a habit you do that gives away a bluff. In Contact Juggling a ball has a "tell" mark if people can see it spin. This can ruin the illusion or it can amplify it, depending on the trick. Isolations are ruined if you can see the ball spin. It no longer looks like it is floating

Many disagree with this in part or in whole. That is why I wrote this to find out what people think.

Multiple size balls and weight also helps to teach.

For 2 ball rolling work I was recently working with 2 balls, one a 2.5" acrylic the other a 2.5" marble ball. The acrylic was super light by comparison to the marble ball. This difference in balls allowed me to use the heavy marble ball to see where the ball would roll and the light ball to make sure I understood how to roll it. If the light acrylic ball flew away I really didn't understand the way the ball should roll.

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