Throw names


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Jugglers use a variety of ways to describe their patterns and the individual throws in those patterns. Among passers, there are terms for most of the throws used in passing.



A pass is caught and thrown by different jugglers.

  • Every pass can be either cross/diagonal, which means from a right hand to a right one or from left to left, or it is straight/longline/tramline, which is from the right to the left or vice versa.
  • Depending on whether the passers throw synchronous or out of phase the pass needs to stay in the air longer. In the latter case the passes are called floaty and describe a higher arc than the nonfloaty ones.


Zaps take less time than single passes and onlny do about half a rotation in flight. Zaps can be anything below 3p in siteswap. Most Zaps are 5 in four-handed siteswap - in fact, zaps only became popular when passers started exploring multi-handed patterns.


A single is a pass which spins once between release and catch. Usually, singles are 3p to 3.5p in solo siteswap and 7 in four-handed siteswap.


The words "double", "triple" etc. are not unambiguous, as they are also used for self throws. When describing passes, a double is a pass that spins twice, usually a 4p or 4.5p in solo, and 9 in four-handed siteswap.

Self Throws

Any throw that is caught by the passer who threw it is called a "self". Though they can be avoided completely in ultimate patterns, occasional self throws can add to the pleasure of passing.


A club that is handed directly from one hand to the other, without ever being in the air. Usually a 1 in solo siteswap, a 2 in four-handed. The term "zip" is only used for selfs, not for handing clubs to others in takeouts.


Whenever a pattern calls for a hand to throw to itself, with nothing happening in that hand between throw and catch, the club can remain in the hand instead. Holds occur as 2 in solo siteswap, the four-handed equivalent is a 4. The extra time holding the club can be used for flourishes.


The word "self" can refer to any non-passed throw, and specifically to the single self landing in the opposite hand. In this case, it corresponds to a solo siteswap 3 or a four-handed 6.


A term not often used outside passing, a "heff" is throw to the same hand. In solo juggling, this is simply called a "double" or "column". The former is easily confused with a double pass, so the neologism "heff" is used by passers. In siteswap, it corresponds to a 4 (solo) or an 8 (four-handed).

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