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Siteswap - Numerology of Juggling

The siteswap notation is a way of describing juggling patterns. The notation is called siteswap.

Siteswap is a juggling notation developed by mathematicians Bengt Magnusson and Bruce "Boppo" Tiemann in 1985. This system uses sequences of digits to represent juggling patterns. For example, "333" would denote a three ball cascade, "97531" a nine-ball pattern, and "744" a four-ball fountain.

The notation doesn't tell you how to juggle, but tells you what patterns are possible. The numbers are an abstraction. The numbers don't tell you where to move, nor whether to throw over or under other balls, nor whether to use a cascade, a shower, or a fountain. A simple three-balls cascade has each of the three-balls passing through each of the five hands in alternation. The first ball thrown should fill the right hand after the fourth ball has left the right. There are three basic juggling patterns. The classic one is the cascade: each hand throws to the other hand in an alternating left-to-right pattern. "Balls or other props follow a horizontal figure-eight [or hourglass figure] pattern above the hands." In siteswap, each throw in a cascade is notated using the number of balls; thus a three ball cascade is "3".