Club juggling originated in the 1870s (though jugglers had already been using other linear props such as sticks, torches, and knives for thousands of years), and was originally done with Indian clubs, which were very heavy exercise/martial arts equipment made from wood and shaped similarly to modern juggling clubs.
Edward Van Wyck started making the first commercially available juggling clubs in 1895. Van Wyck clubs were made of wood, but were hollow and decorated with foil, making them lighter than Indian clubs. The first hollow plastic clubs were part of a children’s juggling set made in the late 1950s. The first multi-piece plastic juggling clubs were made in 1964 by Jay Green. His clubs were also the first to feature flex cushioning on the handle, and foam knobs and end caps.
Clubs are normally thrown so that they rotate at least once while in the air, with the top of the club rotating toward the juggler. Higher throws are usually done with more rotations, but the rotation speed can be controlled with the wrist to change the number of rotations per throw. It is also possible to throw flats, making the clubs stay horizontal in the air without spinning at all, or reverse spins, where the clubs rotate in the opposite direction.
The basic pattern for any number of clubs is normally done with each throw rotating half as many times as the number of clubs being juggled, rounding down for odd numbers: 3 clubs are done with single rotations, 4 and 5 are done with doubles, 6 and 7 are done with triples, 8 and 9 are done with quads. Any higher or lower number of rotations is usually considered a more difficult trick.
Clubs are more difficult to juggle than balls or rings. Sticks are harder to run than normal clubs, but easier for flashing high numbers. The Juggling Information Service Committee on Numbers Juggling (JISCON) recognizes sticks as a type of club that may be used for numbers records.
The highest number of clubs that have been qualified (at least twice as many catches as objects) is 8, and the highest number of clubs that have been flashed (same number of throws and catches as objects) is 9.
DeWitt Cook was the first person to juggle 3 clubs, in the 1870s. He juggled heavy wooden Indian clubs, normally used for arm-swinging exercises. 3 is the minimum number of clubs allowed in the Beginner, Junior, and Intermediate WJF competitions, and was also the minimum number for the Advanced competitions before 2008. Before 2015, the WJF overall championship included two competitions for 3 clubs: 360s (most 3 up 360s in 1 minute), and freestyle. At first the 3 club freestyle competition was a "best trick" contest like the other freestyle competitions, but in 2008 it was changed to the 1 minute routine format originally used for the WJF freestyle competitions. The world record for the longest 3 club endurance run with publicly available video evidence is 2 hours, 39 minutes, and 26 seconds by Kevin Hauer. John McPeak formerly held the Guinness World Record for the longest time juggling: 6 hours, using 3 clubs.
Charles Hoey was the first person to juggle 4 clubs. 4 was the minimum number of clubs used in the WJF advanced club short program in 2008; since 2010 that competition is for 5 clubs only. The WJF overall championship included a 4 club freestyle competition in 2006 (winner: Wes Peden) and 2007 (winner: Malte Peter). In 2011 the WJF had a 4 club freestyle competition that was not part of the overall championship (winner: Lauge Benjaminsen). The WJF also had an intermediate level 4 club short program in 2010 and 2011. The unofficial world record for 4 clubs (not validated by any world record organizations; no publicly available video) is 1 hour, 5 minutes, and 28 seconds by Luis Niño Villesca (record from IJDb).
Ben Mowatt Jr. was the first person to juggle 5 clubs. Until 1984, there were only two divisions in the IJA Numbers Championships - one for 7 objects (competitors could use either 7 balls or 7 rings in the same division) and one for 5 clubs. Since 1984, the IJA has had competitions with a separate division for each prop, where competitors are scored higher for juggling higher numbers. The WJF advanced club short program has been exclusively for 5 club juggling since 2010. The overall championship also includes a 5 club freestyle competition (best trick contest; held since 2004). Before 2015, the overall championship included a 5 club 360s competition (most 5 up 360s in 1 minute), and a 5 club backcross isolated endurance competition (endurance contest with competitors standing on chairs to allow only accurate, controlled patterns). The world record for 5 club juggling is 53 minutes and 21 seconds by Thomas Dietz (record from JISCON). Thomas claims to have done 5 clubs for 1 hour and 25 minutes.
6 clubsEditPat McGreevey was the first person credited with juggling 6 clubs (4 in one hand and 2 in the other). 6 is now the minimum number of clubs used in the IJA's numbers endurance competition, and was also the minimum number of clubs used in the WJF's numbers endurance competition until 2006. Since 2007 the WJF club endurance competition has started with 7 clubs. The WJF overall championship also included a 6 club freestyle competition from 2008 to 2014. The 6 club juggling world record is 7 minutes and 38 seconds by Anthony Gatto(video) (record from JISCON).
John Breen is the first person recorded as having juggled 7 clubs, around 1910. (He could do about 70 catches. Long before that, an ancient Chinese juggler is credited with juggling 7 swords.) The first person to juggle 7 clubs in the IJA's numbers endurance competition was Anthony Gatto in 1986. 7 is the minimum number of clubs used in the WJF's numbers endurance competition, and the highest number of clubs that have been qualified in any of the numbers endurance competitions at the IJA and the WJF. Before 2015, the WJF overall championship also included two other competitions for 7 clubs: freestyle, and isolated endurance (endurance contest with competitors standing on chairs to allow only accurate, controlled patterns). The WJF has also had a 7 Club Incentive Program since 2010, awarding $250 to anyone 15 years old or younger who is able to juggle 7 clubs for 50 catches at a WJF convention. Jack Denger won the 7 club incentive program in 2011 at age 14. The world record for 7 clubs is 4 minutes and 23 seconds by Anthony Gatto (record from JISCON).
The following people have juggled 7 clubs for at least 100 catches on video:
- Anthony Gatto - over 1000 catches(video)
- Vova Galchenko - 300 catches(video)
- Willy Colombaioni - 118 catches in quads(video)
- Masahiro Takahashi - 112 catches(video)
- Jon Brady - 111 catches(WJF 5 Overall Championship DVD)
- Jack Denger - 109 catches(video)
- Mathias Ramfelt - 109 catches(video)
- Christian Hauschild - 108 catches;(video) 200 catches(claim)
- Haavard Hvidsten - 107 catches(video)
- Thomas Dietz - 105 catches(video)
- Dominik Harant - 103 catches(video)
- Eivind Dragsjø - 101 catches(video, video)
- Wes Peden - 100 catches(video)
Other jugglers reported to have done at least 100 catches of 7 clubs:
- Toby Walker - 170 catches(claim)
- Manuel Mitasch - about 135 catches(claim)
- Stephan Gruss - about 120 catches(claim)
- Christof Buch - 118 catches(claim)
- Ben Thompson - 115 catches(claim)
- Onni Toivonen - 101 catches(claim)
- Claudius Specht(claim)
- Françoise Rochais(claim)
- Kristian Wanvik(video)
Tricks that have been done with 7 clubs include:
- Quads - qualified(video)
- Doubles - qualified(video)
- Singles - flashed(video)
- Club balance - qualified(video)
- 966 - 2 rounds to a qualify(video)
- (8x,6)* - qualified(video)
- 7 up 360 - qualified(video)
- 5 up 180 - qualified(video)
- Backcrosses - flashed(video)
- 2 body throws from one side to a qualify(video)
8 is the highest number of clubs that have been performed onstage. No one has successfully juggled 8 clubs in the numbers endurance competitions at the IJA and the WJF, which require a qualifying run. The following jugglers have all done at least a flash of 8 clubs on video:
- Anthony Gatto was the first person to flash 8 clubs, in 1991,(video) and the first person to qualify 8 clubs, in 2006. He currently holds the 8 club world record with 16 catches(video) (record from JISCON).
- Nikolai Gerasimov - onstage(video)
- Jason Garfield(video)
- Willy Colombaioni became the second person to qualify 8 clubs on video in 2015, tying the world record of 16 catches.
- Ben Thompson has flashed 8 clubs on video and claims to have done 16 catches.
- Daniel Eaker(video)
- Toby Walker - video shows about 11 catches
- Rudolf Janeček - onstage(video)
- Emil Dahl(video)
- Iver Tronstad(video)
- Eivind Dragsjø(video)
- Kenny Cheung(video)
- Rudolf Levitskiy(video)
Other jugglers reported to have flashed 8 clubs:
- Darin Marriott(claim)
- Chris Fowler - 9 catches(claim)
- Niels Duinker(claim)
- Scott Sorensen(claim)
- Thomas Dietz(claim)
- Onni Toivonen(claim)
- Manuel Mitasch(claim)
- Kristian Wanvik(claim)
- Luke Davies(claim)
Other jugglers who have done 8 similar objects:
- Shimon ben Gamaliel - torches(claim)
- Enrico Rastelli - sticks(claim)
- Luke Jay - sticks(claim)
- Jian Ping Qian - badminton rackets(video)
- Chris Fowler - 10 catches with sticks(claim)
- David Cain - sticks onstage(video)
- Bruce Tiemann - sticks(claim)
- Scott Sorensen - sticks(claim)
- Françoise Rochais - 10 catches with batons(claim)
Patterns and tricks that have been done with 8 clubs:
- Asynch quads (video)
- Asynch triples (video)
- 97 (video)
- Isolation (video)
- Pole balance (video)
- Scissor catches (video)
- Columns (video)
- Flat fronts (video)
- Duplexes (video)
9 clubsEditBruce Tiemann was the first person to flash 9 sticks, in 1996(video) (record from JISCON). The 9 stick record has since been equaled by Scott Sorensen in 1997(video) (record from JISCON), Chris Fowler in 2003(video) (record from JISCON), and Daniel Eaker in 2009(video) (record from Wikipedia). Chris Fowler claims to have done 9 sticks for 11 catches.
Willy Colombaioni claims to have first flashed 9 clubs in 2002, at age 17. Emil Dahl was the first person to flash 9 clubs with publicly available video evidence, in 2013 (record from Wikipedia). In 2015, Willy Colombaioni flashed 9 clubs on video, using a holster to hold the last club. Ben Thompson also flashed 9 clubs in 2015.(video) Eivind Dragsjø broke the 9 club world record in 2016 with 11 catches.(video)
- ↑ http://www.juggling.org/records/rules.html
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juggling_club
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 http://ezine.juggle.org/2014/01/31/the-development-of-the-juggling-club-part-1/
- ↑ http://historicaljugglingprops.com/innovative-and-rare-juggling-clubs-1895-1969/
- ↑ http://ezine.juggle.org/2014/02/16/the-development-of-the-juggling-club-part-2/
- ↑ http://ezine.juggle.org/2014/02/24/the-development-of-the-juggling-club-part-3/
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjy3gHyrFDo&lc=72qknyRXhy1chl3_-mn7TSgxgXjY_ocG9FT5LIFTVW8
- ↑ http://www.juggling.org/records/FAQ.html
- ↑ http://www.juggling.org/records/records.html
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juggling_world_records
- ↑ http://thewjf.com/competitor-files/competition-rules/
- ↑ http://wayback.archive.org/web/20040902063452/http://thewjf.com/competitions/clubs.html
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 http://thewjf.com/competitor-files/competition-rules/advanced-overall-championship/
- ↑ http://ezine.juggle.org/2015/01/17/john-mcpeak-a-serendipitous-adventure/
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 http://www.juggling.org/jb/jb20.html
- ↑ http://www.thewjf.com/2006results.php
- ↑ http://www.thewjf.com/2007Convention.php
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 http://www.thewjf.com/wjf7/wjf7_results.php
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 http://www.thewjf.com/WJF6/WJF6CompetitionRules.php#short
- ↑ http://www.thewjf.com/wjf7/competition_rules.php#short
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 21.2 http://ezine.juggle.org/2014/11/20/juggling-firsts-part-two-clubs-sticks-rackets/
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 http://www.juggle.org/ija/championships/
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 http://www.thewjf.com/allevents.php
- ↑ http://www.juggle.org/ija/championships/files/2015/04/NumbersRules2015.pdf
- ↑ http://www.juggling.org/help/numbers/records/clubs-07.html
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 http://www.juggle.org/ija/championships/numbers-records/