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The Mills Mess State Transition Diagram (MMSTD), invented by Mike Day, is a system for notating juggling patterns where the arms cross, such as Mills mess. There are six states that this kind of pattern can be in at a given time, and each state is represented by two letters: a capital letter that shows which way the arms are crossed, and a lower-case letter that shows which hand will make the next throw.

  • Lr means the arms are crossed with the left hand on top, and the right hand will throw next.
  • Ll means the arms are crossed with the left hand on top, and the left hand will throw next.
  • Ul means the arms are uncrossed, and the left hand will throw next.
  • Ur means the arms are uncrossed, and the right hand will throw next.
  • Rr means the arms are crossed with the right hand on top, and the right hand will throw next.
  • Rl means the arms are crossed with the right hand on top, and the left hand will throw next.

The arrows in the diagram represent certain throws you can do to transition between these states. Only the most fluid and natural transitions are included. Some possible transitions, such as going directly from a state where the right hand is about to throw to another state where the right hand is about to throw, are left out of the diagram.

An arrow with an I (for "inside") means the ball you're throwing is to the left of the incoming ball if it's thrown by the right hand, or to the right of the incoming ball if it's thrown by the left hand. An arrow with an O (for "outside") means the ball you're throwing is to the right of the incoming ball if it's thrown by the right hand, or to the left of the incoming ball if it's thrown by the left hand. (When your arms are uncrossed, I throws are made on the inside of the pattern and O throws are made on the outside, but when your arms are crossed, I throws are made on the outside of the pattern and O throws are made on the inside).

MMSTD
The complete diagram, showing all the most natural transitions between states. A pattern is described by a part of the diagram that forms a complete circuit of arrows.
Cascade MMSTD
A diagram of the basic cascade
Rev cascade MMSTD
The reverse cascade
Halfshower MMSTD
Halfshower
Windmill MMSTD
Windmill
Rev windmill MMSTD
Reverse windmill
Cross-armed cascade MMSTD
Cross-armed cascade
Mills mess MMSTD
Mills mess
Rev Mills mess MMSTD
Reverse Mills mess
Burkes barrage MMSTD
Burke's barrage

(notated with a combination of MMSTD and siteswap.)

Mike's mess MMSTD
Mike's mess

Using the siteswap 522 makes it possible to notate a pattern where each cross-armed throw is followed directly by a throw with the arms crossed the other way, which the MMSTD does not normally allow.

Rubensteins revenge MMSTD
Rubenstein's revenge

The siteswap sequence is 52233 and the MMSTD sequence is Lr Ll Ur Rl Ur Rl Rr Ul Lr Ul.

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