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Mills mess is a trick invented by Steve Mills. The pattern is a repeating sequence of three different kinds of throws:

7b mills attempt00:12

7b mills attempt

7 ball Mills mess by Daniel Eaker

  • The first throw is an outside throw. The next catch made by the hand making this throw should be done with that arm crossed over the other arm.
  • The second throw is made under the arm, and the arms stay crossed so that the next catch made by that hand is also done under the arm.
  • The third throw is made starting with the arms crossed, uncrossing them while throwing with the hand that's on top. This prop, when thrown with the right hand, goes over the top of the pattern from left to right. The next catch made by the hand making this throw should be done with the arms uncrossed.

These three throws are done starting with the right hand and the left hand alternately.

Unless this trick is combined with a siteswap, in a Mills mess pattern with an odd number of objects the objects are always thrown with one hand and caught with the other hand, and in a pattern with an even number of objects each object is always thrown and caught with the same hand. Because all the throws are made on the outside of the pattern, it's easier to transition into Mills mess from a reverse cascade or fountain than from the basic pattern.

3 mess 200

3 ball Mills mess

4 mess 200

4 ball Mills mess

5 mess 200

5 ball Mills mess

Three Ball Mills Mess Tutorial09:02

Three Ball Mills Mess Tutorial

3 ball Mills mess tutorial

Juggling Tutorial 4 ball Mills' Mess - part I04:11

Juggling Tutorial 4 ball Mills' Mess - part I

4 ball Mills mess tutorial (part 1, part 2, part 3)

World recordsEdit

Mills mess records with publicly available video evidence:

Unverified claims:

Alternative namesEdit

VariationsEdit

3 Flo's mess 200

Flo's mess

After the under-the-arm throw, you uncross your arms and do an outside throw instead of doing a cross-armed throw.

3 4beat mess 200

Half mess

Three throws of Mills mess followed by another outside throw so you start from the same side each time you repeat the pattern.

3 rev mess 200

Reverse Mills mess

For 3 balls, this is the same as a normal Mills mess except the under the arm throw is made on the inside of the pattern, going up in between the other two balls.

Reverse Mills Mess (In Time) Juggling Tutorial 2703:54

Reverse Mills Mess (In Time) Juggling Tutorial 27

Reverse Mills mess tutorial

315 mess 200

531 mess with the 5 under the arm

153 mess 200

531 mess with the 3 under the arm

531 mess 200

531 mess with the 1 under the arm

336 mess 200

633 mess with the 6 under the arm

363 mess 200

633 mess with the first 3 under the arm

633 mess 200

633 mess with the second 3 under the arm

456 mess 200

645 mess with the 6 under the arm

564 mess 200

645 mess with the 4 under the arm

645 mess 200

645 mess with the 5 under the arm

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