Jim's 3 Count
(Crosses & Straights)
See description of Jim's 3 Count
Where it began...
In March of 1997 I posted to rec.juggling, "A challenge for 2 passer & 6 clubs." This was a pattern I came up with after struggling with a 1 count pattern called Brendan's Folly. Rick Prevett had brought a Juggler's World to our juggling meeting with an article by Martin Frost explaining Brendan's Folly. That meeting, Rick and I tried Brendan's Folly and got it to work, but we struggled with the pattern's 'hurries' and the one collision that can happen in one of the four passes. A 'hurry' is when the pattern 'forces' a juggler to receive a pass to the wrong hand, but it also enables the pattern to break the conventional alternating hand rule. I went home trying to rewrite Brendan's Folly, mainly to exclude the collision. A collision is where the pattern basically 'asks' the participants to throw at their partners throw, creating two clubs aimed at each other at the same time. Collisions can be avoided with a little aim tweaking, but I saw them as an unneeded annoyance. I wrote down Brendan's Folly in a ladder diagram. I had earlier devised a ladder diagram to 'juggle on paper' which I had used when working on Jim's Jam. I then looked at all the ways 2 passers with 6 clubs could throw at each other in a 4 pass cycle. I think I came up with 128 ways. With that list of possibles, I excluded those with collisions. I also removed conventional 3 count and some crazy ones like throwing all lefts to all lefts or all rights to all rights. From there I excluded those that started from a left hand start (conventional juggling patterns start with the right hand.) From the remainder patterns I looked at those where each juggler is hurried evenly. Brendan's Folly had 'hurries' only for one juggler and I didn't find that fair. After those filters, one almost jumped off the page at me. Each passer passed out of one hand twice then the other twice. Each passer was hurried twice every other throw, and not while his partner was hurried. One passer only passes straight throws and the other only passes crossing throws. At the next juggling meeting I tried it with Rick and we got it to work. So I called it Crosses and Straights. Later Martin Frost kindly gave it the name "Jim's 3-Count" in his article, "Hurries," Juggler's World - Fall 1997.
 Jim's Jam "Unexpected Passing Variations" by Martin Frost, Juggler's World - Fall 1996
rec.juggling (March 1997)
A challenge for 2 passer & 6 clubs
From user505223 on 3/8/97
The following is a pattern using all single rotation passes and selves.
It does require passing from right and lefts. Some of the passes are
diagonals (R-R & L-L), not doubles but singles.
This pattern is a variation of 3ct or PSS or 'tic-toc' or 'rejects' or
whatever you call 'a right pass then two selves, a left pass then two
During this pattern you may have a pass come to your right hand when
you're expecting it to be coming to your left or your left when you expect
your right.. I call this occurrence a 'hurry' although the timing
shouldn't change your hands do.
Here follows an explanation in hopefully plain English, but if causel
diagrams make sense to you, just skip to the end of this.
1)Both jugglers always exchange passes then self twice. The pattern
repeats itself after 4 passes.
2)Both start with a right pass. One juggler passes all diagonals
(Crossing Juggler); another juggler passes all straight passes; (Straight
3)The Crossing Juggler's passes are all single rotations; (R-R), (L-L),
Remember there are 2 selves in between each pass.
4)The Straight Juggler's passes are all single rotations; (R-L), (R-L),
Remember there are 2 selves in between each pass.
5)The Crossing Juggler starts out with a R-R pass then a left self, a
right self, and a L-L pass ect..
6)The Straight Juggler starts out with a regular R-L pass, but next has to
self from the right hand because of an incoming pass. After that right
self, there's a left self then another R-L pass ect.
7)The problem of the incoming pass to the hand that just passed happens
twice to each juggler in four passes. This 'hurry' changes your regular
hands combination so that your passes will not alternate from R to L to R
to L nor will you always reject clubs.
8)The challenge was to pass four passes then reverse roles and pass four
more. In other words to start out as the Crossing Juggler then after four
passes pass as the Straight Juggler with your partner always doing the
9)This pattern is a modification of an ultimate thing Martin Frost had in
an article a year ago or so. His pattern had both jugglers passing
crosses and straights and one juggler actually gets to pass R-L-R-L. His
pattern could also be done in 3-ct by adding two selves in between passes.
10)Take out the selves from this and try it as ultimates. This pattern is
also possible in 2-ct and 4-ct with a minor adjustment. CJ=(R-R, R-R,
L-L, L-L) SJ=(R-L, L-R, L-R, R-L)
Crossing Juggler: R L - R - L L - R - L R - L - R R - L -
X X X X
Straight Juggler : R R L R L - R - L L - R - L R - L -
2-COUNT VERSION see item 10
Crossing Juggler: R L - R R - L R - L L -
X X X X (repeat)
Straight Juggler : R R - L R - L L - R L -
Show trimmed content
Thanks for the pattern suggestion. Nathan Hoover and I did this pattern
and various variations Wednesday night at the Stanford meeting (which
happened to be at SGI, as is next week's). It was fun and a nice change.
A bit unusual, but fortunately we're used to the unusual.
> During this pattern you may have a pass come to your right hand when
> you're expecting it to be coming to your left or your left when you expect
> your right.. I call this occurrence a 'hurry' although the timing
> shouldn't change your hands do.
For experienced passers, the hurry is only slight. But if you've never
received such a pass (such as a R-R single in a 6-club 2-count), then it's
a bit surprising ("Huh?"). If you get rid of your preconception about
which hand you expect your partner to pass to, this pattern is
straightforward. Nathan and I found that the trick was to "go with the
flow" -- i.e., don't even try to remember which hand has to do something
next or which hand is receiving the next pass, just remember to do two
selves each time between passes. Then you just have to remember whether
you're doing diagonal or straight passes. In fact, even that isn't
critical (see random stuff below)!
> 2)Both start with a right pass. One juggler passes all diagonals
> (Crossing Juggler); another juggler passes all straight passes; (Straight
That's all one needs to remember (plus that it's a 3-count), really.
(Though it was nice for the original description to have the complete
picture carefully explained, leaving no doubt.)
(Also try throwing early or late doubles, etc., in this 3-count.)
> 8)The challenge was to pass four passes then reverse roles and pass four
> more. In other words to start out as the Crossing Juggler then after four
> passes pass as the Straight Juggler with your partner always doing the
We found this to be pretty easy once we got into the rhythm of the basic
pattern. We also tried other frequencies of changing roles, just to see
the effect on the pattern (can we make a version that is symmetric R and L
and the same for both jugglers, over all?).
> 9)This pattern is a modification of an ultimate thing Martin Frost had in
> an article a year ago or so. His pattern had both jugglers passing
> crosses and straights and one juggler actually gets to pass R-L-R-L. His
> pattern could also be done in 3-ct by adding two selves in between passes.
Aha, Brendan's Folly. Great pattern (and strange, but that's the
definition of great, I think).
> 10)Take out the selves from this and try it as ultimates. This pattern is
> also possible in 2-ct and 4-ct with a minor adjustment. CJ=(R-R, R-R,
> L-L, L-L) SJ=(R-L, L-R, L-R, R-L)
We did the 1-count version and had a little more trouble, but were able to
make it work. The two selves in the 3-count version definitely give you
plenty of time to adjust after a "hurry". With no selves in the 1-count
version, it's important not to panic (which usually effects a low, hurried
throw, which only causes more trouble). We didn't try the 2- or 4-count
version (I forgot to try them!).
BUT we did try a *random* 3-count version. That's what you start to do
when either (a) you forget whether you're doing crossing or straight
passes, or (b) you just panic, or (c) you're doing some combination where
you change roles and you forget where you are, or (d) you decide that there
should be no roles (no rules?). We did all of the above, culminating in
doing (d) deliberately, where we tried to see if we *had* to agree on who
was going to take which role. (We still maintained the 3-count rhythm, as
that's fairly important unless you can go into 4-clubs with no warning upon
receiving a hurry or unless you can do multiplex catches reliably from
Turned out that we didn't have to agree on roles, we discovered, although
there are some places where collisions are likely unless (as I tried to do,
often successfully) you explicitly watch to see where your partner is about
to throw and modify collision prone throws in order to be able to keep
going. (Common collision: when both throw diagonal (or both straight), but
from opposite hands (one R, one L).)
Another somewhat related pattern is RRLL, where both jugglers do the same
thing: R-R diag, R-L straight, L-L diag, L-R straight (see Juggler's
Workshop in Juggler's World, vol. 44, number 2).
--Martin Show trimmed content
> user5...@aol.com (User505223) writes:
> > The following is a pattern using all single rotation passes and selves.
> > It does require passing from right and lefts. Some of the passes are
> > diagonals (R-R & L-L), not doubles but singles.
> > This pattern is a variation of 3ct or PSS or tic-toc or rejects or
> > whatever you call 'a right pass then two selves, a left pass then two
> > selves.'
> Dear user505223,
> Thanks for the pattern suggestion. Nathan Hoover and I did this pattern
> <and various variable variations blah, blah, blah>
The Wednesday after doing the above pattern, I did it again, this time
showing it to Art Weininger and then trying to turn it into a feed with me
feeding Art and Nathan. Turned out to be quite interesting. I should have
written it up immediately, when it was fresh in my mind, but oh well.
For the feed, we decided upon the following (arbitrarily, but without loss
of generality :-). The feeder would throw all diagonals and both feedees
would throw straight. We would effectively do a three-count feed but with
the hurrying throws doing their thing. So the feeder does pass-pass-self.
What I found as the feeder was that during my second pair of passes,
something weird happened. I'm quite used to the RLsLRs of a three-count
feeder, and so that rhythm was trying to control me (!). But it kept dying
in the second pair of passes. And a quick look at the causal diagram shows
why ("F" is Frost the feeder, in the middle line):
N: R R - L - R L - R - L
F: R L R L L! R - L
A: R - L L - R - L L - R
Note the L! This R-L from N (Nathan) is the first "hurry" received by the
feeder and it forces the two consecutive passes from the feeder's left,
which took some conscious effort to accept. (Those established rhythms the
body has learned struggle not to be overcome.) In fact, of course, both
feedees got "hurries" too (passes to the unexpected hand), but they were
effectively doing just the normal non-feed version of this pattern, which
we had all just practiced, so it wasn't so strange at that point.
With some effort, I broke the old RLself rhythm and did the RLsLLs that the
above calls for. When we were able to keep the pattern going, we wondered
when it would repeat, and we finally figured out that it repeats every 18
counts (every 6 passes). The above diagram is the first third of it. For
completeness, here's the rest, continuing from above
N: ... L L - R - L L - R - L R - L - R R - L - R
X X X X
F: ... L R R - L R L - R R L - R L L - R
X X X X
A: ... R - L R - L - R R - L - R R - L - R L - R
And now you see we're back to all right hands ready to start over.
But Art and Nathan complained. They said, "Hey, this isn't a nice
sequence, because we have to pass three rights in a row and then three
lefts in a row!" It's true (see the combined diagrams above).
And anyway, we wanted to see what would happen if I had let my urge to pass
RLsLRs win out. So we tried another form of the feed.
In this second (really the first) version, we have to do something about
the L! in the top diagram. I'm insisting on doing a R pass, but the pass
is coming in to my left. So I just passed right handed and let my natural
reactions solve the puzzle. After a R-R pass (remember, I'm doing all
diagonals) in place of the L!-L pass, my right hand was empty (incoming was
going to my left). So instinctively I handed a club from my left to my
right to make room in the left for the incoming club. Then I did my
"normal" self (from my R where the next incoming pass was going) on count 3
and started over, this time with the left hand going first. And suddenly
we had a pattern and it worked. A bit strange, especially when you see the
causal diagram, but a much shorter sequence than that above. AND, it meant
that Art and Nathan's passes were now RRLL (which they seemed to prefer,
not getting stuck in the long ruts of RRRLLL). Here we go:
N: R R - L - R L - R - L L - R - L R - L - R
X X X X
F: R L R - L R=L R - L R L - R L=R L - R
X X X X
A: R - L L - R - L R - L - R R - L - R L - R
Pardon the ASCII drawing, which now is a bit limiting. The "=" represents
a left pointing arrow, which indicates a "hand across" (a site swap 1
nominally). The first pass coming *to* the feeder, just before the =, comes
to the hand after the =, and that hand just before the catch of that pass,
does the hand across to the hand just before the =. The pass *from* the
feeder at that point comes from the hand *before* the =. (You can verify
that you're reading the passes right if you find that the feeder is still
throwing only diagonals, that is, R-R and L-L passes, while the feedees are
always throwing R-L or L-R.)
Well, just to complete the story, particularly for Art and Nathan, who
don't know this yet, but a few days ago I received a US Mail letter from
Jim Brennan of Lincoln, Nebraska, about my article in last Fall's Juggler's
World, where I described his pattern called Jim's Jam. That pattern has
"hurries" in it as well, just like all of the above, but only upon reading
his letter, which mentioned "another Challenge" in rec.juggling, did I
realize that user5...@aol.com was in fact Jim Brennan.
And now in fact he has posted another challenge, which I'll have to discuss
at a later time, perhaps after we play with it at Stanford juggling
|Abriviated Notation (Traditional 3 Count)|
|RL||RL||Pass from Right to Left|
|LR||LR||Pass from Left to Right|
|RL-||RL-||Pass from Right to Left|
|LR||LR||Pass from Left to Right|
|Abriviated Notation (Jim's 3 Count)|
|RL||RR||Pass from Right to Left, Pass from Right to Right|
|RL||LL||Pass from Right to Left, Pass from Left to Left|
|LR||LL||Pass from Left to Right, Pass from Left to Left|
|LR||RR||Pass from Left to Right, Pass from Right to Right|
Notation Expanded Jim's 3 Count (one cycle)
|J1(s)||J2(c)||J1 passes straight, J2 passes crosses|
|PR||PR-R||Pass Right (to left), Pass Right to Right|
|CR||CR||Catch (self) with Right|
|TR||TL||Toss (self) Right, Toss (self) Left|
|RR||RL||Receive Right, Receive Left|
|TL||TR||Toss (self) Left, Toss (self) Right|
|CL||CR||Catch (self) with Left, Catch (self) with Right,|
|PR||PL-L||Pass Right (to left), Pass Left to Left|
|CR||CL||Catch (Self) with Right, Catch (self) with Left|
|TL||TL||Toss (self) Left, Toss (self) Left|
|RL||RL||Receive Left, Receive Left|
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