IJA eNewsletter – April 2020

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   IJA eNewsletter   

April 2020

Editors: Don Lewis & Martin Frost


  • A message from the IJA Chair
  • IJA 2020 World Joggling Championships – virtual events
  • IJA 2020 Festival canceled, refunds available
  • 2019 IJA fest video now available on DVD, or free for members on eJuggle
  • Is it safe to come out yet?
  • Focus on you
  • Latest articles in eJuggle
  • Upcoming juggling festivals


Mike Moore

A message from the IJA Chair  by Mike Moore

Dots – The Perfect Indoor Juggling Move

Dots is the perfect juggling movement to practice now.  Unless you are a very strange juggler (or have attended one of my recent workshops), it’s unlikely that you’ve tried dots before (novelty)!  When things go wrong in dots, balls go up or down (no hitting your laptop!).  And who couldn’t use a bit of a shoulder workout to help shrug off some of life’s smaller problems?

“But Mike, the weather’s going to be gorgeous soon!” You might say.  Sure, that’s true in some places.  But for many of our IJA members, here is your roadmap:


Fool’s spring

Second winter

Spring of deception ß you are here

Third winter

Mud season

Actual spring


As you can see, inside is the best side for at least a few more weeks.

Now that you’re convinced, let’s get to the content.  Dots is a pattern where you catch and/or throw from a position about one foot above where you normally would.  The site is lower than an overhead position and keeps your elbows in front of you.  It’s called dots because if you juggle four balls in this way (and fast!) it looks like this : :

Don’t worry if that sounds impossible.  There are many easier, infinitely charming dots patterns to try.  But since I’ve already gone on too long here, I’ll refer you to my tutorial for those: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7omI45Tfg4

Okay, last thing.  If you’d rather spend some time watching instead of doing juggling, there are some amazing full-length juggling shows that have recently appeared online.  For thoughtful juggling from the Gandinis, Jay Gilligan and Erik Åberg (to name just a few!), check out: https://manipeo.com/playlist/full-shows

Mike Moore

IJA Chair



IJA 2020 World Joggling Championships – virtual events  by Emily Moore  

Hopefully everyone’s staying safe and staying fit! Great news: we’re launching our very first virtual joggling championships, which you can participate in from your neighborhood!

How will it work?

There will be two event types: Fun Runs (free) and Competitive Events ($25 total for unlimited events and attempts) – challenge yourself!

IJA members who complete each event will receive an official e-certificate. If you place 1st-3rd in your division in the announced Competitive Events, you are also eligible for an award. New events may be proposed and are encouraged especially for Fun Runs. Complete an e-waiver to register, and for Competitive Events, you will also be required to submit video of your attempts.* The IJA’s joggling committee will then review your results. 

The official events are:  

  • 100 meter – 3 ball, 5 ball, 7 ball
  • 400 meter – 3 ball, 5 ball
  • 800 meter – 3 ball
  • 1 mile (1609.3 meter) – 3 ball
  • 5K – 3 ball

The Championships close July 18, 2020 at noon EDT, and submissions will be open at least a month in advance.

Start training, and hope to “see” you this year!

*Competitive run verification details to be announced. Note while “Fun Runs” operate under less stringent guidelines, “Competitive” jogglers must complete runs on certified tracks or wheel-measured road and have an accurate video record of the attempt, as if you were submitting for a world record. 

For questions, please contact: joggling2020@juggle.org



IJA 2020 Festival canceled, refunds available

You’ve probably heard that the IJA 2020 Festival has been canceled.

This decision was not reached lightly, but it is in the best interest of the health and well being of our festival community as well as the communities in El Paso and beyond. We understand that this is a large loss for everyone from our community interaction, those hoping to compete, and performers all over the world. We truly value our juggling community and their ability to remain an active community no matter the circumstances.

Refund information has been emailed to all who registered for the IJA 2020 El Paso festival.

While we cannot have the festival in person, we will be doing everything we can to bring the festival fun to you online. We’ll have more information on that soon — feel free to reach out with ideas!

All the best,

The IJA Festival Director Team and the IJA Board of Directors



2019 IJA fest video now available on DVD, or free for members on eJuggle

The official video of the 72nd Annual IJA Festival is now available via a two-disc DVD set! Relive all the excitement that our 2019 festival in Fort Wayne, IN, had to offer with this two-disc set, including full stage competition routines and highlights of the activities that took place during the week. The set can be purchased in the IJA store. The cost is $30 for IJA members and $40 for non-members.

The full fest video is also available now as online streaming content free for IJA members on eJuggle.

With the 2020 IJA fest canceled, we hope you’ll enjoy revisiting the 2019 festival.

2019 IJA Festival Video Part 1

2019 IJA Festival Video Part 2

2019 IJA Festival Video Part 3

2019 IJA Festival Video Part 4








Is it safe to come out yet?  by Don Lewis

We get news reports from all over the world that describe what each country is doing to limit the spread of the pandemic.  We hear politicians blustering wildly divergent opinions on re-opening the economy.  And then there are the self-styled experts that still claim that the whole thing is a hoax while racing about in crowds of like-minded optimists.  It is hard to get good, reliable information.

One thing that most people seem to agree on is that seniors are at great risk from this disease.  One has only to watch the horror stories unfolding in some aged care residences and read the obituaries. Add to that anyone who is already immune-supressed from drugs treating other medical conditions.  And then there are the few apparently healthy people who go from a dry cough to death in a couple of days.  One thing that is still very poorly understood is how many people have already had a very mild case of COVID-19 and recovered without having had any real symptoms.  Are they now immune? Or are they at greater risk of virulent re-infection during a second wave?  A scary part of this pandemic is that asymptomatic people can have no idea that they are not carriers but still be able to transmit the disease for a week or more before showing symptoms. Fortunately most people who get the virus survive, and many get a very mild case.

There is great talk of flattening the curve.  Well, we would really like to see the infection rate fall to zero for a while, not just start to diminish. It is safer on the downside of the curve up to a point, but only as long as you don’t encounter someone who is still on the curve.  And how would you know?  Only a small fraction of people actually get tested.

What about masks?  Do masks make it safe?  Actually, not really.  Masks make you feel safer.  They can make it harder for you to infect someone else. The really good masks like N95 are still in short supply and will be until the health care system’s shelves are overflowing.  To start with, you need to put a clean mask on a clean face, adjust it so it seals as well as possible, and then Don’t Touch It. If it is doing it’s job, then touching it is just going to contaminate your hand, your eyes, and your face.  Mask’s itch, they rub, they’re uncomfortable.  The temptation to reach up and adjust them is nearly unbearable.  Health care professionals are used to this and deal with it.  Some of them wear headbands with buttons to loop elastic straps around so they don’t abrade their ears.  Health care workers treating presumptive cases of Covid also wear face masks.  Cloth masks that you sew yourself are better than nothing for short term use.  Just remember that they tend to get damp which is a great environment for any passing Covid viri. You can find YouTube videos on making masks.  There is even a simple no-sewing way to make a mask out of a pair of socks.

If you get sick, it seems to be a crap shoot whether you will get mildly sick, seriously ill, or maybe totally asymptomatic.  If you don’t like which version you get, there are no drugs to cure it.  You can’t go back and try again.  There will not be a vaccine for at least a year, maybe more.  They never did find a safe vaccine for SARS.  

Beware of crazy “cures”.  Some medications have been touted as game changers.  But they are not, really.  Some of them make you even sicker.  And, please, there is no way to disinfect your insides.

Homeopaths have some remedies that seem effective for some.  The AMA has been trying to stamp out homeopathy for years so it unlikely that there will be any serious studies about it during the pandemic. There are some interesting webinars about epidemics available online at www.homeopathycenter.org/epidemic-resource-page.  Some are aimed at professionals and will sound like Harry Potter’s School of Potions when they get into the remedies and posology.  For those that would like a description of treatments during the 1918 flu pandemic I can recommend The Homeopathic Treatment of Influenza by Sandra J. Perko.

Back to the title of the article, is it safe to come out yet ?  The answer pretty much depends on where you are.  Stores are slowly re-opening in some areas, some people are going back to work. This gradual relaxing of the rules depends on where you are and on everyone still social distancing as much as possible.  

Is it safe to gather in crowds?  NO.  The IJA did a smart thing by canceling the summer festival this year.  The last thing we need is to import local versions of the virus from all over the country — or the world — into one building.  

As the curve flattens in your area, you may be able to carefully consider juggling with others in your area, but only if you keep your distance.  Club passing is still a no-no unless it’s with someone in your own household.  Avoid people who cough, sneeze, or look feverish, and WASH YOUR HANDS!  

Be careful out there.  Don’t help start the second wave.



Focus on you  by Don Lewis

This pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetime.  For most of us, there is very little that we can do except avoid getting sick.  People in healthcare and essential services are at least doing something.  Some people are able to do useful work from home, at least for now.  And then there are the rest of us, who are getting pretty fed up with voluntary quarantine.  It is normal to feel frustrated, angry, futile, and powerless.  Once you’ve sorted your books, cleaned your cupboards, and counted your paperclips, you start to wonder what to do next. It can get difficult to settle to any project.  

From a juggling point of view, you can think about learning a few new tricks.  There are lots of articles at eJuggle.  There are lots of videos from the IJA’s video tutorial contests at the IJA’s YouTube channel.  Check out the IJA’s Facebook and Instagram accounts to see what some creative jugglers are up to across the world.  

Work slowly on new tricks to avoid frustration.  Build up the basic movements before trying to put it all together. Club jugglers often find chops to be an impossible trick to learn. And yet it is possible to learn the various components of the trick and then put them together in a totally controlled pattern.  The important thing in learning any new thing is to take small steps that work, rather than leaping to grab large heaps of frustration.  You’ve got plenty of time, so take your time and enjoy the process.  

We all start from a stable cascade pattern.  When you try to add a new trick and it isn’t going too well, just drop back to the cascade and try again when things are stable.  Start with the cascade.  When you’re feeling stable, start the trick.  If it falls apart before you finish the trick, try to drop back into the cascade and keep juggling.  The cascade pattern is the safe place to go back to when tricks start to go wrong.  As the trick starts to work, then you can try to extend your runs until it feels stable.  

It can be good to work on a variety of things during your practice session.  Doing one thing obsessively opens you up to repetitive strain injuries and may leave you with a feeling of failure.  So mix it up, and remind yourself that just the exercise of trying brings you a little closer to success each day.



Latest articles in eJuggle


Upcoming juggling festivals

Note: Virtually all juggling festivals planned for the coming months have been canceled or rescheduled because of the worldwide pandemic. 

If you think there might be a juggling fest near you, check the fest list at The Juggling Edge.  Eventually festivals will return.

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