IJA eNewsletter – March 2023

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   IJA eNewsletter
 March 2023Editors: Don Lewis & Martin Frost


  • 2023 Festival early-bird registration ends on April 4th
  • IJA Board nominations are open
  • Enter the IJA Juggling Championships
  • NEW!  Pre-festival walking tour and pub crawl
  • J. Todd Smith Scholarship Fund
  • 2024 IJA Festival Director – Call for letters of interest for the 77th annual fest
  • 2023 World Joggling Championships (both virtual and in-person this year)
  • Bring on the crowds
  • IJA Board meetings
  • Latest articles in eJuggle

2023 Festival early-bird registration ends April 4th  by Exuro Piechocki, 2023 Festival Director

IJA 2023 Festival South Bend

I know that many of you are getting excited about our upcoming festival — it’s practically all I can think about right now!  Travel plans have been made, vacation requests have been approved, and many of you have already registered for the festival to take advantage of our early bird pricing opportunity.  Remember, April 4th is the last day to get Early Bird Package pricing.  On April 5th, the package price will increase to our regular rate.  The Early Bird Package is the best deal for anyone looking to come to the festival for more than just one or two days.  Fly over to the Ticket Purchasing Page to get your Early Bird Package before the rate increases.  For more information on what is included in registration, visit the Registration Page of the festival website.

While some folks have been daydreaming about booking their hotel stay for the week, many of you have already made your reservations.  Note that both of our IJA hotels have rooms available for the entirety of the festival.  A glitch in the DoubleTree reservation system had made it appear that they were booked up on Monday, July 17th, but the glitch has been fixed, so all festival nights are actually available at this point.  We do expect our room blocks for both hotels to fill up, so head over to the Lodging Page and reserve your room asap to get the best rooms in town!

I want to take a second to say thank you to everyone who has spent even the smallest amount of time working to make this festival happen.  There are dozens of volunteers who are playing roles both big and small, and this event just couldn’t happen without you.  It’s because of our organizational team that we’ll be able to deliver some truly epic events to everyone at the festival.  This year we’ll be bringing back Volleyclub as a 2 vs 2 tournament, so find a partner who can catch the worst passes and start training!  Fire Night will be on an island in the St. Joseph River right outside the doors of the Century Center.  For those who want a chance to play with the lights down low, we’ll be having a Saturday night Flow Jam with live DJs in the Ballroom just across from the main gym.  Fight Night will be sanctioned for points in the FNC ranking system, so start training for club combat at your local juggling club.  The Benefit Show and the Planting the Juggling Seed Show will both be open to the public with FREE ADMISSION to help bring the joy of juggling to children of all ages in South Bend.

Finally, we have a top secret special guest announcement coming up very soon, and I know you won’t want to miss them.  Some jugglers are just too unbelievable to be put into a single act in one of our shows, so you can now expect a Bonus Special Show on Friday, to be held at the Bendix Arena inside of the Century Center.  Who could it be?  Head over to our Facebook event page and drop a comment to let us know who you think our special guest might be!



IJA Board nominations are open  by Martin Frost

Nomination are open for members of the IJA Board of Directors.  Board members will be elected during the annual IJA festival in South Bend, with all IJA members age 13 and over also able to vote online leading up to the festival.

The IJA Board of Directors manages this nonprofit corporation for the benefit of its members.  The board is composed of seven people, with elected directors serving two-year terms.  Approximately half of the seats are up for election each summer.

The directors are asked to meet in person at the summer festival.  Each board member is expected to communicate regularly by email, must have web access, and will attend online meetings once or twice a month.  Directors should expect to spend some hours each week on behalf of the IJA.

In addition, all candidates should understand that the members of the Board of Directors are legally responsible as fiduciaries in setting the goals and policies of the IJA, managing its finances, overseeing its employees (if any), and administering its programs.  At all times, the members of the Board of Directors must act in good faith and in the best interest of the corporation.

This is a great opportunity for you “to render assistance to fellow jugglers.”  Nominate someone, including maybe yourself.  That’s right, it is perfectly acceptable to nominate yourself.

Information about the nomination process is available at juggle.org/business/nominations.

The nomination deadline is 11:59pm PDT on May 15, 2023.  Participate!



Enter the IJA Juggling Championships  by Martin Frost

IJA members can now enter the IJA Juggling Championships in Individuals, Teams, and Juniors.  The championships will take place at the festival in South Bend, Indiana.

Check out the rules and enter today.  The IJA draws jugglers from around the globe to compete in the Championships.  Don’t miss your opportunity to shine!  Deadline to submit your application, video, and fee is May 15.



NEW!  Pre-Festival City Walking Tour and Pub Crawl!  Tickets on sale now!  by Mike Sullivan

Get to South Bend on Monday, and then get to know your festival home to start the week!

Join us for a fun, easy walking tour of all our festival venues, some time to explore amazing local historic sites, and a pub crawl along the “main drag” in downtown South Bend!

You’ll get a guided tour of ALL of our juggling spaces in the Century Center, including our Renegade venue, and the spectacularly beautiful Morris Performing Arts Center Theaterwhere the nightly shows and championship competitions will be held.

Then we’ll hop along the central business district and grab some refreshments along the route at two great local South Bend watering holes.  Next, it’s on to the truly incredible Studebaker National Museum and South Bend History Museum and the incredible Oliver Mansion, which are must-see destinations when visiting South Bend.  We wrap up with a final stop for refreshments at the Studebaker Brewing Company, followed by an optional group dinner at the Tippecanoe Place Restaurant in an intimate, historic setting.

Our tour steps off from the DoubleTree hotel lobby at 2pm ET Monday afternoon.  Your ticket includes three draft beers along our pub crawl, and admission to the three fabulous historic venues we’ll visit to wind up our tour.  Our group dinner after the tour at the Tippe is optional.  Tour participants must be 21 years of age or older to enter the pubs along our route.

Space WILL BE LIMITED, so BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW to be in town and ready to join our tour early in the afternoon on Monday!



J. Todd Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund  by Afton Benson, IJA Treasurer

While the IJA Festival Scholarship is now closed, you can help support other jugglers when you register for the 2023 IJA Festival!  When you register, you can choose to provide half or a full IJA Festival Package for either an adult or a youth juggler.  All of the funds donated will go to providing support and festival packages to jugglers who have never attended an IJA or need a bit of assistance.

Are you interested in providing financial support in a different amount?  That’s amazing!  You can donate here today.  If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to treasurer@juggle.org.

A special thanks to those who have donated, including Professor Arthur Lewbel, Mike and Marilyn Sullivan, and Unna Med!



2024 IJA Festival Director – Call for letters of interest for the 77th annual fest
by Afton Benson, IJA Treasurer

The 2024 IJA festival will be held July 8-14, in Green Bay, Wisconsin (USA).  The IJA would like to hear from individuals who are interested in taking on the role of Festival Director for the Green Bay fest.

The Festival Director works with the venue and the IJA staff and volunteers to create a fabulous week of juggling.  Volunteers help with most aspects of running the festival.  Previous festival directors are available to mentor you through the process.  Some aspects of the festival repeat consistently from year to year, such as the competitions and shows.  There is always room to try new things and put your personal stamp on the experience.

If you are interested in the position or just want to learn more about the job, please contact the IJA Chair.



2023 IJA World Joggling Championships (both virtual and in-person this year)
by Sterling Franklin

Joggling makes its return to the in-person IJA Festival in July, but if you can’t make it to the festival, there’s still good news!  Joggling this year has both In-Person and Virtual competitions!

The In-Person World Joggling Championships track meet will take place on the Saturday of the IJA Festival, July 22nd, 2023, at St. Joseph High School (Leighton Stadium) in South Bend, Indiana. We’re starting bright and early, as the track opens at 7am, and the first events will start around 7:30am.  If you’re at the IJA Festival and want to try out joggling in a quick sprint attempt, we will have a pop-up 3-ball 40-yard dash at the Century Center, set up outside the building on a few of the weekdays of the Festival, weather permitting.

The Virtual competition is open now and lasts through August 22nd, 2023 (one month after the In-Person meet).  For the Virtual competition, full video submission is REQUIRED, showing the clear continuation of a juggling pattern while running (whether with a wearable camera or with another person filming the run clearly and reliably).  The video needs to show both the run and the final time at the end, and preferably should identify the joggler and the date of the attempt as well.  If done on road, measurement verification must be done (by Measuring Wheel on video or by confirmation by USATF/WMA official), and road runs must not be done on a net-negative vertical gain (i.e., road runs need to be done on a flat [net-zero] or uphill [net-positive] route).  Tracks of 400m are usually best and simplest for these competitive runs.  In the case of drops, the joggler must be shown on video retreating to the point of drop before continuing the juggling pattern from that spot — basically, no forward progress should be made in the case of the joggler losing control of the pattern or dropping, and props can’t be launched meters away in order to gain distance.  Patterns should aim to be one throw per step or as close as possible.  For recording questions and rules in specific circumstances, feel free to contact Sterling Franklin or Emily Moore at joggling2023@juggle.org.

Divisions are the same as before:

  • Boys 12-and-Under
  • Girls 12-and-Under
  • Boys 13-17
  • Girls 13-17
  • Men’s Open (18-39)
  • Women’s Open (18-39)
  • Men’s Masters (40+)
  • Women’s Masters (40+)

Age determination for divisions will be as of the end date of each competition (July 22nd and August 22nd, respectively).  For medaling events, the top three per division will receive our cool 3D-printed medals as prizes!

More information about events for both In-Person and Virtual competitions can be found on the IJA Festival website.

Registration for joggling can be done at the IJA Store.

Spread the word, and we hope to see you joggling with us soon!



Bring on the crowds  by Don Lewis

Juggling is more fun in a group, whether it is just a local group of friends, a regional festival, or an international festival.  Registration is open for the IJA festival in South Bend and early-bird discount pricing ends April 4th.  Your job is to promote the festival to all the people around you.  You’ll get all kinds of objections from people.  They just don’t see a place for themselves at the festival!  The unfortunate truth of festivals is that you really have to experience just one to be hooked.  But getting people to that first one can be a hard sell.  Don’t be shy — get out there and convince your friends to come to the festival.

The festival hotels are accepting up to four people per room, so that makes lodging very affordable.  What with inflation and economic woes, we are actually getting a terrific deal this year with rates that were locked in several years ago.

Jugglers who think they are not talented enough to show up at a large festival just don’t understand the dynamics of what goes on at a festival.  No-one mocks beginners at a festival.  Instead they wind up in a world of workshops and demonstrations where they will get enough help and inspiration to last them until the next festival.  It is not unusual to hear someone say something like “OMG, I was struggling with a trick in the gym and this guy just casually strolled over and gave me the tips I needed to get it, and that night I saw the same guy performing on stage!”

The more the merrier, so spread the word!



IJA Board meetings  by Aslynne Howes, IJA Board ChairIJA Board meetings

IJA Board meetings are open to all IJA members and are hosted on Zoom.  To find out the times of this month’s vision and business meetings, or to attend, please email ija.chair@juggle.org and state which meeting you’re interested in.



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