IJA eNewsletter – June 2023

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   IJA eNewsletter
 June 2023Editors: Don Lewis & Martin Frost


  • 2023 Festival, July 17-23 — South Bend, Indiana
  • Dining and Drinking in South Bend
  • Festival Waivers – Save time at registration
  • Free Notre Dame campus walking tours
  • Online voting open for the 2023 Board of Directors Election
  • Get ready for the festival
  • IJA Festival workshops
  • Planting the Juggling Seed show — call for performers
  • 2023 IJA World Joggling Championships — volunteers needed
  • IJA Board meetings
  • Latest articles in eJuggle



2023 Festival, July 17-23 — South Bend, Indiana  by Exuro Piechocki, Festival Director

IJA 2023 Festival South Bend

Countdown initiated!  We’re just over two weeks away until the 76th annual IJA Festival, and if you aren’t planning to join us in South Bend, you’ll want to get your favorite comfort food ready to cure your FOMO as you watch the festival events unfold on live stream and on social media.

For those of you that can’t make it for the whole week and are still on the fence about the weekend, get yourself to South Bend for at least the Friday and Saturday festivities.  You’ll still be able to catch the Numbers Juggling Championships, Rollercoaster by Wes Peden, Fire Night, Fight Night Club Combat Finals, IJA Joggling Championships, IJA Games, North American Volleyclub Championship Finals, the Cascade Of Stars, Flowtoys Flow Jam, dozens of workshops, and of course the best part, being together in one place with your community and hundreds of your closest friends.

If you pre-registered before advance registration closed, you know what’s up!  Don’t forget to secure your ticket to either the early or the late showing of Wes Peden: Rollercoaster.  These tickets will begin to be advertised to the general public early next week, and we expect that both of these shows will sell out!  Don’t sleep on securing your ticket to this one-of-a-kind experience.

International Volleyclub rules require that registration for the North American Volleyclub Championship be offered in advance.  If you’re ready to compete for the title, register your two person team here.

Practice your wildest tricks for Club Renegade, visualize victory for all your competitive endeavors, pack all of the props, and warm up your cheek muscles for all the smiling you’ll be doing throughout the week.

See you soon in South Bend!



Dining and Drinking in South Bend  by Mike Sullivan

Time for another IJA festival week in another little gem of an American city.

South Bend is a welcoming home for our week-long celebration, and since we’re in the Midwest, good food and drink is abundant and very reasonably-priced!  You’ll meet friendly people everywhere you go in South Bend, and our downtown home is clean, safe and vibrant with lots of restaurants, bars and shops a quick walk from the gym or theater.

With the University of Notre Dame just a few blocks from our festival venues, downtown South Bend has its share of both college bars and pizza and burger joints as well as a full range of every other kind of eatery you might want to try.  And when you’re thirsty, downtown’s cafes, coffee shops and bars have just what you want, likewise at affordable Indiana prices!

And while you’re downtown, don’t miss a chance to visit the largest retail chocolate store in the United States!  It’s The South Bend Chocolate Company, at 122 S. Michigan, just steps from the gym.  There’s a little cafe alongside the store, and it’s right next to the Chicory Cafe (see link to list below).  Pick up some sweet treats for your festival week and something nice to bring back home!  Open Mon-Thu 6am-9pm, Fri 6am-10pm, Sat 9am-10pm, Sun 9am-5pm.

Click here for my list of top picks of all the best, juggler-friendly places in downtown South Bend, all within an easy walk of the DoubleTree and Courtyard hotels.  (Note: That page will be updated throughout the festival, so add it to your festival week bookmarks and check back for additions and changes!)



Festival Waivers – Save time at registration

Skip the lines and save time when you get to South Bend by printing out and signing the festival waivers before you leave home!

Click this link to download a PDF for this year’s festival liability waivers.  There’s one for adults over 18 and one for parents or guardians to sign for minors they’re bringing to the festival.

Print it out, sign, cut and take it with you to the IJA check-in desk at the festival and you’ll speed through the registration line!



Free Notre Dame campus walking tours  by Mike Sullivan

South Bend is home to one of America’s great private universities, the University of Notre Dame.

Founded in South Bend in 1842, Notre Dame is a private Catholic university with a legendary reputation in academics, research and athletics.  Home to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the expansive campus is a wonderland of architecture, modernism and storied tradition.

Notre Dame confers undergraduate majors in 75 disciplines in the eight colleges and schools on campus, and consistently ranks among the Top 10 institutions of higher learning in the United States.  More than 11,000 students live and study within Notre Dame’s park-like campus.

Free walking tours are available through the campus.  They include the famous Notre Dame cathedral, main libraries and classrooms, and of course the world-famous football stadium and “Touchdown Jesus” statue.

Tours led by Notre Dame student volunteers step off Monday through Friday at 10am, 1pm, and 3pm during festival week.  Reservations are not required, but visitors are encouraged to arrive early.

For additional information, visit this link.



Online voting open for 2023 IJA Board of Directors Election  by Martin Frost

The annual IJA election for members of the Board of Directors takes place at the IJA Festival in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  The nominees are listed below.

The IJA Board of Directors is comprised of seven people who make policy and collectively decide on the direction of the IJA.  Each director is elected for a two-year term.  There are three director positions up for election this year, so IJA members can vote for up to three people in this election.  The nominees are listed below, and their candidacy statements are on the IJA website.


All regular, life, youth, and family IJA members who are at least 13 years of age as of July 19, 2023, can vote.


You can vote at the fest on July 19, 2023, or you can vote online until noon EDT on Wednesday, July 19, 2023.  Voting either way is easy and only takes a minute or two.  Voting at the festival ends thirty minutes after the Annual General Meeting is adjourned.

You can use the following link to sign in and vote online now.  It will ask you to enter your IJA username and password and then it should take you to the voting page.  (If it doesn’t, after signing in, go to IJA 2023 election and cast your ballot there.)


Here are the nominees for member of the IJA Board of Directors.  You can view their candidacy statements online at www.juggle.org/business/candidates/.

  • Aslynne Howes
  • Luther Bangert
  • Albert Lucas
  • Niels Duinker



Get ready for the festival  by Don Lewis

The festival is almost upon us.  Are you ready?  Each year I write some of the same reminders here, and each year the same issues crop up for some people who didn’t pay attention.

Identify your stuff!  This is particularly true for juggling props.  It is one thing to leave your clubs lying around at a club meeting.  It is quite another in a festival gym where there might be a thousand juggling clubs scattered around the gym area.  Stuff gets kicked (or sometimes moved gently) out of the way when groups are trying to get a complicated pattern to flow.  Your stuff may not be where you left it when you come back from a break.  You always know where your cell phone is, right?  A surprising number of people set their phone down for a moment, perhaps to demonstrate something, and idly walk away.  The phone ends up in the lost and found box.  Guess what?  We don’t know your passcode, so we don’t know whose phone it is.  Put your name on the opening screen image so we know who to get the phone back to.  Same with clothing.  Sometimes part of the gym gets re-configured and things get moved.  It is just a whole lot easier returning things if we know who they belong to.

Identify yourself!  If you are going to vote at the festival, you need ID.  If you are bringing kids, they all need some kind of ID in case they get separated from you.

Check your shoes!  You are going to be standing on a concrete floor all day for a week.  The broken down old shoes which are super comfy on the grass may not be so great after a week on concrete.  Instead of buying new shoes and breaking them in, you can buy new insoles for a quick fix.

Bring any medication you might need with you.  You can’t always get things easily away from home and you are not going to want to waste time searching for an open store.  Check your travel insurance to see if there are any hoops you have to jump thru to be covered for medical emergencies away from home.  If you are travelling with children who are not your own, be sure to have a parental authorization for treatment with you, as well as their insurance details.

Leave room for more props!  It is easy to be tempted by all the stuff on sale at a festival.  Be open to being tempted by the vendors and take some new stuff home to play with!



IJA Festival workshops  by Ben Muellers and Exuro Piechocki

IJA Festival

Are you planning to come to the IJA Festival?  Consider volunteering to teach a workshop!  Almost all IJA Festival workshops are taught by volunteers just like you who are passionate about sharing knowledge.

Workshops are the best way to break down tricks and concepts so that people can get a firm grasp of the path required to get to the next level.  Video tutorials are an amazing resource, but there’s something different about watching in person and being able to ask questions and get immediate answers.  Seeing breakdowns of what’s hard for one person to wrap their head around is just better than any video tutorial could be, because you can’t personalize a video for every single person.

Mastered a skill?  Found fun things, or have advice the community needs?  Host a workshop!  This is an easy way for you to play a part in the IJA Festival!  Sign up to help the next generation grow and maybe teach some friends something you know.

Follow this link to throw your juggling hats in the ring and join the club of IJA Festival Workshop Instructors: forms.gle/Pq7Hsg6yFJZ1fMfYA.



Planting the Juggling Seed show — call for performers  by Benjamin Domask-Ruh

Hello IJA Members and 2023 Festival attendees!

This year at the IJA Festival we will once again be presenting the “Planting the Juggling Seed” show!

My name is Benjamin, and I will be directing this fun experience for our local community friends in South Bend.  This is a call for anyone interested in being a volunteer performer or teacher!  The first hour is a performance in the library’s presentation area.  The second hour is an open and free juggling lesson for anyone interested in learning!  We are looking for performers and teachers.

Who might be a good fit as a performer?  The idea of this show is to connect with the local community and share a broad overview of all that juggling incorporates: classic toss juggling routines, experimental juggling ideas, flow juggling moments, historical juggling tricks, artistic expression.  If you feel you have a routine or performance that represents one of the many facets of juggling, we would love to hear from you!  You do not have to be a professional full time performer.  But a confident performance piece is welcomed.

Who might be a good fit as a teacher?  Anyone who loves sharing the beginnings of juggling and balance tricks.  Anyone who is patient and encouraging!  The idea of this session is to share the joy and fun facilitated by juggling.  Do you have experience teaching juggling?  Wonderful!  If you are new to teaching juggling, come learn alongside us as we invite this new community into the artform.

Don’t feel you are a good fit for either?  That is okay!  Come join us as an audience member and support your fellow jugglers.

The details:

When: Jul 18, 2023 10am – noon
Where: St. Joe County Public Library
Who: The local South Bend community and Festival Attendees

If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Benjamin Domask-Ruh via yja@juggle.org.

Thank you so much and see you at the festival!



2023 IJA World Joggling Championships — volunteers needed  by Sterling Franklin

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.  As we are expecting good turnout, if you have the time and passion to volunteer at the track, we would love the help!

We are looking for more helpers in the following areas, whether for the full Joggling meet or for a portion of it:

  • First Aid
  • Timing and Lane Officiating (via stopwatches and/or any automatic timing systems that we end up having at the meet)
  • Carpool Drivers to and from the Track (to the track around 7am, from the track after 12pm, and we also could use flex drivers who can bring people to and from the venue at points mid-meet)
  • Set-up (starting at 7am) and Take-down (ending before 1pm)

Barring any unexpected happenings (e.g., ultra-severe weather), we will run the World Joggling Championships from 7am to 12pm on Saturday, July 22nd.  Warm-ups will conclude at around 7:45am, and announcements and events will start soon after.

Remember also — if you can’t make the in-person IJA Festival, we still have a Virtual Joggling Competition separate from the in-person meet with a full event list for you to tackle!  Registration for both in-person and virtual competitions can be found at our IJA online store here: ym.juggle.org/store/ListProducts.aspx?catid=442033.  And for those at the festival, we hope to see many of you there, whether joggling or helping out!  If you have any questions about volunteering specifics, email Sterling Franklin at joggling2023@juggle.org.  Thank you!



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 say which meeting you’re interested in.



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