Numbers Championships Rules
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- Individual Balls
- Individual Rings
- Individual Clubs
- Individual Ball Bouncing
The following Numbers passing events currently exist for teams:
- Ball Passing
- Ring Passing
- Club Passing
- Ball Bounce Passing
- Three-Person Club Passing
Exhibition events: The Numbers Directors may, at their discretion, add one exhibition event at the annual festival. Exhibition events will be announced at the Numbers table no later than 24 hours prior to the close of Numbers Championships Registration. The intent of an exhibition event shall be to showcase and award high numbers juggling achievement in a category not listed above. An exhibition event shall be awarded medals, but no prize money.
- Individuals: 8 balls, 8 rings, 6 clubs, 8 balls bouncing
- Two-person teams: 11 balls, 11 rings, 10 clubs, 11 balls bouncing
- Three-person teams: 13 clubs
No object may have significant aerodynamic lifting qualities, such as a flying disk, nor be so light as to be significantly affected by air resistance, such as a balloon or a feather.
Each competitor is responsible for providing his/her own equipment, including props being juggled or special surfaces on which to bounce juggle.
Each competitor may use one or more assistants to pick up dropped objects, call out times, or provide other support. Assistants may in no way help with the start, progress, or finish of any attempted juggle.
The Numbers Directors will make final decisions regarding categorization and acceptability of props. (See the section below entitled Authority of the Numbers Directors.)
Bounce jugglers are not required to actually grip each ball as it comes to a hand. Instead, they may simply push the ball slightly to redirect it to the floor. Since a stable pattern can be maintained in this way, any touch of a ball with a hand will be considered to be a catch in ball bouncing, provided that all other requirements are met.
A competitor may bring a special surface on which to bounce. Similarly, the juggler may bring a raised platform on which to situate himself. In bounce passing, multiple platforms of any heights may be used for standing or bouncing. If used, all such platforms may be raised at any height or angle, but they must be flat and firm.
In each team event, the passing can be from any combination of right and left hands, provided the above requirements are met.
The order of registration determines the running order for the Championships. That is, the first competitors to register and pay will compete last in their events, and the last competitors to register and pay will compete first in their events.
A greater number of objects cannot be used to qualify a lesser number of objects. For example, 19 catches of 10 rings by an individual does not count as a qualifying run of 9 rings, even though nine of the ten rings were each thrown and caught twice. A qualifying run must be made with the actual number of objects that are being juggled.
For bounce juggling, a drop is a failure to touch a ball which, as a result, hits the ground twice in a row or hits any foreign object.
Collisions among the objects being juggled are permitted and are not considered as hitting foreign objects.
The drop is considered to happen at the moment the object logically should have been caught or touched (not when it hits the ground).
Catches made at the end of a run by “stacking up” or collecting multiple objects in the hands and body of one or more jugglers will be counted to the extent that such catches are made before any object is dropped. Any part of the body can be used to assist in catching or collecting, provided that the objects being juggled never touch the ground or a foreign object. Only throws made before collecting begins can have their subsequent catches counted. Competitors are not allowed to use pockets, nets, or other special clothing or apparatus to aid in catching or collecting. Collecting can only be used to end a run. Any object thrown after collecting has started is considered to be a drop at the moment of release of the throw.
Any object dropped after being collected is considered to be a drop at the moment of errant release and no subsequent catches will be counted in that run.
While an object is touching any part of the body, it is considered to be in the hand that last caught it, or otherwise “should have” last caught it, in the normal pattern. For example, an object held between your legs or under an arm counts as being in a hand (the hand by which it “should have” been caught). Holding an object with the body in any way and then catching another object in the “same” hand results in collecting, and can only be used at the end of a run.
Multiplex (“squeeze”) catching is considered collecting and is only permitted at the end of a run. If any hand, or hand and body combination, catches or touches one object while already holding another object, the competitor is considered to be collecting and ending a run.
A bobbled object will be counted as caught, provided it is caught before the first drop. A bobble will not be counted as more than one catch. In particular, two consecutive catches by a given hand must always be of two different objects; the second and subsequent consecutive catches of the same object by the same hand will not be counted as catches but will be considered parts of a bobble (at most one catch).
Catching a ring and placing it over the head (pull-down) or dropping a ring onto an arm are acceptable, but these actions do not constitute additional throws or catches. Body catches only count when used in lieu of a hand catch.
In team events, catches resulting from self throws are counted.
A competitor can choose to achieve a pattern by first juggling a lesser number of objects and then picking up or kicking up additional objects. However, in all cases, no catches will be counted while any object remains to be picked up or kicked up. Furthermore, no catches will be counted at the beginning of the pattern while any hand contains more than one object.
An object which is kicked up, picked up, lowered from a balance, or taken from a prop stand or from an assistant only counts as a catch once it has been thrown from a hand. Assuming that all objects initially held in the juggler’s(s’) hands are thrown first, and followed by the object(s) to receive such special handling, the catch (when thrown from a hand) of the final such object is counted as catch N (where N equals the number of objects being juggled).
Multiplex throws are not allowed.
Competitors must check in with the Numbers staff at the beginning of each event entered. Anyone not present at the beginning of an entered event may be disqualified from that event.
Each competitor is given a four-minute time period to achieve the best qualifying run with the minimum, or higher, number of objects for that event. At least one qualifying run of the minimum number of objects, or higher, must occur within the first two minutes (see the section above entitled Definition of a Qualifying Run). If a qualifying run of at least the minimum number of objects is not achieved during a run started in the first two minutes, then the competitor’s competition for that event ends after the last run started during the first two minutes. If a qualifying run is achieved during the first two-minutes, then the competitor continues to attempt to achieve better runs through the end of the four- minute time period.
The competitor must indicate to the judges the number of objects to be juggled each time the number changes, as well as just before the beginning of the very first run.
The competitor’s score comes from their qualifying run(s) that used the greatest number of objects that the competitor was able to qualify. Of those run(s), the one with the most catches represents their final score.
If no competitor in an event is able to successfully achieve a qualifying run, then no medals or prize money will be awarded.
If two or more competitors have successfully juggled the same highest number of catches of the greatest number of objects, then a tie will be declared. In the event of a tie, the Numbers Directors will opt to either declare both competitors as tied winners, or to allow each of the tied competitors an additional two-minute period in which to attempt better runs and thereby possibly break the tie.
A $100.00 (US) prize will be awarded to the winner of each Numbers event, provided that the winner achieves a qualifying run of at least the minimum number of objects during the Championships. If the winner is an individual, that person will receive the entire $100. If the winner is a team, the $100 will be split among the team members.
An additional $100 prize will be awarded to gold medalists who break IJA Numbers records. Prize money will be awarded only for records broken during the Numbers Championships. If a tie for first place occurs, the $100 prize will be split equally between the tying competitors.
Due to the objective nature of the Numbers Championships, Numbers judges are allowed to have a personal or professional relationship with any competitor. Any Numbers judge is allowed to enter any Numbers event, but is not allowed to judge an event in which he/she is competing.
A timekeeper will track the time used by competitors, and alert the judges and competitors when time has run out. At the request of a competitor, the timekeeper may announce the approximate time used or remaining at selected intervals. In order to avoid distracting the competitor, the timekeeper should not make any announcements while a run is in progress, unless such announcements are specifically requested in advance by the competitor.
The judges have the option of using flags to communicate to the competitor and the audience about when the competitor may start and when a qualifying run has been achieved. To avoid distracting a competitor, judges will not raise a flag during a run.
|None||do not start|
|Green||start (judges are ready; the competitor may start when ready)|
|Orange||a qualifying run at this level has been achieved|
Scott Cain and Merry Spahr
IJA Numbers Championships Directors
Thanks to Martin Frost, Barry Bakalor, David Cain, Peter Blanchard, and Peter Kaseman for their contributions to the writing of these rules.