Left-Right Passing

Daniel J Mitchell

An assortment of silly passing patterns using the left hand.

(but first a vaguely sensible one; if you have one person, A, feeding to B and C, A doing 2-count R, B,C doing 4-count R, then A's left hand is basically unused. You can then fill this up half-way by having A pass out 4-count L to D, D does 4-count L back (so A is doing PPPS), and then step this up to A doing ultimates to four people all doing 4-count by bringing E in on the S A was doing, passing L in to A

Yes, this is just the typewriter feed (A does ultimates to 3 people all doing alternates) enlarged a bit, but it's nice when it works. Which is generally not for long, as there's no convenient way to get A's passes out without having to either go from the outside at one end to the outside at the other, or having two people passing from adjacent hands.)

Anyway. Two people passing (all of these are both people doing the same things in sync) alternates=PSS, step it up a bit to PPS, everyone knows these. Then you can do P(double)(wait)S, which I am assured works but manages to do my head sufficiently I can't get it to work, as the S you do is suddenly on the other side to the side it would have been without the (wait). Shifting parity that fast is fiddly.

Also: PPPSS, kinda jerky but easy enough, PSPSP (so 2-count switching sides every so often) which is really nice and smooth; PPPSSS which is /really/ slow and requires little energy to keep track of. All of these take doubles fairly easily as long as you remember to put them going in on a S, otherwise things pile up.

Then there's "six factorial"; PSSSSSPSSSSPSSSPSSPSPSSPSSSPSSSSPSSSSSP. Or, rather, pass, pass a 6-count, 5-count, 4-count, . . . 1-count, 2-count, . . ., 6-count. This is nice, and surprisingly easy as long as you remember to count carefully.

Passing primes; 2 is a prime, 1 isn't (sue me if you disagree, I don't care), 3, 5, 7, 11, etc. (so SPPSPSPSSSP..) This has the advantage that all the passes after the first are on the same side, but the disadvantage that around 40 or so we started to disagree as to which numbers were and weren't primes.

Oh, another silly one; PSSPPPSSSSPPPSSP. Extend up to five, six, etc in the middle; if you work it right the coming back down is on the other hand to the going up, which is nice.

Lessee; pass left-hands on every multiple of 3, right hands on every multiple of 4, so it's SSPPSPSPPSSPSSPPSPSPP etc; repeats every 12 throws and isn't particularly difficult, but takes a bit of thought the first time round.

The difficulty after a while is working out how to do patterns which don't just have huge streams of selfs or ultimates in; something we tried was pass selfs for one prime, then ultimates of the next prime, then selfs of the one after that; so SSPPPSSSSSPPPPPPPSSSSSSSSSSS, etc, which is all very well and quite confusing enough for anyone's wishes, but not particularly interesting. If we knew Morse code then I suppose there'd be pass on dash, self on dot, and pass phrases. Even so, some of these are just ways of confusing oneself, without actually making the passing any more interesting/difficult.

Anyone got any other suggestions? Having finally got left-hand passes down well enough to be able to try most of these without extreme pain, I'm now trying to think of things to /do/ with this ability.. Doubles, I guess -- that's when working the timing out gets fiddlier.

(oh, a final one. Five people, W-shape, two on the end doing PSS, three in the middle doing PPS. Works, nice, if difficult to avoid collisions.)

Allen Knutson

In all the 2-person patterns you (Daniel J Mitchell) mentioned, the two people do the same thing. Things are much more exciting when this restriction is relaxed.

I'll start simple, with the fast-slow 4-in-(varying)-three-hands. Daniel starts with 3 clubs, Allen with 2. Daniel does LH selves, RH passes, but alternates those passes to Allen's L and R hands. Allen only passes, always to Daniel's LH, with whatever hand is receiving a pass; this makes for a lot of waiting for Allen. Hence the name "fast-slow".

The more traditional fast-slow pattern is 5-in-(varying)-three-hands. Daniel can start with 4, Allen with 2, or if you want things more complicated, each can start with 3. Naturally this extends to an (N+1)-ball pattern, with N in three hands, the third hand switching between Allen's L and R.

But there's another way to add a 6th ring to the above pattern, making Allen a little less bored, and disturbing Daniel not at all.* It just bounces back and forth between Allen's hands, taking up the slack. Have Allen and Daniel each start with three. Daniel does what he did before, alternating RH passes between Allen's two hands (N.B. starting with a pass to _R_!), but Allen has a much more exotic job; his throws are R pass, R self, L pass, L self (all passes going to Daniel's RH). The mantra here is "right right left left".

Apparently this pattern's time had come in late '87: Dave Morton invented it, only to find out that it had been simultaneously invented by the people across the hall, Rick Koshi and Erin Hellner. In their honor we christened this asymmetric pattern "The Koshi-Hellner Inequality".

All the patterns above become more exotic when turned 90 degrees.

I'm not sure I've mentioned the following patterns of mine on the net before: please tell me if you've seen them. The first is the Schizoid Man. It's a feed with 9 chainsaws. Daniel and the feeder's LH do 4-in-3-hands. Meanwhile, Allen and the feeder's RH do 5-in-3-hands. There is no passing through the plane perpendicular to the feeder's collarbone.

        /-- D
      <-  ^ D
    F -->-| D
    F                  <----- nothing crosses this plane
    F <---- A
      -\  ^ A
        ->| A

What will happen in this pattern is that the feeder will throw to Daniel artificially fast to make the two patterns the same speed. Either Daniel can be careful to not let this happen, or the feeder's corpus callosum can be severed.

The other pattern is Allen's Aberration. It is a 2-person, 8-flaming-cat pattern. Allen and Daniel each start with 2 in each hand. Then each hand throws at the same time, to the next hand counterclockwise (a la 8 singles). But the second round of throws goes clockwise. So 4 permanently rotate clockwise, unbeknownst to the other 4 permanently being sent counterclockwise.

Something I have unsubtly been trying to stress in this post is that YOU CAN PASS OTHER THINGS THAN CLUBS!!! If you find a pattern too difficult initially, you might try halving the distance between you and Daniel, and going (temporarily) to balls. There, I feel better now.

*It is not strictly true that the Koshi-Hellner Inequality is the same speed for Daniel as 4-in-3-(varying)-hands. In the latter, no two hands throw at the same time. Koshi-Hellner ends up being exactly the same speed as normal 6-in-4-hands. But 4/3 and 6/4 are close enough for Daniel (if I may presume for you, Daniel?).

Steven M. Salberg

  You could try passing at random. If you can keep the frequency of 
  passes at about that of 3 count, then it's pretty easy to cope. All 
  you do is pass to your partner at random either crossing or straight, 
  singles, doubles, triples or quads as the mood takes you. 

As incredible as it sounds, this works. I used to juggle with a certain Bill Wachspress (his brother is the guy shooting the movie) who was as passionate about SSP (AKA: alternates, 3-ct) as Tarim seems to be. He said "just throw anywhere in any count you want". I, who was used to the relatively strict rules of the 4-count, couldn't conceive of this until I did it. It works. You just have to stay aware and there is time to make up for beats by just being quick.

Give it a try after you've become comfortable with the rhythm.

Left-Right Passing / Juggling Information Service / help@juggling.org
© 1996 Juggling Information Service. All Rights Reserved.