# 3-ball Mills Mess, by Stephen M Landamore

Start with two balls in RH, 1 ball in LH, hands crossed, RH on top. Hold hands slightly to the left of the juggle space, thus: (jugglers' view pictures - I find this easiest!)

```     | 1 3 |
-----   |  2  |
RH      -----
LH
```
Right hand throws ball 1 towards right then begin to uncross hands:

```             ..--> 1
./
/
|      ....
.   3 .---    ---> |   3 |
. . . .            -----
RH      |  2  |     RH
<--------
LH
```
Left hand throws ball 2 towards middle-right; hands are fully uncrossed:

```                 --..
->1
..--> 2
/
|
|     |           |   3 |
-----           -----
LH                RH
```
Recross hands (NB; the cross-uncross-recross-etc pattern should be SMOOTH!) with LH on top this time. As hands recross, LH catches 1 mid-flight and carries it across to the extreme right of the juggle space, also RH throws ball 3 vertically up on left side:

```             3  ...       .
^     --2     \
|           |  1  | --> .  1  .
|      ---> -----     . . . .
|     |          LH          LH
-----<-----
RH
```
[Yuk, that diagram looks a mess! (Mess?)]

Well, having thrown 3 vertically up, RH moves back to catch ball 2 roughly in the centre-right of the juggle space (on the inside of the LH):

```              3  (is at top-ish)

\
|     |  1  |
--> |  2  |  -----
-----    LH
RH
```
Now the pattern repeats, but from the opposite side - LH throws 1 towards left; hands begin to uncross:

```                   |       1 <--..
|              \.
v                \
3        ...      |
|     | <---   ---.  1  .
-----           . . . .
LH    |  2  |     LH
--------<
RH
```
LH catches 3, and as hands are fully uncrossed RH throws ball 2 back towards the middle-left:

```              ..--
1<-
2 <--..
\
|
|  3  |           |     |
-----           -----
LH                RH
```
Recross hands, this time with RH on top. As hands recross, RH catches 1 mid-flight and carries it across to the extreme left of the juggle space; also LH throws ball 3 vertically up on right side:

```                           .       ...  3
/     2--     ^
.  1  . <-- |  1  |           |
. . . .     ----- <---      |
RH          RH           |     |
----->-----
LH
```
Having thrown 3 vertically up, LH moves back to catch ball 2 roughly in the centre-left of the juggle space (on the inside of the RH):

```                                   3  (is at top-ish)

/
|  1  |     |
-----  |  2  | <--
RH     -----
LH
```
This is almost like the second diagram: to keep the pattern going, RH throws ball 1 towards right; hands uncross, RH catches 3 when it falls, LH throws 2 towards centre-right, and the pattern has repeated itself.

Some points to note: each ball travels along its own path: with the notation I have used, ball 1 travels a sort of over the top path, ball 2 roughly follows a cascade pattern, and ball 3 plays at underarm tennis.

The above has effectively been adapted from the section given in Beyond the Cascade, however, I don't have my copy with me as I type, it was typed off the top of my head... Gillson recommends trying Mills Mess with 2 balls 'n one gap before the above (omit ball 3), so that pattern would go something like this:

(hands crossed, RH over LH) RH throw to right uncross LH throw to right recross, LH over RH... ...in doing so LH catches 1 in mid flight... ...and carries to right RH catches 2 pause repeat from other side
You could even practice with one ball (omit 2 and 3):

(hands crossed, RH over LH) RH throw to right hands uncross hands recross, LH over RH LH catches ball on right repeat from other side
At least, that's the way I was taught Mills Mess (1 ball -> 2 balls -> 3 balls -> go for it!)

An alternative way of learning the pattern is to observe the 3 different paths of the balls, and learn each path, then piece the trick together. But I can recommend just going for it! Quickest way to get it IMHO.

3-ball Mills Mess, by Stephen M Landamore / Juggling Information Service / help@juggling.org