Fountain (juggling)

The fountain is a juggling pattern that is the method most often used for juggling an even number of objects. In a fountain, each hand juggles separately, and the objects are not thrown between the hands, thus the number of balls is always even since any number of balls in one hand is doubled by the same number in the other hand. To illustrate this, it can be seen that in the most common fountain pattern where four balls are juggled, each hand juggles two balls independently. As Crego states "In the fountain pattern, each hand throws balls straight up into the air and each ball is caught in the same hand that throws it."[4]

4-ball juggling.gif
Minimum prop #: 4
Difficulty: 7/10,[1] 4[2] (note: difficulty ratings are arbitrary and subject to change)
Siteswap: 4
Shannon: 4
Period: 1
Parity: even
Notes: asymmetrical, synchronous or asynchronous
Ladder diagram for asynchronous columns: (4)
Ladder diagram for synchronous columns: (4)(4)
Symmetric and asymmetric fountains

A fountain can be synchronous or asynchronous. In a synchronous fountain, both hands throw at the same time, while in an asynchronous fountain, the hands alternate throws. "The fountain pattern...can be stably performed in two can perform the fountain with different frequencies for the two hands, but that coordination is difficult because of the tendency of the limbs to synchronize."[5] The fountain is juggled in a circular fashion, distinguishing it from columns. The circular method means that the balls juggled travel in a circle like motion with the jugglers hands throwing the ball from a point close to their body centre line and catching the ball further away from their body centre line. This circle motion is called 'outside circles' and is the fountain pattern shown in the animation. This circle method can be reversed to create an 'inside circle' pattern whereby throws are from a position away from the body midline and catches are closer to the body midline. In the columns method the balls all travel vertically up and down in their own 'column', and are caught from where they are thrown.

Other fountain patternsEdit

4 is the asynchronous asymmetrical fountain. (4,4) is the synchronous fountain. (4,4)(4,0) is a synchronous fountain with one ball missing (two in one, one in the other).

Wimpy, (4x,4x), is a crossing version of the synchronous fountain.[6]


  1. ^ "Fountain". Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  2. ^ Beever, Ben (2001). "Siteswap Ben's Guide to Juggling Patterns", p.24, at the Wayback Machine (archived August 10, 2015).
  3. ^ Besmehn, Bobby (1994). Juggling Step-by-Step, p.36. Depicts the pattern as a two-in-one "shower", but with an oval shape, thus, a fountain. Sterling. ISBN 0-8069-0815-7.
  4. ^ Crego, Robert (2003). Sports and Games of the 18th and 19th Centuries, p.19. ISBN 9780313316104.
  5. ^ Beek, Peter J. and Lewbel, Arthur (1995). "The Science of Juggling Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine", Scientific American.
  6. ^ "Wimpy". Retrieved November 4, 2016.

External linksEdit