How To Select a Juggling Ball Size
Juggling balls come in various sizes. Jugglers select the correct size based on the number of balls they plan to juggle and the dimension of their hands. Most juggling balls are made in metric sizes. This adds some complexity in making the right choice, since we are more accustomed to measurements in inches rather than millimeters.
Beginning jugglers working with three or four balls need to be able to easily hold two balls in one hand, and the third ball (and maybe a fourth) in the other. To start the juggling pattern with three balls, you must be able to grip the first ball you are going to throw with two fingers and your thumb. The diagrams above show proper sizes based on a hand’s dimensions. As you can see from the balls size graphic, bigger hands can hold a much larger ball.
Intermediate jugglers who want to juggle five balls need to be able to hold three in each hand. Size now becomes more important as your hand can quickly run out of room when holding three balls. The chart shows a comfortable size for three balls in one hand. When you have three balls in one hand you control the first throw with your middle finger and ring finger. You can no longer use your thumb, as you did in a three ball start.
Advanced jugglers usually already know what sizes they like for how many balls they are going to juggle. When juggling more than five balls, you can use several techniques for the start. Some jugglers make a pyramid of balls in their hand, with three on the bottom and the fourth ball on top. Other jugglers prefer to hold all four balls flat in one hand. The pyramid start allows you to use a large-size ball than the flat start. If you are buying balls as a gift, take note of how your juggler starts his/her juggling pattern.
Factors in Picking a Ball size
- size of your hand
- juggling pattern room
- ease of catching the ball
- how soft the ball is to grip
- ball visiblitly when juggling for a audience
- juggling ball weight and your body size
- juggling balls sets for different uses
How to Measure you hand size
The most important factor in picking the correct size of juggling ball is knowing the size of your hand. Take a measurement from the tip of your index finger to the bottom of your palm, just about your wrist. The ball sizing chart is based on this measurement. I am using my hand as an example in all the photographs, which measures 7.5 inches.
Juggling Ball Sizing Chart
From the juggling balls size chart you can see we recommend 65mm for a 7.5 inch hand. This is a very comfortable size for juggling from 3-5 balls. However I can also hold 70 mm, 75mm and 80mm balls in my hand. You can see in the photographs how big these sized balls are in my 7.5 inch hand.
While I can juggle with all these sizes, it becomes more and more difficult to make a accurate first throw with the larger balls size. To make a accurate first throw, it is best to control the ball with your index finger and ring finger. If the ball is too larger they are out of reach of any two fingers so it is harder to make an accurate first throw. It is not impossible, just harder.
Standard Juggling Ball Sizes
Juggling Pattern Room
Larger balls are more likely to collide in the juggling pattern than smaller balls. So for a beginner, smaller balls are easier as they are less likely to collide in the air from an inaccurate throw. As you get to be a better juggler and your throws become more accurate this becomes less important. For a very large sized balls it is better to juggle in a wider and higher pattern to avoid collisions.
Catching Jugging Balls
When you want to stop juggling, without dropping, you need to catch all the balls in your hands. For three balls this usually is not an issue. When you are juggling five balls it can be much harder if the balls barely fit into your hand. During toss juggling, when catching one ball in your hand, smaller ones are easier to catch than larger ones.
Juggling Ball Softness
The softness of the ball can effect which size you could use. Very soft bean bag balls, which are squishy, can be compressed in your hand. This enables you to hold a bigger ball, without giving up control of launching the first throw. Softer balls have more overall grip and control.
Oversized Juggling Balls
Very large sized balls, bigger than soft balls, are difficult to juggle. If you cannot hold more than one ball in your hand, throwing the third ball is difficult. Most jugglers use their forearm to hold the second ball, and roll it down thier arm for the third throw. Some juggles put the third ball between their legs to start. It is also very hard to catch all of them, when you want to stop juggling. The photograph show two 100 mm balls in one hand. This is about the largest size ball that you will be able to hold two in one hand.
Popular Juggling Ball Sizes for Sale on Renegade
Bounce Ball Sizing
Bounce juggling, where you bounce ball off the ground can be sized larger than toss juggling (balls throw in the air). For bounce juggling you can drop the ball out of your hand, so you do not need as much finger control dropping the ball. Good bounce jugglers can juggle seven balls in a larger size than they could toss juggling.
Juggling Ball Visibility
Visibility is a big factor in selecting the size balls when you are jugging for a audience. Larger balls are easier for them to see. A larger ball also looks better, as it is more proportional in size of your body and hands. If you want to perform juggling you want to use the largest size ball that you can, without it causing drops.
Juggling Ball Weight
The weight of the juggling ball also plays a part in picking the right sized ball. Larger juggling balls weigh more than smaller ones. For people with small hands and small bodies this can be important. If you are a small juggler and have low endurance you should tent towards as smaller sized ball. A ball weight of 125 grams or less would be good. A ball with a weight of 150 grams would be way too heavy. Any juggle ball over 150 grams is too heavy for most juggles, unless you are very big, over 6 feet tall.
Juggling Ball Sets
Most avid juggler have several sets of balls in different sizes depending on their use. Many jugglers start off with a smaller sized ball to learn new trick and then move up in size as you master it. Juggler often use a very small sized ball for seven balls, a medium sized for five balls and lager balls for three ball juggling.