My dad taught me how to juggle when I was 11 years old. Like most young jugglers I taught myself a few tricks, bought a juggling video from a magic catalog, and generally enjoyed my private little juggling life. Then something happened–I heard about the International Juggling Association, a group of jugglers that had conventions, workshops, a Web site, a magazine, and even MEMBERSHIP CARDS!! (Remember I’m 11. These things are huge!) Soon I discovered other juggling clubs and organizations and realized that there really was a world wide juggling subculture.
In case you haven’t found them yet here’s a brief description of the two major juggling organizations:
The International Jugglers Association: Started by a group of jugglers who were tired of having to get together at the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the IJA was created in 1947 with the goal of “rendering assistance to fellow jugglers.” The IJA publishes Juggle Magazine and puts on the annual IJA Juggling Festival.
The World Juggling Federation: Started as an alternative to the IJA, the WJF is dedicated to promoting the sport of juggling world wide. Focusing on numbers, records, and trick difficulty instead of performance, the WJF sponsors training and competitions for jugglers. Portions of the WJF convention were even aired on ESPN2 in 2005.