How to start 1 Ball Contact Juggling

Ball Contact
Last updated 18/03/08

First get yourself some inspiration

Next get yourself a ball

If you are only going to have one ball for Contact, we recommend a Contact Ball. Perfect for a beginner, and for training 1 ball Contact all the way up to advanced moves. Size? probably 100mm/4″ is perfect, unless you have very small hands, in which case a smaller 85mm/3.5″ is an alternative. Certainly don’t start with anything smaller or lighter. There’s more details about balls and recommended ball sizes here. However, this ball is not the only one we recommend. Check our Articles and Reviews sections for more information about balls.

Contact Juggling Lessons

You’re going to invest a lot of time into learning contact, and the better the lessons that you can get, the more effective your practice time will be. So investing a bit of money to get some good quality teaching is a good thing, it can save you months or years of frustrating practice. The best option is certainly being taught in real life but for many that’s not an option. Below are some Online, DVD and Book Contact Juggling lessons.

Free Online Contact Juggling Tutorials

1 Ball Tutorials on the Wiki. Most of the top of the list are by Brinechild, who recommends that you do them in this order: Isolated walk * Isolations * Enigma * Butterfly * Palm-Cradle Transfer * Fingertip-Palm Transfer * Armcurls * Walking Halfpipe * Palm to palm * Circle … also has a growing forum for the Online Ball Contact Juggling Community where you can ask questions and chat, as well as moves, videos and essays sections. In French the forum is and in Italian go to A great way to get in some of your ‘real life’ teaching.

You might also want to look at Kae’s unfinished book – Free to download. It’s not even half finished or polished, and still teaches the first move as the butterfly (Ewww!!). But still it has some good solid explanations of moves, and a lot of moves that were not in the Ernest book (below). Definitely worth a download.

Contact Juggling Books, DVDs and things to buy

Greg and OwenAround 2000, Greg Maldonado and Owen Edson released an instructional DVD called “Contact Juggling” Very similar content to Ernest’s book (below), with the addition of 2 moves: Held isolations and the Enigma. Probably the best teaching aid for learning 1 ball Contact Juggling available today. For a good sequel beyond the basics, we would suggest that you can do better than “Contact Juggling part 2 – DVD.”

The best DVD available today for inspiration is undoubtedly In Isolation. Buy it for the well filmed juicy footage of manipulation, but don’t expect a huge amount from the short teaching section.

The Visual Encyclopaedia of Contact Juggling by Matt Olsen is a 4 DVD set, Part 1 thoroughly reviewed by Brinechild on wiki. More reviews coming.

For those who can read German, Bjorn Bottcher has recently released “Die Kunst der Kontaktjonglage” which we can’t review because we can’t read German, but judging from the pictures it seems to have quite a lot in it.

Try Out Toys have produced the Sphereplay DVD and the Playing in the Multisphere DVDs, Which have an emphasis on the fun side of contact. Review of PiMS in the Wiki.

Nowadays, the original spiral bound book Contact Juggling by James Ernest is starting to show its age, both in it’s content, and it’s style of teaching! It teaches the butterfly as “the first move” to learn, saying that is will take 20 hours to learn (eeek!) That’s not a beginners first move – that’s crazy.

You will find an impartial reviews section of books and Media in the wiki of, which we have been assisting Brinechild to expand.

Are there any secrets to learning Ball Contact?

– Get a good teacher/ Good lesson/ good advice and you can save, month or years of practice time.
– Enjoy your drops, every drop. 😉
– Join the secret cult of the Magical Hoopla of Destiny TM

How to learn Multiball Contact?

You don’t have to learn 1 ball Contact Juggling before learning palm spinning and Multiball. Check out our How to learn Multiball Contact article.

Anything missing? or any comments? Please add below and we will keep this page updated.

11 thoughts on “How to start 1 Ball Contact Juggling”

  1. Thank you guys for this nice blesses, as a world that say what is possible… we make things possible, i love you love of my love that brings me love from love… man zou. thanks….

  2. Hi there,

    Thanks heaps for this info. I’ve wanted to do this ever since I saw ‘The Labrinyth’ when I was little. I’ve got a ball but only really half learnt some things. I am really keen to devote more time and energy to it now so this site is a big help.

    I do have a question though. I will be travelling in a couple of months time and want to devote time to learning while I’m away so was wondering if there are any books about it that you might recommend?

  3. Thanks very much for this. I’m so glad you said what you did about the Ernest book. I’ve had this for years, and it did little other than discourage me, trying to learn the butterfly first.

  4. i want to learn how to contact juggle and ordered a mr. babache is that a bad idea for my first ball?

  5. Hey guys i just got my first ball and am having serious trouble with the palm-circle isolation, do you have any suggestions and a great book to start learning on, i really love doing this and have been doing it almost nonstop since ive gotten my ball. thank you for all your help.

  6. Hey guys, im intending on learning to contact juggle, and was hoping to take some lessons during my gapyear, i was wondering if anyone could recommend any good teachers, courses or even schools for learning this?

    If you do please contact me at

    thanks in advance

  7. hi just got a juggling ball was told it would help with my ms for motor skills problem hoping to get good lern lessons. I’m still at it tho lol

  8. I just began learning contact juggling, and am trying to figure out whether my stumpy little hands mean that I might be better off starting with a slightly smaller ball than the 100 mm I now have, one of Play’s 260g stage balls (the weight is not a problem at all).

    My hands are 160 mm/6.3″ long (for comparison, 165 mm is the smallest hand-length listed here: p. 1), mostly because my fingers are quite short.

    I’ve seen video footage of women who appear to have tiny hands doing multi-ball with quite large balls, so obviously, hand size is not a huge deal in the long run, and I’d prefer to stick with what I have.
    However, when it comes to nailing the basics, I may be complicating things by fighting the ball’s size; even with rolling the ball from one hand to the other on my palms (it’s practically just a transfer, since there’s not much hand to roll over), or walking it, it feels like the problem is not just a question of coordination, but like the ball is a bit too big for my unskilled hands to contain.

    Does this sound like standard beginner clumsiness/awkwardness and moaning?

    Are there other guidelines other than hand length that are useful for determining optimal ball size for beginners?

    Are there any balls smaller than 100 mm that have a decent heft? All the ones I’ve seen are ridiculously light, and the weight of the ball I have is great.


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