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This year, the International Jugglers’ Association (IJA) will be sponsoring an IJA Regional Competition (IRC) at IJC. It’s for 5-8 minute stage routines with a high caliber performance and technical skill, which are entertaining and marketable to general public audiences. Prizes will be $300 for first place, $200 for second, and $100 for third.

Here’s the trailer from the event at IJC last year:

Questions or comments regarding the IJA Regional Competition – Middle East should be addressed to [email protected]





Founded in 2011, the IJA Regional Competition (IRC) brings the IJA Stage Championship model to regional festivals around the world.  The goals of this program include:

  • To award competition routines with high caliber performance and technical skill, which are entertaining and marketable to a general public audience;
  • To promote the development and enhancement of juggling within each region;
  • To unite the international juggling community by spreading awareness of the juggling culture in each region, through promotion of these events.

IRC Middle East

Date: Friday, April 14
Location: Gan HaShlosha, Israel
Prelim video submission deadline: March 31, 2017
Contact: Scott Seltzer, [email protected]


The IRCs use an all-online video preliminary system. The preferred video URL source is YouTube. Under “Broadcasting and Sharing Options,” use the “Unlisted” Privacy Option. This allows privacy from public viewing but enables the prelims judges to review your performance. Please do not list the URL publicly.  If this entry method is an obstacle to your entry, please notify the IRC director.

The entry must be one unedited single-camera shot. Zooming in and out is permitted. Video should resemble the stage act as closely as possible in all aspects, including costume and music.  All IJA Regional Competition competitors are responsible for complying with the IRC rules.

The IRC Director and IJA Representative may accept all applicants into competition or may ask five preliminary judges to narrow the selection. Each judge will be given time to evaluate all the acts independently.  The preliminaries judges will then return scores to the director, keeping a record of their own scores and keeping their scores and opinions confidential. The IRC Director will compile scores and choose competitors based on the top combined scores. The director will then forward the results to each of the preliminaries judges, showing all scores and computations. Once all judges have confirmed the accuracy of their scores, all entrants will be notified of whether they qualified for the final competition or not. Prelims scores, rankings, and judging notes if any will be withheld until the IJA Regional Competition, after which, anyone who submitted a prelims video, whether or not that video qualified for the competition, can request their individual results.

The maximum number of competitors will be determined based on the time and resources of the festival. The IRC Director and IJA Representative, will determine this number. The scoring system for finals (described below) is also used for the preliminaries; the only difference is that whereas seven judges are used in the finals, five are used for preliminaries. High and low score per category are eliminated in both cases, so here the middle three are averaged instead of the middle five. Performance position in the competition finals may be partially based on the entrants’ preliminaries performance score.

Finalist registration videos, submitted during preliminary competition, must remain available to view by judges through the completion of the stage competition finals. Should the need arise, this enables judges to review and verify that no significant performance change or team substitution has been made between the preliminary and finals competition.

Rules for Competitors

This entire web page, and not merely this section, delineates the rules of competition. Unless stated otherwise, the term “competitor” as used herein applies to individuals, teams, and the individuals within the team.

IRC – Middle East Competitors must be residents of the Middle Eastern region. Teams and Individual Acts are permitted to enter the IJA Regional Competition.  People who compete as an individual are also allowed to compete as part of a team. Every finals act is required to be similar in spirit to its preliminaries video. A competitor who intentionally changes his or her act in a significant way from the preliminaries may be disqualified at the discretion of the IRC Director and IJA Representative.

As juggling is an ever-changing and broadening field of skilled prop manipulation, there is no limit on the choice of props; however, the majority of the act must involve the manipulation of objects in a manner that would best be described as juggling, as opposed to by a well-known other specific name. In other words, we encourage competitors to expand our preconceptions of juggling, but the IJA stage competition is a venue for acts that primarily present juggling; not for acts that primarily present prop manipulation in forms that already have their own competitions elsewhere. Non-juggling skills will be judged only in so far as they directly enhance the overall entertainment value of the routine or the extent to which, when combined with juggling, they increase the difficulty or risk of the juggling. Acts that are not primarily perceived as juggling may be disqualified from competition by a majority vote of the preliminary judges or at the director’s discretion.

Competitors are to have a prepared, polished juggling routine, running within the time limits of the competition, with few drops. Competitors are expected to behave in a professional manner, and to inform the IRC Director beforehand of any unusual needs or problems with a routine. Professional practices include knowing the rules; abiding by the schedule; being on time for all registrations, preliminaries, rehearsals, performances and awards ceremonies; respecting the rights of others; and conducting oneself in a gracious manner.

No object may be intentionally juggled in an unsafe manner or thrown or kicked off the front of the stage. Fire is not permitted. Acts must not damage the performance area in any way. The IRC Director reserves the right to veto any prop or portion of a routine that may jeopardize the professionalism of the competition or the safety or property of the audience, the competition personnel, or the theater.

The minimum time for all competition routines is five minutes and the maximum is eight minutes.

In the event that any rule listed here is violated, either by a competitor or by anyone else associated with the competitions, the appropriate action to be taken will be decided exclusively by the IRC Director. The IRC Director will also decide the outcome of any dispute that may arise concerning either interpretation of these rules or circumstances not covered by these rules. Decisions of the IRC Director in these matters are final.


Competitors who advance to the finals must attend a rehearsal to review procedures and inspect the performance space. Competitors must make their technical requirements, such as sound and light cues, known to the IRC Director, who will be responsible for communication with the technical staff and volunteers. The competitor is solely responsible for any errors resulting from a lack of communication with the IRC Director or staff, including errors that interfere with the competitor’s performance and/or adversely affect the judging of that competitor’s routine.

The IRC Director will allow each act an equal amount of time for rehearsal.  Competitors who miss their rehearsal time may be disqualified from the championships.

Technical Restrictions

To reduce delays in the competitions and minimize the time between performances, acts will be given a maximum of two minutes for set up, starting from an empty stage, and two minutes to completely clear the stage after the act is complete. Any unique entrances, exits, props, intentional drops, or other special circumstances, must be discussed with the IRC Director before the competitions begin. If the routine requires any special effects, such as strobe, fog, fluorescents, black lights, etc., it is the responsibility of the competitor to provide them. All special effects must be cleared with the IRC Director and the facility manager.

The IJA will endeavor to provide a high quality stage for the competitions, but no explicit guarantees are made concerning characteristics of the performance area. For example, competitors are advised to provide their own bounce slabs and to be prepared to cope with possibly adverse lighting conditions or uneven ceiling heights.


A competitor or team may be disqualified by the IRC Director for failing to abide by these rules or behaving in a manner that jeopardizes the safety of the audience or staff, compromises the professional standards of the championships, or performs material that is judged to be dangerous, obscene, profane, overtly political, or offensive to a typical family audience. If the act were a movie, it should be rated G, PG, or PG-13. Harassment of other competitors or any other behavior that is rude, inappropriate, or materially affects the operation of the competitions in an adverse way will be considered grounds for disqualification.

IJA Media Release Policy

By entering the competition, the competitor acknowledges that the IJA has the right to obtain photo and video for any and all marketing and documenting purposes.  


The scoring system is the same for all stage competitions. Team acts have the following additional rules:

(a) Team acts should involve significant juggling and performance interactions among the team members. Significant interactions include any kind of passing or exchanging of props among members, as well as synchronous or coordinated juggling among members.

(b) All team members should make a significant contribution to the act.

The Presentation category includes criteria for judging how well teams follow these guidelines.

Judges are expected to compare competitors to an absolute scale, not against the other competitors. Judges should not rank routines. Instead, they should score each routine against an absolute standard in the seven categories below, determined by the judge’s previous experience and knowledge of the field.

Judges assign each of the seven categories a score on a scale of 0 to 10, in whole numbers, to denote the following:

0 = No Achievement or Attempt

1 = Dismal
2 = Very Poor
3 = Poor
4 = Adequate
5 = Average
6 = Good
7 = Very Good
8 = Excellent
9 = Outstanding
10 = Perfect

The scores in each category are then multiplied to weight their importance in determining the final scores. The categories and weights are as follows. Descriptions are below.


Category Multiplication Factor Total Possible
Entertainment Value 2.0 20
Execution 2.0 20
Juggling Difficulty 2.0 20
Juggling Creativity 1.5 15
Presentation 1.5 15
Representation of Juggling 1.0 10
Total 8.5 100


Entertainment Value: overall appeal of the act. Judges are free to apply their own personal preferences in this category; at their discretion, they may also take into consideration the audience’s response. They are not expected to evaluate the act’s appeal for a hypothetical audience that is not actually present.

Execution: how well the performance accomplished what the routine set out to do. High marks are awarded for completion of tricks without hesitation or awkwardness (but note that competitors are not penalized for deliberate pauses or drops). Drops lower the score, of course. Form and technique should be considered as well.

Juggling Difficulty: difficulty of juggling tricks performed successfully, as well as the inherent difficulty of the prop used. This score should represent the average difficulty of the entire routine, not just the difficulty of its hardest trick. Degree of difficulty is determined by the type and number of objects juggled; the speed of the juggling; the types of throws, catches, balances, or other object manipulations; the complexity of combinations of juggling tricks; and the transitions between juggling tricks. Non-juggling skills are not relevant in this category except for their impact on the difficulty of any juggling performed at the same time.

Juggling Creativity: innovation in tricks, props, and approaches to juggling. This category specifically rewards creativity in juggling; creativity in the non-juggling aspects of the routine do not contribute here, but may be recognized in the Entertainment Value or Presentation scores.

Presentation: extent to which all aspects of the performance are integrated into a coherent routine. This is different from the “Execution” category in that it includes (but is not limited to) costume, music, choreography, use of props, character, story, comedy, and non-juggling props and circus skills, in addition to the juggling itself. Note that the only element of a routine that is required is juggling; other elements may either enhance or detract from the performance and should be scored accordingly.

Representation of Juggling: Judges use this special category to determine whether each act is a good representation of juggling, even if it incorporates other skills. This category is intended to ask: “is this basically a juggling routine, as opposed to some other kind of routine?” It is not asking: “is every moment of this routine juggling?”

Each judge is required to score independently. Judges record their scores and write comments for each act immediately after the completion of the act. All scores are to be turned over to the scorekeeper before the next act begins and may not be changed after submission.

The Drop Counters count the drop events in each routine. A drop event occurs when a competitor loses control of one or more props that fall to the floor. Regardless of how many props hit the floor, the loss of control is counted as a single drop event. The Drop Counters give their drop counts to the judges for consideration before the judges submit their scores. It is up to the judges to determine how much the drops affect the scores; the counts simply serve as a reminder.

The Timer measures and records the completion time of each act. The act is considered to begin when anything changes; if movement is made, lights or video change, or recorded music or sound is heard. The act is considered to have ended whenever the performer strikes a pose, takes a bow, or leaves the stage, and does no further performing afterward. If the competitor goes over/under time, the following points will automatically be deducted from the final score. This is a systematic deduction and is not within the responsibilities or control of the judges.

For every second over the maximum time or under the minimum time, the score deduction will be calculated by squaring the number of seconds over or under, dividing the result by 100, and then rounding to the nearest tenth of a point. At 61 seconds over or under, the competitor is disqualified.

seconds     penalty seconds penalty seconds        penalty
1 0.0 21 4.4 41 16.8
2 0.0 22 4.8 42 17.6
3 0.1 23 5.3 43 18.5
4 0.2 24 5.8 44 19.4
5 0.3 25 6.3 45 20.3
6 0.4 26 6.8 46 21.2
7 0.5 27 7.3 47 22.1
8 0.6 28 7.8 48 23.0
9 0.8 29 8.4 49 24.0
10 1.0 30 9.0 50 25.0
11 1.2 31 9.6 51 26.0
12 1.4 32 10.2 52 27.0
13 1.7 33 10.9 53 28.1
14 2.0 34 11.6 54 29.2
15 2.3 35 12.3 55 30.3
16 2.6 36 13.0 56 31.4
17 2.9 37 13.7 57 32.5
18 3.2 38 14.4 58 33.6
19 3.6 39 15.2 59 34.8
20 4.0 40 16.0 60 36.0

The scorekeeper is responsible for overseeing the score data entry and calculations. The lowest and highest scores within each category are discarded, and the remaining five scores (remaining three in prelims) are averaged together, then multiplied by the corresponding weights, and added together to produce the final score. The competitor with the highest score wins first place, the competitor with the second highest score wins second place, and the competitor with the third highest score wins third place.

In the event of a tie, the final categorical scores for the competitors with equal scores will be recalculated with all the judges’ scores in each category, including the highest and lowest scores that were previously omitted. This recalculation will determine who wins the tie. If the scores are still tied after the recalculation, a tie will be declared and multiple medals will be awarded for the same place. In the event of a two-way tie for first place, no second place will be awarded. In the event of a three – (or more) way tie for first place, no second or third places will be awarded. In the event of a two – (or more) way tie for second place, no third place will be awarded.

One of the five preliminaries judges is needed to be present at the competition to confirm that the final act differed in no major way from the preliminary act. If the preliminaries judge feels the competitor has intentionally changed his act between the preliminaries and the finals, the IRC Director will be notified. It is the decision of the IRC as to whether or not the competitor will be disqualified. The IRC will not have the opportunity to make the decision unless the preliminaries judge raises the issue.

Following the competition, the judges will be required to confirm all of their scores are correct. This time is to be used to confirm scores. This time is not to be used to discuss, debate, or change scores. Winners will not be announced until the judges confirm their scores.

All competitors will have the options to receive a copy of the scorecards and comments for their preliminaries and finals on request.

Competition Logistics

The IRC Director will choose all staff for the competition. The staff needed is as follows:

  • 5 preliminaries judges
  • 7 finals judges
  • 1 timer
  • 1 drop counters
  • 1 scorekeeper
  • Stagehands – number to be determined by the Championships Director.

The IRC may appoint additional staff if needed.


All concerns and questions of consequence regarding a specific preliminary or finals event should be addressed to the IRC Director or IJA Representative, and not to an individual judge. Decisions of the IRC Director in all matters regarding the IJA Regional Competition are final.