World Class Jugglers Invade Sioux Falls
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
August 06, 2012 7:19 PM
An unlikely type of athlete will soon overrun Sioux Falls. The World Juggling Federation is holding its 8th annual conference and championship this week. And as many as 70 world class jugglers will be tossing their clubs and rings high into the air hoping to be crowned a champion.
A flick of the wrist and a steady eye, a trick used to impress royalty in the medieval times by jesters.
But while some admit there maybe some ancient magic used to keep these beanbags high in the air.
“At some point you just have to use the force.”
Jason Garfield won't be called a clown or a street performer. He's an athlete.
“Juggling requires just as much coordination and endurance and stamina as just about any other sport,” said Garfield.
The founder of the World Juggling Federation feels the sport he dominates requires a skill set that far surpasses the ability of any circus or street performer. Saying the chainsaw and burning torch jugglers only use basic skills.
The trick to tell the difference between the pros and wannabes, don't look at the hands.
“Next time you see a juggler watch how much they move their feet because that’s how you can tell how many imperfect throws are being corrected,” said Garfield.
The sport of juggling is evolving. While the balancing tricks maybe impressive a solo performance can get dull for an audience.
Enter Major League Combat.
“If you are not so much interested in the Olympic style juggling people always like seeing people attacking other people and that’s what Major League Combat is. It's teams of five jugglers attacking other five jugglers while juggling,” said Garfield.
While for some the moves Jason Garfield showcase seem unbelievable, others may find it hard to believe that juggling is a sport.
“It might sound like a joke to begin with juggling as a sport, juggling in the Olympics, but then when you see it you see what these athletes are doing with it,” said Garfield.