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2008 International Juggling Association Championships Crown World’s Best Jugglers

LEXINGTON:  The 61st annual International Juggling Association (IJA) Festival Championships were held in Lexington, Kentucky from July 15 – 18. Formal competitions crowned the world’s best jugglers in three divisions: stage performance, numbers juggling, and joggling (running while juggling). The championships were held as part of the week long festival that brought together jugglers from around the world for competitions, workshops and shows.


The stage championships took place in front an audience of 700 people at the Lexington Opera House on July 16-17. Over $4,000 in cash prizes were awarded to the champions. Competitions took place in three categories: Individuals, Teams (two or more people per team) and Juniors (individuals 17 years old or younger).

Finalists that competed in the championships were selected by a preliminary judging process in which competitors submitted a video of their act. Competitors in the preliminaries and finals were judged on seven criteria:

Execution – 20%
Entertainment Level – 20%
Degree of Difficulty – 15%
Theatrical Framing – 15%
Creativity – 15%
Element of Risk – 10%
Stage Presence – 5%

Final Standings in the Stage Championships:


Competitor Score

1. Takashi Kikyo 71.78
2. Chuan-Ho Chu 70.04
3. Ben Hestness 63.36
4. Pei-Chen Jung 62.92
5. Motomu Utsumi 62.90
6. David Ferman 58.06
7. Stefan Brancel 54.20


Competitor Score

1. Vova Galchenko 85.66
2. Billy Watson 77.38
3. Yoshihisa Suehiro 73.12
4. Takashi Hagiwara 66.22
5. Tomoyasu Tanaka 64.14
6. Ching-Ta Huang 60.92
7. Isaac Rockafellow 58.50
8. Kohei Ebihara 51.28


Competitor Score

1. Sharp Brothers 78.64
2. Kikyo Brothers 75.68
3. TPEC 68.60


The Numbers Championships took place at the Lexington Civic Center on July 18th. The Numbers Championships determine who can successfully juggle the greatest number of objects without a drop. Preliminary rounds were held to reduce the field to three finalists in each category and to determine the minimum number of objects to be juggled in each category in the finals. Each competitor had two minutes to successfully juggle the minimum number of objects in the category. Competition in the individual balls category started at eight balls. When all finalists successfully juggled eight balls, the competition proceeded to a round of nine balls.

Numbers juggling took place in four different categories including balls, clubs, rings, and bounced balls. There were both individual and two person passing competitions.

Final results:

Individual Balls

Gold (tie): Daniel Eaker, 9 balls, 25 catches
Gold (tie): Vova Galchenko, 9 balls, 25 catches
Silver: Doug Sayers, 9 balls, 20 catches

Individual Rings

Gold: Scott Sorensen, 8 rings, 25 catches
Silver: Daniel Eaker, 8 rings, 16 catches

Individual Clubs

Gold: Vova Galchenko, 7 clubs, 52 catches
Silver: Stefan Brancel, 6 clubs, 16 catches
Bronze: Daniel Eaker, 6 clubs, 12 catches

Individual Ball Bouncing

Gold: Robert Mosher III, 10 balls, 31 catches – NEW IJA RECORD
Silver: Christian Kloc, 9 balls, 32 catches

Ball Passing

Gold: Stefan Brancel & Ben Hestness, 13 balls, 65 catches
Silver: Andrew Hodge & Chris Hodge, 12 balls, 93 catches

Bronze: Bruce Bailey & Doug Sayers, 12 balls, 67 catches

Club Passing

Gold: Peter Kaseman & Vova Galchenko, 11 clubs, 94 catches
Silver – Ben Hestness & Stefan Brancel, 10 clubs, 90 catches

Ball Bounce Passing

Gold (tie): Christian Kloc & Robert Mosher III, 15 balls, 62 catches
Gold (tie): David Critchfeld & John Jones, 15 balls, 62 catches

Three-Person Club Passing

Gold: Alan Thompson, Carey Wagoner & Thom Wall, 13 clubs, 72 catches
Ring Passing (No team qualified)


The Joggling Championships took place on July 15th at the Henry Clay High School track in Lexington, Kentucky. Joggling is a highly skilled sport that combines running and juggling with 3 or 5 balls. The rules require that a juggling pattern must be maintained while running, and if an object is dropped, the joggler must return to the point where the object fell and continue from there.

See joggling results here.

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