The Varsity Match

The varsity match is the annual juggling competition between members of various university juggling clubs. It takes place in the Lent term, and is alternately hosted by the juggling clubs.

The match consists of various juggling related games, as well as endurance and numbers challenges. The winners score points for their team, and the university with the most points at the end of the day wins.

2024 - Lincoln

Varsity was at Lincoln and hosted by the University of Lincoln Juggling Society. The Cambridge team of Adrian Goldwaser, Mark Pender-Bare, Helen Coutts and Peter Roder travelled up by car. We played games inluding:

  • Contact Gladiators
  • 3 Ball Zombie
  • 3 Ball Simon Says
  • 5 Ball Endurance
  • 5 Ring Endurance
  • 5 Club Endurance
  • 3 Ball Fewest Catches
  • Long Distance Passing
  • Most Spinning Plates
  • Diabolo High Throw
  • Diabolo in the Bucket
  • Game of Ken
  • Poi Trick-off
  • Balance Relay
  • Spinning Plate Relay
  • 3 Ball Relay
  • Unicycle Relay

Cambridge kept up tradition by winning, with Lincoln in second place.

2023 - UCL

In 2023, Varsity was restarted by UCL Juggling and Circus Society. Cambridge took a rather large victory, with final scores:

  1. Cambridge - 35
  2. KCL - 12
  3. Southampton - 10
  4. UCL - 9
  5. York - 5
  6. Imperial & Lincoln - 2

2012 - UCL and Imperial

Varsity was at UCL hosted by the combined efforts of both UCL and Imperial. We arrived at UCL late morning, and after catching up with everyone, some casual passing, and lunch, the games commenced.

We played a similar set of games to last year, and also some new ones. One of these was the ring throwing game. In pairs, with 3 rings each, you have to throw the rings to your partner and attempt to catch theirs. One ring on each head and each arm of each player scores the maximum points (6). After 3 attempts for each pair, the team with the highest points won. UCL took the victory on the ring catching game.

Another game was contact gladiators, a favourite for us Cambridge jugglers, and fairly new to the other universities. As a result, we won the contact gladiators easily, with most of our team still standing. By the end of the day imperial were winning with 36.5 points, and Cambridge were close behind with 35 points. The only game left to be settled was the 4 ball poweball (800g) endurance. It was a tight competition, with the final outcome falling on Brook (Cambridge) and Jason (Imperial). After a fantastic 5minutes from Jason, Brook juggled for 5mins 45secs, winning the day.

The final scores were:

  1. Cambridge - 40
  2. Imperial - 36.5
  3. Oxford - 16
  4. UCL - 7

The Cambridge 2012 Team

Rob Littlechild - Will Duncan - Amy Jukes - Matt Wood - Michael Rees - Mark Pander-Bare - Alex Dodd

Nick Owen - Brook Roberts - Jo Perry - Katie Struthers

2011 - Cambridge

In 2011 it was our turn. Teams from Imperial, UCL, and Oxford came to Cambridge. Oxford was at a slight disadvantage with only two people on their team, but they held out pretty well, finishing the day in third place. We did lots of juggling throughout the day, and it was really really fun!!

Here is a list of some of the games from this year’s match.

  • Juggling Limbo
  • Contact Gladiators
  • Club Gladiators
  • 3 Ball Gladiators
  • Simon Says
  • Wheelbarrow races (the two people holding the wheelbarrow get to juggle while they race)
  • Siamese Daleks
  • 5 Ball Endurance
  • 5 Club Endurance
  • Sumo
  • There was also some club passing, possibly other passing, powerball endurance challenges, and more…

Everyone put a lot of effort into the match this year, and it was very close between Cambridge and Imperial. Here are the scores:

  1. Cambridge - 17
  2. Imperial - 16
  3. Oxford - 10
  4. UCL - 8

We are all looking forward to a rematch next year, and in the meantime, check out the awesome video by UCL in the videos section!

Previous matches

Easter 2003

Easter 2002

Easter 2001

Easter 2000