Varsity - Easter 2001


The annual Oxford and Cambridge Varsity Match was held on Sunday 13th May 2001. This year it was our turn to host the event. The Varsity Match is made up of many separate juggling games. Two points are awarded to the winner and one point is awarded the runner up. For full details of the outcome of each event, see the complete score-sheet. Clicking on each of the pictures displays a larger version.

Jollyball and Sumo Juggling

There were some exciting early round matches in the jollyball competition. The first semi-final was all-Cambridge affair, with Robert just getting the better of Tom P. Oxford’s Henry then beat Cambridge President Iain for the second place in the final. Robert won the final giving the extra point to Cambridge.

By the semi-finals of the sumo competition, only Cambridge players were left in the Draw. Florian was injured, and the hall was rather hot, so it was decided not to bother playing out the remaining matches.

One-handed Devilstick and Club Balance

Outside on Parkers Piece, the events kicked off with the one-handed devilstick endurance competition. Chris R. (Cambridge) and Simon (Oxford) were just too good surviving standing on one leg, turning round on the spot, and even throwing and catching the devilstick. Eventually Simon faltered giving victory to Chris.

Once again, Chris E. performed superbly in the club-on-face-balance event, easily beating off his nearest rival Stuart. Another three points to Cambridge.

Blind Juggling

Next up was blind juggling. Competitors start juggling three balls, then on a signal have to close their eyes an see how long they can carry on. A surprise victory went to Nick from Cambridge, who never even tried before. Florian took second place.

Numbers Endurance

After a hard fought battle, Florian from Cambridge won the five ball endurance event, with Henry from Oxford runner up. The four ball event for beginners was won by Nick, also from Cambridge.

However Oxford showed their superiority in the club juggling endurance events scooping five out of the six available points.

Club Passing

Oxford took all three points for the seven club passing event. Henry and Tom took first place, while Rachel and Phillip took a surprise second.

Many people entered the distance passing event, but no-one managed to get very far. Robert and Chris from Cambridge won the event, with Henry and Ben from Oxford taking second.

Diabolo Events

After several rounds, Tom from Cambridge won the diabolo high toss event, with Rachel from Oxford coming second. Last year’s winner Chris R. suffered a shock elimination just before the final after dropping his diabolo.

The bizarre diabolo into a bucket event was then played. Iain the Cambridge president volunteered to hold the bucket. People from both teams then proceeded to hurl their diabolos at him; trying to get their diabolo to land in the bucket. Tom from Cambridge won the event, and Rachel from Oxford came second.

Heavy Balls

The two heavy ball competitions went on throughout the day. The three ball competition was won by Tom from Cambridge with a time of more than three minutes. The newly-introduced five ball competition was won by Phillip from Oxford with a time of 53 seconds.


Gladiators is a popular juggling game, whereby two teams all start juggling, before attempting to stop members of the other team juggling by bashing into them. This photo shows the Cambridge team preparing to do battle. Three rounds with balls and three rounds with clubs were played, with Oxford taking five of the six available points.

The Races

The races were played on an approximately 50m long stretch of grass. Unlike last year, there were no heats, and everyone took part together. Oxford dominated the three ball and three club events, with Robert gaining Cambridge’s only point.

Next up was the unicycle race. Due to a shortage of unicycles, both teams chose only their best unicyclists to take part. The race was won by Oxford, with Stuart taking second place for Cambridge.

The Conclusion

It was planned to have a separate big wheel unicycle race, but after the Cambridge unicycle wheel buckled, it had to be abandoned. This left the score at 30-30, and the teams accepted an honourable draw.

As always the traditional Varsity Match throw up was a success. Both teams then headed for Burger King for some well-deserved nourishment.

Photos are taken by Chris Rycroft, David Eaves and Katherine Jones, 13th May 2001.

Score Sheet

Event Winner Runner-Up Cambridge Oxford
Jollyball Robert Henry 2 1
Sumo Juggling Robert, James, Florian, Chris R. * 3 0
Balancing (Club on face) Chis E. Stuart 3 0
Diabolo (High Toss) Tom P. Rachel 2 1
Diabolo (Into Bucket) Tom P. Rachel 2 1
Devilstick (One-handed) Chris R. Simon 2 1
Endurance (3 Balls - Blind) Nick Florian 3 0
Endurance (3 Heavy Balls) Tom P. Rob 2 1
Endurance (5 Heavy Balls) Phillip Tom P. 1 2
Endurance (4 Balls - Beginners) Nick Tom 2 1
Endurance (5 Balls) Florian Henry 2 1
Endurance (4 Clubs) Phillip Ben 0 3
Endurance (5 Clubs) Phillip Andy 1 2
Distance Passing (6 Clubs) Robert & Chris Henry & Ben 2 1
Endurance (7 club Passing) Henry & Ben Rachel & Phillip 0 3
Gladiators (3 Balls) 0 3
Gladiators (3 Clubs) 1 2
Race (3 balls) Phillip Robert 1 2
Race (3 clubs) Phillip Henry 0 3
Race (Unicycle) Rob? Stuart 1 2
Total Scores 30 30

*All four semi-finalists were from Cambridge, and the event was halted there due to injury and a desire to go outside.


Location and Timing

The 2001 Juggling Varsity Match is taking place in Cambridge in the afternoon of Sunday 13th May. Indoor events will take place in the small hall at Kelsey Kerridge, and if the weather is fine, we will venture out on to Parker’s Piece. We would encourage everyone to come along and take part – however good (or bad) you are.

If you want to get involved please try to meet on Parkers Piece opposite the main entrance to Kelsey Kerridge at 1:45pm. We expect the events will be over by about 6pm, but don’t worry if you can’t do the whole time, come for whatever you can. As an added incentive any member who turns up will be given a free CUJA T-shirt.


The following is the list of events from 2000. It is likely that there will be few changes to this list for 2001. Most events score 2 points for the winners team and 1 point for runner up. There are usually 3 rounds of each of the gladiator competitions, with a single point for the winner of each round.

  • Team Events:
    • 6 club passing (distance)
    • 7 club passing (endurance)
    • 3 ball gladiators
    • 3 club gladiators
  • Single Competition Events:
    • Diabolo high toss
    • Diabolo into a bucket
    • Unicycle Race
    • 3 ball juggling race
    • 3 club juggling race
    • Sumo juggling
    • Jollyball
  • Single Endurance Events:
    • Club on face balance
    • Devilstick 1 handed
    • 5 ball, 5 club
    • 4 ball, 4 club
    • Blind juggling
    • Heavy Ball juggling