Footbag FAQ: Advanced Freestyle

Frequently-Asked Questions

What was the original Jobs Notation proposal?

The following is the original message that kicked off (pun intended) the very first use of Ben Job's notation for describing freestyle moves. Ben's hopes at the time were to make a move list by combining the different concepts on paper instead of getting bogged down in move names and complex descriptions. However, most of that meaning was lost, and people just started using his notation to describe moves. The raging debates over move names and classification systems continues...

From: BJ  (now invalid)
Subject: By the Way, Not the Name
To: footbag@footbag.org
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 02:16:38 -0700 (MST)

Here's some food for thought... Feedback is welcome, particularly in regard to
the names in the list.  Try the "complete" list...

Benjamin Job


                             A List By the Way

    This paper presents a notation for describing footbag tricks and
representing the relationships that exist between them.  Additionally, it
presents the means for generating a comprehensive list of possible
variations.
    Break a trick down.  You get a series of movements preceeded by a set and
followed by a catch (or kick).  The set and catch options are few and easily
listable.  The series of movements, though allowing of more variation, are
similarly listable.  Represented as a formula, this information provides us
with the means to logically generate trick variations.  As the precision of
the formula increases, that is, as more of the finite number of basic movements
are incorperated into the formula, we approach the specification of every trick
possible.  Consider the following:

(toe | clip) >
[(same | op)(in | out)dexterity]* >
(same | op)(toe | clip)

The notation is as follows:   "Same" and "op" are always relative to the leg
previously refered to.  "In" and "out" mean "inside" and "outside", respec-
tively.  "|" is equiv. to "choice" ("or").  "[ ]" means "enclosed dex is
optional".  ">" is equiv. to "followed by".  "*" means the preceding term can
occur/re-occur 0 or more times.
    From this simple formula, most non-modified leg dexterities can be derived.
Because of the structure of the formula, a "truth table" of moves can be gen-
erated, leaving no move undiscovered (ex., see list).

Some examples:

    clip > op clip                                          Clipper to Clipper
    toe > op in dex > op toe                                Mirage
    clip > same in dex > op out dex > same toe              Paradox Dbl Legover
    clip > op in dex > same in dex > op out dex > same toe  Flurry

    How far can we go?  Only slight modifications are needed to account for
other modifiers and their associated possibilities.  For example, Pogo,
Symposium, Spinning, ang Gyro moves can be formed by adding "(no plant while)"
and "(forward | backward)spin".  The formula,

(toe | clip) >
[(no plant while)]
[(same | op)(in | out)dexterity | (for | back)spin]* >
(same | op)(toe | clip)

describes variations such as:

clip > (no plant while) op in dex > op in dex >
          (no plant while) op in dex > op toe      Pogo Paradox Symposium Blur

The set and catch options can be filled in with all the choices: inside,
outside, knee, the unsual surfaces.  What elements that may comprise a trick
have yet to be accounted for?  Just a few: stomping ["(both legs plant)"],
blind,  hop-over, carry (Wrap), duck, dive, jumping/flying, Swirl/Twirl cross-
body dex, swing (Pendulum, Rake).  Not many other types of primitive movements
exist.  Since the acceptable tricks are just combinations of these primitives;
and since each primitive may be easily implemented within the formula; the
the possibility of a master formula for all tricks becomes complete.

Note: "same", "op" and "no plant" are relative to the leg previously refered
      to.

Examples:
clip > op in dex > op out dex > op clip                 Ripwalk
toe > same out dex > same out dex > op clip             Double Over Down
toe > op out dex > op out dex > same toe                Eggbeater
toe > (no plant while) > op in dex > op toe             Symposium Mirage
toe > (no plant while) > op in dex > op clip            Symposium Whirl
clip > same in dex > op in dex > op toe                 Pdx Blur
clip > same out dex > same out dex > op clip            Barfly
clip > op in dex > same in dex > same toe               Double Pickup
clip > op in dex > (no plant while) op out dex > op clip  Dada Curve
clip > (back)spin > same in dex > op out dex > op clip  Gyro Ripwalk

Entry last updated by Steve Goldberg on 2-Nov-1999.
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