Footbag Freestyle Notation

Job’s notation is great for concisely recording many footbag moves. However, after stumbling across a big list of footbag moves, I felt that it would look better if the notation was somehow made even briefer. I wanted to print out the list but it seemed cluttered.

I took the extreme approach, replacing most components with one character and arrived at the following abbreviations for Job’s notation. With these changes, the list of moves appears a little strange, but is easier to read for me.


toe set (Z depicts leg doing toe stall from the side)


inside set (L represents cranked leg)


clipper set (X symbolizes crossbody)


dragon set (D for dragon)


crossbody toe




crossbody pendulum




crossbody rake






frigid osis








any set


in-out dex (1 looks like I for in-out)


out-in dex (0 looks like O for out-in)


back dex i.e. swirl (6 looks like b for back, also foot draws a 6 during the move)


front dex i.e. reverse swirl


same side


opposite side


forward spin (forward slash)


backward spin (backslash)


footbag reaches peak (can think of as a footbag; I want a small symbol that is easy to ignore)


plant, or land when the last symbol (underscore represents the ground)


no plant while or jump (! is a unary operator in some contexts, also represents the thoughts of the impressed spectator)


duck (caret symoblizes the footbag motion while going around the neck)


dive (the ampersand is a self-intersecting curve, as is the path traced by a diving head)


I want the dexes and sets to stand out, so I chose letters for sets, and numerals for dexes, and punctuation for everything else. I tried to choose letters so they don’t depend on English, but rather on the shape of the letter itself.

"xL" might be the more logical choice for clipper, but the set is so common that I preferred simply "X".

The > symbols have been elided.

Ducks and dives are performed when the footbag reaches its peak, thus there is no need for a "." as well.

There are a few issues that should be addressed eventually. There ought to be a way to distinguish a kick from a delay: I’m experimenting with appending a "k", so that "Lk" is inside kick while "L" is inside delay. Perhaps there should be a symbol for a hopover. It’s not obvious exactly when a "_" is required. I also think that the "!" is not sufficiently clear in some cases. Rooted sets have not been covered yet. There’s no way to distinguish whirling from stepping: I’m considering using "w1" for whirl and "w0" for reverse whirl.

[Changes from old versions: I once used T for toe, and >, < for forward, back spins. I put the ! operator before the + and - operators. I had inverted commas to represent a jump (inverted commas are high up), but decided that it was similar enough to symposium that one symbol can cover both cases.]



Toe set, eggbeater, DLO, paradon, ripwalk. Note the locations of the periods suggest a different way of viewing strings: one could say that a trick starts with the footbag at its peak, and ends the next time it reaches its peak.

The single dex sets:

Z+0.	Fairy
Z+1.	Pixie
Z-0.	Atomic/Tapping
Z-1.	Quantum/Slapping

X+0.	Nuclear/Slamming
X-0.	Bubba/Hopping/Scattered/Shattered
X+1.	Quasi
X-1.	Stepping/Blurry/Whirling/Blazing

Other sets:

Z+1-0.	Sailing
Z+1-1.	Frantic
Z+1+0.	Wiggle
Z+1+1.	Terraging

Z+0-0.	Fusing/Falling
Z+0+0.	Double fairy
Z+0+1.	Jiggle

Z-0+0.	Delusional

X-1+1.	High Stepping/Barraging/Furious

Z-!0.	Flailing
Z-!1.	Wonton

X-!0.	Popping
X-!1.	Pogo/Flaring

Z-!1-0.	Wontomic
Z-!0-0. Warping
Z-!1-1. Floating

X-!1-0. Shooting
X-!1-1. Sliding
X-!1+1. Symposium Furious
X-!1+0.	Null

X+6|9.	Swirling/Burly
X+9+9.	Revsteining
Z+0-6.	Phasing
Z-0-6.	Gnome
Z+0-!6.	Surfing
Z-6-1.	Moshing
X-!1-6.	Jolimont

xZ+9.	Swixie

Z+1-!1.	Backside Symposium Frantic
Z+1-!0.	Slaying

X-!1-0+0. Rifling

X\.	Gyro/Spinning
X-1\.	Blistering
X-0\.	Clipper Reverse Whirling Spinning
Z+1\.	Pyro
Z+0\.	Fyro
X\\.	Sonic
*\\.	Peeking
X-1/.	Leaning.
X-1\.	Go-Go/Cubic
Z-0\.	Lateral
X/|\-1.	Surging
X/|\-1-0. Gyro Shooting
X+0/.	Twinspinning
Z-0/.	Tapping Spinning
Z-0\.	Neutron

D+9.	Snapping
F-0.	Frozen
F+1.	Arctic
F+1+1.	Canadian
X-1-Kk.	Gimpy
X-1+Kk.	Pimpy
V+0.	Finchy
V+1.	Pixie Pinching
xU-1.	Stepulous

In this form, it’s easy to see, for example, which double dex sets (that don’t involve symposium) are unnamed.

Z+0-1.	Fairy quantum
Z-0-0.	Atomic atomic (Nonsymposium Warping)
Z-0-1.	Atomic quantum
Z-0+1.	Atomic pixie
Z-1 0|1.Quantum anything

X-1+0.	Stepping atomic (Nonsymposium Null)
X-1-0.	Stepping nuclear (Nonsymposium Shooting)
X-1-1.	Stepping mirage (Nonsymposium Sliding)
X+1 0|1.Quasi anything
X+0 0|1.Nuclear anything
X-0 0|1.Hopping anything

Move List

A few search-and-replace operations on an existing list gives

There are a few minor modifications.To eliminate some ambiguities I arbitrarily decided that Around The World refers to an inside-out ATW, and I called an outside-in ATW a Reverse ATW. When the sign of a component is irrelevant (i.e. same versus opposite) the sign is omitted.

Ben Lynn 💡