Defining Evaluation Categories of a Yoyo Contest

A yoyo contest can be judged by an element called “Technical Execution” and two categories called “Technical Evaluation” and “Performance Evaluation”.

The categories for Technical Evaluation are as follows:

  • Cleanliness
  • Variation
  • Rareness
  • Execution

The categories for Performance Evaluation are as follows:

  • Routine
  • Music Use
  • Professionalism
  • Amplitude
  • Style
  • Showmanship

These categories are rated on a scale from 0-5, added to the Technical Execution score, then deductions are subtracted which give you a final score.

What I am looking for is a perfect example of what exactly a “5” looks like for each category.

Also, what about these?

Define “Amplitude” and describe why it is a part of “better” yoyoing.
Aren’t “Professionalism” and “Cleanliness” the same thing?
What is the difference between “Showmanship” and “Routine”?
How is “Execution” different from “Cleanliness”?
How do you even define “Style”?

Cleanliness is how well the judges can see the string, fir instance: if the string is all clumped up it’s not very clean looking, but if you can see every individual string path perfectly than that is clean.

I always thought of amplitude to be the variation of size in tricks. Take for instance 4a - many of the tricks are very large, giving them lots of “amplitude”. However, very tech heavy 1a which occurs in a very small square in front of the players chest would have very little amplitude. Freestyles with lots of
“big” tricks, or lots of amplitude, are generally much more entertaining to watch, giving them a higher performance value.

As for “professionalism vs. Cleanliness”, they are in two different categories. Professionalism refers to the performance. At the judging seminar at worlds this year, a judge explained professionalism with examples such as showing up on time, dressing appropriately, appropriate music, not getting angry on stage, etc.

Cleanliness, however, refers to the yoyoing itself. It describes how smooth and fluid the tricks are - clunky, awkward, and jumbled tricks would score low when it comes to cleanliness.

“Showmanship” and “Routine” are correlated, but not the same thing. I believe routine refers to how well put together the freestyle is - Does the player quickly transition from one tricks to the next, or do they have to pause every so often to remember what trick was next?

Showmanship, on the other hand, refers to how the player presented the trick. Did they only focus on the yoyo, or did they look up and smile? Were they completely absorbed with the yoyo, or did they interact with the crowd?

I think it’s really important to remember that at a yoyo contest, judges aren’t just judging one’s ability to yoyo. They are judging an entire performance, both the yoyoing AND the showmanship. Being on stage yoyoing is just as much about entertaining people as it is about landing tricks (Well, actually, it’s a 40/60 split)


Here are the official world yoyo contest judging guidelines. A very interesting read that accurately describes how each category is scored.