How do Contests work?

so i´ve been following contests for a little while now. And i enjoyed it! But I still have no idea how the actual scoring system works :smiley: I´ve heard of “clicks” and i´ve seen the score sheets… but how does it actually work in detail? How does someone enter a Contest in the Pro Divisions, how do the prelims work… how many go to Finals (fixed number? or flexible) and how do you gain points?
really interested in this :smiley:


Jake Elliot knows all about this, send him a PM.

Alright, here we go. There are many misconceptions about how technical judging works. Hopefully I’ll be able to clear some of them up here.

Note that I am only going to discuss how the tech score is calculated. How other judging elements, like performance scoring and deductions, can be read about here

Let’s start with the basics.

Each technical judge has two clickers, one in each hand. One of these clickers will count POSITIVE points. the other clicker will count NEGATIVE points.

POSITIVE points are earned when the player does an element, or in it’s most base form, demonstrates control over the yoyo. An element can score a varying amount of points, depending on the judge. If a judge does not find an element difficult enough, he may not score it at all.

A further explanation of positive points and how elements are scored:

Let’s say that player A attempts a double or nothing and hits it successfully. Judge A gives the player one point for the successful element. Judge B does not give the player a point, as he considers double or nothing to be too easy for competitive play. Judge C gives the player two points, as judge C likes to click high.

A side note: Both judge A,B, and C are all warranted in scoring the trick that way. It is NOT important that all of the judges give the same number of clicks as all of the other judges. what IS important is that the judges are consistent with themselves. Note that there IS VARIATION between

Let’s say that Judge A gives Player A 100 POSITIVE points and player B 200 POSITIVE points. Also, Judge B gives player A 200 points, and player B 400 points. Even though Judge B gave twice as many points as judge A, the proportions between the players are the same. This is what is important! More on this later.

NEGATIVE points are earned when the player shows a lack of control over the yoyo. Missed string hits, missed tricks, unintentionally hitting the yoyo, that kind of thing. Anything that the player did not intend to do. Whenever the judge spots the player losing control over the yoyo, the judge gives the player one negative click. Some judges will give players the benefit of the doubt and not give them a negative click if they are not surel if something was a mistake.

At the end of a freestyle, each judge takes the players POSITIVE points and subtracts the players NEGATIVE points. This leads to the players TOTAL POINTS.

Alright. Now it’s time for math.
There are three players and five judges in this contest. The TOTAL POINT scores are as follows.

Do note that these scores are to demonstrate how the system is done, rather than plausibility

	              Judge A	Judge B	Judge C	Judge D	Judge E

Player A 100 150 500 125 75

Player B 200 300 1000 175 100

Player C 300 400 1500 200 90

Now we have our TOTAL POINT scores. What do we do now?

Well, you see, TOTAL TECH SCORES are a PROPORTION, NOT AN ABSOLUTE VALUE. The highest tech score for each judge becomes the MAX TECH SCORE VALUE possible, in this scenario, 65. Every other player’s scores become a PROPORTION of the top player’s score.

So, math time.

The formula is (Players score/highest score)x65

	         Judge A	Judge B	Judge C	Judge D	Judge E

Player A 21.67 24.375 21.67 40.625 48.75

Player B 43.33 48.75 43.33 56.875 65

Player C 65 65 65 65 58.5

There are all of the FINAL TECH SCORES for each judge.

The next step is to calculate the EXTREMED AVERAGE for each player. To do this, we discard the HIGHEST and the LOWEST score for each player. (The highest and lowest scores may or may not be discarded depending on number of judges. At least five judges are required to do this)


Player A (21.67 + 24.375 + 40.625)/3 = 28.89

Player B (43.33 + 48.75 + 56.875)/3 = 49.65

Player C (65 + 65 + 65)/3 = 65

AND THERE WE GO. The TOTAL TECH SCORE for each player. Notice that player C has a tech score of 65. This is a PERFECT TECH SCORE. This means that every judge that was not discarded agreed that player C scored the highest. If there is not a perfect tech score, this means that the judges were split as to who had the highest tech score.

I think that’s it. If anyone has any more questions just let me know.


Well said Jake.

One addition I’d add is that the throwing out the high and the low is not usually done at smaller contests as there aren’t enough judges. You really need at least five judges before you can consider doing that.

Forgot about that, thank you :slight_smile:

I don’t think you said that if you have a restart or if you have to switch to another yoyo (because of knots or something like that) you lose 1 to 3 points from your total.

My post only covers tech score. Other judging guidelines can be read about here.

Thank you very much for taking all that time Jake! that explained pretty much every question i had :smiley: thanks!!!

Not gonna lie, Jake’s post should become its own thread and be stickied.

i agree! its really hard to find any detailed info on this topic anywhere…

I think in some contests, swapping out the yoyo and restarts have “mandatory” negative points. It’s usually in the contest rules and not hidden.