Modern Yoyo Contest, your stance?

I have been around and seen the working of the yoyo contest world for a while, and I noticed that there was a large change in style at a point after 2007 and I wanted some of you forum members opinion on the matter.

For the sake of ease for others to understand, I will focus on 1A.

I bring the example of the world yoyo contest and I will analyze the finalist of different years in 1A finals.

Up until 2007, the finalist for the world yoyo contest in single A were determined by the completion of a trick list. Competitors would attempt tricks ranging in difficulty from most easy to most difficult, and the highest success of tricks would determine who would be in the finals (and in the situation of a tie in scoring, a iron whip off would be initiated.) Keeping this in mind, take a look at what sort of players made it into the finals. You may have noticed that you ended up with a very wide range of styles.
I looked back and could not find a player with the same sort of style as another finalist. Each player had something unique and totally original, and the winner stood out.

Now lets do an analysis on what happened 2007 and beyond. The ladder was destroyed and a preliminary system was input for players to make it into the final division.
Taking a look at this year and beyond, you may notice that there was a greater focus for tricks that “scored points” and it seemed that the implementation of the preliminary rounds brought this into being. Now the players who who make it into finals are only the ones who have the tricks that score well. But what I feel this has done, is that now, instead of seeing many very unique styles getting to the top, we see many styles that while somewhat different, all have a “highest points possible” sort of idea. A perfect example of how this went wrong is Rodrigo Pires (Sid)s prelim from world yoyo contest 2008. He hit a flawless preliminary and had a completely unique style that nobody had seen before, but due to the fact that his tricks didn’t score well compared to the more generic prelim friendly styles, he didn’t make the cut, and he couldn’t show off a final.

Some may say that its not an issue, maybe they say that there are other contest beside worlds that might allow it, but the way I see it, is that the world yoyo contest is the biggest and most widely followed contest, and what goes on stage at worlds ends up influencing all of the yoyoers in the community, and I feel that it is easy to see.

I have yoyoed for a while and considered competing in 2008, but watching how the contest was working and what styles were being raised up, I felt that I didn’t like the direction it was going. I ended up joining an underground contest movement that reward players for style and originality, and pushes the standard scoring aside. It has worked out pretty well, but its kept quite separated from the standard public yoyo community for many reasons. Unfortunately I am actually not allowed to talk much about this, so Ill keep it as thus.

But all of this aside, I would like to hear your opinions on the issue, has the contest scene damaged the style of today? And do you think the world contest has this influence which I speak of?

Thank you for reading my writing. I hope it is written in a way you may understand as english is not my first language.

Thank you.

I’m not going to go and “out” anyone here.

I can’t relate back that far. I got into yoyo in 2011 and dived in hard.

All I can say is I think the new scoring system gives more credit to more players who aren’t speed demons hitting strings. At least, I know this is how the finals work. I’m not sure how preliminaries are scored.

I somewhat kinda agree

But things are changing and people are thinking of ways to make scoring favor style as much as performance. it’s hard to find a balance so rather than point out issues that everyone is aware of, we should get together and make it better, make propositions.

Be positive ^^ this is where the most experienced players have to step in and take charge.

But it’s also our role as competitors, to stand up for our styles regardless of how they score and compete to show our styles, regardless of how they score.

I totally agree, and actually, I was talking to my dad about this earlier tonight. We weren’t talking about yoyo’s, but I was explaining to him how Olympic scoring works, particularly in gymnastics, and why I thought it was kind of silly.

Essentially, it really isn’t the best gymnast wins. Instead, each gymnast has a maximum score that their trick or tricks can earn in each event. So, one gymnast might have a very difficult beam routine that another gymnast simply cannot outscore no matter how perfect their performance is. And what is this max score based on? That’s right. Certain tricks score higher. So, basically, what this turns into is a whole meta-game of playing it safe on your weaker events with lower score potential and then going for the compulsory big tricks on your stronger events, all in an effort to achieve an average which is higher than other competitors. It’s not about doing your best, or being innovative, it’s about getting the best score that the system will allow.

And to me, this is totally stupid. Gymnastics, and yoyo’ing, are skill sports that should celebrate each competitor’s unique skill set. Instead, what they end up doing is telling us which competitor did the best job of exploiting the judging system. And it’s such a shame too, especially when you see something like Jensen Kimmitt’s 2011 worlds freestyle. Could never win, but somehow is more interesting, artistic, and in many ways skillful than just about any other performance.

I’m not sure why you can’t say more, but part of me thinks it might be an effort to keep the underground thing underground. If so, this is just as troubling a thought, a sincere movement meant to push player innovation and drive freedom within the sport that cannot be talked about openly. I would wonder if this rather elitist attitude of mass exclusion stunts the potential creative growth of all players just as much as the current world’s scheme. That kind of alternative movement, imo, necessarily should include every single person interested in partaking.

But pardon me if I’m totally incorrect here, the above just occured to me as a possibility.

I don’t know about this — Jensen only used like 2:20 or 2:30 of his three minutes and still got 8th. If he’d been completely clean and used all of the time, I’m almost sure he would have made top 5 if not top 3.

It is really interesting to me how the scene has shifted towards a point focus, but I’m not sure if there’s any one event that can be traced as the source of that. The way I see it, if you want to win, you have to be aware of how things are being judged, and kind of play to that.

The yo-yo contest atmosphere has become more competitive over the years. Contests follow technicalities and such that reward people that follow the rules and play to win.

I’m not saying this is a completely good thing however. Contests to tend to lean towards generic score hitters than those who choose to put on a good show and decide to display style and tech nowadays. But that is what makes the challenge. Thanks to the new judging system this year, performance and style are taken into account more. The contest scene is having players think of fresh, new styles while catering to the league’s demands. It’s creating a new wave of players and making room for up and coming stars that can adjust. The past is past and future is now and beyond.

That’s true, all I’m saying is that it isn’t a winning performance. Jensen will still place very high regardless of whether he plays to the judges because there just aren’t very many people at that skill level, but the difference between 5th place and 1st place is, relatively, all the difference in the world. I don’t think his routine would ever be able to make that jump since this level of competition is about exploiting every last tenth of a point. I think it’s clear he was well aware of this, so that’s fine, it would just be nice if the judging criteria were better able to reward creativity in what is ultimately a very creative activity.

I will say that there is one good thing about a points for tricks based system from an audience perspective. Sure, you don’t get to see really innovative stuff as often, but on the other hand, the audience can be better aware of how a performance is going during the actual performance. You see this all the time in action sports, where the audience goes nuts instantly when they know a snowboarder or whatever has hit a high scoring trick. They don’t have to wait for the scores. Sometimes, they even know the trick is coming before the boarder even leaves the gate. So, that can be really exciting.

My stance is apathy.

And there is a good reason for it overall. The simple answer to this is really is that the judging system overall is the best possibility with the minor tweaks and little updates that the AYYA does. Is it fair, is it simple? Absolutely not.

Controversy will always loom over the World yoyo contest. We all always want the best possible player that we appreciate to go forward into the finals but sometimes that simply is not the case. That is life, that is the most basic answer.

If you want to bring out the context of “creative yoyoers” lets talk about Adam Brewster. Innovative fresh ideas yet never places high whatsoever. Think he could make it into the finals with his unique style? I hate to say it, but I doubt that. He would have to evolve his style so its friendly to the system. Same kind of thought for Sid, as you used for your example.

Yoyoers are going to evolve to the judging system, obeying to it like slaves in order to “win”. I find it sad, and that is why I am apathetic about it. I do not compete, for a number of reasons and the way the judging system is…is exactly one of them.

Has it damaged the natural evolving styles of throwing? A little bit, but not in sense where it is completely damaging things. Its constraining the styles of so many people. Instead everyone is trying to copy the style they currently see people using to win.

Its saddening in some way but that is reality. I’d rather see yoyoing continue in any way shape or form then for it to die out.

The World contest…oh boy does it ever have such a influence. So many look to watch the 1st place winner and emulate their style to fit into their very own to evolve to keep “up to date” or “fresh”. A lot of folk been doing the behind the back stuff that Marcus Koh has been doing or Christopher Chia “invert” ability. Its the way of influence.

The real question you should be asking, is if the judging system actually improves upon the yoyoworld overall? Because quite frankly, from a none-throwers point of view it is absolutely boring and thus why the exposure of yoyoing is so dismal versus other things like…I don’t know the national Rock Paper Scissors contest or Ping Pong or God knows what other hobbies out there that we yoyoers define as obscure and weird.

I hope I did not not sound negative, more so realistic to the situation.


I’ve just been sitting back with a cold one for a minute here, and had an idea. It’ll never go anywhere, but I think it would be an easy change to make and fair as well.

Essentially, judge the contest exactly as you would judge it now. You get to keep a fairly clean system where certain tricks score certain amounts and all’s relatively fair and transparent. The switch up is simple. Take a random sample of either audience members, or some group of maybe…10 people who then rate the top 5 scorers on a scale of 1-5 based on their overall performance. These people might like any number of things about each performance, be it tricks, or style, or whatever. Those 10 scores are averaged, and each thrower is awarded that average in additional points. Highest points wins.

At first, this would seem a little tricky. A contestant might wonder how they did the hardest tricks and could still lose by a point or two based on this X factor score. But really, what you’re giving is a performance. If you’re extremely technical but also incredibly boring and stiff, then that does not evidence the level of skill as someone who can also complete tricks while being creative. The fact that the X factor could only be a max of 5 points out of 100 also keeps it from unfairly taking over the competition.

Just an idea, but I’d love to see that. Just those 5 points at this level might be enough to take a really strong performance from 3rd to 1st, and would certainly be enough to encourage the best guys out there to take a few creative risks they might not otherwise.

Although the contest system can and does reward playing for points, generally the people with the best all-around routine have won.

Yuuki Worlds (x2)
Ando Worlds
Johnnie Devalle Worlds
Jensen Worlds
Shinji Worlds

…There’s a lot more than those for sure, of course. My point is that while the contest system does reward certain styles, the absolute best players have consistently been able to showcase their creativity and to play for points at the same time.

Obviously certain players’ styles are more difficult to win with than others (Sid, Mikhail, Justin Weber, etc), but these players can still be rewarded through clip videos, signature yo-yos, sponsorships, and so on. :slight_smile:

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Well, what do you know?


agreed here, yoyoing is about sharing, not elitism

and yes, Augie’s also right, you can’t be the best without having complete dedication, therefore a style. At least for 1A

5A is a totally different matter. With all respect, I don’t think Matsuura has the most interesting style of all 5A players, by far

I feel the new scoring system is an advance in the yoyo competition scene. It helps people that are not super fast that don’t get 3000 string hits to have a chance to win.(Exaggeration) Yet helps fast people out a lot as long as they have some tech and “Meat” if you will to their combos and tricks.