Originality in competitive yoyoing?

Modern yoyo judging rules don’t seem to value originality much, I wish they could have put more weight to it.
Obviously every other yoyoer are inspired by another, but my sentiment is on the idea that you can literally copy someone exactly and still scored high. This actually happened in the very contest I judge, one kid used practically the same concept, same song, and same tricks (maybe slightly less complex) with certain person, one can easily tell it’s a downright “bootleg” performance. In the end however, that kid still scored high.
Maybe that’s just me.

That’s the thing that bugs me about contests… The current system values tons of string hits, which isn’t how it should be. Slow players can’t score very high, which is why you see them speeding up over the years. Take Zach gormley as an example. He’s been placing higher in contests recently, which has been accompanied with faster and faster freestyles. Who knows, that could be something he’s focusing on to score higher, or it could just be the natural progression of his style. Anyways, players who want to score high are essentially forced to increase their speed in order to place. Some of the most incredible throwers aren’t fast players at all. Take a look at Ricardo Fraolini’s videos. He plays insanely slow but is arguably one of the most creative players of all time. However, he doesn’t place high in contests because his tricks aren’t valued on the clicker. One of the reasons why I would like to go to 44clash one day is to see freestyles which aren’t made to score on the clicker. They’re designed to impress.

I don’t really care because I don’t go to yoyo contest that much. But it’s true sadly that originality in yoyo contest freestyles is very shallow. I try to be a creative player and not compete much to just create tricks mostly because I play fixed axle and offstring. I try to stay away from mainstream yoyo concepts and create my own for myself even if it would score low in a contest because I play pretty slow. I guess people call it putting your own twist on a yoyo freestyle with slight differences and it’s your own thing now. But it is truly hard not to copy people in yoyoing and do your own stuff you made up which could have been already made. Finally the point of my long rant is that being creative and original is difficult on so many levels especially in yoyo freestyles where you try to rack up as many points as you can; It’s human nature to want to win and in the end it doesn’t really matter if you completely copied somebodies else’s freestyle but only that you did it better and scored high in the contest.

I see what you are saying, but this is a “competitive scene”, after all, so a more high-intensity routine would and probably should be rewarded with lots of points. I’m not saying that Ricardo dosen’t deserve points, its just that with the speed he goes, the sense of “risk” is kind of low. Also,(at least the vids i see) his prelims are often riddled with quite a few errors, which has a big impact in prelim scoring.
Also as for 44clash, I guess you could say it’s more of a “performance”, where the visual aspect of it is king.

Also isnt this strafing from the original topic…

Agreed. We’ve had plenty of discussion on here about the judging system and “string hits .vs. creativity” and what not, but the OP’s question is specifically about originality in the context of using someone elses moves on stage.

This isn’t a case of “why doesn’t Zac Gormley’s style score higher?”, but rather “why is it possible for someone to copy Zac Gormley’s style and still do just as well?”. It’s a subject I haven’t really seen discussed as much so it’d be interesting to keep it on topic. :slight_smile:

Yep, that’s the point I’m talking about. However I can’t think of any “punishment” for the copier or additional benefit for the more original player that can be added into the judging rules. The problem is the judges may simply not aware that someone actually do exactly the same as someone else, say from a different country, hence “rarity” and or “originality” can be very difficult to be scored.

In sports like ice skating, halfpipe snowboarding and skiing, and gymnastic(all are similar to a yoyo contest format), people often do steal tricks, and it isn’t frowned upon.

I think in yoyoing, it’s a lot easier to execute than create, more like art than sport, in the sense that creation is more valuable than the execution. Many people have the skill to paint as good as Da Vinci, what do you think if they started to paint exactly what he painted?
I think if one day people don’t care about originality anymore, might as well return to the good ole sports ladder.

Hey, some of us enjoy a good sport ladder every now and then! :slight_smile:

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^^ Yes we do!

I also agree with the skating/snowboarding analogy. When all skaters can execute a half-pipe 360, it becomes about style, execution, amplitude, and sequence of tricks. It’s not just “Oh, that guy ALSO did a 360.” Heck, in figure skating, most of the moves are cumpolsory but the routines are still different. “You need to have at least a double, a double Lutz, and a triple.” (or whatever). There isn’t a lot of variation in the actual impressive moves; the uniqueness is in the choreography and execution of those moves.

Yoyo’s not a perfect analogy and I agree there’s more room for creativity in the first place, which implies that originality should be rewarded higher. But I also think there should be a place for flawless execution of elements that more than one yoyoer might use.

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It may make sense to treat the typical yoyo contest more as a demonstration of technical skill, that just so happens to serve as an exhibition of style if the participant chooses such.

Freestyles for me have never been about points or placing, but rather as an exploitation of the system and everyone’s time in order to get on stage in front of other yoyoers. Is this a selfish action? How divergent can my play become before it’s seen as a waste of time? What other options do I have?

no, it is not.
as long as the contest is of a high enough level. you dont even need Zach himself to be there

Originality IS favored by the judges. Also it’s how you do the trick really. Guy wright at cal states 2014. He got 4th and his tricks weren’t the fastest or the most complicated;he just did them in a never ending flow of sequences for 2 minutes.

Janos won worlds with pure originality and without playing fast.

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read the topic

I didn’t mean it like, in a bad way. Even it doesn’t seem like it, I actually like the sport ladder to the point I did wanted to make one additional division in a local contest. What I’m saying is, we already have freestyle, so let’s use the freedom to express ourselves instead of doing other’s concept.

Other than that, I think many people misunderstood this post, sorry for not being very clear. I’m not talking about like, if you shouldn’t do skin the gerbil because it’s not you who made the trick, or you shouldn’t do arm tricks because John Ando did that before… I’m talking about an exact copy of the whole concept, tricks, and style.
Think I’ll have to post the contest video once it’s up so you can see what I’m really talking about.

like never happened in wyyc top 10 since 2011?

Don’t think it’s right, but if you can do the tricks as well as the original guys, you do deserve some brownie points…

It all comes down to what you think contests are supposed to be about. If you think that they should be to decide the most skilled yoyoer, then you agree with the side that says speed should be there, or you’ll be along those lines (or, rather, you should agree with that side). If you think they are for showcasing one’s tricks, or to decide who has the best choreography, timing, originality, and anything not falling entirely in the lines of pure yoyoing abilities (such as difficulty or consistency), then you should agree with the other side. I personally agree with the former; my reason for this is that it is called a “contest.” Now if it was called a “yoyo showcase” or “yoyo talent show” or the such, then I might be more inclined to agree with the latter side. Of course you could argue that it’s called a contest because it’s more convenient to say or something similar, and that would be a legitimate argument. But unless you believe that a contest is not to decide the most skilled, then you have no argument against a contest being run the way they are being run now.

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car racing vs. drifting
road bike vs. bmx
slalom vs. freestyle skiing
luge vs. street skating

style doesnt need competition