Starting a club from scratch

({John15}) #1

Hey everyone,

So one of my goals for the next coming years is to start a local yoyo club.

Where do I even start? I don’t know anyone in my area who throws. I was thinking about advertising it with flyers and on some local social media.

Should it be geared towards a formal class type setting or just a club where people can show up and play with yo-yos?

Would it be better to organize this at a community center, or Outdoors at like a park or something?

I would eventually like to have a little curriculum setup that goes through annual or biannual cycles, geared towards beginners…

And I would also eventually like to host a string spinning class if people seem to be interested in that.

This is a long-term goal of mine, and I don’t want to rush into it without some sage advice.

Starting a yoyo club at college

There’s generally broad overlap in yoyos with other so-called skill toys, so maybe take a look at the brick and mortar store topic, oddly enough. The “few general guidelines” from @jhb8426 are an excellent start…

Those kinda stores (if you can find them) are where you’re likely to find the most willing audience for yo-yos IMO.


I feel like it would be beneficial to have something planned, even if it is something small. Then allow for people to continue off that through discussion and casual yoyoing.

(Jacob Waugh) #4

You might want to start with a skill toy club, Juggling, Kendama, yoyos, that way more people show up, and you can learn more skill toys and such them to get into yoyos.

(⛷ Noisy Lurker) #5

I’ve actually started yoyo clubs several times and have some thoughts:

  1. Start looking for yoyos now! Inexpensive cheap take apart yoyos. Responsive and unresponsive, trust me you want both.

  2. String , string and more string. I usually would give a new person 4-5 strings.

  3. There’s only you when you start, there needs to be more of you. Yep beginners can have a bunch of problems in 30 minutes, clones you need clones. So since clones aren’t readily available I’d suggest finding a few people, kids or adults, that you can train to help you. They don’t need a lot of yo skills but basic knowledge helps so much.

  4. Indoor/outdoor meeting place doesn’t really matter but the more consistent your meetings and location are, the better your attendance will be.

  5. Yoyo performances in front of stores, libraries, schools, where ever they will allow you are great places to recruit. If you can work with a local youth program, school, or church parents will often feel safer allowing kids to attend.

  6. The most important thing I found to encourage people to return was to personally welcome each person and end the session with a fun group activity. Often times it didn’t even involve a yoyo.

Just a few thoughts off the top of my head. If you like them let me know, we may be like thinkers, if not let me know and I wont bother you anymore lol. Good luck.

({John15}) #6

Wow man, thank you so much! This is very very practical information!

Can you be more specific? What have you done in the past?

(⛷ Noisy Lurker) #7

Activities at the end of the session:

  1. Set up a few grills and everybody barbecues their own food. If your wealthy have it catered lol.

  2. Lawn games of all sorts.

  3. Challenges with yoyos that aren’t necessarily yoyo skill related.
    A. Closest to the edge: see who can slide their yoyo across a table and get it to stop closest to the edge without falling off. Often it’s a good idea to put some kind of cushioning on the ground/floor at the end of the table.

    B. Dragster races: Once they can throw sleepers just throw a sleeper, take the string off the finger and let the dragster go. See who’s goes the fastest, the most curved path, might even go backwards if they held the yo incorrectly. You can even make tunnels and jumps to add some laughter and challenge.

    C. Sleeper challenges:
    Throw a sleeper and see how many times you can run completely around your throw hand as the yo sleeps. Throw a sleeper attempt to kneel and return to standing, sit and return to standing, see how many people you can fist bump before the yo stops spinning.

Imagination is your friend with games. They don’t even need many rules. I was a P.E. instructor so making challenges and games come second nature to me.

Games of all types, board games, tag games, challenge games, scavenger hunts.

We ice blocked quite a few times as well. What’s ice blocking? You purchase a block of ice, find a nice grassy hill, set the ice on slope, sit on it and go! Quite a bit like sledding. (I recommend placing a folded towel on top of the ice block)

Prizes can be fun or a bit of a pain but are always optional. Skill check charts can be helpful and offer a visual.


Where are you?

Of course you should post here when you’re ready. You could find some of those clones!

({John15}) #9

I’m currently located in the middle of nowhere in Texas, but we have plans on moving back to Northern California. That’s where I want to get this setup.

({John15}) #10

Again, excellent information. just curious, how long did your meetings usually last for? Did you have a set time frame, or did you kind of just let them run more free form?

(ChrisFrancz) #11

@smileypants707 I run activities and tournaments where I work and there’s usually an hour slot alloted. I think “Yoyo Club forming Tuesday 7-8pm” is good and then go from there. It depends on the needs and desires of those interested. Once you have 1 or 2 meetings you can do a bring a friend meeting. I see you having great success!

(⛷ Noisy Lurker) #12

For the very young, 30 minutes can be very long, as age increases the amount of time usually can increase. Older kids and adults can usually focus and stay on task longer. Adults usually about an hour. So 30 minutes to an hour. Once your group begins to form you’ll get a good feel for duration. However, depending on the venue, you might have time constraints on each side of your time slot.

When dealing with groups that had a broad range of ages, focus was often given to the youngest initially, when they were ready to put the yo away, they just played games and had fun with peers, while the rest of the group continued to yoyo. For safety, lines were placed on the floor with tape, or when outdoors we used cones, to mark the yoyo zone. Only yoyoing inside that boundary. That way those yoyoing didn’t have to worry about a kid zooming through and getting bonked. Older kids and adults often would visit and share what they were working on and accomplishing very naturally on their own during the beginning of each session.

Occasionally, a sub group would meet outside the normal time based on interest, skill, or just some extra socialization and fun.

People came and went during any session based on interest and what else was happening in life. I’d pay close attention to people leaving. Try to figure out if they’re leaving because the scheduled time was inconvenient, something else was going on atm, or their interest wasn’t being held. Then you can make adjustments.

I always asked for a great deal of feedback, always checking to see if they were having a good time and were engaged, frustrated, or if all was good. This allowed me to adjust accordingly.

I’ll add one thing here as I don’t believe I’ve mentioned it; if possible time the session so that your group is engaged at the end. They will remember the end of the session more than any other part. That’s the main reason you really want them to leave with a great experience. If they remember the previous session fondly, they will want to return! Thus, activities and games at the end!


@skitrz ya think maybe next time you could be a little more thorough… I mean give the guy something to work with will ya…


(⛷ Noisy Lurker) #14

I’ll try!


Very good posts, skitrz. You sure are posty. :slight_smile:


Skitrz posts = best posts, I’ve been saying this for a long time y’all. GET ON MY LEVEL

(⛷ Noisy Lurker) #17

The noisy part of being a noisy lurker. :crazy_face:

Good to cya man! You’ve been the absent mod! lol

@jhb8426 Look who showed up!:eyes:


Been learning the parenting gig … It’s interesting no longer being the central protagonist in my life story! :slight_smile:

(⛷ Noisy Lurker) #19

I see you going by POP J now! :sunglasses: Makes you sound like a rap artist!:flushed:

({John15}) #20

Excellent! You’ve given me a lot to consider!