If you want to know why competitive yo-yoing isn’t more popular, it is mostly because contests are not really structured in a way that appeals to people who don’t yo-yo. To the uninitiated, almost all yo-yoing looks the same after about 30 seconds, and most people can’t even tell the difference between a landed trick or a mistake. So without a format that the non-throwers can follow along with, it isn’t likely that the sport will ever be able to gain enough traction to become popular.
Now on the topic of making yo-yoing more of a team sport, I definitely like that idea, and I do think that it could help to make the sport get more mainstream attention. I just don’t really agree with trying to make yo-yoing more like gymnastics, especially the scoring. The judging system we have now is superior, and if there is ANY sport yo-yoing should be modeled after, it is b-boy battles. If you want to talk about the future of yo-yoing, that is the direction the sport should be headed in, IMHO.
Think about it. You could do 1-on-1 or team battles, and it would still work pretty much the same way. Players would perform head-to-head battles, and the winner of 2-out of-3 (or maybe 3-out of-5) would advance. For team battles, if you had 5 players per team, to give an example, the team that wins 3 or more 1-on-1 battles would advance. It could be 1A vs. 1A, all styles vs. all styles, company vs. company, sponsored vs. independent, and everything in between.
Most important of all, if battle format was the standard, yo-yoing would no longer just be about individual scores, which doesn’t really even say much on paper. We would suddenly be dealing with win/loss records, sweeps, scoring percentages, average score, etc. Competitive yo-yoing would become a more stat heavy sport, and over a period of time, it would result in an accurate ranking system for players.