What is meta?

When referring to tricks, what do people mean when they say meta?


I believe it is in the sense like meta-physical. It is there without being there.

So in this trick you see there is slack but it’s not like loose slack from a jade whip. It is a controlled slack. making it meta

Please somebody correct me cuz I’ve been curious myself and this is the best I got.


Nope, it means meta as in “metagame”, meta tricks are tricks that score well that many people use in competition


So I don’t think this is correct but I think it captures the meaning quite well.

While I don’t believe that Meta is an acronym, people explain M.E.T.A. as Most Effective Tactic Available (think it’s a video gaming term).

It’s basically what works best in the situation regardless of what people wish would work.

So in a yoyo contest context, given the primary objective is to win, and to win you need to score well, Meta tricks in this regard is a set of tricks that scores highly in the most effective way, high scoring tricks in less moves that takes up little time are meta tricks and you usually see common meta tricks across competitors to tally up some points quickly.

At least this is my understanding of “What is meta”


You’ll see very common motifs among competition tricks. You will see “meta” tricks such as the common rail speed combo, laceration/hook combo, the default front-style combo that you can see almost everywhere are all some examples of what I would think of as Meta tricks.

In regards to a trick that is not meta, you can look at Paul Kerbel’s fingerspin hop trick in this video. Without a doubt an extremely cool trick, but it gets almost no points in competition due to the current set of rules that determines what gets you clicks.


Think of it as “most effective tactic available”

There are the rules (the game) and the meta game (how you best use the rules to win)

Example: The emergence of the reliance on 3-point shot in basketball. If your 3-point accuracy is at least 66.6% of what your 2-point shot accuracy is, your expected return will be higher with 3s

In yoyo competition, that’s balancing tricks that score the most points with tricks that may score less, but can be performed more quickly, to optimize points per minute. (Or risk of failure) Since there’s that technical component there, the path to winning can be argued to be being the best at the rules (technicality) as opposed to being the best in spirit / artistic.


I’m so glad OP asked cuz I just learned a lot!


yeah! wow, that was an extremely diversified group of answers. thank you for clarifying, it seems
I wasn’t the only person who was confused.


yeah Min’s answer was spot on, it means Most Effective Tactic Available (mostly used in gaming) and it is all the tricks that score the best (depending on the rules) watch any Bergy freestyle and you will know what tricks it refers to lol


By the way that was Jake Waugh, the current reigning Scales International Amateur champion.
@JWaugh also is very familiar with yoyo contest judging from the other side of the table.
So there we go, that is about as definitive as it gets :grin:


Interesting to read this. In my past CCG life, meta referred to the “metagame,” which was basically the mainstream deck landscape. So, I always took meta to mean the “mainstream” in this community as well (“meta” tricks/elements being those that everyone is doing). Fascinating to read the different takes on it.


I’ve witnessed it’s multi meanings actually applying well within the same conversation or even statements.

Sometimes I know it’s a sign of my getting older that I’m not with the terms. I heard POG said so many times this weekend that I had to have my nephews explain it to me.Yarr! It’s driving me nuts. :wink:


Interesting enough, that description still sort of works because meta tricks score really well, hence the m.e.t.a acronym tossed around above, so many people do them because they help their routines, therefore becoming fairly mainstream tricks or combos. This connection fails at spots where you have top level professionals making their own unique tricks that are also super dense on clicks, but in general I think your description makes sense!