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Rules & Music

General Contest Rules

After the excitement and great show of skill at last year’s online contest, we are happy to announce that, yes, we will be holding OWYYC2022! Since we’re still not able to have a WYYC in person yet, this is your big chance this year to put together a competitive yo-yo freestyle and go up against the rest of the global yo-yo community. It will take place starting in the summer of 2022 and go into fall. We hope you’ll look forward to an event that will satisfy not only yo-yo competitors, but spectators and fans alike.

For those just tuning in, Online World Yo-Yo Contest 2022 is an IYYF officially sanctioned online contest open to yo-yo players worldwide. This is your chance to take part, especially if you’ve never been to WYYC or entered a contest before, or don’t usually have the means to travel far to a physical contest. We hope to see entries from many new contestants from all over the globe!

Here is a quick list of changes from last year! Please check if you are interested in competing:

Changes from last year:

  • Prelim and Final only (No Semi-Final)
  • Final is 2 minutes (instead of 3 minutes)
  • 4 evaluation categories for Final (same as Prelim: Execution, Control, Body Control, Music Use)
  • No live sound needed on the video
  • No edits allowed on music (Prelim & Final)
  • New music content standards (details coming soon)
  • Final music must come from IYYF library or certain web sites provided by IYYF

Here is a summary of our contest plans:

  • Name: Online World Yo-Yo Contest 2022 (“Online Worlds”)
  • Hashtag: #OWYYC2022

Timeline (tentative):

  • In June: More details are coming
  • August 21: Prelim Submission starts
  • September 1: Prelim Deadline
  • October 6: Prelim Results / Final Submission starts
  • October 16: Final Deadline (Also, Women/Over 40/AP)
  • November 12: Final Results

* The timeline is subject to change

Contest Divisions:
  • 1A Division
  • 2A Division
  • 3A Division
  • 4A Division
  • 5A Division
  • AP (Art & Performance)
  • Women’s Freestyle
  • Over 40 Freestyle
Eligible Contestants:

Everyone in the world is encouraged to join! We hope to welcome everyone from first timers to world champions.
Contestants can compete in multiple divisions.

1A-5A Champions of OWYYC2021 are seeded to the Final round of OWYYC2022.


IYYF Official Judges just like the usual World Yo-Yo Contest (WYYC)

  • Champion will be “Online World Contest Winner,” not “2022 World Champion”
  • 1A-5A Division Champions seed to the WYYC2023 Semi-Final Round
  • Top 10 finalists of 1A-5A Divisions seed to the WYYC2023 Prelim Round
  • The five champions of 1A-5A will get a free flight to WYYC2023 in Japan.
  • Also, ONE highest ranking contestant in 1A-5A who has never attended any WYYC previously will also win a free flight.
    *You can only get this prize if you compete at WYYC2023. This prize will not fall back to 2nd place even if the champion cannot attend and compete at WYYC2023.
Entry Fees:
  • US$35 for each division submission (1A-5A, AP, Women, & Over 40)
  • One AP submission can have multiple players in the video, and it will count as only one fee (US$35 total)
  • No refunds will be made after you register.
Contest Format:
1A-5A Divisions:
  • Prelim: 1-minute freestyle
  • Final: 2-minute freestyle

Freestyle Rule are here

  • Maximum video length: 3 minutes
  • Video editing, transitions, and sound/visual effects ARE allowed
  • Submission deadline is the same as 1A-5A Final round
  • An AP submission can include multiple players (please list all the participating contestant names when you submit your entry)

More details here

Women / Over 40:
  • Final only: 2-minute freestyle
  • Submission deadline is the same as 1A-5A Semi-Final round
  • You must be 40 or above on August 31, 2022 in order to compete in Over 40 Freestyle
Filming Rules:
  • Security and safety first
  • Each contestant uploads their freestyle(s) as a video, submitted directly to IYYF.
  • No editing, no cuts, no effects, no camera transitions (except for the AP Division)
  • No live sound needed on the video. You can cover the video sound with music track if you like.
  • Contestants can film as many times as they need to be satisfied with their freestyle quality.
  • IYYF will add sponsor banners at the beginning, during, and at the end of the video.
  • If the sound and video quality is not good enough, IYYF may adjust the quality or ask the player to resubmit.

More details here

Music Rules:

More details here

Please read carefully before you choose your music.

In order to prevent any copyright issues and not being able to share your routine with the world, the IYYF has set the rules as below.


All contestants must use music from the IYYF Music Library 2022.

Songs cannot be altered, edited, connected or remixed. You have to use from the beginning of the music.

[ IYYF Music Library 2022 Prelim ]

FINAL / Women’s / Over 40 / AP

Your music choice must be one of the following two choices:

1. Music from the IYYF Music Library 2022 Final.

[ IYYF Music Library 2022 Final ]

Songs cannot be altered, edited, connected or remixed. You must use it starting at the beginning of the music.

2.Music from one of the web sites below.

Songs cannot be altered, edited, connected or remixed. You must use it starting at the beginning of the music. When you submit your freestyle, you will need to give us the website address and the song track name, so please take note of this information if you are using a song from one of these websites.

Important Notices:

If we find a video with music not from the above, IYYF will cover the music with one of our library songs without notice (in this case, the contestant will get 0 points for their score in the Music Use categories).

If you use music from the above links and YouTube AI still blocks the video due to the music somehow (this can happen by mistake with the YouTube AI), IYYF will cover the music with our choice and reupload, and also, we will submit an objection to YouTube to fix the block (in this case, there will be no penalty to the contestant).

This is an Event Geared Toward All Ages

All contestants must behave in an upstanding, appropriate manner. The contestant must consider their conduct in their freestyle, music content, and behavior on the contest premises.
Music must be suitable for an audience of all ages (including young children and their parents). Contestants who use inappropriate music may be subject to penalty. This includes music with inappropriate words in all languages, obscene language, and inappropriate lyrical content explicit and implied.

Since this is an international contest not all participants speak English, and all come from different cultural contexts of what language is appropriate in this kind of situation. It has been requested that we directly clarify what specific words are not okay to have in freestyle music.

Words subject to penalty (in English here but include the equivalents in other languages not listed) include, but are not limited to, the following:
– kill
– murder
– damn
– sh*t
– f**k/motherf****r
– b*tch (slur for women)
– c*nt (slur for women)
– n***er/n***a (racial slur for Black people)
– f*g/f**got (slur for gay and other LGBTQIA+ people)
– r*tard/r*tarded (slur for intellectually disabled people)

Please see this Wikipedia page for more details and a more complete list:
[ ]

Here are some examples of content that is subject to penalty:
Violent and disturbing content:
– bullet sounds and gunshots (or sound effects that may sound like gunshots)
– explosions (or sound effects that may sound like explosions)
– screams
– content glorifying (including but not limited to) violence, rape, suicide, killing, murder, genocide, war

Explicit sexual content:
– lyrics describing or implying sex acts
– heavy breathing, ecstatic noises or screams

Discriminatory content:
– slurs based on race, class, national origin, disability, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion

Again, this is not a complete list. We did not list all English curse words and slurs here, and there are many more hurtful words that can be subject to penalty. Ultimately, the final decision of whether a freestyle music track is appropriate will be decided by the contest organizers based on what was heard in the song, and on the context of the song. Please understand that this is a case-by-case basis. If you have questions or concerns about certain words or content in your music, please contact us in advance of submitting your freestyle.

Please be aware that this year, beeps/silence/reverse effects etc. used to cover inappropriate word(s) are not allowed. You cannot edit in those kinds of effects either. If the contestant is unsure if their music is suitable, they may request that contest staff review it before submitting their freestyle.
Every year there are contestants who are disqualified, nearly disqualified, or penalized for music problems. If there are questionable words or content in your music we highly suggest that you choose a different song. Again, your music must be suitable for an audience of all ages (including young children and their parents) and that guideline will be strictly enforced.

Regarding Penalty for Inappropriate Music

If it is brought to the attention of contest organizers, staff, and/or judges (by contestants, staff, authorized persons, audience members, judges, etc.) that a contestant’s music is inappropriate, contest staff will promptly check the contestant’s music.
If the contest organizers determine that the music is inappropriate, that contestant will receive 0 points in Music Use categories.
No penalty will be made if a violation is noticed after the results for each round are announced, unless the violation is particularly bad.
Judges will use the submitted song itself as the primary material subject for judgement.
After it has been decided that the song is inappropriate, the contest organizer or designated staff will attempt to inform the relevant contestant before results are announced.
At this time, if the contestant desires to question or explain the circumstances of their music, we ask that they respond promptly to our message. However, even if they provide reference from the song’s composer, lyric writer, record company, and/or lyric notes, such materials may not be considered. The staff’s final decision will be based on what was heard in the originally submitted music.
The decision of contest staff is final and after a penalty is decided it will not be reversed in any case.

Filming Guidelines and Rules

Please check the rules below before you film your video.

Filming Guidelines

Film in Landscape (Horizontal)
  • Choose high-resolution mode
  • Aspect ratio 16:9
  • At least 1280×720 (Ideal 1920×1080)

Set the Camera Angle
  • Use a tripod or stand to hold the camera/phone in place
  • Do not change the angle or zoom in or out during filming

No editing allowed
  • Movie editing is not allowed
  • Please upload the full recording of your freestyle from the beginning until the end
  • ※IYYF will cut the unnecessary parts at the beginning and end before publishing

Make sure the full string(s) and yo-yo(s) are clearly visible

Bad examples (Do not do this):

  • Too bright
  • String color is too similar to clothing and/or background
  • Too dark
  • With black light (UV Light)

Make sure the camera captures the yo-yo movement well

Bad examples:

  • Yo-Yo is out of the frame
  • Too close
  • Only yo-yo is in the frame
  • Too far

 Framing Sample
  • Play near the center
  • Film in a bright room/outside, so the camera can capture the yo-yo, string, and body movement well.
  • Frame bottom: Feet–knees
  • Frame top: Leave some space above the head
  • Face the direction which best shows your tricks/combos to the camera
  • Make sure you do not have any other people or copyrighted signs/logos/designs anywhere in the screen
  • If there are any issues with the video, we may ask you to re-film and re-submit.
  • Please check all of these notes carefully before and after filming to be sure.

Rules Added on Oct. 6, 2022

[Regarding Submitted Footage]

If we find that a submitted video appears unnatural (speed adjustment, evidence of editing, etc.), the following actions will be taken.

  • We will request that the player submit the original file without any trimming, for the purpose of evaluation by the contest organizers.
  • We will verify the file size, file information, and shooting environment.
  • We will check a live performance of the freestyle using a video call, and check the filming equipment

After conducting the above, the organizing team and judges will hold a discussion.

Even if we find no traces of video manipulation in the data, the following measures will be taken if the majority of judges involved feel uncomfortable with the video (starting from the Final of OWYYC2022).

  • We will request that the video be reshot.
  • The player must visibly place a commercially available clock with a second-hand or second counter in their filming space and reshoot the freestyle video.
  • If it is confirmed that any editing or manipulation was done intentionally, the contestant may be disqualified at the discretion of the organizing team (in this case, no payments will be refunded).

However, if you have already started filming your final freestyle and are concerned about it, please contact us as soon as possible (we will respond to each case individually by confirming sample footage in advance).

Freestyle Scoring Criteria

Freestyle Rules are based on the rule from WYYC2019.

These rules apply to 1A-5A, Women’s, and Over-40.

Adjusted Evaluation Criteria for Online Contest


Since everyone has many chances to try to film their routine, we expect all players will have better execution for their freestyle than an on-stage live freestyle. To make the score point spread wide enough, judges will score this item stricter than a usual on-stage contest.


Freestyle Regulations (Precautions, prohibited actions, etc.)

Performance Time

The contestant will perform a 2 minute freestyle routine to music of their own choosing. (Preliminary will be one minute. For Preliminary, please read these measurements as the same below.)

The freestyle time begins to run at the moment the music starts. The music will be stopped between 2:00 and 2:01, regardless of whether the beginning of the song is silent. If the song is shorter than 2 minutes, the music will stop at the end of the track.

When the 2 minutes performance is finished, the contestant must immediately stop playing. At the end of the freestyle, if the contestant is unable to rewind the yo-yo(s) back to their hand(s), they will receive a deduction. This and other negative points will still be counted until the contestant stops the yo-yo, or otherwise leaves the stage. Actions by the contestant that give the impression of the end of the performance (bowing, etc.) will be considered to indicate that the freestyle is over. In the case that the contestant resumes play after that action, deductions will be applied.

Contestant Code of Conduct

All contestants must conduct their freestyle with the safety of the audience, the venue, the equipment, and themselves in mind. Contestants performing in an unsafe manner may be disqualified at the discretion of the judges.

The head judge also reserves the right to immediately disqualify a contestant who behaves or speaks in an inappropriate manner on stage. This includes uttering obscenities (such as F***), wearing inappropriate or obscene clothing, and any acts of public indecency.

In the case that a contestant is unsure whether their planned actions on stage are appropriate, they should consult a judge beforehand to avoid disqualification.

During a freestyle, only the contestant is allowed on stage. Assistants to the contestant are also prohibited during the performance.

Yo-Yo Rules

There are no special restrictions on the maker, type, parts or modifications used for the freestyle yo-yo.

Safety is still a prime concern, so any modifications that compromise the safety of the contestant, venue, or audience may result in disqualification.

Strings used must be string for the exclusive use of yo-yoing. In the case of styles that require special string, (Go West, Long String, Transparent String, etc.), it may be used only with the prior consultation, safety confirmation, and permission from judges

A contestant may only use the yo-yos they personally bring with them on stage. During their freestyle, a contestant may not receive or use yo-yos from audience members. In divisions including (but not limited to) 4A and 5A, if a yo-yo falls off the stage, it may no longer be used. Even if a yo-yo is returned to the stage by an audience member with good intent it may not be used. In the case that a contestant uses that yo-yo, positive points will not be scored during its use and negative points will continue to be subject for deduction.

Contestants are required to use their yo-yo(s) as a yo-yo.

In the case that a contestant performs in a style that is not subject to their division, that part of the performance will not be scored (however, negative points may still be applied). For example, if off string elements are used in any other division than 4A they will not receive points.

Due to the yo-yo tangle or yo-yo change (discard) you can use more total yo-yos than allowed below.

Below is a list of the number of yo-yos that can be used simultaneously during freestyles for each division:

  • 1A – 1 yo-yo
  • 2A – 2 yo-yos
  • 3A – 2 yo-yos
  • 4A – 1 or more yo-yos
  • 5A – 1 or more yo-yos

In the case that yo-yos exceeding the permitted number are used (or held) simultaneously, all tricks subject to positive scoring and positive evaluation will not be counted.

Non Yo-Yo Items

The contestant is only allowed to bring yo-yos, strings, counter-weights, gloves (or equivalent items), a backup music CD for competition, and a tray provided by contest officials onto the stage. Maintenance tools, performance props, and any other items are strictly prohibited. This includes (but is not limited to) items such as bags, cases, cloth, jackets, extra clothing (other than what the contestant is already wearing), and tables. Contestants bringing prohibited items to the stage are subject to disqualification. However, for the purpose of protecting valuables (such as a bag, wallet, cellular phone, etc.), a contestant may leave their belongings at the side of the stage, but is prohibited from interacting with them.

Freestyle Scoring

Freestyles will be graded on two criteria: Technical Execution (TE) & Freestyle Evaluation (FE).

Judges are assigned into two groups.

  • A Group: Technical Execution (TE)
  • B Group: Freestyle Evaluation (FE)

Definition of “Competitive Yo-Yoing”:

  • Yo-Yo(s) must start spinning with the power coming from the unwinding string.
  • All tricks must be performed while the yo-yo(s) is spinning. If the yo-yo is not spinning no points will be counted.
  • Yo-Yo(s) must return to the contestant’s hand with fully wound string(s) with its own spin power.
  • All tricks/moves must utilize both yo-yo(s) and string(s) in order to receive points.

Definition of divisions

  • 1A: Freestyle with one string-trick yo-yo with the string attached to one hand
    (Tricks are based on mounts and touches between the yo-yo and string.)
    (One Yo-Yo. One String. String must be attached to hand and yo-yo.)
  • 2A: Freestyle with two looping yo-yos with the strings attached to both hands
    (Tricks are based on making circles (“loops”) with the yo-yos’ trajectory.)
    (Two Yo-Yos. Two Strings. Each string must be attached to one hand and one yo-yo.)
  • 3A: Freestyle with two string-trick yo-yos with the strings attached to both hands
    (Tricks are based on mounts and touches between two yo-yos and two strings.)
    (Two Yo-Yos. Two Strings. Each string must be attached to one hand and one yo-yo.)
  • 4A: Freestyle with yo-yo(s) to which the string(s) is not attached
    (Tricks are based on moves which are possible because the yo-yo is not attached to the string.)
    (One or more Yo-Yo(s). One or more string(s). String must be attached to the hand but not to the yo-yo.)
  • 5A: Freestyle with yo-yo(s) which has counter-weight(s) on the other side of string(s)
    (Tricks are based on moves which are possible because the yo-yo has counter-weight and is not attached to the hand.)
    (One or more Yo-Yo(s). One or more string(s). String must be attached to the yo-yo and weight instead of the hand.)

Technical Execution (TE) – 60%

Each judge uses two clickers, one each for positive and negative points. These are added together for the final TE score, which is 60% of the total possible score.

Judge takes only success, difficulty, risk and variation of each trick performed.

Originality, amplitude, long-sleep, continuity, uniqueness, style, choreography are NOT subject to be scored here.

Positive Points

When the contestant performs advanced level trick elements, points will be given for each element.

All points are given per trick element.

Here are some examples of trick elements in each division.

1A Division:

  • Mount (Trapeze)
  • Hop (Eli Hop)
  • Laceration (Hook)
  • Whip Catch (Iron Whip, Slack Trapeze)
  • All other appropriate moves for 1A Division that come with a certain difficulty.

Not subject to be awarded any point(s)

  • Picture Tricks (making shapes with the string that does not interact with the yo-yo)
  • Looping
  • Off Finger, Mobius
  • Swing/Pinwheel in which yo-yo does not interact with the string
  • Any string maneuver which does not interact with the yo-yo or yo-yo transitions

2A Division:

  • Looping (Loop, Hop)
  • Moon (Reach for the Moon, Planet Hop)
  • Wrap (Loop Wrap, Sleep Wrap)
  • Tangler
  • Around the World
  • All other appropriate moves for 2A Division that come with a certain difficulty.

Not subject to be awarded any point(s)

  • One hand looping
  • Any string tricks (including Picture Tricks)

3A Division:

  • Rolls (Velvet Rolls)
  • Kink (Kink Fu)
  • Trapeze (2-Hand Trapeze)
  • Assisted
  • KoroKoro
  • All other appropriate moves for 3A Division that come with a certain difficulty.

Not subject to be awarded any point(s)

  • Picture Tricks (making shapes with the strings that do not interact with the yo-yo)
  • Any move in which one yo-yo keep staying in the same state (like sleeper or in a trapeze) while the other keep moving
  • Looping
  • Tangler without landing/mounting

4A Division:

  • Whip (Over Whip, Open Whip)
  • Recapture
  • Boingy Boingy
  • Toss
  • Orbit (Around the Arm, Orbit the Leg)
  • All other appropriate moves for 4A Division that come with a certain difficulty.

Not subject to be awarded any point(s)

  • Picture Tricks (making shapes with the string that does not interact with the yo-yo)
  • Any trick in which the yo-yo does not leave the string(s) (Simple Railing, Somersault, 1A moves)
  • Looping
  • A move by itself in which the yo-yo does not interact with the string(s)

5A Division:

  • Direction Change (Shoulder Pop)
  • 360
  • Propeller
  • Bee-sting
  • Aerial (Meltdown Jump)
  • All other appropriate moves for 5A Division that come with a certain difficulty.

Not subject to be awarded any point(s)

  • Picture Tricks (making shapes with the string that does not interact with the yo-yo)
  • Any moves while holding the weight in hand
  • Looping
  • Any yo-yo that moves while the weight stays in the same state like simply hanging, swinging, or circling
  • Any weight moves while the yo-yo stays in the same state like simply sleeping, hanging, swinging, or circling
  • Any moves in which the yo-yo and weight move individually without interacting with each other at all

Tricks such as Gerbil and Rancid Milk are seen as a group of trick elements not as a trick and each trick element is scored individually.

Generally, the same trick elements performed in a freestyle will not be scored the second time. However, high risk repeating trick such as Suicide combo, or same trick elements in a different trick combo can be scored the second time with some reduction of base points given for the trick element.

Dancing, miming, juggling, isolating, acrobatic moves, spintop skills with the yo-yo, or doing any of the above while performing basic trick elements are not subject to be awarded any extra points coming from those non-yo-yo skill sets as Technical Execution.

Negative Points

Any trick miss and control miss is subject to deduction.

Negative 1:

Trapeze miss, control miss, catch miss, corkscrew in looping.

All deductions are counted per yo-yo. If the contestant has a mistake in each hand (with two yo-yos), the contestant will receive two negative points.

Yo-Yo stop, or yo-yo change will be counted in Major Deduction stated below.

Freestyle Evaluation (FE) – 40%

Judges (Group B) evaluate 4 categories from 0 to 10 points, total 40 points, then they will be halved to make the 40% of the final score. They will not be normalized between judges. Entire 2 minute performing time is subject to evaluation.

Generally, the entire 2 minute performing time is subject to evaluation. However, even before and after the 2  minutes, any inappropriate action or devaluation will be counted for the categories.

The table above is a basic grading guide.

The following are the eight categories to be scored as Freestyle Evaluation.

1. Execution (EXE)

(Success Rate of Tricks, Success, Less mistakes, Completion)

How few are the mistakes?
Is the routine performed as planned?

# It is not about the mastery or perfection of each trick. It is about the completion of all tricks. If the entire routine went well without any mistakes, it will have a full score. Even if the tricks are smooth and well-practiced, if the player has many mistakes, it will be low. Also it does not require any difficulty or risk to be seen as full score. It is evaluated as perceived by the judges.

2. Control (CTL)

(Control of Yo-Yo/String, Line of String, Trajectory of Yo-Yo, Smooth landings and flowing transitions)

Are the tricks executed in a clean, fluid and controlled manner?
Do the transitions into and between trick elements demonstrate mastery and control of the yo-yo style?
Does the yo-yo land and exit the string cleanly?
Is each trick well-practiced to the level of mastery?
Were tricks maneuvered smoothly?
Were the tricks refined well to be presented?

# It is not about how smooth the routine is, nor the number of mistakes. It is simply how good the control of yo-yo and string is.

3. Music Use 1: Choreography (MU1)

Music Use concentrating on hitting sounds, beats, tempo, rhythm, cues, etc.

Are there any cues or points that show a clear sense of choreography?
Are the trick and body moves matched with the music?
Are the tempo of tricks/combos and music rhythm/beat matched?

4.Body Control (BDY)

Stage Manners, Posture, Stage Professionalism, Attitude:
(stage presence/composure, Moves of body)

Does the player demonstrate a mature professional presence before, during and after the freestyle?
Does the player demonstrate total control of all aspects of the performance?
Is the contestant aware that he/she is on stage and being seen?
Are body moves well refined?
Does the contestant appear to be confident/professional?
Was the show appropriate to be seen by a general audience?

# Sticking tongue out, tilting head when making a mistake, or making a bitter face in hard time, and ignoring the audience unintentionally are all considered to be bad examples for this category.


Major Deductions (MD)

These deductions will be subtracted after all the scores above are summed.

Yo-Yo stop (restart), Yo-Yo discard (change), Yo-Yo detach (string cut) and dangerous play will be subject of this deduction.

Yo-Yo Stop (Restart) – Minus 1

Any stop of yo-yo spin with string fully unwound will be subject. Even if the yo-yo does not stop completely, if you need to help the yo-yo to regain its spin with your hand or string, it will be considered as a yo-yo stop. However, contestant can hand-wind yo-yo with half-wound string or add more spin to the yo-yo spinning fast enough to be able to wind by itself without this deduction. Any intentional or planned yo-yo stop will be seen as a yo-yo stop with the deduction. After the yo-yo stops and the contestant adds the spin to the yo-yo then fails to wind and it stops again, it will be counted as another yo-yo stop to be deducted.

Yo-Yo Discard (Change) – Minus 3

Any yo-yo discard will be subject. Leap of 4A and 5A yo-yos, or any yo-yo change or stop using the yo-yo will be counted. Even if the contestant comes back to the yo-yo to reuse it, if the contestant uses another yo-yo once, the yo-yo discarded will be counted. Any intentional or planned yo-yo change will be counted as a yo-yo discard. However, if the discard happens after the yo-yo stops in one instance, only the discard will be counted and not a yo-yo stop. However, if the contestant tries to restart before the yo-yo change, both a stop and a discard will be counted. If you want to show both tricks with 1 and 2 yo-yos in 4A or 5A without any deductions, you need to show 1 yo-yo tricks first, then add another yo-yo to show 2 yo-yo tricks.

When the Performance Ends

If the contestant cannot make the yo-yo come back to the hand fully wound and ready to throw, both a stop and a discard will be counted as a discard (minus 3). The string can have knots or be jammed, yet it needs to be fully wound to avoid the deduction.

The contestant is expected to complete the routine before the music ends. If the music ends while tricks are still being performed, the contestant should stop the trick and wind the yo-yo. (However, the moves required to get out from the shape to wind will be allowed if the yo-yo is still spinning.)

After the music stops, if the contestant fails to wind the yo-yo due to a yo-yo stop, it will be counted as a discard. Also at the moment the music stops, if the yo-yo is not spinning and requires a restart it will be counted as a discard.

If the contestant does not have a yo-yo in their hand ready to throw, for example: a yo-yo is in their pocket, on the floor, in the hat, or string detached from the finger like after Rocket, all will be seen as a discard. The deduction will not be counted twice if the player does not have a yo-yo after having a discard.

All Performance End Deductions will be the same, even if the contestant decides to end their routine before the music ends.

Yo-Yo Detach (String Cut) – Minus 5

Any dangerous play or any play that can cause any damage needs to be avoided at all cost. Therefore, judges will be very strict to those actions even if it is unintentional.

Yo-Yo coming apart, string cut, or string detach for 1A, 2A, 3A, 5A (yo-yo and weight both) will be counted as a Yo-Yo Detach (Minus 5). Any intentional string cut like “Break the String” trick will be the same. However, unscrewing by hand to fix the string while the yo-yo is not spinning will be allowed without the deduction. Changing yo-yo(s) after a String Cut will be counted as only a Yo-Yo Detach (Minus 5), not both penalties at the same time (Minus 8). If a Detach happens at the end of the freestyle, ONLY a Detach (Minus 5) will be counted, and another Discard (Minus 3) will NOT be counted due to not having a yo-yo in your hand at the end of the freestyle.

All those deductions are per yo-yo/string. If two yo-yos are tangled in one incident and need to be changed, it will be 6 point deductions (3 point x 2 yo-yos).

At the same time, any mistake or loss of control is counted as a deduction in Technical Execution, separately from Major Deductions.

Final Score

  • Final Championship Freestyle Score = sum of points for
  • Technical Execution (60.00-points maximum) plus
  • Freestyle Evaluation (40.00-points maximum) minus
  • Major deductions.

Technical Execution will be normalized (to eliminate the unevenness among judges and let them have the same portion to contribute to the score). All other scores will not be normalized.

Depending on the judges’ availability and skill, the counter(s) of Major Deductions can be different by contest or division.

When we have more than five judges for each category, we may remove the highest and lowest scores when calculating the final score.

The judges’ decision is final.

All contestants are expected to read and understand the entire rules above.

AP Division Rules

Art & Performance (or AP) is the division in which a player or group of players are judged predominantly on performance rather than technical skill. Choreography, use of music, creative use of the stage, movement and performance will be among the important judging criteria of this division.

In AP, the performer is free from a technical point system and encouraged to use the yo-yo in a creative way. The yo-yo must be an integral/main part of the performance but the performer is free to use it for comedy, drama, to tell a story or to convey an emotion. This division is a showcase of the amazing entertainment possibilities of yo-yo.

The combined elements of Entertainment, Creativity, and Artistic Value are the biggest factors in evaluating a performance. Does the performer connect and interact with the audience in a fun/exciting/surprising way? Was the creative idea/concept behind the performance compelling and did the performer convey that concept to the audience and judges? Does the performer set an atmosphere, display professionalism and mastery of their art, and were the audience and judges moved emotionally by their performance? The judges are looking for all of these things.

The AP Division can look very different from year to year. Therefore, the judges have a great deal of discretion in awarding the prizes. Instead of awarding a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, judges may choose to give an Entertainment Award, a Creativity Award, or an Artistic Award. In addition to these awards, a performance may be so amazing and so compelling that it earns a Grand-Prix Award. There may be years when no performance reaches that level.

  • Grand-Prix Award
  • Creativity Award
  • Artistic Award
  • Entertainment Award

(We may or may not award any of the awards above.)

Explanation of Awards

Entertainment Award

The key point for this award is, “The people watching the performance.”

We are looking for whether each competitor’s performance has the power to delight and entertain the judges, audience, yo-yo players and non-yo-yo people.

Of course, in order to be entertaining, one great method is for the act to be funny, but that is not the only important thing.

The power of the performance must be directed toward the spectators in the audience and be used to stimulate their emotions. We are looking for if they were successful at making the audience’s time watching their freestyle enjoyable.

Artistic Award

The key point for this award is, “Beauty of expression/presentation; high level of artistry.”
Drawing a line against our usual standards for competitive yo-yoing, we are specifically looking for a high level of beauty and expression in the competitor’s performance.
We are looking for a performance that is constructed with:

  • a high level of coordination and harmony with the music
  • a high level of presentation in the performer’s tricks (e.x. synchronicity of movement, beauty of trajectory)
  • good space usage of the stage area
  • a powerful message

Using these elements, the performance must surpass a “regular yo-yo freestyle,” and use the expression of their yo-yo play to pull at the judges’ and audience’s heartstrings.

*We are not here to define the meaning of “Beauty” or “Art” in general. The “Beauty” and “Art” discussed here are restricted to within the context of yo-yo performing.

Creativity Award

The key point for this award is, “Originality/uniqueness in expression/presentation; freshness.”

The theory for an average yo-yo performance is, simply “keep doing tricks along with the music.”

However, we are looking for something that deviates from that theory, and exhibits new possibilities for yo-yo performance. That is the main criteria for this award.

We are looking for something that didn’t exist up until now, a totally new method of expression and/or way to use yo-yo, and whether the performance executes that concept well.

The following are methods that may apply to this award:

  • A type of yo-yo expression we have seen before in the past, but which is creatively remixed with another artistic concept (ex. visual effects, dance, song, juggling, magic, etc.) in a new way.
  • The performer deviates from the above basic theory and creates a totally new performance or new way of expression with yo-yos.

Pertaining to all of the above three awards:

  • Each award is not just about whether a performance was a “fun/entertaining,” “artistic,” or “creative” performance. It is about whether it was a “fun/entertaining,” “artistic,” or “creative” “Yo-Yo” performance. Yo-Yo must be the main element of the performance. If the performance is judged to not contain enough actual yo-yo content, it may not be considered for an award for that reason. Please be aware that this also may affect a Prelim video submission’s eligibility in qualifying for the final round.
  • Many qualifications for each award may overlap. It is likely that a performance with a high level of artistry may also have a high entertainment factor.

Of course, there is a possibility of having multiple awards awarded to one freestyle, but at the same time, the judges will decide the winner based on which criteria in the freestyle is the most worthy of being awarded.

In addition, on the occasion that a performance meets the criteria of all of the above three awards and/or displays a high level of mastery in more than one of them, that performance may be suitable to be awarded the Grand Prix Award.

General Rules

The performances can be up to 3 minutes in length.

Except for the safety issues listed below, there are no particular limits on props that a contestant may use. The use of any unusual props should be cleared in advance with the Contest Director. No props that can cause danger to the performer, audience or venue will be allowed. This includes but is not limited to the use of fire, pyrotechnics or knives.

Teams are allowed to compete, however only one trophy or medal will be awarded to the winning performer/team.
Assistants will be considered to be team members and therefore they will be allowed to perform yo-yo maneuvers.

Each routine will be judged and ranked in comparison to other routines of the current year only. Comparisons to past years will not be made.

Since it is an International audience and panel of judges, the performances should be universal enough to be understood by all.

The contents of the performance must not make fun of, insult, harm, or discriminate on the basis of (including but not limited to) race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, and national origin (ancestry). Offending performances will be disqualified at the discretion of the judges.

AP is a Yo-Yo Contest Division

AP is not only about performance, but it also exists upon the premise that this is a YO-YO CONTEST DIVISION.

  • Yo-Yo must be the main focus.
  • You can integrate other skills like dancing, acting, miming, etc., but yo-yo must be the dominant act, not peripheral.
  • You do not need to perform difficult tricks, many tricks, or many variations, but you are expected to display a very high level of mastery and polished yo-yo skill of what you do in the performance in order to be a champion of the Online World Yo-Yo Contest.
  • There will be no deduction for misses. However, be aware that a miss can disrupt the show, tone or story very easily. We expect the contestant to have ZERO or close to zero mistakes in their routine, just like professional performers in the circus or a performance showcase.


Additional Rules for the Online World Yo-Yo Contest

  • Maximum video length: 3 minutes
  • Video editing, transitions, and sound/visual effects ARE allowed
  • Submission deadline is the same as 1A-5A Final round
  • If you are competing as a team, only the Representative Member needs to pay the Division fee.
  • An AP submission can include multiple players (please list all the participating contestant names when you submit your entry)
  • The same music rules as other divisions also apply to AP submissions. Please check the Freestyle Music Guidelines carefully to make sure your music is okay to use.
  • Please also check the Filming Guidelines and Rules for some good general advice before filming, but you don’t need to follow the framing exactly.

Due to the nature of this being an online contest and AP being scored more subjectively than other divisions, we encourage being more creative with how you film and present your performance. A stage performance presentation like in previous years is okay, and we also welcome entries that are more cinematic in nature (think, has a theme/story, etc.). For AP in OWYYC, you have a lot more freedom to try new things. As previously mentioned, we are allowing video editing, transitions, and sound/visual effects for AP videos only. That said, this is not a video editing contest. You will be judged primarily on the yo-yo content of your submission, so please make sure it is the star of your video.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!