EYYC 2022 Rules

EYYC 2022 rules are based on IYYF rules with evaluation change (see below):

Freestyle Music Guidlines

Music must be suitable for an audience of all ages (including young children and their parents). Contestants who use inappropriate music (with inappropriate words in all languages, obscene language, and inappropriate lyrical content explicit and implied; in addition, in the case that a beep/silence/etc. is used to cover the word(s), if the coverage of the word(s) is judged to be incomplete or insufficient the player may still be subject for disqualification) may be disqualified by judges. If the contestant is unsure if their music is suitable, they may request that the judges review it beforehand.


European national champions and top 5 finalists are seeded directly to semi-finals.  European champion is seeded directly to finals.

Seeded Players:

Kacper Palatynski (finals – EYYC 2019 winner)

Tal Mordoch (semifinals – EYYC 2019 top 5)

Michael Malík (semifinals – EYYC 2019 top 5)

Tony Šec (semifinals – EYYC 2019 top 5)

Konstantin Tudjarov (semifinals – EYYC 2019 top 5)

Matouš Tomeš (semifinals – Czech National Champion 2021)

Dario Krakowski (semifinals – German National Champion 2019)

Francesco Gioia (semifinals – Italian National Champion 2019)

Gemma Planas-Bonell (semifinals – Spanish National Champion 2019)

Williams Thamrong (semifinals – French National Champion 2019)


Statement on Russia’s war on Ukraine

The Czech Yoyo Association condemns Russia’s unprovoked military attack against Ukraine, enabled by the Belarusian government. Respect for human rights and peaceful relations between nations form the foundation of international sport.

Therefore, we decided to take the following actions:

Suspension of all Russian and Belarusian yoyo players from all competing categories at EYYC2022

Refusal of sponsorship and other financial support from entities with links to Russia or Belarus.

The Czech Yoyo Association is in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine.

Tomáš Bubák

Head Organiser of EYYC22

 Performance Time

The contestant will perform a 3 minute freestyle routine to music of their own choosing. (1A Qualification will be 30 seconds, Semi-Final will be 90 seconds, 2A-5A & Women finals will be 2 minutes freestyle).

The freestyle time begins to run at the moment the music starts. The music will be stopped between 3:00 and 3:01, regardless of whether the beginning of the song is silent. If the song is shorter than 3 minutes, the music will stop at the end of the track.

In the case of a music issue such as an audio equipment malfunction occurs mid-freestyle, the contestant may choose to continue the freestyle for the rest of the 3 minutes. The contestant may also choose to stop and restart the routine after the issue has been fixed. If the contestant decides to stop the freestyle routine due to a music issue, with taking the audio equipment and CD condition into consideration, the contestant can discuss with the head judge and make a decision from the following.

  1. Restart evaluation from where the music has stopped (If judges have not reset the clickers)
  2. Restart evaluation from the beginning (Can be restarted immediately or can be performed at the end of that division)
  3. Take the evaluation up to the point where the music has stopped as the contestant’s final score, without restarting the evaluation.

When the 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 major 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.

If there are any actions by the contestant (ex. bowing, appearing to leave the stage, appearing to stop the performance) or indications in the music (ex. the track appearing to end, or an extended period of silence) within the three minutes which may give the impression of the performance ending, the judge or the contest staff may determine that the performance has ended. If such actions or music characteristics exist in the contestant’s performance, we request that the contestant speak with the contest MC, music staff, and judges on the day of the contest, before the performance. This information will be shared with the necessary contest staff to avoid any confusion.

Note (Requests to Contestants)

If the volume is too low when the music starts, the track starts at the wrong place, the sound is unreasonably distorted, or the wrong music is played, the contestant must immediately stop the performance and notify the on-stage staff or judges. You can restart your performance after the music is fixed or adjusted. However, if the player is clearly and solely responsible for the above problems (ex. submitting the wrong music, or a bad recording), or he/she intentionally abuses this rule, the player may have a 5-point major deduction from the beginning. In the absolute worst case scenario, the contestant may be disqualified.

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.

For the sake of safety and fairness, contestants are not allowed to leave the stage during their freestyle. If a contestant leaves the stage, that moment will be considered the end of the performance. This includes leaving the stage to pick up a yo-yo that has fallen from the stage.

Due to the potential hazard of falling off the stage, sitting or standing over the edge of the stage is also prohibited and subject to disqualification.

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

Disturbing contestants (through shouting, taunting, or other inappropriate actions) before, during, or after their freestyle is strictly prohibited, and may result in the disturber’s disqualification or barring from entering future contests in the league.

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.

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.

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) 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 Divisions

  • 1A – Single Handed String Tricks. 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 – Double Handed Looping Tricks. 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 – Double Handed String Tricks. 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 – Offstring Tricks. 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 – Counterweight Tricks. 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.)
  • 1A OPEN – Single Handed String Tricks – same as regular 1A but non-European residents can join this division.
  • 1A WOMEN – Single Handed String Tricks – same as regular 1A but only women players can join this division.
  • 1A JUNIOR – Single Handed String Tricks – same as regular 1A but only players under 16 years (15 years or less) can join this division.
  • BEST TRICK – One throw, each player can go multiple times, they just always have to wait for their spot in a line. Division is limited by 30 min. Judges give 1-10 points to each throw (no evals, no clicks), throw with most points wins.
  • Team Battle – Each team has 3 players. Battle freestyles team vs. team. Each judge has 1 vote, team A or B, team with more votes wins (no evals, no clicks), winner team goes to next round, loser teams quits. Gold sponsors have their team directly in finals (max 8 teams) others have to go through qualification team freestyles (1,5 min for the whole team), music choosen by DJ for both round. Price registered by player (not by team, all 3 players in the team need to be registered separately).

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)
  • Release Catch (Suicide Catch)
  • 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 eight categories from 0 to 10 points, total 80 points, then they will be halved to make the 40% of the final score. They will not be normalized between judges. Entire performing time is subject to evaluation.

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

The table above is a basic grading guide.

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

1.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.

2.Space Use & Space Emphasis (SEM)

Amplitude/Focus, Size of Yo-Yo Moves, Stage Use:
(Size of expression, moves, performance, Effective use of stage and space, and/or focusing on/into a subject effectively)

Does the contestant use the stage and space effectively?
Is the trick performed big and easy-to-see?
Were the small moves or subtle actions focused to gather the audience’s attention?

3.Music Use (MUS)

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

Music Use concentrating on phases/stages, mood, imagery/atmosphere, tone, routine, theme, construction, 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?

 Does the music seem to fit the freestyle theme?

 Are body moves and trick choice matched with the music?

 Did the freestyle have scene changes, peak control, or climax?

4.Presentation (PRE)

Theme/Story, Enjoyment, Entertainment, Overall Impression of Show:

Was the performance staged and constructed in a manner to add to the interest level of the freestyle?
How entertaining was the freestyle presentation?
Does the freestyle have a story or theme?
Is there any effective usage of an outfit?
Is it a performance to attract and entertain the audience?

# Interesting or Entertainment Value that comes from pure amazing yo-yo skill will not be counted here. Added work toward making the freestyle interesting (Showmanship) on top of the yo-yo tricks and skills is required here.

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.

Flying Off – Disqualified

Including 4A and 5A, if any yo-yo jumps into the audience area behind the judges’ table will be subject to disqualification. This will be discussed after the routine is over.

A Yo-Yo jumping into the audience with enough speed, height or dangerous trajectory will be subject. Even if the yo-yo bounces on the stage once, it will be seen as the same. A Yo-Yo rolling off from the stage will be allowed without disqualification.

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.

Criteria for Qualification

 The final score will be the sum of these two categories.

Technical Execution (100.00-points maximum) minus

Major deductions.

No Freestyle Evaluation

Criteria for Semi-Final

The final score will be the sum of these three categories.

Technical Execution (60.00-points maximum) plus

Freestyle Evaluation (40.0-points maximum) minus

Major deductions.

Freestyle Evaluation (FE) 40%

  1. Control (CTL)
  2. Space Use & Emphasis (SEM)
  3. Music Use (MUS)
  4. Presentation (PRE)

Judging With Video Recording

When a trick or move was difficult to identify in the live freestyle, or could not be seen because of blind spots, judges can recheck the decision for Major Deductions by watching a video recording.

If a judge(s) could not keep the score fully valid due to an accident or malfunction of judging devices, the judge(s) can rejudge or reevaluate the freestyle with a video recording under the supervision of the head or lead judge after the division is over.

In the Case of a Tie

Judges will determine the winner with the descending order of TE and FE. If after comparing two numbers and there is still a tie, the judges will call it as a tie or suggest a better solution.

The judges’ decision is final.

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


CYA Evaluation Change Announcement

Change of Evaluation Rules

At EYYC 2020 only four evaluations will be used in finals as well as in all prelim rounds. There are multiple reasons for this change, but the main goals are to simplify, speed up and improve quality of scoring evaluations. Detailed motivation is described below.


– Control – Meaning is not changed

– Music Use – Meaning is the same as it used to be, before it was split to Choreography and Construction

– Space Use & Emphasis – Meaning is not changed

– Presentation – Renamed from Showmanship, meaning is not changed

Before you go to criticize this change on social media, please read the detailed motivation. We wanted to solve multiple problems with this change. We want everybody to realize that any kind of this change is a trade-off and has positives and negatives. It’s easy to pinpoint negatives but the hard thing is actually making the decision where positive outweigh the negatives. It’s also very hard to predict the impact of this change in practice, so we might also change the rules again later based on how it will play out.

Detailed motivation

This change is based on our previous experience with scoring evaluations, where we face a lot of problems.


Scoring Evaluations takes a lot of time. It’s one of the main reasons for delays on yoyo contests. This is also amplified when we show evalations live (as we have done on recent Czech contests. Evaluation scores are showed after freestyle and intermediate results are shown. Full results with technical scores are shown during award ceremony). We use new technology for that, so judges put scores in the app, but they also write scores on the paper, just in case, which takes even more time.

We want to speed up this process by simplifying evaluations.


Scoring evaluations is difficult and error prone. Here we roughly identify multiple subproblems.

– It’s pretty common for judges to not agree even on basic, almost objective values. They often misunderstand or misinterpret meanings of them. Judges also complain about evaluations being unclear and difficult to judge.

– The more evaluations we have, the worse quality of scores will be. Human mind can only hold about 4 different concepts in short term memory. But judges need to pay attention to 8 different values and remember their changes through 3 minute freestyle. Apart from that, human can only focus on one thing at a time, by which he overlook other ones. Evaluation meanings are also pretty complicated, so judges need to hold even more thing in their mind at the same time.

– Because evaluations are complicated and judges are under time pressure, it’s tempting to interpret meanings of evaluations only based on their name. No one can reliably recall the whole definition from rules under such circumstances. For example, consider “Body Control” vs “Proffesionalism”. Both of those names are used and they all describe the same evaluation, but the intuitive meaning of those words is very different. This way it’s even possible to influence how judges think about scoring just by the name we decide to put in the sheet.

We want to lower the difficulty and minimize human error in this process. More values and more time pressure leads to decrease in quality of scores. Simply because they don’t have enough time to think about them and mental capacity to focus on all of them during freestyle. Therefore, it makes sense to choose only the most imporant evaluations that bring the most valuable information into results.

Mismatch between prelims and finals

Evaluations in prelim rounds are not the same as final ones. This produces a conflicting requirements on contestants. This conflict manifests itself in two subtle ways.

– Contestants, who can make top places in prelims often can’t repeat their success in finals, even when they successfuly execute their freestyle. Simply because their style can’t succeed in finals, requirements are different.

– On the other hand, people that have a great chance to succeed in finals often struggle to get through prelims, because the requirements are different.

We want to remove this conflict by making evaluations the same in all rounds. This will also simplify internal work on results.


Related to all previous points, we generally want to improve understanding of evaluations. We want evaluations to be easy to understand for judges, contestants and even spectators. Players need to understand evaluations to prepare freestyles, judges need to understand to give credible scores. When we use live judging, we also want the number to be simple and meaningul for spectators.

Motivation for each evaluation

The goal is to keep only evaluations that bring the most useful information into the results. In practice, this means we want to eliminate evals that are dependant on other values. For example, Body Control and Control are dependant evaluations. Their meaning is not the same, but in practice, their values will likely correlate in some way. Intuitively – if you control your body well, you will probably control the yoyo as well. Opposite example would be Music Use and Space Use. Those values are completely independent. It’s pretty much possible to have high Music Use while having very low Space use and vice versa.

Evaluations we keep

We chose these evaluations as the most imporant ones. Each one of these brings some unique information to the results, which would otherwise be missed.

Control – We consider this evaluation important, because it is the only evaluation that describe the style of yoyoing. It’s hard to judge personal style or flow, but we can at least judge how well player controls the yoyo.

Music Use – Music is crucial part of our contests, and we want to keep it that way. We decided to merge Choreography and constructions into one, simpler value that has more intuitive meaning. More on that below.

Space Use & Emphasis – Working with space on stage is also big part of our contests. It’s also one of the evaluations that have pretty simple meaning.

Presentation – The only evaluation which describes the freestyle as a whole, without considering yoyo at all. After few debates, we decide to change the name from Showmanship to Presentation, because we believe this name better describes the meaning described in rules.

We have removed other evaluations because we don’t see the information they provide worth the cost (time, accuracy and difficulty) of judging them.


Meaning of this eval is very close to Technical Execution (clicks). Even though the meaning is not the same, there is pretty clear dependency. Bigger problem is the way it works. It asks for a success rate of tricks. Judge needs to guess a ratio that is much accurately measured by different means (with a timer for example). Humans are very bad at estimating time and ratio. We basically ask judge to come up with a subjective guess of an objective value.

It also maps this ratio to the final score non-linearly which is even more confusing – less than 40% success rate is 0, more than 95% is 10. We can’t expect judges to come up with meaningful value in such a complicated way.

It’s no surprise that judges almost never agree on this value and they even come up with drastically different values for the same freestyle. That’s a bit ironic, considering it is probably the evaluation that have no subjective meaning at all and judges should basically always agree on it.

There is also something to be said more generally about mistakes. Execution is a measure of failure in the freestyle, but our system is pretty strict about it already. Mistake usually lowers your scores in multiple different categories – starting with clicks, Execution, Control and then it can transitively influence many other ones.

Body Control

Body Control has overlap with Control and Showmanship/Presentation. It’s not a bad eval on itself, but with all the other ones, it doesn’t bring too much.

Choreography & Construction

We decided to merge both Music Use subcategories back into one. From our experience with the current system, it is much more confusing for judges to have them both instead of one. Even though their meaning is not the same, it’s close and it’s difficult for judges to separate it.

Apart from that, we also consider naming of those evaluations a bit unfortunate, because it doesn’t really describe their meaning well and makes it more confusing for judges. Both of those terms are so general, that they could describe many other evals or their combination.

It’s ironic that those evaluations are often referred to as Music Use 1 and Music Use 2, which shows how much it’s difficult for people to understand their meaning from real names. This of course doesn’t help to distinguish them from each other.

On the other hand, term Music Use is clear, well known and everybody intuitively understand what it means. As mentioned above, the goal is to name evaluations so that their name gives intuition that is closest to their real meaning.

Trick Diversity

We expect that removal of this evaluation will probably the most surprising thing in this change. Because it was not so clear on our side, too, I’d like to go trough the reasons in more detail. Our goal was to reduce the number of evals from 8 to 4. Choosing first 3 to cut was not so hard, but choosing the last one from remaining 5 was a bit more challenging. Trick Diversity is not as much problematic as it is just the least important from the remaining ones. That said, there is still few imporant arguments that make it a good candidate for removal on its own.

Trick Diversity describes diversity in yoyo styles and trick styles. It’s imporant to realize, that there is a trade-off. Diversity of styles is not conclusively good metric of freestyle quality (as opposed to Control, for example). Actually, one of the most interesting freestyles are the ones, where player focuses on one specific style, simply because it stands out. It’s also more likely that people who focus on one style specifically can develop this style further than if they were to split their focus into multiple different styles.

Trick Diversity puts more requirements on freestyles and gives players less freedom when choosing tricks for a freestyle. One big motivation for putting it in the rules was to get rid of monotonous freestyles. This has surprisingly opposite consequences, though. One freestyle on its own is diverse, but all freestyles are usually very similar, to the point of being predictable. There is not that many styles of yoyoing, so most people usually do “a bit of everything”, which usually ends up in repeating very generic, common tricks from each particular category. This way, we got more diversity in one freestyle but for the price of less diversity between multiple freestyles.

It’s important to note here that by removing this evaluation, we want to trade diversity in one freestyle back for potential diversity between freestyles. In other words, this change tries to be inclusive. People who satisfy this category don’t loose, while people who loose now will gain.

It’s not so clear though, since the inclusion of Trick Diversity eval, things changed. We click more strictly, so there is a natural pressure for trick diversity present in click scores.  There is also a bit of an overlap with Space Use in a sense of bigger and smaller tricks. Again, those values don’t have the same meaning as this evaluation, but they are dependant.

For all these reasons, we decided to remove Trick Diversity and give players more freedom in choosing tricks for their freestyles. The idea is that if we let players focus styles of their choice only, they will develop and show more interesting trick-set, which should be better than forcing them to do “a bit of everything, but nothing to the full extent.”