What makes the “Yo-Yo Slam” format different than traditional Yo-Yo Contests

I have received several inquiries about the Yo-Yo Slam format.  Some from people that are not familiar with yo-yo contests at all.  This is a really exciting development as one of our main goals is to expand yo-yo contests’ appeal beyond the yo-yo community.   So far, it seems we’ve generated some interest in that direction.  But for the befifit of those unfamiliar with the Slam format, here are the main difference:

1.  We have judges giving live feedback to players right after their routine.  This keeps the audience engaged to see scores right away and teaches them what judges are looking for.  Also give the players valuable feedback about how to improve their routines.  It also makes the process transparent, so players understand what is going on with the scoring.

This also allows the standings to be visible throughout the contest, so everyone knows who is winning and what kind of score the next player needs to qualify for the finals, or to win.  This adds to the drama of the event.

2.  We have a host (Mark Hayward) that introduces and talks to the competitors. This makes the players better known to the audience, which is fun for the players to have some notoriety, and is more interesting for the audience to get to the the competitors.

3.  The scoring is very simple.  The Judges just give one number between 0 and 10.  Easy to understand, fast to calculate, and keeps the contest moving.

4.  The finals are limited to 8 players, so we can spend more time talking to them and getting to know them.  This builds them up, and makes the finals more dramatic.

5.  We have audience scoring for the finals.  The audience score counts for 25% of the final score, and then the three judges count for 25% each.  Scoring is done through a website and is calculated at the same time the judges are scoring.  This keeps the audience involved and watching more closely.  It also puts value on players that present in a way that is pleasing to the audience, so it encourages more creative type routines that the audience will like.

6.  The whole format is designed to be edited down tot a one hour TV show that we can distribute in several different ways, including broadcast TV.

The end result is a contest that is fun, fast moving, more dramatic and designed to be enjoyed by the audience and watched on TV.  It give top players recognition outside of the yo-yo communitty, and introduces yo-yoing to a whole new TV audience that might not otherwise be introduced to it.

The first Yo-Yo Slam was the New York State Yo-Yo Slam, we learned a ton, and have an hour long TV show that is already getting a lot of attention.  The second one is the Pennsylvania State Yo-Yo Slam on November 21.  We have several ideas for regional and  National contest in the US, and would love to expand to other countries and eventually hold a world contest.  We think this format will find popularity where traditional yo-yo contests have only appealed to a small group of serious yo-yo players.

If you haven’t seen the New York Yo-Yo Slam, be sure and check it out here: (We’d love to hear your feedback)

New York Yo-Yo Slam 2015 from mitch silver on Vimeo.


Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of YoYoSkills.com. He is also the owner of YoYoSam, yoyo Zeekio, and Bahama Kendama. He is avid yo-yo collector and skill toy enthusiast in a BIG way.

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