The Championship Division freestyle judges shall judge a contestant’s Technical Execution according to the following scoring criteria.

1. Positive Point Awards:

  • Positive points shall be awarded for advanced level tricks or trick elements performed successfully. Variations of tricks and elements shall be fully scored.
  • Repeated tricks, repeated trick elements and repeated mounts may be scored at a lower value or not be scored at all.
  • Transitions between tricks shall be scored.
  • Additional points shall be awarded based on the difficulty level of a trick element. The base level (simplest advanced level tricks) trick would normally score one-point while more difficult tricks would be granted multiple points as the judge feels is warranted.
  • The number of points a judge awards for a particular trick element may also vary depending on how well the trick element is performed. For example, the same type of catch of an off-string” yo-yo may be given more points if the launch was extremely high as opposed to a launch where the yo-yo barely leaves the string. Similarly, a very basic Eli Hop may not even be scored if the yo-yo is only hopped a few inches off the string (because a particular judge feels it is not an advanced level trick element) while one with a high toss would be scored.
  • Other factors, besides difficulty level, that may increase the basic value of a trick element include but are not limited to: speed, amplitude, control, blind catches, and movement (i.e. turning while an off-string yo-yo is in the air before catching the yo-yo.)

2. Negative Point Assessments:

  • In all divisions, 1-point shall be deducted for each trick or trick element missed including but not limited to: missed string hits/catches, missed slacks, missed lacerations, missed binds, missed 5A counterweight/string catches, failed 4A launches.
  • In all divisions, 1-point shall be deducted for each loss of control.
  • Repeated efforts to regain control of a yo-yo, such as but not limited to: repeated unsuccessful binds, repeated unsuccessful launches, and excessive uncontrolled loops or punches shall result in additional deductions.
  • In 2A and 3A (and in 4A and 5A when two or more yo-yos are in play), each yo-yo is judged separately.
  • Loss of control that results in a restart shall be a mandatory 2-point deduction per yo-yo. Therefore, in 2A and 3A (and in 4A and 5A when two yo-yos are in play) if both yo-yos need to be restarted a mandatory 4-point deduction shall be assessed. Note that each restart 2-point deduction includes the initial 1-point deduction for loss of control leading to the restart. If a contestant chooses to replace a “playable” yo-yo rather than to restart it, the mandatory 2-point deduction still applies.
  • In all divisions, replacing a yo-yo that becomes “unplayable” for any reason, including but not limited to; a jammed, broken or knotted yo-yo string or due to a broken or malfunctioning yo-yo shall result in a mandatory 3-point deduction.
  • Voluntarily replacing a yo-yo (or yo-yos) which does not require a restart or which is not unplayable does not incur a deduction.
  • In all divisions, a mandatory 3-point deduction shall be assessed for any yo-yos that leave the “general” stage area of the contestant, for unintentional reasons.
  • In 2A and 3A (and in 4A and 5A when two yo-yos are in play), replacing both yo-yos at the same time, shall count as a 6-point deduction if both yo-yo are tangled or otherwise unplayable. Note that each 3-point deduction includes the initial 1-point deduction already assessed for loss of control leading to the yo-yo replacement.
  • In 4A and 5A, if more than two yo-yos are in play each additional yo-yo shall be judged separately and each additional yo-yo shall be subject to the mandatory 1, 2 and 3-point deductions described above.
  • Intentionally launching, throwing or otherwise discarding a yo-yo off the stage or into the audience shall result in a mandatory 5-point deduction. Repeated violations of this rule may lead to a disqualification if the actions are considered disruptive or dangerous. Note that this rule is in effect before and after the freestyle time period.

The Championship Division freestyle judges shall judge a contestant’s Performance Style according to the following general scoring criteria.
The following elements of style are listed below as guidance to the judges and contestants. Evaluation of Performance Style is very subjective process and each judge may apply additional criteria and standards as to what they feel constitutes Performance Style in a yo-yoing freestyle routine. The yo-yo (or yo-yos) must be in play for a contestant to receive style points.

  • No Performance Style points shall be awarded for anything that occurs before or after the 3-minute freestyle.
  • Stage presence and playing to the audience while yo-yoing.
  • Choreography: Includes but is not limited to elements such as; timing yo-yoing tricks to music; composition of freestyle (has a clear beginning, middle and builds to a climatic ending); and use of "yo-yo space" up, down, back and forth, left and right including dance and acrobatic moves while yo-yoing.
  • Amplitude and/or risk level of the yo-yo trick elements performed.
  • Elegance of control and maturity of the yo-yoing (i.e. stylish, clean, smooth.)
  • Variation of trick elements and styles.


The judges will click in positive points for Technical Execution. and Performance Style elements on one counter and will click in the Negative Point Deductions on the other as they see them occurring in real time .

STEP 1: Determination of a contestant’s Raw Freestyle Score from each judge will be determined as follows:

  • Positive points for Technical Execution (T.E.) and Performance Style (P.S.) will be combined and the negative Point Deductions for missed trick elements, loss of control and other “mandatory deductions” will be subtracted to yield a Raw Freestyle Score.

STEP 2: Determination of a contestant’s Normalized Freestyle Score:

The Raw Freestyle Scores, from each judge, for Technical Execution (T.E.) and Performance Style (P.E.) shall be normalized as described below.

  • The highest contestant’s Raw Freestyle Score from each judge will be normalized to 100 points and the other contestant’s “normalized” scores from that judge determined by multiplying the contestant’s Raw Freestyle Scores by 100 and dividing by the highest contestant’s Raw Freestyle Scores.

 STEP 3: Determination of a contestant’s Final Freestyle Score:

  • The “normalized freestyle score” for each contestant shall then be determined by discarding their highest and lowest normalized scores from the judging panel and averaging the remaining middle scores.
  • The contestant with the highest Final Freestyle Score (rounded to the nearest hundredth of a point) will be the winner.

If there is two way tie for first place there will be no second place and the next contestant will be granted third place. Similarly, if there is two way tie for second place there will be no third place. If there is two way tie for third place the contestant will be both be granted third place.

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