Art & Performance Division

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. The Grand-Prix would be analogous to a World Championship. There may be years when no performance reaches that level.

– Grand-Prix Award (World Champion Title)
– Creativity Award
– Artistic Award
– Entertainment Award
– (We may or may not award any of the awards above.)


Order of Performance:

  1. Yang Yuan-Ching (Taiwan)
  3. Lin Hsing Yu‏ (WHO Theatre) (Taiwan)
  4. Justin Weber and the NEW YORK YO-YO CLUB (USA)
  5. Tomiyuki Watanabe (TOMMY) (Japan)

Congratulations to all finalists!

This year, we had 7 entries from all over the world. Thank you for all your submission and hard work.

We will send back judges’ feedback to the contestants who did not make to the final shortly. We all hope it helps your routine for future. If you wish, you can make your submitted video public.

We all looking forward to your participation for AP Division at World Yo-Yo Contest 2017.

(Added on 2016.7.11)

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.

– 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, namely the “World Champion” title.

General Rules

The performances in both the preliminary submission video and final stage performance can be up to 4 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.
Prop set up time shall not exceed 2 minutes without prior approval of the Contest Director. Any prop bigger than 1m x 1m x 1m must be approved by judges. Please contact the judges by e-mail before July 25th.

A microphone (wired or wireless) can be made available if the contestant arranges it in advance. There is no current plan to provide a microphone stand. If plugging their own music/sound system into the speakers that the venue/organizer has prepared is a necessary component to fulfill the contestant’s freestyle concept, we will provide one Line-In (mini headphone plug) input and one power outlet for the contestant’s use. Pre-approval from the AP Division judges and the contest organizer is required, and will be decided based on the performance concept description submitted by the contestant. Again, a sound/power connection will not be unconditionally given to all contestants, and must be specially requested and approved.

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.

 New Rules (as of 2015)

AP is a YoYo Championship Division

AP is not only about performance, but it also exists upon the premise that this is a YOYO CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION.

– Yo-Yo must be the main focus.
– You can integrate other skills like dancing, acting, miming, etc., but yoyo 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 yoyo skill of what you do in the performance in order to be called a World YoYo Champion.
– 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.
– The previous year’s champion will be automatically seeded to the final round.
– The preliminary submission video MUST be the same or close to the same as the actual performance on the finals stage. If the concept only works on the stage, and if you like, you can send us a text explanation of your concept along with the video. If a performer’s actual stage performance is vastly different from the submitted video, the performer(s) will not be subject to awards, or in the worst case, they may be prohibited from competing in future AP or any other divisions of the WYYC.

Reason: We request that the same performance be submitted in order to to accurately and fairly judge the merits of the performance. As contest organizers, we also need to be prepared for what will happen on stage. We appreciate your understanding of these issues.

– No special requests for control/manipulation of music or lighting will be allowed. Music guidelines will be the same as the 1-5A Divisions. Performers can choose a single lighting setting: normal (stage lights on) or dark (stage lights off) for light-up yo-yos, projector use, etc.

Reason: Due to facility and staff limitations, as well as to be fair to all performers.

– Only registered people will be allowed on stage. (You may have an assistant or team, but you will need to register as team with everyone’s names)

For the AP Division, if you are competing as a team only the Representative Member needs to pay the Division fee. All AP Contestants (including team members) must register and pay the Contestant Registration Fee before June 25, 2016. Otherwise, the submitted tryout video will not be sent to judges for evaluation.

How To Enter

Submit your preliminary tryout video by June 25th, 2016 (upload as a private video to a video server like Vimeo, YouTube, upload to your own private server, or send a CD/DVD to us). If you need help submitting, please contact us. After you submit your video, please contact us with a link to view and/or download your video.

Judges will choose 4-9 players/teams (based on the submitted videos) that will compete in finals.

There are two ways to submit your preliminary video:

The first (preferred) method:
Upload it to a Vimeo/YouTube account as a “private video.”
Creating an account is free and easy to do: or
Once you have created your account click “Upload a Video” at the top of the page.
After uploading your video, click “settings” and then select the “privacy/private/only with the link” option.
Once you have done this, please email with the following information.

Please include the following information in the e-mail.

Your full name(s):
Team Name (if multiple people):
Contact E-mail:
A brief write up of your concept, theme, story, or goal for your performance.

The Second Method:
You may also submit your video via a DVD or CD-R.
If you choose to send a hard copy as described, please mail it to this address:

ATTN: Hironori Mii / AP Division
35-1 Izumi-cho Iwakura Aichi 482-0045 JAPAN

If you choose to submit a hard copy, please send an email to to let us know your video is coming, with the following information:

Your full name(s):
Team Name (if multiple people):
Contact E-mail:
A brief write up of your concept, theme, story, or goal for your performance.
Tracking number of the package (if available) and postal carrier name (ex. EMS, FedEx, etc.)

The performance in your preliminary tryout video can be up to 4 minutes in length. No editing, cutting, or connecting is allowed. Just like it would be on the stage, the entire performance must be in one shot. (You can, of course, film as many times as you need to get the perfect performance. Please do not send a video filled with mistakes.)

Reminder: Your final stage performance MUST be the same as that of the preliminary video.
The video media will not be returned, and will become the property of the World YoYo Contest. The World YoYo Contest is not responsible for videos that are lost, damaged or delayed by the shipper.

All videos must be submitted/arrived by June 25th, 2016.

The results for the preliminary tryout video round (players qualified to AP finals) will be announced on this page by July 15th, 2016.


April 1, 2016: Beginning of Video Submission
June 25, 2016: Deadline for Video Submission
July 15, 2016: Finalist Announcement
July 25, 2016: Deadline for submitting request for special prop usage
August 6, 2016: Finals in Cleveland


Judges will be announced as they are finalized.








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