YoYo Wiki

World Yo-Yo Contest Logo (2006)

The World Yo-Yo Contest (also known as Worlds or WYYC for short) is a contest held every year and it was organized by Infinite Illusions' Greg Cohen up until 2013.

Currently, the International Yo-Yo Federation has taken over the contest and is now being held every year between Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Historically, from 2001 to 2013, the contest was held at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida in Late July to Early August. At the end of the contest, several yo-yoers leave with the title "World Yo-Yo Champion" in their division based on styles of yo-yo play.

Overview of History[]

In 1932, the very first World Yo-Yo Contest was held in England, where Harvey Lowe won the title of World Champion defeating the Canadian player Joe Young.

Although other, similar contests were held before 1932 were claimed to be "World Championships", they were sponsored by specific manufacturers to run as promotions for their products and are not generally recognized as genuine world contests.

In 1950, Cheerio held a large North American contest, which was not considered a world contest, yet one of the winners was known to refer to himself as a "World Champion".

In 1962, Duncan had 32 demonstrators on the road whom it claimed were "World Yo-Yo Champions", of which many had never actually entered any yo-yo contest in their careers.

In 1972, a yo-yo contest referred to as the "World Yo-Yo Championship" was held in Toronto, Canada, where it was won by professional yo-yo demonstrator Bunny Martin. However, this was not a genuine world contest.

In 1992, Dale Oliver brought back the World Yo-Yo Contest in its current format, with the first running held at the 1992 International Jugglers' Association (IJA) convention in Montreal, Canada.

In 1999, the World Yo-Yo Contest was held in Honolulu, Hawaii by High Performance Kites in collaboration with Bandai.

Since 2000, the World Yo-Yo Contest was run by Greg Cohen in Orlando, Florida, USA with the first year held outdoors in Orlando in August known to those that were there as the hot year, and 2001 onward the venue was the Grand Ballroom of the Rosen Plaza Hotel on Orlando's International Drive.

In 2013, the World Yo-Yo Contest committee announced the contest would be taken over by the then-newly-formed International Yo-Yo Federation (IYYF) and the contest would move between the Americas, Europe and Asia each year. Considering that there were those within the community who wished for the contest to be held in places with more public exposure than Rosen's Ballroom, this was readily accepted.

The 2014 contest took place in Prague, Czech Republic, the 2015 contest was held in Tokyo, Japan, and in 2016, it was held in Cleveland, Ohio in the United States. The cycle of where the contest would be held would repeat between Europe, Asia, and the United States. In this regard, the World Yo-Yo Contest could truly be considered an international competition.

In November 2015, it was announced on YoYoNews that the 2017 World Yo-Yo Contest would be held and hosted in Reykjavik, Iceland. The 2018 Worlds would be held in Shanghai, China. They also announced that the 2019 World Yo-Yo Contest would be held in Cleveland, Ohio, marking the second time that the contest would be held there in three years since the 2016 contest.

On March 21st, 2019, on the official IYYF website, it was announced that the 2020 contest would be held in Budapest, Hungary, and the 2021 contest in Japan. 

It was announced on the official website of the 2020 Worlds that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the contest to be held in Budapest would be postponed to 2021.[1]

It was announced in April 2021 on the IYYF website that the contest to be held in Budapest has been cancelled due to the pandemic.[2]

Following the cancellation of 2021 Worlds, the IYYF announced the 2021 Online World Yo-Yo Contest (OWWYC 2021), where the contestants would film themselves performing yo-yo freestyles, the footage to be submitted to the IYYF. The 2021 Online World Yo-Yo Contest would follow the rules of the 2019 contest. One of the prizes for OWYYC 2021 would be seeding into the 2022 Worlds, which would be held in Japan.[3] In early July 2021, the IYYF announced on their news bulletin that the official website for OWYYC 2021 has opened.[4] The online contest ran starting with submissions first being accepted in August up until Final results crowning the online champions were announced on a live stream in November. The IYYF announced the Japan 2022 World Yo-Yo Contest would be postponed to 2023 and scheduled an OWYYC 2022 with the same kind of timeline as 2021.

On the Live Stream of the Final Results of OWYYC 2022. IYYF executive board members Hironori Mii and Steve Brown announced that the first in-person World Yo-Yo Contest would resume in 2023 in Osaka, Japan from August 17-20.

Evolution of Contest's Structure[]

The rules, processes, and events at the World Yo-Yo Contest would and still change and evolve right as yo-yo changed and evolved with it. Contest divisions would be created and restructured as new styles of yo-yoing were being created, developed and increased in popularity. Non-World Title divisions would fluctuate based on popularity as well. For the 2000 Worlds, which was held at the Universal Studios Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida, marked the very first running of the World Spin Top Contest. Other non-championship but sanctioned events like Pizza Dough throwing championships, Diabolo championships and even YoYo Mod Contests were held over the years.

In more recent years the addition of Women's Division and Over-40 divisions were also added to highlight those players. Several contestants would enter both a demographic division and the main style based divisions and perform well in both kinds of events.

The freestyle rules and round structure would evolve as modern yoyoing evolved. Compulsory based rounds would be phased out in favor of preliminary freestyles. What was a two-tier Qualifying round and Final Round for the contest would would morph to a four-tier round system with a wildcard round of 30 second freestyles performed with limited song choice in private room without an audience. Then transitioning to on public stage with 1-minute preliminary freestyles, followed by 1.5-minute Semi-Final freestyles and finishing with 3 minute freestyles in the Final round. This would include seeding and qualification rules as demands on the contests fluctuated from year to year.

Current Champions[]

A tabular list including runner ups and demographic data can be found on the main WYYC wikipedia page.

2023 - Osaka, Japan[]

  • 1A - Mir Kim
  • 2A - Hajime Sakauchi
  • 3A - Hajime Miura
  • 4A - Gun Ju Eom
  • 5A - Sora Ishikawa
  • Women's Freestyle - Miri Kim
  • Over-40 Open Class - Takenori Iguchi
  • Over-40 Master Class - Masakazu Yamasaki

2022 - Online World Yo-Yo Contest[]

  • 1A - Mir Kim
  • 2A - Hiraku Fuji
  • 3A - Tomoya Kurita
  • 4A - Kaoru Nakamura
  • 5A - Sora Ishikawa
  • Women's Freestyle - Miri Kim
  • Over 40 Freestyle - Lorenzo Sabatini
  • AP
    • Grand-Prix - Chih Min Tuan
    • Entertainment Award - Chih Min Tuan
    • Creativity Award - Chih Min Tuan

Past Champions[]

2021 - Online World Yo-Yo Contest[]

  • 1A - Mir Kim (South Korea)
  • 2A - Shu Takada (Japan)
  • 3A - Minato Furuta (Japan)
  • 4A - Kaoru Nakamura (Japan)
  • 5A - Sora Ishikawa (Japan)
  • Women's Freestyle - Miri Kim (South Korea)
  • Over 40 Freestyle - Richard Marechal (Brazil)
  • AP
    • Entertainment Award - YOYOBOYS (Robert Kučera & Zdenek Hybl) (Czech Republic)
    • Artistic Award - Naoto Okada (Japan)

2019 - Cleveland, Ohio[]

2018 - Shanghai, China[]

2017 - Reykjavik, Iceland[]

2016 - Cleveland, Ohio[]

2015 - Tokyo, Japan[]

  • 1A - Zach Gormley
  • 2A - Shinji Saito
  • 3A - Hajime Miura
  • 4A - Naoto Onishi
  • 5A - Jake Elliott
  • AP - SHAQLER (Entertainment Award and GrandPrix), Beat Poin't (Artistic Award), WHO Theatre (Creativity Award)
  • Women's Division - Xiao-Wen Wong A.K.A. "Hobbit"
  • Over 40 Division - Kiyoshi Kawamura

2014 - Prague, Czech Republic[]

2013 - Orlando, Florida[]

2012 - Orlando, Florida[]

2011 - Orlando, Florida[]

2010 - Orlando, Florida[]

2009 - Orlando, Florida[]

2008 - Orlando, Florida[]

2007 - Orlando, Florida[]

2006 - Orlando, Florida[]

2005 - Orlando, Florida[]

2004 - Orlando, Florida[]

2003 - Orlando, Florida[]

2002 - Orlando, Florida[]

2001 - Orlando, Florida[]

2000 - Orlando, Florida[]

1999 - Honolulu, Hawaii[]

1998 - Las Vegas, Nevada[]


  • PRO/AM - Bill de Boisblanc
  • Masters - Jason Tracy
  • Advanced - John Stangle
  • Novice - Ryan Zink
  • Masters Freestyle - Nalukai Ho'okano

1996 - Rapid City, South Dakota[]

1995 - Las Vegas, Nevada[]

1994 - Burlington, Vermont[]

1993 - Fargo, North Dakota[]

  • CH - Rocco Ysaguirre

1992 - Montreal, Canada[]

1972 - Toronto, Canada[]

1932 - England[]

360 degree view of the Rosen Plaza hotel during the 2004 World Yo-yo Contest

External link[]