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Author Topic: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity  (Read 4494 times)

kyo

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On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« on: September 28, 2015, 01:03:45 PM »

I'll start by saying I have no idea how to make the contest better, but I can offer a perspective from an observer.

It's just boring. I know that sounds harsh, but I feel it needs to be addressed. I get that to spin top players who know what is going on it isn't, but to the average person watching, it is. (we can skip the part where somebody yells at me for saying that, it's just my view and that of most non-spin top people I've talked to, though perhaps they wouldn't state it so bluntly)

With YoYo the freestyle format works because it's fast paced, tricks are back to back to back and you can move rapidly through ideas, styles, etc. This just isn't how Spin Tops go.. it's a slower pace no matter how fast you are, and with regenerations being a part of it there's no way it won't be repetitive in some sections.

Unfortunately I'm not good enough with tops to really know a way to address the problem, but I can say that excitement value to the crowd should be a big part of the way forward. Maybe Dave is on to something in that the freestyle format needs to die in some ways.

I love spin tops and want to see them expand, but after 10+ years of watching them they haven't grown all that much so I'd love to see a change in approach.

Kyle
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Dick Stohr

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2015, 01:53:31 PM »

Dave, this thread is a great idea. I hope that all will chime in.
You bring up the Yo-Yo Model, but I think we are starting at the wrong end of the time line. What if we went to a format that the yo-yo had in the 1990s. Yes divisions with a required trick list?
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ta0

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2015, 02:00:30 PM »

Oops! I shouldn't have checked the forum because I don't have time to write much.
Thanks Dave for thinking out of the box. I'll think about it a little more and give you my ideas.
Now I just want to answer somethings that Kyo mentioned.

You are right Kyo only in that yo-yos are intrinsically faster than tops. But that does not mean that they are intrinsically more fun to watch. I would actually say the reverse is true, because yo-yos are too fast. Take somebody from the street and show them yo-yo routines (especially 1A) and he will likely be bored to death: it will be just a blur and he won't understand what is going on. Even I, after watching it for years but playing little, cannot follow them many times. I bet that for the general public, Miki's spintop routine from worlds would be more fun to watch than almost any of the yo-yo routines in Tokyo. And you didn't see Dave's routine at nationals: you can call it many things, but definitely not boring.
The current problem with tops is not "the public" but the players willingness to get on stage and compete.
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2015, 04:45:18 PM »

Personally, I see both yoyo and top freestyles as boring.  I am more apt to watch top freestyles because I try to do it, but I am not a very good observer of the yoyo freestyles even at worlds where I am more likely to be out spinning tops or talking with top throwers.

To make them more interesting one has to be rewarded for it.  My opinion is that the system is set up right now to punish anyone who tries to set up a more "entertaining" trick or "entertaining" freestyle.
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studio42

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2015, 05:10:21 PM »

Having been throwing tops successfully for a year, and my progress not great, I've been watching competition videos for Worlds since 2011 when I got into yoyo. Tops had caught my attention but was stalled mostly due to it being so darn hard to get started.

First, I do agree with Kyo about it being a touch boring. Tops, at least as far as competition routines, can get body. Fixed tips need to be regenerated constantly, and while it's worked into the routine and there is variety, there's a lot of that repetitive nature that 2A has. Bearing tips just slow and slow and slow until they get unstable and have to be swapped. 1-way bearings have their own issues!

Second, I feel that the performer is largely responsible for the routines being engaging because speed isn't the name of the game. Not to choose favorites or anything, but I felt more entertained at Ta0's worlds performance than I did with the others.  It kept moving and not staying idle a lot. This isn't easy. The nature of the tops and playing with it usually involves a slower pace, set-up times and then execution and recovery. While tricks can be strung together to form combos, the pace is far more laid back than yoyo. I swear, some of these yoyo players are so fast they need a seat-belt. I can't see crap as far as what they are doing because we need frame rates of at least 200fps to really break things down. Tops can easily get by with 24-29.97fps and most tricks can be broken down easier.

Third, we have to have time limitations. It's the only way it makes sense. The rest becomes arbitrary. I suppose we could have limits to how many tops and of what kind, but yoyo players don't have that limitation. Tops can require swap outs where-as yoyo is punished for it. Having a time limit is just necessary and at least gives everyone a level playing field for themselves; Should it be 3 minutes? Why not four? I think after 3, people get bored. With yoyo, my eyes actually get crossed with some of the speed players... so after 3 minutes, I'm wiped and need to reset my eyes for the next routine at warp speed. Judging requires a very tough focus, and for the audience, their attention wanes at about 150 seconds but can often hold out for that last 30 seconds to reach the 3 minutes. While I feel top players can benefit from longer times, I think human nature will say "no, 3 minutes is good".

Personally, I got into tops because I thought it looked cool. Yoyo is more deep seated from a childhood want that went bad that I was able to explore as a "aging" individual, who is apparently having his mid-life crisis based around skill toys. Competing isn't an activity that holds any interest for me, no matter how good I get.

I will agree about people not wanting to lose or place. Contest fees are getting out of control, or at least it seems to be. Mommy and Daddy chunking down $90 to compete, plus the $25 for the NYYL registration(annual) and who knows what they spent on earlier contests, food, travel, lodging, then you get your 60 seconds fore prelims that you don't make the cut on? Wow, sounds like a bargain to me(note the sarcasm here please!) Too risky on the dollars and sense side of things in my opinion. I myself don't have an issue with losing, but my skills don't let me even have a hope to compete. Wasting money isn't something I enjoy doing a whole lot of like that. For me, there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to make me compete.

We really need more kids into this. Kendama took off, but now is fizzling and fading. Yoyo has its peaks and valleys. Not sure where it is at the moment. I'm hoping the Energia tops(which I hear are made by YYF) will likely have a marketing campaign, which will help expose kids to tops. I'm not sure how well this will go because without people to help kids get started... I don't think videos are sufficient. I myself will buy 2 of every Energia model they made so I can configure one fixed and one bearing tip. I play at my kids' school daily so I am exposing people to lots of stuff, tops included. Tops will be like anything else: lots will try, a very small few will continue. But if we can't expose them to it, nobody will know about it. In the skill toy group I try to run, I'm the best spin top player, and that's not saying much, because there's one other who can do a bit and one who is gonna make it soon. Both are also close friends of mine. The rest are yoyo and/or kendama cross-overs. At a meet-group I try to attend, one of the above friends teaches there, but I'm the only one who can do tops. The store that sponsors/hosts the club/meet group stopped carrying tops because simply put, there's no market. Something has to change that.

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mailman

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2015, 06:46:23 PM »

I'm a spin top noob, and I don't play or watch yo-yo. 

All I can say is that, even as enthusiastic as I am about tops, I have no interest in top competitions or personally competing with tops.  I enjoy watching the routines, just to see the tricks, but could not care less about the competition angle.

As some have already said, yo-yo competition is so fast paced that it loses my interest in just a matter of seconds.  Literally seconds.  I have no idea what they are doing, and can't be bothered to try to follow it (sorry, yo-yo players, but that's how I feel).

I have no answers to offer, but felt the need to state my views....
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Dick Stohr

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2015, 07:24:59 PM »

We really need more kids into this. Kendama took off, but now is fizzling and fading. Yoyo has its peaks and valleys. Not sure where it is at the moment. I'm hoping the Energia tops(which I hear are made by YYF) will likely have a marketing campaign, which will help expose kids to tops. I'm not sure how well this will go because without people to help kids get started... I don't think videos are sufficient.
I hope everyone thought that I was just stirring the pot about trick lists to encourage discussion.
Now for a historical perspective - In the 50s the yo-yo was on a ten year cycle (peak for about 3 and fizzle for about 7) unless the demonstrators came to the elementary school sooner. The cycle was broken at about age 16 when the boys were lost to the fumes (gas and perfumes). Since the mid 90s the foundation has been built a lot broader so that kids learn in elementary school, becaome heroes in high school, use them as stress relievers in collage, and chick magnets in clubs. This is an over generalization but the point is that yo-yos became COOL. I see tops trying to spin off from yo-yo and like kendamas and diabolos the skills are different enough to be a diversion and not primary. I do not have the answer to Dave's questions but hope this spurs others to join in.
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kyo

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2015, 12:09:19 AM »


I will agree about people not wanting to lose or place. Contest fees are getting out of control, or at least it seems to be. Mommy and Daddy chunking down $90 to compete, plus the $25 for the NYYL registration(annual) and who knows what they spent on earlier contests, food, travel, lodging, then you get your 60 seconds fore prelims that you don't make the cut on? Wow, sounds like a bargain to me(note the sarcasm here please!) Too risky on the dollars and sense side of things in my opinion. I myself don't have an issue with losing, but my skills don't let me even have a hope to compete. Wasting money isn't something I enjoy doing a whole lot of like that. For me, there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to make me compete.

We really need more kids into this. Kendama took off, but now is fizzling and fading. Yoyo has its peaks and valleys. Not sure where it is at the moment.

This could be an entire thread of its own.. but how exactly do you think these events happen? IT. TAKES. MONEY.

LOTS of it in fact. The events you're complaining about paying for barely make anything as it is (many still lose money, which is insane). You have kids walking around with cases full of $100+ yoyos and you're throwing a fit about paying a relatively small fee to be there? Complaining about fees is like kicking the organizers in the face for trying to run high quality events. You aren't "wasting" money by being there, you're helping support an event which is FUN for everybody.. contests aren't just about the stage.

Kendama is doing great btw.. Yo-Yo is doing quite well too, has been for the last 10 years. The peak/valley thing died years ago and we've been steadily growing ever since. Certain times of year are better than others, but that's just how it goes with any industry dominated by kids.

Sorry to derail a bit here, but people complaining about high quality events drives me nuts.

Kyle
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kyo

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2015, 12:16:20 AM »

You are right Kyo only in that yo-yos are intrinsically faster than tops. But that does not mean that they are intrinsically more fun to watch. I would actually say the reverse is true, because yo-yos are too fast. Take somebody from the street and show them yo-yo routines (especially 1A) and he will likely be bored to death: it will be just a blur and he won't understand what is going on. Even I, after watching it for years but playing little, cannot follow them many times. I bet that for the general public, Miki's spintop routine from worlds would be more fun to watch than almost any of the yo-yo routines in Tokyo. And you didn't see Dave's routine at nationals: you can call it many things, but definitely not boring.
The current problem with tops is not "the public" but the players willingness to get on stage and compete.

You've made this argument to me before.. but.. in the last 20 years yo-yos have gone from something done by a small handful of people to having contests with many hundreds of contestants, hundreds more spectators, and -many- contests around the world all year long.

Spin Tops are still done by a relatively small handful of people. Why? If the format they're being promoted in is so inthralling to watch, why aren't more people jumping in? There is clearly -something- going wrong.. there is no reason tops shouldn't be as popular as yo-yos are, they can both be hugely fun toys to play with and to watch.

It seems like you're saying that the only problem is that you aren't getting exposed to the general public.. if that's the case, fire up a camera and post things to youtube.. yoyo videos routinely get thousands (or tens of thousands) of hits, why not try doing the same? Was there a spin top demo at the world contest on the main public stages? If not, why?

If spin tops are going to grow, we first have to admit there IS a problem.. then we can work on fixing it.

Kyle
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ta0

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2015, 01:04:34 AM »

Kyle: Bob Malowney complained to me at nats that most of the yo-yo players were getting to college age and he was not seeing many new kids coming to the contests.
Yo-yo had a boom in 98 that coincided with the boom of the internet what kept the community together.
I do see one big advantage yo-yo's have for kids: it is much easier to come with "a trick you can call your own". This possibility of expression can be a big draw. It is for me with tops, but I realize that creating new tricks with tops is much more challenging. But as an spectacle, I don't agree with you. I am convinced tops have much more potential for a show in Circle du Soleil, for example, than yo-yos have. And please, stop saying that we complain of what the yo-yo community gives us. We understand the reasons behind it. I always thanked Greg and Malowney for their support. We just discuss among ourselves that it doesn't work very well for us and we look at alternatives. We pay about as much to go to a contest (if we come from out of town) and we get far less, so it is actually more expensive for us.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 01:07:14 AM by ta0 »
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studio42

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2015, 03:26:45 AM »


I will agree about people not wanting to lose or place. Contest fees are getting out of control, or at least it seems to be. Mommy and Daddy chunking down $90 to compete, plus the $25 for the NYYL registration(annual) and who knows what they spent on earlier contests, food, travel, lodging, then you get your 60 seconds fore prelims that you don't make the cut on? Wow, sounds like a bargain to me(note the sarcasm here please!) Too risky on the dollars and sense side of things in my opinion. I myself don't have an issue with losing, but my skills don't let me even have a hope to compete. Wasting money isn't something I enjoy doing a whole lot of like that. For me, there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to make me compete.

We really need more kids into this. Kendama took off, but now is fizzling and fading. Yoyo has its peaks and valleys. Not sure where it is at the moment.

This could be an entire thread of its own.. but how exactly do you think these events happen? IT. TAKES. MONEY.

LOTS of it in fact. The events you're complaining about paying for barely make anything as it is (many still lose money, which is insane). You have kids walking around with cases full of $100+ yoyos and you're throwing a fit about paying a relatively small fee to be there? Complaining about fees is like kicking the organizers in the face for trying to run high quality events. You aren't "wasting" money by being there, you're helping support an event which is FUN for everybody.. contests aren't just about the stage.

Kendama is doing great btw.. Yo-Yo is doing quite well too, has been for the last 10 years. The peak/valley thing died years ago and we've been steadily growing ever since. Certain times of year are better than others, but that's just how it goes with any industry dominated by kids.

Sorry to derail a bit here, but people complaining about high quality events drives me nuts.

Kyle
I'm well aware that contest run on money. I've been involved in more contests(of various natures) than I would care to count. The bottom line is that "contests exist for the operators to try to make money". I realize this. I understand this. I KNOW this, which is why I don't just give away my services for events. I can be "affordable" or even "insanely cheap" but I do have lower end limits of what I will accept as well.

But, you have to look at things from a narrower position, that of the individual shelling out the funds for their kid to compete. When you're holding a tangible object such as that yoyo or top, you've got something there. A contest fee doesn't' hold the same tangible value. I'm not kicking anyone in the fact, but I get where you're going with that. I'm just looking at things from the "other side" of the fence. "Gee, $100 for my kid to not make it out of prelims".... hard to get many parents to bite on that. Some will, but most won't. BAC's increasing fees show it doesn't slow down things, but I'm seeing a shifting set of players as a result. A lot are saying "too much", which with them being out, more up and comers are coming in. Even so... it's a sizable amount of money.

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Kirk

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dazzlingdave

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2015, 09:48:23 AM »

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jim in paris

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2015, 12:30:09 PM »

hi all

it would be so much easier if we could talk live !!

i have started writing my answer  on text , but now the thread has evolved and i have to get back to writing.....

Jorge : may be we could test the video conference format we planned for the general assembly in Dec ?
or just a chat line for a few weeks ?

no rush
though



jim
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2015, 01:51:03 PM »

What seems entertaining to me are diabolos.  But what happened to them?  They kind of fell out of the world championship format.  There were times when it seemed like dozens were ready to compete.  Then one year there were only three (this was the year I was able to be a part of it). 
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kyo

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2015, 10:49:04 PM »

Kyle: Bob Malowney complained to me at nats that most of the yo-yo players were getting to college age and he was not seeing many new kids coming to the contests.
Yo-yo had a boom in 98 that coincided with the boom of the internet what kept the community together.
I do see one big advantage yo-yo's have for kids: it is much easier to come with "a trick you can call your own". This possibility of expression can be a big draw. It is for me with tops, but I realize that creating new tricks with tops is much more challenging. But as an spectacle, I don't agree with you. I am convinced tops have much more potential for a show in Circle du Soleil, for example, than yo-yos have. And please, stop saying that we complain of what the yo-yo community gives us. We understand the reasons behind it. I always thanked Greg and Malowney for their support. We just discuss among ourselves that it doesn't work very well for us and we look at alternatives. We pay about as much to go to a contest (if we come from out of town) and we get far less, so it is actually more expensive for us.

And yet we have more people attending every year.. attendance numbers are up at most contests. We have people age out all the time, that's always been a problem, but our young player community is huge. Stop by yoyoexpert's board for proof of that.. the average age there is probably around 13-14 and there are thousands of members (hundreds of routinely active ones) with new ones every day. A large portion of store sales are to first time buyers at YYE.. at yoyotricks it's probably 95% new players and they're selling a lot of yo-yos.

You still didn't answer my question though.. yes, yo-yo got a bump in 98 but was 17 years ago, it doesn't account for the growth since then. All those just in it for the 'boom' that happened are long gone.. why haven't tops grown?

If you think tops, as performed right now, are a better show than yo-yo.. put out videos, promote them, generate hits and new players. If it worked for yo-yo and tops are a better spectacle, it should do GREAT for you.

My comment about the pricing was unrelated to top players complaining about yoyo contests.. but more to -anybody- complaining that contests have been increasing fees in order to put on better events. The idea that you shouldn't have to pay a significant fee to compete is just insane.. you should have to pay a fee to even walk in the door.

I do apologize for derailing the thread from the topic a little, but we need to admit there IS a problem with how top competitions work right now.. how can we hope to make it better (or 'fix' it) if not everybody agrees that what is being done just doesn't work?

Kyle
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ta0

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2015, 11:20:39 PM »

I may split this thread in two as, although the comparison between tops and yo-yos is interesting, it does not solve the problem. I would say that there is no sport that is slower or more boring to watch than  . . . baseball, but it is still very popular. It has a lot to do with the circumstances and the history of the sport and how much people were exposed and emotionally invested in it when growing up.  In Mexico and Spain the situation with the popularity of yo-yos and tops with the kids is just the reverse than in the US. By the way, if you go even younger, beyblades rule  :P

I'll propose some ideas on a another post tomorrow.
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robtsou

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2015, 11:34:10 PM »

I would submit that tops aren't as popular as yoyo's simply because they aren't as easy to learn, especially when starting off which can turn off new players. Beyond that, while you CAN take a top out and play with it anywhere, the fact that it can go flying off anywhere probably keeps it from being a toy that people will play anywhere unless they are at a more advanced level. That being the case, you can't practice tops as much and so the learning curve becomes that much longer.  I love tops but I hardly ever practice except at home and even then, only when I can carve out some time.

Rob
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Jack

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Re: On yo-yo and spintop contest popularity
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2015, 12:09:43 AM »

I would submit that tops aren't as popular as yoyo's simply because they aren't as easy to learn, especially when starting off which can turn off new players. Beyond that, while you CAN take a top out and play with it anywhere, the fact that it can go flying off anywhere probably keeps it from being a toy that people will play anywhere unless they are at a more advanced level. That being the case, you can't practice tops as much and so the learning curve becomes that much longer.  I love tops but I hardly ever practice except at home and even then, only when I can carve out some time.

Rob

i agree with everything this man has said
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