This Icelandic Contest is Your Childhood Fantasy

Harpa concert hall
Harpa concert hall | © Scott1346/Flickr
Camille Buckley

It is time for Yo-Yo enthusiasts to make a trip to Iceland, as though one needed another excuse to visit the charming island in the North Atlantic. The World Yo-Yo Contest is coming to Iceland for three days from August 10th-12th, 2017. Reykjavik’s Harpa Concert Hall will host the competition. Founded by the International Yo-Yo Federation, their mission is in developing Yo-Yo as a global sport – hosting the World Yo-Yo Contest in different cities around the world each year. Harpa Concert Hall is a Reykjavik landmark and home of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra as well as the Opera and hosts an array of cultural events and concerts throughout the year.

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If you are wondering what exactly goes on at a Yo-Yo competition, check out the 2017 competition website for detailed information on what to expect. While Yo-Yo has a variety of styles to play, the competition includes just five main divisions. Each division is organized according to the amount of Yo-Yos you use and the type of Yo-Yo. Each division winner, with no classification among gender or age, is crowned with a World Champion title. From the website, the divisions are outlined as follows:

1A – String Trick Freestyle with One Long-Spinning Yo-Yo
2A – Looping Trick Freestyle with Two Responsive Yo-Yos
3A – String Trick Freestyle with Two Long-Spinning Yo-Yos
4A – Freestyle with Off String Yo-Yo(s)
5A – Freestyle with Counter-Weight Yo-Yo(s)
AP – Art & Performance Division

Furthermore, these are the factors determining the judges’ decisions: execution, cleanliness, variation, rareness, space use, music use, body control, and showmanship.

The competition also includes another dexterous hand-held toy – the spintop. The World Spintop Champion is also decided based on a three-minute duration freestyle play to music. To qualify for competing in the final freestyle, you must pass a one-minute freestyle try-out. To determine the champion, a technical score is tallied which is based on completed tricks and a point system depending on factors such as risk and originality.

With three days of competitions, there is time to relax and gaze out at beautiful North Atlantic views from the Harpa Concert Hall’s unique architectural window design – based on basalt columns that form the building’s exterior. You can also enjoy exploring the surrounding area of downtown Reykjavik with its many restaurants, shops, and museums.

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