Is Yoyo a Sport or a Hobby? We Have the Answer (You May Be Surprised)

Introduction

Many people often ask the question of whether yoyoing can be classed as a sport and that’s because it doesn’t fit the stereotypical style of goal-scoring or having fixed rules that help define a performance.

In fact, some other hobbies we’ve discussed in the past such as dancing or kite flying have also fallen prey to the same misunderstanding and that’s because they’re interpretive activities rather than traditional.

Many traditionalist sports enthusiasts find it hard to believe that an activity can be classed as such if it doesn’t have fixed, rigid rules that define how to win.

For example, some people might think one yoyo professional had a better performance than the other which is far more complicated to debate and judge over having a set goal i.e. to score more points.

With that said, that doesn’t stop the Olympic committee’s accepting interpretive activities for the competition such as figure skating or synchronized swimming.

Yoyoing as a Sport: Deep Dive Analysis and 3 Key Questions Answered


1. What is the definition of a sport?

So if some interpretive sports can be classed as such then why not yoyoing?

First of all, let’s look at the textbook definition of what a sport is:

an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

Definitions from Oxford Languages


So we should ask then, does yoyoing involve physical exertion? Yes. And does it require skill from an individual or synchronized teams? Yes.

So we know by definition that yoyoing is indeed a sport that requires a fair amount of physical exertion and dexterity, but also requires you to have enough skill to partake as a competitor.

In fact, we dare say that more skill is required for interpretive sports because a good amount of planning needs to go into your performances; in essence, each year needs to be different from the previous ones as it’ll be hard to stand out otherwise.

This is in exact contradiction to how traditional sports work (such as football) where you’re basically doing the same thing every game, every tournament, and basically every year for the foreseeable future.

Yes, the games play out differently and tactics can change, however, the task remains the same which is to score more goals than the opposing team.

2. Where does yoyoing fit in the world of sport?

Being a sport isn’t just about being skilled at something or exerting your physical prowess, otherwise, even menial tasks could become one or certain things could be excluded such as e-sport.

Yoyoing becomes a sport because it is able to attract crowds, generate hype, and has a unique skill curve that has no perceptible end in sight.

This means every year, people are trying new tricks and putting on a show that you probably haven’t seen the year before.

This kind of spectator friendliness in combination with the ability to compete against others for prestige and monetary rewards creates the perfect storm of sportsmanship that other people can get behind to show support.

In fact, up until the advent of modern internet media platforms such as YouTube, yoyoing rarely had an opportunity to show itself for what it could really be: a serious competitor sport with the ability to excite and shock people year after year.

3. How much do professional yoyoers make?

Professional yoyo contracts are a navigational minefield in terms of figuring out how much any one person makes and that’s because it’s not as popular as some other sports.

There’s much more hustle that goes into making money being a professional yoyoer than many other sports would require you to do.

You can certainly make a bit from winning tournament prizes, however, most of your money is going to be made through sponsorships, advertisements, blogging, and even running your own YouTube channel with tutorials or guides.

Because the audience isn’t huge and the market is effectively a niche, sponsors are cautious about investing too much money into yoyoing because it simply doesn’t command the observable numbers that something like football would.

Think about it like this, if you’re going to spend money on someone (or something) you usually want to make returns on that investment such as more time, pleasure, or in most cases, more money.

The less people watching or taking an interest in a certain pastime, the less certain it is you’ll be able to make your money back.

That doesn’t mean yoyoing is a bad sport, just that the style is extremely subjective and has many negative stigmas surrounding it such as that it’s only for children which damage its ability to gain many followers.


Popular Questions About Yoyoing

Hopefully, you’ll now have a better understanding of yoyoing as a sport and what it entails.

We wanted to explore some of the more popular and general questions regarding yoyoing in case you’ve been feeling inspired to try it as a hobby.

Why are yoyos so expensive?

Yoyos themselves aren’t necessarily expensive, however, the materials and equipment needed to build yoyos are, which means most companies need to charge an excess to cover their investment and so they have enough to make a small profit.

Not only do you need specialized machinery to make yoyos but you also need skilled machinists to operate them which also costs money for their time.

With that said, yoyoing is still one of the least expensive hobbies to get into and has very small on-going costs beyond your initial yoyo purchase.

Even a professional yoyo will only set you back between $30-$100 which is more than acceptable for the average person even on minimum wage.

What is the best yoyo for beginners?

See below for choices*

The brand is not always the most important factor in picking a good yoyo for your first ventures into the world of yoyoing.

It’s important to understand the differences between responsive vs unresponsive yoyos firstly because this will determine what kind of tricks you can do and what you’ll be able to achieve.

Responsive basically means the yoyo will come back to you after a set period of time whereas an unresponsive yoyo won’t.

You may ask why you wouldn’t want a yoyo to come back to you especially as they were originally designed like this, however, that’s because some tricks are basically impossible to achieve without having all the necessary time to pull them off.

Not to worry though as there are certain techniques you can employ such as a “bind” that allow skilled yoyoers to get an unresponsive yoyo to return to their hand. Here’s a good example of how that is achieved:

With that said, here are a couple of recommendations for both a responsive and an unresponsive yoyo:

Best Responsive Yoyo: MAGICYOYO V6 Locus

Best Unresponsive Yoyo: Duncan Toys Roadrunner

Alternatively, please view our full buyers guides below.


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Conclusion

Yoyoing is both an excellent sport and a hobby that is still plagued by stigmas about it being a pastime for children.

With that said, it hasn’t stopped thousands of people all around the world from practicing and perfecting their performances which will eventually go on to be watched by spectators all across the globe.

As a sport, it fits firmly in the interpretive category with other sports such as dancing, synchronized swimming, and figure skating.

Hopefully, you’ll have garnered all the evidence you need to conclude yoyoing is indeed a sport and one that is still young in its journey to becoming accepted globally as one.

As always, if you enjoyed our article, don’t forget to check out our homepage that has all the latest hobby articles.

You can also browse our massive list of hobbies which features over 300 hobbies for you to contend with if yoyoing hasn’t quite scratched the itch.