We are proud to announce that the World Yo-Yo Contest and the newly formed International Yo-Yo Federation (IYYF) are going to merge into one organization, with the IYYF taking over the running of the World Yo-Yo Contest.
IYYF is a nonprofit organization that unites national associations and is designed to become the governing body for yo-yoing as a sport. Starting in 2014 the IYYF will be responsible for hosting the World Yo-Yo Contest. After 14 years as chairman of the contest, Gregory Cohen is passing the torch to the IYYF so that, together with national yo-yo associations, the IYYF will host the WYYC in countries around the world. The planned schedule for the next four years is:
* 2013 United States of America (Orlando, Florida)
* 2014 Czech Republic (Prague)
* 2015 Japan (Tokyo)
* 2016 United States of America
The exact locations and dates of these events will be announced when they become available.
We will do our best to help the yo-yo community grow, support contests and national associations around the world and much more. You can find more information at http://iyyf.org and at http://worldyoyocontest.com
I spoke with Greg Cohen, who has been running the World YoYo Contest since 2000. “There have been a lot of discussions, and this has taken a long time. I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been a fun or easy transition.” says Cohen. “But I’m supporting this move because I think it’s best for the community, and for the event. I’m excited to see the World YoYo Contest in Prague in 2014…handing it off to the Czech crew is going to be a huge moment for me at Worlds 2013 in Orlando.”
Rafael Matsunaga, president and founder of the Brazilian YoYo Association, says “I’m quite relieved we never got to a split and I’m grateful Greg approached us to talk, even if it took an unfriendly and aggressive move from IYYF to make him realize we were willing to sacrifice continuity in order to promote change.”
The World YoYo Contest has been under-fire for several years now due to the general stagnation of the event. But while plenty of people agree that it was time for the contest to evolve and change hands, others disagreed about how the change started happening.
“Personally I’m stoked to see the formation of the IYYF as both a player and sponsor of many events including the World Yo-Yo Contest,” said Brandon Jackson, National Sales & Marketing Coordinator for Duncan Toys. “Many players have expressed their dissatisfaction with the current state of the World Yo-Yo Contest and this was especially true during the 2012 event as rumors began to fly of a competing world championship to be held in Prague. The rumors created both confusion and excitement amongst players, but the consensus was that of excitement and hope of a bigger, better world championship to be held in a new location. It’s very exciting to see an uprising, especially in the yo-yo community. But it’s even more exciting to see these two organizations come together for the betterment of competition yo-yo play.”
Seth Peterson, Communications and Team Manager for YoYoFactory was a bit more reserved. “It’s interesting to hear this finally come together. It’s cool that Greg’s part of it…surprising, but good. Greg has been instrumental in a lot of different aspects of the community for a very long time. He’s been a figurehead for a lot of people in their growth in the yoyo community, and I’m glad to see that his accomplishments and gifts aren’t being thrown to the wayside by the IYYF. I think last years “Worlds13” announcement came as a surprise to a lot of people, including people who were involved in the goal of moving the contest. I don’t think the way it was presented was to anyone’s benefit, but I’m glad that its been resolved in a way that is clearly moving the event forward. It was hard for me to see the way that Greg was being treated, in spite of my own hopes of moving the contest. I have a lot of respect for Greg and what he’s done, even if we didn’t always agree on aspects of the event.”
There’s certainly still a lot of work to be done, and lots more detail that we’re waiting to see before anyone can really determine if this move will help the event. But I’ve been assured that the IYYF will be an open and transparent organization, with elected board members and representatives from all countries with national organizations given room to speak and contribute.
We’ll continue reporting on this as more information becomes available but in the meantime we offer our congratulations to the IYYF and all involved in this huge step forward for the World YoYo Contest and hopefully all other major contests worldwide.