Discover the Adventure
Chico's National Yo-Yo Contest

Every Year Chico Plays Host to the
United States National Yo-Yo Contest

The National Yo-Yo Contest is the longest running contest of its kind in the world, and it takes place right here, in little ol' downtown Chico, California!

The contest premiered in 1993 thanks, in large part, to the efforts of the Malowney family - owners of the Bird in Hand boutique, and National Yo-Yo Museum here in Chico.

Synchronizing to punchy music, making use of the techniques of sleeping, looping, off-string, and free-hand styles, and the addition of innovations like ball bearings and transaxles have all revolutionized yo-yoing in recent years, greatly adding to the ability of innovative yo-yoists to expand on the possibilities with new and better tricks and feats. You've come a long way, baby!

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Yo-Yoing at the National Yo-Yo Contest:
Child's Play or Sport to be Mastered?

Chico Yo-Yo Club by Suzi RosenbergChico Yo-Yo Club by Suzi Rosenberg

This is definitely a far cry from the couple of yo-yo tricks we did as  kids before our strings tangled on us - Walk the Dog, Around the World...

Innovations in yo yo design, including ball-bearing performance design, have vastly improved the quality of tricks that are possible with current-day yo yos.

If you've not seen this new sport in action, you need to come to Chico!

The Chico Yo-Yo Club meets in Diamond Alley (behind Bird in Hand - also home to the National Yo-Yo Museum) every Saturday from Noon to 2:00 p.m.

You'll find newcomers, as well as experienced players, working side-by-side to practice and improve their yo-yoing skills.

The Club also hosts a regional contest on one of the first Saturdays in June (the first day of summer break for most of the area's schools) to showcase local kids who come from Chico and other Butte County towns, as well as from places like Redding and Yuba City.

But the really big event is the National Yo-Yo Contest, which is held on the first Saturday of October every year. There's a National Championship crown for the winner in each of five styles of yo-yoing.

And a little added treat: the National Spin Top Contest is held in conjunction with the Yo-Yo Contest. People vie for the title of Best Spin Top Player in the United States.

Participants in either event can range in age from under 10 to over 45 (with no upper limit!). The youngest person to win the World Yo-Yo Championships was 12, and the oldest was 54.

Chico's National Yo-Yo Contest

National Yo-Yo Contest; Photo Courtesy of NationalYoYo.orgNational Yo-Yo Contest; Photo Courtesy of

Here's what the National Yo-Yo Organization has to say about the contest judging:

"Today's  contests have developed new formats. At the National Yo-Yo Contest, there are two competition levels, the highly competitive Championship Division and a more recreational Sport Division.

The Championship Division encompasses the 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, and 5A styles of play where competitors perform a freestyle routine made up of tricks of the players choice.

1A division competitors use one long-spin yo-yo to perform intricate trick manipulations of both string and yo-yo.

2A division competitors use two looping yo-yos simultaneously in looping tricks that require quickness and timing.

3A division competitors use two long spin-yo-yos to perform intricate string tricks simultaneously with both yo-yos.

4A (Offstring) competitors use a yo-yo that is unattached to the string but still is able to return to the hand.

5A (Freehand or Counterweight) competitors use a weight on the string instead of attaching the string to the hand."

And here's a video of 2010's Division 5A winner, Miguel Correa, in action - this is really exciting stuff!

Now that you're psyched up to come to Chico for the contest, book your hotel at

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Here's more information that you'll want to know about Chico,
California. Take a look and plan your trip to Chico!

  • Downtown Chico
    Pretty near the most unique downtown in all of California!
  • Chico Events
    There are SO many things going on in and around Chico!
  • Things To Do in Chico
    You'll never have reason to be bored in Chico!
  • Chico Farmers Markets
    More farmers markets than people? Not quite, but Chico does have eight farmers markets - quite a lot for a city the size of Chico, but they all work!
  • Day Trips From Chico
    Although there's plenty to keep you busy right here in Chico, California, there are also some wonderful day trips you can do, using Chico as your home base!

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