Yo, Minnesota! Guess what championship is here this weekend

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Sure, hockey and basketball may have crowned new champions this week, but now it's time for a competition with some real ups and downs: the yo-yo championships are here.

Mall of America is hosting the Midwest Regional Yo-Yo Championships on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This is the 18th go-round for the event, which will send its top yo-yoers in five different levels of competition on to the National Yo-Yo Contest in Chico, California, this fall.

Highlights from the Midwest championship of a couple years ago are below.

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While most championship events are limited to the very best competitors, organizers of this one say the participants will reflect a range of skill levels.

Those just getting started in competitive yo-yoing will see how far they can get with the Ladder Tricks. This is a series of 25 tricks that must be completed in order.

We don't know how to do these, but a peek at the judge's scorecard (right) shows some of them have cool names.

An amateur freestyle champion will also be named and for the big dogs of the yo-yo world, there are five different levels of championships. These will produce the select few who get to head to Chico (which is also home to the National Yo-Yo Museum).

What are the differences between the five levels of freestyle championship competition?

  • In 1A players use one yo-yo to perform two minutes of string tricks.
  • In 2A they use two looping yo-yos.
  • 3A competitors use long-spinning yo-yos.
  • In 4A they use a yo-yo that's not attached to a string but is still required to come back to the hand.
  • In 5A competitions, players use a counterweight that's gripped in the hand instead of tying the string to a finger.

Of course, all around the country yo-yo experts are gunning for a spot onstage in Chico. The tweet below offers a look at the complete routine of one competitor at an event for the San Francisco Bay area.

Mall of America is a sponsor of BringMeTheNews.

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