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Yooyuball Addicts: How to Survive the Off-Season


by evie_firebolt

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From plastering their teams’ posters across every inch of wall space to building a state-of-the-art Yooyuball pitch in their very own backyard, these avid fans spare no change for their favourite sport. Yes, they are the Yooyuball Addicts or Yooyuholics, Neopians who live and breathe Yooyuball—or perhaps, more precisely, play, shriek and slurp it. Indeed, though the dust has settled on the Yooyuball pitch, the most avid Altador Cup fans are restlessly preparing for the next tournament, following their respective team members’ off-season practice sessions and matches and proving themselves worthy to be next year’s champions. These die-hard fans, who flocked to sunny Altador to cheer day and night for their favourite team, are finding unique ways to integrate Yooyuball-related activities into their day-to-day lives, from extravagant purchases to creative methods of polishing their craft.

Upon investigating the matter, your Neopian Times reporter was shocked to discover that the Yooyuball fandom has spread far and wide, reaching the crevices of the Kreludan moon and even the stone-age setting of Tyrannia. So much so, in fact, that the Neohomes owned by Altador Cup fans often bear a striking resemblance to one another. The only difference? The flashy, bright colours and logos splashed across every flag, megaphone and seat cushion—exclusive paraphernalia that every fan either owns or is dying to get their hands on. Indeed, with a swish of their dual-coloured pompoms, it appears as though an individual momentarily steps out of the time-space continuum and relives the precise moment of their team’s victory. Such is the case, that these must-have items are selling up to the five-figure Neopoint range, even for a simple beanie cap. Nevertheless, the Altador Cup fever, which reached its all-time high this summer, does not appear to be fading any time soon. As the month of Collecting approaches, fans are determined to show that no ill weather, whether rain, snow or haze, will deter their path to success. Should you find yourself the proud owner of such paraphernalia or bug-eyed from your cheering days, this guide may well be of use to you and your Yooyuholic friends.

Make Some Noise

As proven, these fans will stop at nothing to prove their talents and skills on the pitch, but when the time comes to stand in the sidelines, volume and stamina matter most. The “blue Techo” seen cheering (or in your Neopian Times reporter’s opinion, shrieking his head off) at the sidelines has become a mascot amongst the enthusiastic fans who prefer to add bulk to the masses. But don’t underestimate the power of their voices. Though musical notes and vocal tone play no part in ‘Make Some Noise’, expert vocalists will concur that correct breathing, posture and constant hydration will allow fans to scream their hearts out to their content without waking up the next morning requiring a tonsilectomy. Indeed, though it is not recommended to practice the art of cheering in the privacy of your own Neohome (due to complaints from neighbours and the possibility of eviction), the best place to shout is at an open-air space. The Colosseum is often open for such use, and the loudest fans will find themselves right at home amongst numerous others straining their vocal chords and practicing their bellowing skills.

Slushie Slinging

While the average Neopian sips their morning coffee and reads this issue of the Neopian Times, the Yooyuholics are showcasing their dazzling footwork and swinging arms, not in the Yooyuball pitch, but in the comfort of their very own kitchen. Though none can fully replicate the precise machinery of the Altador Colosseum’s Slushie Stand, several Neopian inventors have devised ingenious methods to stay on top of their game. By estimating the length of the three aisles, the velocity of each slushie machine, and the rate at which customers line up (an improbable factor that Neopian mathematicians are still unable to calculate), the Yooyuholics have redecorated their mundane kitchens to resemble the red Tuskaninny’s Slushie Stand. Experimenting with various drinks and cup sizes, these fans have propelled Slushie Slinging to a whole new level, going so far as to add never-before-seen features to the stand.

“Hey, we wuz just bored,” shrugged one Grarrl, a supporter of the victorious Darigan Citadel. “Thought, hey, why not change it from just slushies to other things, like milkshakes?”

“It’s a wonderful idea!” enthuses a motherly Usul. “The kids are having so much fun practicing their Slushie Slinging that we’re thinking of adding hot dog machines too. You never know, they might set up another booth next year! I mean, people must have brain freezes from drinking so many slushies,” she reasons.

This activity, of course, allows for vast improvement on the Yooyu pitch itself. Hustling from aisle to aisle, swinging slushies onto conveyor belts and diving for falling cups help players gain a significant advantage over their rivals. Like never before, Yooyu fanatics are becoming increasingly involved in this game, as it requires absolute concentration, dexterity and technique to master. Curious passers-by and neighbours peering to catch a glimpse of these trainees in action are only too willing to line up and play the role of irate customers. Need milk with your coffee? Order up.

Yooyuball

And what of the most popular game itself? Apart from cementing their grassy gardens into exact replicas of the Colosseum’s pitch, the Yooyu Petpet itself has become increasingly sought after. The Petpet Protection League has taken extreme measures against illegal Yooyu trafficking to ensure that the Petpets’ wellbeing are top priority.

“It’s been an absolute nightmare,” shudders a PPL advisor. “People who can’t afford ‘em are trying to get their hands on the original ones and sticking spikes on and painting them green or sticking feather wings on and whatnot. YOOYUS ARE AN ENDANGERED SPECIES; THEY MUST BE PROTECTED!”

After recovering from her outburst, she admits, “Even the ordinary Yooyus cost a fortune. The thing is, people are grouping together and pooling their money to buy them, and these Yooyus aren’t getting the proper care and attention they need. They aren’t meant to be Yooyuballs 24/7.”

As most Neopians will find, the Yooyu Petpet is incredibly rare and difficult to obtain. However, those equipped with a full-sized pitch and a loaded bank account can attempt to seek Yooyu-Rental services, where a complete Yooyuball set (including Faerie, Mutant, Fire, Snow, Darigan, Clockwork & the original) can be rented for quite a pretty penny. In most cases, such services are monitored by the Petpet Protection League, and are available for a limited amount of time. Should you wish to adopt your own Yooyu petpet, you may want to consult all family members before giving away your Neopet’s favourite Doglefox.

Other options for less financially-endowed Neopians include befriending an individual possessing the above pitch and equipment, or perhaps acquiring a Rubber Yooyu Ball to gain a better grasp of the sport. When all else fails, pay a visit to the Altador Colosseum, where official team members can be seen practicing rigorously on court against a Practice Team (heavily rumoured to hail from the mythical Jelly World). Though the skills of this unknown team are no match for most players, new techniques and moves are often developed in this experimental stage. On the off-chance that the pitch should be empty, make your way and play as hard as you can—until the next official team books the pitch, that is. Guide books, official training sessions and press meets are all excellent ways to gain more knowledge and appreciation for the sport, and signing up to be your favourite team’s Yooyu-caretaker or equipment-polisher can be a profitable way to earn extra Neopoints and get to know your team’s players. Who knows? Should they ever need a benchwarmer, you’ll be right there to sign up.

As newcomer Shenkuu will no doubt attest to, ‘practice makes perfect’. In the coming year, the greatest Yooyuball Addicts will bear this mantra in mind as they find themselves busy devoting their time to their favourite sport. For those wary of being pitted amongst millions of shrieking fans on a hot summer’s day, pick up a copy of ‘The Yooyu’ or quite simply, try a hand at Slushie Slinging or Yooyuball itself. You may well find yourself on your way to becoming a Yooyuholic yourself. Hey, you can’t say ‘Yooyu’ without ‘You’.

*Your Neopian Times reporter sincerely apologizes for the cringe-worthy pun at the end of this article.

 
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