the 2016 single grip open (updated)

Update 2016-12-04

Final details, process, and rules have been updated and posted to the event page. Please visit that page for the most up to date clarifications of details.

Update 2016-11-30 (draft and subject to change.. will be circulated once finalized)

Format of the Event: The 2016 Single Grip Open will be based online, using clip videos posted to designated social media platforms. Portions of the event will take place on Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit, in order to include (and hopefully expand) the three communities. The contest is open to almost anyone anywhere. Sponsored begleri pros will not be competing, but will be involved and submitting clips in an exhibition capacity, to help share styles, tricks, and ideas for participants. 

The Process: 

  • Prepare your clips in advance according to the guidelines below. 
  • On December 9th, submit your clip to the designated social (links below). Clips submitted after midnight Pacific time on the night of December 9th will not be considered (and those submitted early, well you might get a worm, but you won't be considered either). 
    • Facebook: post to
    • Instagram: Use hashtag #2016singlegripopen for your submissions
    • Reddit: post to
  • Initial submissions will be judged by the event committee, and a shortlist will be created during December 10th, using the best clips submitted on each of the three social media platforms. 
  • The shortlist will be posted (platform TBD) prior to the morning of December 11th, and voting will run all day on December 11th up until midnight. 
  • The winner will be announced on December 12th, and will hold the title of 2016 One Grip Wonder.

The Prizes: 

  • The winner of the Contest will take the title of 2016 One Grip Wonder, and will win (of course) a set of golden Business Class Titanium Titans, a matching set of Business Class Hydras. They will also win $100 USD in cash. That's a hundred smackers. For real.

The Rules: 

  • Players can submit only one clip (yes, one clip period, no one clip per platform). Anyone found to have submitted more than one clip will be disqualified.
  • All clips must be between 15s and 30s, and must be continuous footage (i.e., no spliced together edits)
  • Clips can be be edited in any other way, including slow motion segments, filtering, colour effects, blurring etc.. 
  • The entire clip must make use of a single grip (i.e., top grip, mid grip, low grip, or others)
  • *Additional* other grips are allowable during the play, for example, during wraps, provided the original grip is not released
  • No releases from the grip are allowed (i.e., no gap transfers, no aerials, no rolls)
  • Possible tricks and moves might include: slips, rebounds, wraps, stalls, direction/ plane changes, and anything else that you might be able to come up with inside of the constraints of the contest
  • Any begleri can be used, including short game or long game begleri, but length of string should be reasonably consistent with begleri (i.e., don't submit a clip with meteor hammer or monkey knuckles claiming it is a big begleri)

Recommendations for Contestants: 

  • Practice, prepare, and edit your clip in advance. It can be prepared at any time, but will only be submitted during the dates of the event itself. 
  • Try to include a variety of different moves and tricks.
  • Take the time to plan your filming.. ensure good lighting and a background that makes it easy to see your begleri. Careful use of slow motion can help. 
  • In this contest, style, finesse, and flow are going to be more important than technical difficulty. The quality and editing of the clips will also count, so take the time to film and submit quality footage. 


Original Post

Aroundsquare is in the planning stages for a new begleri contest... the first of its kinds.. the 2016 Single Grip Open. The idea for the contest is single-grip freestyles.. combinations of moves where the begleri does not change its grip position. This means no transitions to other grips, and no aerials. The jury is still out on whether gap transfers will be allowed. There will be different "events" for different grips. There will be some kind of time limits. And submissions will be limited to single continuous clips.

There are two main reasons for starting out with a single grip contest. The first, is that single grip is accessible, and equalizing. If we were to start out with a full-blown-who's-the-best-in-the-world freestyle contest, the only people who would dare to try would be those who think they are already aces. Begleri as a skill toy is quite new, and the community is growing rapidly. This contest is meant as a community builder more than an ego builder, and so constraining this to single grips means that beginner and intermediate players don't need to feel intimidated if they're not able to go up and down the ladder, mic dropping and gap transferring at every step. And advanced players who are used to impressing everyone with aerials and other power moves will need to try just a little bit harder to be impressive within a single grip.

The second reason for limiting the contest to single grip is as a constraint to spark new creativity. There is lots that can be done in a single grip, and many players advance quickly into difficult technical tricks without first exploring what can be done in each individual grip. As a result, a lot of the new trick development has been in the space of advanced tricks. My hope is that by encouraging members of the community to work a bit in single grips, some new ideas will be developed that will help to broaden the styles of play that are accessible to beginners and intermediate slingers--new moves, new kinds of slips, wraps, and tension positions that open up new thinking. This should have the added benefit of helping players to develop stronger foundations as well, which will benefit their flow and creativity in turn.  

Details will be posted soon, but I am planning to run this contest in such a way that some elements of it take place on Instagram, some on Facebook, and some on Reddit... as the three sites where there are reasonably well established communities. I'm hoping that the three sites can benefit from a bit of cross over effect through this, since each of the three communities is only partially overlapping with the others at the moment. 

More soon!

Matthew Hiebert 2016-11-27