Yooyus in the Air: Why the Altador Cup was Delayed
ALTADOR COLOSSEUM – Cheering and jeering fills the air. The smell of loaded hot dogs and fruit-filled slushies wafts across the crowd. Suddenly, the raging spectators grow quiet as the colosseum darkens and the center ring opens on the field below. The hush is pensive, the silence anticipatory as the warring teams take their formations. Lights flare suddenly and a brown Yooyu leaps into the air—chaos breaks out, screaming fanatics jumping up in their seats and excited players rushing towards the tightly rolled-up Yooyu as the first matches of the second annual Altador Cup begin.
The frenzy on the field almost didn’t occur this year, despite the hundreds and thousands of dedicated fans and enthusiasts that had flocked to the registration booths on Sunday, the third day of Relaxing, when signups had begun to join their favorite teams and watch them practice before the matches finally began.
To the displeasure of everyone involved—players and fans alike—the opening match on Tuesday, the fifth of Relaxing, was delayed due to a missing slip of paperwork issued by the Petpet Protection League (PPL) that the Altador Cup Committee (ACC) had to sign to show that all Yooyus participating in the game of Yooyuball are properly cared for and all injuries to the Petpets are immediately tended to in order to comply with PPL regulations on the use of Petpets in established sports.
The fiasco began on Saturday morning, the second of Relaxing, when the Altador Cup’s return was officially announced, alongside the announcement that in this tournament, three breeds of Yooyus absent in last year’s tournament would be playing. The ACC had been under the belief that the PPL’s agreement to the species’ participation in the sport was still active; however, a finely-printed clause stated that this applied only to the Fire, Snow, Mutant, and Faerie Yooyus, the breeds present when the paper had been written and signed last year. The newly-announced brown, Darigan, and Clockwork breeds were not included in this list and if new paperwork was not prepared and signed, the Altador Cup would have to be shut down.
The PPL instantly notified the ACC about this and both parties agreed to quickly come to a compromise about the situation that would renew the forms from last year to include the game’s additional stars. Unfortunately, on Monday, the fourth of Relaxing, the PPL carrier delivering the paperwork to the ACC was caught in an unseen cheer session for the tournament, and in the ensuing stampede of bulging-eyed fanatics, the papers were lost.
Over the next twenty-four hours, as search crews razed the Colosseum and surrounding areas for the paperwork while new forms were drafted in the event that the originals could not be found, the PPL and ACC discussed the participation of the new breeds while they worked towards their new agreements about the new Petpets involve in the sport.
Under the heaviest consideration by the PPL was the Clockwork Yooyu, which self-destructs approximately ten seconds into the match unless it has been used to score with. The PPL was adamant about not allowing such a brutish and inhumane tactic in the game and also cited the fact that many Clockwork Yooyus prematurely self-destruct during game play. In response to this, the ACC quickly pulled out research files containing research obtained during this past off-season, when the new breeds had begun being trained and put under speculation for participating in this year’s tournament.
These files, compiled by renown Professor Conner Baman, a Hissi with a PhD in Petpet Studies from Brightvale University, stated that the self-destructiveness of Clockwork Yooyus is an instinctual behavior under stressful situations during which the Yooyu “explodes” defensively, creating a thunderous sound and a large cloud of super-heated smoke, which the Yooyu then uses as a distraction to safely flee the situation. After this had been demonstrated to the PPL firsthand, they were once again certain that no harm comes to Yooyus during the sport of Yooyuball, not even to the Clockwork Yooyu.
Another topic of discussion was the large steel cages that the Yooyus are kept in while they are not participating in the sport. The PPL feared that these cages were not the best facilities for the Petpets to be kept in. However, the ACC once more showed research files that stated that the large cages provide the utmost security for the Petpets and that the Yooyus are comfortable in these areas. Seeing this, and observing the Yooyus in their cages for more than an hour, the PPL decided that the cages do comply with their Petpet housing restrictions.
At 8:00 AM on Tuesday, when the first official matches were scheduled to begin, the paperwork had yet to be found. The ACC was soon rushed to the PPL headquarters under high security profile. Upon arriving, both parties tensely waited for the scribe to finish writing up the forms. More than an hour passed before the ACC was able to sign the paperwork and return it to the Colosseum for public display to show participants and visitors alike that the tournament complies with PPL regulations. However, the matches were still not able to be begun until the ACC had opened the Slushie stands and allowed team fans into their designated cheering booths for organized noisemaking.
“It was a misfortune that this delay occurred,” Adil Tarmo, the robust Green Skeith of the ACC, said before the first matches began, “and the Altador Cup Committee and myself apologize for this greatly, though now that the problematic situations have been settled, it is time to set these troubles aside and let long-awaited tournament begin.”
A mechanical malfunction of the Neopian National Bank’s vaults, an incident previously rumored to be the cause of the Altador Cup’s delay before the ACC and PPL came forth about these events late Tuesday evening, has since been publicly announced by the Bank to be completely unrelated to the delay of the Altador Cup. The cause of this malfunction has not been released and no set time for the Bank’s reopening has been disclosed.
At the end of the first day of the match, the ACC’s Hera Astraea, a blue Aisha, stood before the crowds and said, “Throughout today, we [...] have been asked to disclose the cause of this morning’s delay. After a long discussion, the Committee has decided to share with everyone what exactly has gone on.” Astraea then proceeded to recount the happening since Monday morning.
In addition to congratulating the eight leading teams from the first day’s matches for their victories and skill in playing, the ACC went on to announce that this last Petpet Appreciation Day (Friday, the eighth of Relaxing), the ACC hosted a Feast for the Yooyus. This feast was solely for the Yooyus and the Petpets were honored by players and fans alike for their critical role in both the sport of Yooyuball and the Altador Cup itself.
By staff reporter MIC RODY.