WRC Digest 2024-Q1

Dear WCA Community,

So far, this year has been a productive one for the WRC! We would like to share some of our progress with you.

Firstly, 10 new members joined the WRC (committee page) and their contributions have been extremely helpful to the team. We’re looking forward to seeing what the future holds for the WRC and how this shapes our decisions and responses to the community.

For added clarity, we have released two different visual guides, one for 5b5f and one for 3j. We aim to issue more guidance to the WCA community for other regulations as we see fit.

With more cubers than ever, the WCA has been able to organize a huge number of competitions! Naturally, the increase in competitions comes with an increase in incidents. Here are some of the more notable resolved incidents:

  1. A solving station with a QiYi timer was set up near the competing area, in order for competitors to familiarize themselves with how to handle timers so as to not damage the official Speed Stacks timers at the solving stations. Unfortunately, many competitors and staff confused this “training station” for an official station, and this non-permitted timer was used for several attempts, violating Regulation 7f1a. Because it was impossible to determine with certainty which attempts used the timer, the WRC decided to remove all results for this competition.
  2. A competitor attempted to stop the timer without their palms facing down, violating A4b. Immediately after this, they attempted to stop the timer again with their palms correctly facing down. Both competitor and judge were unsure when the timer was actually stopped, and no video evidence was available. Since no extra attempt was available the WRC has decided to keep the original time as it is not clear if the competitor has done anything wrong.
  3. A competitor had their hands quite close to a covered clock pre-inspection and, as the judge lifted the cover, the clock fell over and a turn was unintentionally applied by the competitor to one of the dials. While the puzzle falling over was the judge’s fault, the move was applied by the competitor, which led to a change in the inner clock faces that counts as a DNF (F4). Also, since any moves applied by the competitor in inspection (except those that are within the limits outlined by 10f) are illegal (A3c1), the WRC decided that the correct penalty was a DNF.
  4. After stopping the timer the competitor turned a Pyraminx tip that was misaligned by 120 degrees, but there was disagreement between the judge and the competitor whether it was turned more than 60 degrees or less. While turns greater than 60 degrees count as a move (10f3), and applying a move after stopping the timer is a DNF (A6e1), merely touching the puzzle without applying a move is a +2 (A6e2). The WRC decided that the correct penalty is DNF since it is possible that a move has been applied.
  5. In an unconventional situation, a power cut that ensued during an FMC attempt resulted in poor lighting for about 3 minutes, during which the attempt was “paused” and the lost time added to the end of the attempt for all competitors. After an internal voting process, the WRC decided that the decision of the delegates to have everyone stop for 3 minutes didn’t pose an unfair advantage to any competitor in any way. In general, the WRC advised against giving extra time for an FMC attempt, and to instead cancel the attempt altogether or give an extra attempt if at all possible.
  6. A judge applied an unintentional turn to a clock as they were checking to see if it was solved after a competitor’s attempt was done. This created a difficulty in verifying that the competitor had actually solved the puzzle by the end of their attempt. However, upon reviewing video evidence, the WRC was able to conclude that the exact state of the back of the clock was only possible with the one move made by the judge and that it would have been solved otherwise. On these grounds, the puzzle was considered solved by the competitor.
  7. Several competitions utilizing TimeBase reported incidents where the signed results on the score sheets differed from the results logged on TimeBase databases. As TimeBase is an unofficial system not yet defined in the Regulations, a discussion between the WRC and WRT and a subsequent ruling by the WCA Board came to the conclusion that the score sheet results should stand. Due to the fact that score sheets are defined as the source material for results, it should be the main source that should be deferred to in case of such a discrepancy. While systems similar to TimeBase have the potential to dramatically improve the flow of competitions and to greatly simplify the work needed to ensure that competitions run smoothly, it is not yet officially endorsed, and as such disputes concerning errors in results concerning them will continue to use scorecards as reference.
  8. A competitor handed in an FMC solution containing an arrow. The solution would have been correct without the arrow, and even with the arrow the move sequence was still unambiguous (E2c2). However, since the arrow was written in a place where it had to be counted as part of the solution, and since E2c4+ explicitly mentions arrows as forbidden symbols, the delegates decided to DNF the attempt. The WRC and the Board decided to uphold this decision following two appeals, but the WRC will revisit this part of the FMC regulations in the next regulation cycle.
  9. A competitor forgot to lift a sight blocker attached to a harmonica holder during the execution phase of their solve. The competitor had started execution for around 30 seconds before the Delegate noticed the situation and a sight blocker was placed. Seeing that it is the judge’s responsibility to ensure that there is an opaque sight blocker as per Regulation B4c, in addition to the fact that the competitor was established as trustworthy and did not appear to have taken advantage of the situation, the original result was allowed to stand under Guideline B4c++.
  10. Post-competition, a competitor found that two attempts of their average had been incorrectly scrambled by the same scrambler using a different orientation than the standard green-front, white-top. Events potentially affected by a z2 scrambling error (including 3×3) are not usually orientation dependent, because most of these events have their vast majority of competitors as dual-color neutral. The WRC found that since most competitors are able to start their attempts on opposite colors, the attempt would be allowed to stand seeing as there was no significant advantage or disadvantage posed to the competitor.

If you have any questions for the WRC, feel free to reach out to us via email or on the WCA Forum!

Source:: worldcubeassociation