WDC statement about a recent incident

Dear cubing community,

The Disciplinary Committee has recently concluded an investigation on a competitor’s online behavior. This has generated some public discussion, and we would like to clarify our stance on this matter.

The investigation

Earlier this year we were contacted by Gil Zussman about the online behavior of another competitor (underage). Gil provided screenshots showing this competitor making offensive and discriminatory comments on a Discord chat. Gil also stated that this person had already been repeatedly banned from this Discord server because of their behavior, and they have lost a sponsorship contract for this reason.

We agreed that this behavior was very concerning, so we started an official investigation. We were able to confirm Gil’s claims about this competitor’s online behavior. As online chats not officiated by the WCA fall outside the jurisdiction of our committee, we wanted to find out if this behavior was present at competitions or on official WCA online platforms. We contacted multiple delegates, as well as community members whose names were suggested by Gil, but we found no evidence of this behavior at competitions.

The kind of behavior shown on Discord by this competitor has no place in the cubing community, but the WDC cannot act outside the scope of the Motions and the Code of Conduct. Therefore, we decided to take no action on this incident. We communicated our conclusions to Gil, offering our support and stating that we would reopen our investigation if provided with new evidence. Gil was dissatisfied with our decision.

Public discussion

Gil showed his dissatisfaction with our decision on the WCA forum. He understood that the current Code of Conduct does not cover incidents such as the one he witnessed, and he was advised by a member of the WDC to propose changes to this document if he felt disappointed with its current version. Gil did so by opening a new thread on the forum, proposing to expand the Code of Conduct to cover the online behavior of WCA title and record holders.

Although the WDC has recently discussed changes to the Code of Conduct similar to what Gil suggested, we do not have a definitive opinion on this. As such, our team members felt free to share their personal opinion on the matter. In particular, one of us stated that they disagreed with the focus on competitors with records/titles, feeling that Gil was still referencing the competitor from the investigation. They also shared their disagreement with the idea of expanding the Code of Conduct to allow the WDC to moderate non-WCA forums, and explained their reasoning for why they believed it would be a poor idea.

We realize now that these statements could be interpreted as contradictory messages coming from our Committee, with one member suggesting that Gil submit a proposal and another expressing their dislike of the focus of the competitor who was investigated in his proposal and disagreement of expanding the Code of Conduct to cover all online behavior. We did not realize this at first, and we are deeply sorry for the confusion. We are actively working to improve our communication with the public and avoid similar incidents in the future.

The WDC stance on the Code of Conduct

Gil’s proposal on the code of conduct was to extend it to „cover all public behavior of WCA champions and/or record holders“. This is a valid proposal, but also a controversial one. As explained above, the WDC does not currently have an official opinion on this, and more discussion is needed to reach a consensus.

This is not to say that the Committee believes the current Code of Conduct cannot be improved. In fact, earlier this year we have proposed to extend its scope to include situations that can lead to an unsafe competition environment, even if said situations arise outside of official WCA platforms. This change will soon be voted for by the WCA.

Closing words

The WDC strongly condemns any bullying, harassment and any other discriminatory behavior. We do not tolerate this, and we actively work to make sure that the WCA community is a safe and inclusive place.

We hope that everyone in the WCA community can help make the larger cubing community a place free of bullying, harassment and any other discriminatory behavior. As the WCA doesn’t monitor these platforms, servers, and forums, we depend on moderators and members of these communities to create a welcoming and inclusive environment, and to speak up against any kind of behavior that threatens it.

We believe that the WCA must act transparently and according to our own Documents. The WDC does not issue punishment at will without being backed by the Regulations, the Motions or the Code of Conduct.

Lastly, we would also like to address accusations that we will not punish someone just because they are a record holder or a champion. The WDC has never hesitated to pursue disciplinary action based on a competitors status, proven by recent and historical rulings that disciplined competitors who hold titles and records.

We hope this message clarifies our stance on this incident.

Best regards,
Sebastiano Tronto
On behalf of the WCA Disciplinary Committee

Source:: worldcubeassociation

WDC Digest – March 2023

Dear WCA Community,

We hope that the beginning of 2023 is going well for you. Below you can find a summary of some notable WDC cases from the past three months.

  1. Earlier in the year, the WDC investigated a case of a high profile competitor cheating in 3x3x3 Multi-Blind by peeking under the blindfold. The WDC concluded that the competitor had cheated, and that this cheating extends to several prior competitions as well. A full public report on this case has been made available, which can be found here.
  2. A similar case of blind cheating was caught where a competitor took advantage of their judge’s poorly placed sight blocker, in order to peek at their cube and fix several mistakes. This cheating extended to several attempts at the competition in question, including two national record averages. After several exchanges with the WDC, the competitor admitted to cheating, and apologized for their behavior. The competitor was issued a 9 month ban, and the affected solves have been changed to DNF.
  3. A competitor was caught with the 4×4 OLL parity algorithm written down on their leg. After being confronted, the competitor quickly admitted they had not memorized the algorithm, and that they didn’t know doing so was against regulations. The affected results were changed to DNF and a formal warning was given to the competitor, along with a reminder to be familiar with the WCA regulations.
  4. A young competitor who achieved several unusually fast times was suspected to be making turns to their cube underneath the table cube during inspection. The guardian of the competitor initially admitted that they had done this, however the WDC doubted that claim, instead believing that the competitor had switched the cube they were using under the table for one with a predetermined scramble. After reaching out to the competitor, they were quick to confirm the WDC’s theory and apologized for their mistakes. The competitor was issued a formal warning and the results in question were DNFed.
  5. Recently, the WDC has received a number of harassment cases from several different countries, some of which involving WCA staff. We would like to remind everyone to be respectful of others, and ensure that they are upholding the WCA Code of Conduct.

The WDC would also like to remind all judges to give their full attention to performing their duties as a judge, particularly holding the blindfolded sight blocker correctly, and not distracting themselves or the competitor. We would also like to remind all judges to not hesitate in speaking to their competition’s delegate if they have questions or notice any suspicious behavior.

Do you have questions for the WDC? Feel free to send us an email, or ask your question in the Disciplinary section of the WCA forum.

Source:: worldcubeassociation

Forum Digest (April 2023)

Here are some notable threads on the WCA Forum during the first quarter of 2023.

Dedicated App for recording times instead of scorecards
This thread proposes a digital approach of recording competitors‘ results using a mobile application rather than the use of scorecards, aiming to bring a better experience and reducing the organizational work of printing and cutting scorecards. The community discusses further issues that can arise from implementing this new approach.

Allow logo stickers in blindfolded
The community continues to discuss the impact of allowing cubes with stickered logos while in Blindfolded events.

WCA Growth – Compensation of Organizers
This topic proposes a method to compensate and award competition organizers for their efforts and volunteering hours spent on running official competitions. Alongside, it also discusses the solutions for major issues with monetary rewards and the negative impact it may bring to the quality of competitions.

WDC report on a case of cheating in 3x3x3 Multi-Blind
The community shares their opinion on the decision of this case and discusses the effect of the accumulated punishments and suggests potential future solutions.

WR Summary
Here are the most discussed World Records that were broken in the previous months:
* Guanbo Wang breaks the 2x2x2 World Record Single with a time of 0.47 seconds.
* Zayn Khanani breaks the 2x2x2 World Record Average with an average time of 1.01 seconds.
* Tommy Cherry breaks the 3x3x3 Blindfolded World Record Single with a time of 12.78 seconds.
* Elijah Brown breaks the Pyraminx World Record Single with a time of 0.75 seconds.
* Michał Krasowski breaks the Square-1 World Record Single with a time of 3.87 seconds.
* Stanley Chapel breaks the 4x4x4 Blindfolded World Record Single with a time of 51.96 seconds.

If you have any questions, comments, or feedback feel free to send an email to advisory@worldcubeassociation.org.

Thanks for being a part of the Forum!

Source:: worldcubeassociation

Call for Applicants – WCAT Members (February 2023)

The WCA Competition Announcement Team (WCAT) is seeking new passionate and trustworthy members! The application is open to everyone. However, you must meet certain criteria to be considered for the position.

What does the WCAT do?

The daily tasks of a WCAT member include:
-Review and announce competitions around the world on a daily basis with accuracy and correctness.
-Handle change requests to competitions.
-Engage in frequent discussions through voting within the Team.
The official rights and duties of the WCAT are documented in WCA Motion 10.2021.2.

Applicants are expected to possess the following qualities:
-Proactive personality, detail-oriented, and solution-oriented mindset.
-Fluency in English.
-Ability to check internal messages and announce competitions multiple times a day.
-Good familiarity with the WCA Competition Requirements Policy (WCRP).
-Ability to devote at least 1 hour per day.
-Sufficient familiarity with the WCA Regulations and WCA Policies.

Candidacy documents must be in PDF format, and must include:
-A brief personal introduction.
-Summary of activities done for the WCA.
-A concrete overview on how expected qualities are to be fulfilled.
-(Optional) Qualities and qualifications you find relevant that are not listed above.

The application period is open for applicants to submit their application document from now until March 22nd, 2022 23:59 UTC to Wilson Alvis (walvis@worldcubeassociation.org).

Source:: worldcubeassociation

Rubik’s® returns for year two of sponsorship with the World Cube Association

WCA Rubik’s World Championships to take place in South Korea this August

The World Cube Association, the governing body for competitions with mechanical puzzles, announces the world famous Rubik’s® brand will be the official sponsor for the WCA World Championship 2023 taking place August 12-15, 2023 in Incheon, South Korea. Rubik’s first joined as an official sponsor for the 2022 continental championships which held a record-breaking six competitions, hosting over 1,400 participants from 50+ nationalities from around the world.

The 2023 Rubik’s WCA World Championship is set to be the one of the largest speedcubing championships ever held. Speedcubers from around the world will gather in Incheon, South Korea, where they will compete in 17 different events to determine the world champion. The last world championship, which took place in 2019, was held in Melbourne, Australia crowning German speedcuber Phillip Weyer as the champion.

The executive director of the WCA, Ethan Pride, said the following about the historic sponsorship, “With Rubik’s on board as sponsor, the WCA will be able to provide an unforgettable level of championship and excitement never achieved before to create the best experience for everyone involved in Incheon. Together with Rubik’s, in 2022 we hosted competitions in six continents, bringing the excitement of cubing across the globe. We are confident that this continued sponsorship will only bring more success in 2023.”

“Rubik’s has both inspired and challenged novice cubers, and those who have mastered its puzzle for close to 50 years,” said Adam Hyman, Spin Master’s VP of Marketing and Global Business Unit Lead for Games. “We are thrilled to come on board for the return of the WCA World Championships to support and celebrate this engaged community of solvers.”

Rubik’s Official Website: https://www.rubiks.com/
World Cube Association Official Website: https://www.worldcubeassociation.org/

In August 2004, the World Cube Association (WCA) was created by the Dutchman Ron van Bruchem and the American Tyson Mao. The goal was to track records, define a uniform set of rules, and help with the organization of more competitions in more countries. The WCA has now officiated more than 7,000 competitions in 143 countries, with more than 150,000 unique participants. Since Minh Thai’s record in 1982, the 3x3x3 Cube World Record has lowered significantly and now stands at 3.47 seconds set by the Chinese Yusheng Du in 2018.

Source:: worldcubeassociation