Marcell's latest BLD records have caused a bit of a stir. I'd like to discuss two issues here.
First issue is the use of a stickerless Guhong. When the cube first came out, it was recognized as violating regulation 3h. However, Ron later said that he would allow the cube during BLD solving. (Could someone help find the link? I only found this http://worldcubeassociation.org/foru....php?f=4&t=889)
There are two problems here. First is that not all delegates have acknowledged this change. I know several delegates who say they still don't intend to allow stickerless cubes. This creates a general 'unfairness' among various competitions. Whether or not anyone can show that a stickerless cube actually gives any advantage*, the fact is that some people have this choice and other don't. The second problem is, I think, more important. Given that article B covering blindsolving says nothing about an expanded interpretation of or exceptions to 3h, I think it is clear that the stickerless cube shouldn't have been allowed.
The second issue is asking the judge for a specific orientation prior to solving. Although widely seen as not allowed, the regulations do not specifically mention this, making this situation again unfairly applied among different competitions. This, though not specifically a problem under current rules, is a bigger issue as orientation provides a much clearer advantage than a stickerless cube.
The general question I'm asking is, how should results be handled that, after they are recognized, we realize are violating regulations? I can think of two differing examples. First, a number of BLD records from back in the day. With reasonable doubt of rule violation, the records were removed. Second, however, is a (master)magic record by Stefan** from long long ago. (In a galaxy far away?) At the time it was noted that video showed that he ended the solve still touching the puzzle, with people pointing out regulations A6d/A6e. The record stood. (Yahoo groups are blocked, can anyone help find the discussion?)
So, how to handle this sort of case? Altering old records is no fun, but neither is having different standards for different competitors. The biggest issue is with communication and competition management. Without proper communication and discussion about the regulations, these problems can appear. Without video, these problems can persist. For example, there's one top-ten ranked competitor whose results I'm nearly certain aren't reflective of their honest ability, but with the results recognized there's little that can be done.
I've been kinda sick these past two days, but hopefully what I wrote here isn't too unclear. And, please, no disrespect meant to Marcell or Stefan. You're both amazing.
* Consider a blindsolver who, when starting inspection, turns U and D each a couple of degrees. They can now inspect two extra stickers without rotating the cube.
** I really hope I'm remembering all this correctly.