# New 2015 WCA Regulations (Effective July 1, 2015)

Discussion in 'WCA Regulations' started by Kit Clement, Jun 25, 2014.

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1. ### uberCuberMember

Jun 24, 2010
Tucson, Arizona, USA
WCA:
2011THOM01
Noncubers would still look at a stickerless cube and recognize it as a Rubik's cube as well (though they might think it was a cheap knockoff in the same way many would say about my white-plastic Weilong). I think it is you who are nitpicking about the idea of a Rubik's cube. But I can't be sure since you completely ignored my previous post requesting your exact definition of "the original idea of the Rubik's cube." >_>

Somebody already mentioned that you failed to define "visual advantage," but here's a couple of points anyway:

We already know that if a cube has tiles, you can see, for example, the BU color without having to tilt the cube as far as you would with stickers. Does this mean you are thoroughly against tiles being allowed by the current regulations?
Hypothetically, if I were able to conclusively prove that I can lookahead better on a white 3x3 than on a black 3x3, would you then be thoroughly against white cubes being allowed?

2. ### VillyerMember

25
0
Jul 19, 2012
I would be interested in seeing what came to your mind for the definition. After only brief thought on it, I would figure that things like shape (perfect cube vs. partially rounded for the pillowed), material (uniform/multicolor, opacity), and coverings (stickers, tiles, logos [or colors in general, how uniform must they be]) would have to be addressed, but I wouldn't want the definition to be very wordy or even that official sounding, or it would be too hard to agree on.

3. ### Lucas GarronSuper-Duper ModeratorStaff Member

Just a note: Kit and I have asked the Board whether they are in favor of following community interest, and pursuing a way to allow stickerless puzzles.

We can't promise anything, but perhaps such a decision would prevent everyone from fixating on the details of stickerless cubes.

The problem isn't that people on the WRC/Board believe that stickerless cubes give an unfair advantage right now. The problem is that we need to take in a whole bunch of (conflicting) preferences about how to expand the puzzle Regulations while trying to minimize unanticipated consequences. We need something that allows us to judge new puzzles in the future, without resorting to technicalities or subjective interpretations, as much as possible. (Otherwise, we'll have many more conversations about whether to allow certain puzzles – with no objective way to settle things.)
We also need a way to combine / decide on a subset of possible changes.

Please try to help with that.

Here are some specific responses:

I've stated this elsewhere, but my personal goal when I was working on the 2014 Regulations was to take all the existing Delegate interpretations and limit it to a set of puzzles everyone agrees should be legal. We were aiming to end up with a simple set of boundaries for what is legal, so that competitors and Delegates can easily tell what cubes are allowed. This was all in response to all the new kind of puzzles that Delegates asked about in 2013.

I'm not sure about that. I remember the days when it was unclear if the WCA would even allow non-Rubik's brand cubes at Worlds. The Board only occasionally judges new kinds of puzzles to be okay. The leaders of the WRC have been following the interpretation that we should be conservative about judging whether new puzzles features are okay. Delegates frequently ask about puzzles because they don't assume that unusual features are allowed by default.

Perhaps things were more "open" before 2010-ish, but the variety of puzzles was much less.
The main thing you could do was get a puzzle that turned faster, but Article 3 has always stated that this is okay.

Apart from better turning, every qualitatively new feature has been subject to separate scrutiny.

In any case, the current policy is definitely conservative until we find something better to adopt.
(Sébastien's proposal has been the only serious attempt at this, but no one stepped forward and tried to improve the flaws to make it work.)

I've also changed "has always been conservative" to "is conservative", since that is also more relevant.

I think the quoted point is important. Current stickerless cubes are harmless.
But if we're not careful, our changes to the Regulations might allow internal plastic colors to be used for something new and unanticipated (maybe something more like a supercube). Maybe not, maybe plastic colors wouldn't really have to do with it. We just don't know, and hoping that such issues don't crop up... hasn't worked well for us.

?

If the community wants it, that is usually a reason in favor of a change.

I've seen a lot of discussions about the Regulations in the last few years. One thing I've noticed is that everyone always assumes that others are familiar with a particular set of pros and cons, and often disregards something others consider as important. It's not productive for everyone to talk past each other when they haven't read some of the relevant reasons that others have put forth.
A list of pros and cons allow us to discuss which reasons are more important/popular, instead of what we think the reasons themselves are.

I think the word "qualitative" is very useful here.

• We already allow sanding and lubing? Sure, mech improvements are fine.
• We already allow 7cm cubes? Sure 3cm cubes and 10cm cubes are fine.

But whenever there's a new kind of change, interpreting whether it falls under what we previously considered an acceptable puzzle is usually subjective.
(Dene and I have had some thoughts towards a puzzle policy that tries to define what the phrase "basic concept" was trying to get at. I don't believe anymore that this would allow us to judge whether to accept all the new kinds of cubes that will be coming out soon.)

"Unfair" is the important point, but I've given some thought to the definition of advantage.

I've mentioned this a few times, but one thing that people often fail to consider is that in order to be fair across the world, we need Delegates to be able to make clear judgments about what puzzles are okay.

We already know that competitors get upset if Delegates make inconsistent rulings (e.g. allowing stickerless puzzles for BLD in Europe while they're completely prohibited in the US).

We may expand the puzzle Regulations, perhaps even to something like "anything goes", but we will probably always have a boundary.
As we allow more and more kinds of variations, it may become harder for Delegates to follow that boundary.

In particular, not all Delegates have the time to follow news about updated interpretations.

I wish I knew.
I don't believe that something is fair simply if every competitor is allowed to use it.

My best intuitive thought in that a traditional speedcube should still stay competitive. Gratuitous variations are also not okay.

I'm not convinced.

Firstly, good cubes should be reasonably accessible to all competitors (not just allowed). Cube prices have stayed stable around \$10, so fortunately this is not a concern in the foreseeable future.

We need some limits (it should still turn like a Rubik's Cube, and visually resemble one), and I don't believe that your statement holds unconditionally.

However, I agree that this is the case with most *current* cubes that we're considering.

Unfortunately, that would not be detailed and accurate enough. See my discussion of advantage above for something more practical.

Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
4. ### ErikMember

At Worlds 2005 there was indeed an exception. After that this never happened again and basically all variants people wanted to use were allowed (up to transparent cubes, which were not popular at all). "Is conservative" is a "smart" change in the sence that you then just ignore the past and only focus on (for a big amount) your own changes...

Why not? How can anything be unfair if everyone has the same parameters? Or dont you think it is fair for those who did not have those cubes in the past?

Ok, this piece of text is very much personal beliefs, and nothing of this is directly used in the regs. Never was accessibility or good pricing a factor. The unlimited free choice: the fact that you can theoreticall build your own cube has always been one of the aspects of the regs the community likes a lot and to me gives it a liberal and open character. Best funny example of this was Adam Zamora competing with his (estimated) 30cm x 30cm x 30cm 2x2
But if I understand you well: you would not be OK with it if someone would be selling super-duber speedcubes of €2000 per piece of which only 3 are build?

Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
5. ### Lucas GarronSuper-Duper ModeratorStaff Member

Maybe. I wasn't really involved until 2008 and later. Can you think some good qualitative changes that were allowed without question when they were introduced? (I'd actually really like to have some of those as case studies.)

It doesn't really matter if it's a smart change or not, because anything other than being conservative by default *would* be a change from now.

Because it may be unfair to those who use "normal" speedcubes. That is a subjective judgment.

That argument about the past hadn't even occurred to me. Yet another example how none of us can anticipate every aspect of a topic. :-/

Yep, and I labeled it as my belief. Please do point out if I'm stating personal viewpoint as an objective fact (as with the conservative policy).

That's because it's never been a problem. There are lots of things that we don't think of as factors when they're not problems, but that doesn't mean they don't matter.

If better cubes were significantly more expensive, I'm sure people would talk about how the price is unfair to different competitors.

If they allow an otherwise mediocre speedcuber to set a world record, I think people would definitely be upset.
This scenario is a pretty clear-cut case of something I would consider an unfair advantage.

6. ### ErikMember

"Changes that were allowed without question" I am not sure what you mean with this.

What I meant with my comment is that by applying the little change, you deliberately leave out an important part of the facts and focus only on the current version of the regs. Therefore you write the text toward the "conservative-argument" which then sounds as a valid argument which suddenly is not-that-valid when considering the whole timeline. Btw: only the text in the "Stickerless puzzles" has been altered, in "Tile thickness" it still says "have been conservative".

Replace "normal" with "bad" and your whole sentence doesn't make that much sense. Why would you choose a bad (or at least not the best) cube if you have the opportunity to choose a better one?

Ok sometimes it is not very clear if you are speaking for "Lucas" or for "Lucas-the-WRC-member" or for "we-the-WRC".

Yes some people are more wealthy than others, some people have more time to spend practicing than others, some people live nearer to other cubers than others, some people have more talent than others and some people have more fingers than others. All factors you can't and shouldn't want to influence in making regs. It's the kind of "unfair" that is life.

1,150
123
Aug 25, 2008
Portland, OR
WCA:
2008CLEM01
kippy33
The WCA Board has given WRC clearance to allow stickerless cubes for 2015. (Provided that clear, carefully written regulations will be made in time, which shouldn't be an issue)

Thus, we would like to shift discussion to tiles and pillowed cubes.

8. ### Dane manMember

262
0
Jul 9, 2010
Earth
Very true. Though, with any change that may be made, there will always be a slight delay between when the changes are made, and when they begin to be universally implemented. So that shouldn't really be a reason for a change not to occur. Inconsistency will happen regardless, sadly.

As for the difficulty in following that boundary, it'll likely require that very specific regulations be given regarding it in addition to the regulations that are removed to allow more. Not only that, but with any new set of regulations, comes new situations, new problems, and new abuse of regulation that will require further modification of the regulations. This is normal and will happen with any major change made to regulations. And I don't think it'll take long for the dust to settle after construction, and for everyone to be comfortable and understanding of the new regulations set up (maybe a few months, and after that it should be relatively normal again).

Cool, I'm excited. I've also posted about the tiled and pillowed cubes. Not sure what else can be said about them. I think the basis for change could also be made the same way, by asking questions that let us know how most feel about their inclusion.

Is there someone here who uses a pillowed 3x3 as their main? That would use it in a competition? How about 4x4? 5x5?... etc(I think more likely as the cubes get bigger) Would allowing pillowed cubes change much in regards to how many cubers use them in competitions (other than the 4x4 and up using pillowed cubes for grip)?

And tiled cubes? Who uses them and for what puzzles? Would these puzzles be any different than what is already permitted? Do you find you gain an advantage over using other cubes or is it simply more comfortable for use? Are they even that popular among cubers, enough to require more allowance for them in competitions?

I know that I don't use either of these often (I don't like them all that much, except for the bigger pillowed cubes), so it'd be good to hear from those who do use them.

9. ### Lucas GarronSuper-Duper ModeratorStaff Member

There had better not. I'd rather have lots of Delegate questions than more inconsistency.

I'd give it at least a year or two. *After* the changes stabilize.

32
0
Sep 25, 2013
Tremendous news. Better get practicing for when I can finally enter competitions.

11. ### szalejotMember

247
0
Feb 14, 2013
Warsaw, Poland
WCA:
2015HERM01
Is that 100% sure info, that stickerless cubes will be allowed? Or this decision will be discussed and can be rejected?

12. ### mns112Member

189
4
Apr 30, 2014
Pune, India
WCA:
2014DESH01
Megh Deshmukh
The WCA should have allowed stickerless cube for BLD

13. ### Matt11111Member

1,255
137
Jun 30, 2014
Probably my room
WCA:
2014PINN02
Matt11111
I love the idea of legalizing stickerless cubes. If you are speedcubing for the fastest time, you don't have the time to turn a layer 45 degrees to see what's behind. As for tile thickness, it's the cuber's problem when the tiles are too thick and you can't do anything.

14. ### dougthecubeMember

20
0
Aug 2, 2014
WCA:
2014DOUG01
Not a sticker less fan

I have the unpopular view here. I don't like sticker less cubes because I feel that now there will almost be an obligation to get sticker less cubes because they supposedly make you faster when let's be honest they probably hardly do. I want to use stickered cubes which I prefer the look of and not feel that I am at a disadvantage to others

15. ### TMOYMember

Jun 29, 2008
WCA:
2008COUR01
You claim that stickerless cubes don't give any real advantage, but you're complaining that not using them will put you at a disadvantage ? You're just contradicting yourself...

16. ### dougthecubeMember

20
0
Aug 2, 2014
WCA:
2014DOUG01
I'm saying that there probably isnt much of an advantage but that even though the advantage is so minute, I will not want to disadvantage myself at all even if the disadvantage is near negligible and therefore will feel that I will have to use a stickerless cube to put me on a level playing field with everyone else.

17. ### qqwrefMember

7,833
22
Dec 18, 2007
a <script> tag near you
WCA:
2006GOTT01
qqwref2
If Feliks gets sub-7 averages without a stickerless cube, you certainly don't need one. Being fast is simply not about having the best possible cube.

18. ### dougthecubeMember

20
0
Aug 2, 2014
WCA:
2014DOUG01
But I bet if feliks broke the 3x3 single with one everyone would then get stickerless. But I agree that using a stickerless doesn't explain someone else's speed, it is obviously about practice!

19. ### qqwrefMember

7,833
22
Dec 18, 2007
a <script> tag near you
WCA:
2006GOTT01
qqwref2
Most cubers have been around long enough to not blindly copy everything the WR holder does.

20. ### dougthecubeMember

20
0
Aug 2, 2014
WCA:
2014DOUG01
I agree but if the best ever solve recorded at a competition was with a certain type of cube, a lot of people would consider switching and I don't think that that would be blindly switching because the wr is good basis for a switch. People would switch in the same way as when many the majority switched to yau for 4x4 when Sebastian Weyer broke the WR avg with yau for the first time. (30.81).Every 4x4 wr after that was done with yau where before the majority used redux. The wr undoubtedly had a massive effect on the way people solved the cube.