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18.84 4x4 world record single has some problems...

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As can be seen in this video Sebastian touched the cube after getting his 18.84 4x4 world record single. A6e states
“After releasing the puzzle, the competitor must not touch or move the puzzle until the judge has inspected the puzzle. Penalty: disqualification of the attempt (DNF). Exception: If no moves have been applied, a time penalty (+2 seconds) may be assigned instead, at the discretion of the judge.”

The WRC allowed the result to not be penalized, (incident log can be found here) and decided they would adjust the regs to make sure that when accidental A6e would not result in a DNF or +2 penalty. Since then there has still been no adjustment to the regs and other competitors have been receiving +2s for similar situations, I emailed the WRC to see if they would +2 the result seeing how the precedent for the decision was a change of regs which never happened. They denied the request since they already made the decision and don’t want to change old results (in fact they proposed a system which would make changing old results impossible after this discussion).

What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe the result should be given a +2 or should remain without a penalty? Should competitors who received +2s since this incident for similar scenarios have their +2s removed?
 

Aerma

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#2
After watching closely, it's clear to me that touching it was not intentional—he was just clapping his hands and happened to bap the top of the cube in doing so. The regulation is to make sure competitors don't change the state of the cube after the timer has been stopped, but it's questionable whether or not it should be enforced when a) the touch was clearly not intentional, b) it was a very light and brief touch, and c) there is clear evidence that him touching the cube had no significant effect on its state.
Some of those things are subjective, yes, but I can't see how you could argue that a touch like the one he did warrants a +2.
 

Mike Hughey

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#3
As I have pointed out in past discussions of other solves, the way this reg is worded, penalty or no penalty is actually also at the discretion of the judge. It may not be obvious from reading the rule, but it is implied clearly. The point is that there is no clear requirement for what constitutes the judge inspecting the puzzle. If the judge claims that the puzzle was fully inspected as the competitor stopped the timer, then the requirement of the rule was met - the competitor did not touch the puzzle until after it was inspected. So if a judge is paying very close attention as the solve is finishing, there is no need for a +2 on a solve for releasing and then touching the puzzle, no matter how quick. But it is up to the judge to say whether the puzzle was inspected before the touch occurred.

I know that when I am judging, I am often paying very close attention to the solve at the end, and can say with certainty that the puzzle is fully solved at the instant the competitor stops the timer. When that happens, even if the competitor immediately picks up the puzzle after stopping the timer, there should absolutely be no penalty - I inspected the puzzle before the competitor touched it.
 
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#4
As I have pointed out in past discussions of other solves, the way this reg is worded, penalty or no penalty is actually also at the discretion of the judge. It may not be obvious from reading the rule, but it is implied clearly. The point is that there is no clear requirement for what constitutes the judge inspecting the puzzle. If the judge claims that the puzzle was fully inspected as the competitor stopped the timer, then the requirement of the rule was met - the competitor did not touch the puzzle until after it was inspected. So if a judge is paying very close attention as the solve is finishing, there is no need for a +2 on a solve for releasing and then touching the puzzle, no matter how quick. But it is up to the judge to say whether the puzzle was inspected before the touch occurred.

I know that when I am judging, I am often paying very close attention to the solve at the end, and can say with certainty that the puzzle is fully solved at the instant the competitor stops the timer. When that happens, even if the competitor immediately picks up the puzzle after stopping the timer, there should absolutely be no penalty - I inspected the puzzle before the competitor touched it.
I totally agree. At my first comp, I finished my last solve in the average, and a few seconds after I finished, I picked up the cube to take it back to my table. Luckily my judge knew exactly what they were doing, and they were watching me the whole time. They told me not to touch the cube until we had both signed the scorecard. The judge still signed the card because they had seen that the cube was solved. I am lucky that I got a judge that knew what they were doing, and luckily I was able to learn from this, and because of that I have been extra careful not do it again.
 
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#5
There's no way the judge inspected the cube after it was solved. Sebastian touched the cube after stopping the timer, turned a layer a tiny little bit, and even moved the entire cube. This should've been a +DNF, but could've been a +2 if the judge was paying close enough attention to see that nothing was changed.

But the point is moot. This was nearly 1,5 years ago and this record has been broken 3 times since then. So why bother bringing it up now?

I totally agree. At my first comp, I finished my last solve in the average, and a few seconds after I finished, I picked up the cube to take it back to my table. Luckily my judge knew exactly what they were doing, and they were watching me the whole time. They told me not to touch the cube until we had both signed the scorecard. The judge still signed the card because they had seen that the cube was solved. I am lucky that I got a judge that knew what they were doing, and luckily I was able to learn from this, and because of that I have been extra careful not do it again.
The difference is that this was your first comp, and you made a booboo (I did the exact same thing at my first comp. I briefly touched my cube to make it easier for the judge to see it.) Sebastian has been to dozens of comps and he should know better. :)
 
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#8
This was already included in the original post.
Oh dear. I really should have read it properly... ‍♂️
Personally I feel that it shouldn't be DNF'ed as it was purely accidental, but of course the regs didn't say that at the time, so yeah, that could be a tough decision :/
 
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#9
Oh dear. I really should have read it properly... ‍♂️
Personally I feel that it shouldn't be DNF'ed as it was purely accidental, but of course the regs didn't say that at the time, so yeah, that could be a tough decision :/
So, if I accidentally drop my cube in my lap during an OH solve, it should also be permitted? Or if I accidentally corner twist my cube, it shouldn't count as a DNF? I don't see the logic here, sorry. Accident or not, it's rule that was broken and should be treated accordingly.
 

Mike Hughey

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#10
There's no way the judge inspected the cube after it was solved.
I'm sorry, I strongly disagree. I admit we didn't see this solve from the judge's perspective, so there's no way of telling what the judge saw. But when I watched the video, there was no doubt in my mind that the cube was solved between the time he stopped the timer and the time he hit the cube. When he entered the PLL, it was quite clear that the rest of the cube was solved, and the AUF at the end gave a chance to clearly inspect that the final layer was complete. If I had this particular view during the solve as a judge and was watching as carefully as I did the video, I would have judged this no penalty - no +2. As far as I'm concerned, the regulations need to be changed in order for me as a judge to be required to place any penalty on this solve. I know I have judged this way in the past, and I will continue to do so until something shows me I should do otherwise. I have judged some very fast (and sometimes very experienced) cubers before and given them no penalty on solves like this in the past, but I always make it a point to warn them that a less observant judge could have given them a +2 or a DNF on the solve.

As best I can tell, there are no specifics on what constitutes inspection of the puzzle by the judge in the regulations. Am I missing something? I think it would be required for the regulations to say something like "the judge must pick up the puzzle to inspect it", or something similar, to require more than what I'm saying.

The one thing I guess I would have wondered, from this angle, would have been - is it possible he didn't actually stop the timer when he first hit it, but only stopped the timer when he touched the cube? I can't tell from this angle. It seems possible that he might have not stopped the timer until the second touch, and if so, he might have been touching the cube when he stopped the timer, which would be a +2. Checking the time against the video would probably verify this one way or the other, though.
 

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