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2008: Changes to weekly competition

AvGalen

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The 2008 weekly competitions will start at 2008-01-01. (I might post the scrambles a bit earlier because I won't be home at midnight).

That same day I will post all remaining results from 2007 and honor the winners of 2007.

This is your chance to influence the competition for 2008. I have some ideas how to improve it and I hope everybody will give me feedback on these ideas and post their own ideas.

1. Events: All official events and all events we had in 2007 will now be in the weekly competition. That means:
  • 2x2x2
  • 3x3x3
  • 4x4x4
  • 5x5x5
  • 2x2x2_blind
  • 3x3x3_blind
  • 4x4x4_blind
  • 5x5x5_blind
  • 3x3x3_multi_blind
  • 3x3x3_one_handed
  • 3x3x3_with_feet
  • 3x3x3_fewest_moves
  • magic
  • master_magic
  • clock
  • megaminx
  • pyraminx
  • square-1
  • 2x2x2_3x3x3_4x4x4_5x5x5_relay
2. Format: Most regular events will be 3/5, blind will be best of 3, multi-blind/fmc/relay are 1 attempt. We will again follow the WCA-rules for these events, but with exceptions were wanted (clock/megaminx being 3/5, megaminx scrambling "Pochmann-style")

3. Points: I have 2 options for rewarding points. The first will benefit "all rounders" and those that are good at "harder/longer events". The second will benefit specialists that are good at "popular" events.
3a. The current system that gives points for placing in the top-3 and for participating (based on difficulty of puzzle and amount of effort). This is my proposal for those points:
  • 2x2x2 (5/4/3 + 2)
  • 3x3x3 (6/5/4 + 3)
  • 4x4x4 (7/6/5 + 4)
  • 5x5x5 (8/7/6 + 5)
  • 2x2x2_blind (7/5/3 + 3)
  • 3x3x3_blind (9/7/5 + 5)
  • 4x4x4_blind (11/9/7 + 7)
  • 5x5x5_blind (13/11/9 + 9)
  • 3x3x3_multi_blind (15/13/11 + 2 per cube)
  • 3x3x3_one_handed (6/5/4 + 4)
  • 3x3x3_with_feet (6/5/4 + 4)
  • 3x3x3_fewest_moves (15/13/11 + 10)
  • magic (3/2/1 + 1)
  • master_magic (4/3/2 + 1)
  • clock (4/3/2 + 2)
  • megaminx (7/6/5 + 4)
  • pyraminx (5/4/3 + 2)
  • square-1 (7/6/5 + 4)
  • 2x2x2_3x3x3_4x4x4_5x5x5_relay (9/8/7 + 6)
3b. A system that gives 1 point for last place, 2 points for second last place, 3 points for third last place, etc. That means that a popular event (like 3x3x3) with 20 competitors would give 20 points to the winner while a less popular event (5x5x5_blind) with 2 competitors would give 2 points to the winner. Maybe this would require a minimum amount of points to be rewarded?

4. Results: You will still be allowed to post results any way you want (several posts or all in one for example), but I would really appreciate if you would follow these guidelines:
EventnameA: minutes1:seconds1.hundreds1 (INFO), minutes2:seconds2.hundreds2 (INFO), etc (INFO) = minutes:seconds.hundreds
EventcommentA: Lots of text
EventnameB: minutes1:seconds1.hundreds1 (INFO), minutes2:seconds2.hundreds2 (INFO), etc (INFO) = minutes:seconds.hundreds
EventcommentB: Again, lots of text
An example (INFO can be POP if a piece pops, O/P/OP for parities):
4x4x4: 1:36.61 (OP) 1:31.06 (O) 1:37.71 (P) 1:55.06 1:58.55 (P) = 1:43.13
Comment: Started good, lost focus after first 3
5x5x5: 2:40.86 2:39.91 2:24.52 2:23.55 2:37.09 = 2:33.84
2x2x2_bf: DNF, DNF = DNF
Comment: Tried to go fast, failed
3x3x3_bf: 6:43.40, 6:56.11 = 6:43.40
Comment: yeah, got both
Relay: 5:28.02 (OP)
Comment: I hate parities on 4x4x4
Square-1: 1:18.68 1:11.78 1:01.90 1:43.59 (P) 1:12.21 = 1:14.22
Comment: I really hate parity on square-1
MegaMinx: 3:41.81 3:33.91 5:01.72 (POP) 3:18.59 3:21.94 = 3:32.55
Comment: Chines megaminxes can pop and those pieces are hard to find

5. Voting: I will start a new voting list. Just to make sure all votes are still valid I will remove everything that has < 5 votes.

I hope everyone likes my proposal. Please tell me your ideas and tell me which system for points you would like.
 

masterofthebass

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I agree with most of these, and like the effort you put in. For the scoring, I think a combination of these two would work better. Weighting, for example, the less popular events with less points, taking the concepts of the second scoring and adapting them to the first. 5x5x5_blind (13/11/9 + 9) is a little much when in the other scoring, the winner would only get 2 points. I'm not sure what scoring system would be best, but this is the one thing I thought of initially.
 

Stefan

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This is something that *screams* for automation, doesn't it? (I haven't been involved in these competitions yet, so I don't know them much)
 

AvGalen

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I have already written a program that accepts "results" and gets the times from them, then calculates the average. It is not perfect, but it is pretty good. The only things it cannot handle are comments inside the results and results on multiple lines (like Worms does a lot). I hope you don't think that I have typed all these results every time. Copy/Paste every result is pretty much all there is to it.

I don't like the idea of automation because that forces people to post results in a very strict format. And at this moment it is not possible to have the automation-form in this forum which means that a lot of work would have to be done to make sure people can only post results for them, not others and editing results would be almost impossible.
 

AvGalen

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...copy and paste results for each person.
What a pain!
I'm currently planing a web site, where everyone can create competitions and take part in competitions. These competitions will of course be fully automated. So, everything you have to do is: being patient ;).
Sounds interesting. Please keep me informed.

How would you handle "account synchronisation"?
 

AvGalen

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The good thing about option 3a is that it motivates people to learn the harder events (5x5x5 bld). So someone that has spent a month on learning 5x5x5_bf will get more points then someone that has spent 5 minutes on learning Magic.

The good thing about option 3b is that if you are good at an event that lots of people do (3x3x3) you earn a lot of points. (with the current system people that are really good at 3x3x3 will be high on the list for that event, but low on the "all-round" ranking)

I have tried to find an option 3c that combines the positive points from 3a and 3b, but I have failed. I really hope someone has an idea for a points system that:
a) Motivates people of all levels to participate
b) Rewards people that are faster than others
c) Rewards people with special skills
 

Stefan

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I don't like the idea of automation because that forces people to post results in a very strict format.
And you don't? Granted, you let people add comments, but so does Ryan's competition. What other freedom do you need (this is an honest question based on my above-mentioned unfamiliarity with this competition).

a lot of work would have to be done to make sure people can only post results for them, not others and editing results would be almost impossible.
I don't think so.

Looking forward to Tim's system...
 

AvGalen

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I don't like the idea of automation because that forces people to post results in a very strict format.
And you don't? Granted, you let people add comments, but so does Ryan's competition. What other freedom do you need (this is an honest question based on my above-mentioned unfamiliarity with this competition).
No, I only made a suggestion for a recommended format. I have done so in the past and while some people have adjusted their postings, others haven't. I just accept their results anyway. Some examples of the freedom people have right now are:
a lot of work would have to be done to make sure people can only post results for them, not others and editing results would be almost impossible.
I don't think so.

Looking forward to Tim's system...
We would need to build a system that synchronises the accounts between that entry-form and the forum members database.
We would need a specific begin/enddate for every competition to disallow editing before/after competition
We would need functionality to add events
We would need functionality to check input (dnf is allowed input, 1:21 1:22 1:23 is not because there should be 1 (fmc) 2 (blind) or 5 (other events) results)
We would need functionality to copy the inserted results to a post in a topic.
Basically all flexibility I have right now would have to be converted to software-rules and people that just enjoy the competition right now would become "data-entry-personel".
 

Stefan

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I don't see why any of those points should be a problem for an automated system, and some of them are even trivial.

Also, I believe the current system already requires stricter formatting than you allow/request. Only it's done by you for everybody, instead of everybody doing it for himself.
 

Stefan

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None of these points have to be a problem, but they do require a lot of programming.
Depends on how you do it. I read you have some parser already. Written in what language and how? Regular expressions can take you a long way and make things very easy.

but there is still a human that can handle the weird cases.
And with the automated system, there will be *many* humans who can handle the weird cases. Really, that's what it comes down to. People doing their homework on their own rather than making you do it.
 

tim

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We would need to build a system that synchronises the accounts between that entry-form and the forum members database.
I won't add this synchronization feature, because i don't write this application just for this forum.
We would need a specific begin/enddate for every competition to disallow editing before/after competition
Anything else than a specific begin/end date is hard to program ;).
We would need functionality to add events
Easy to implement.
We would need functionality to check input (dnf is allowed input, 1:21 1:22 1:23 is not because there should be 1 (fmc) 2 (blind) or 5 (other events) results)
I'll plan to write the program as generic as possible, so the person who adds an event/puzzle has to specify the input format (or just choose a common one from a list).
We would need functionality to copy the inserted results to a post in a topic.
Basically all flexibility I have right now would have to be converted to software-rules and people that just enjoy the competition right now would become "data-entry-personel".
There'll be a comment feature for a competition, so people can discuss their entries, personal bests etc.
 

Dene

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Wow, I will definitely get involved in this next year. I must say a big thank you to Mr. van Galen, who obviously goes to great lengths to make this happen for everyone :) . Of course, thanks to Mr. Pochmann for settling for nothing but the best :) . And to you Mr. Tim, thank you for the effort that you are putting into this site, I hope it can be of great use to those involved. I don't expect myself to get a particularly good score (amount of points), but hopefully this will help show my progress over time for the coming year!

Edit: van Galen, right I see! (sorry, not used to having "van" as part of a surname). Fixed that up :) .
 
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AvGalen

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Tim, Stefan: I could send you the source code (or the program itself) I use right now. It is a really small program that was written in VB.NET and should be easily convertable to any other language that can do some simple string/datetime manipulation.

I think the biggest problem will be the account-synchronisation. It would be very easy to change this program to a webbased input-form, but incorporating it into the forum is a big challenge.

(and Dene, it is either Arnaud, or Mr. van Galen)
 
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