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How To: WCA Competitions

BenChristman1

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Oct 26, 2019
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1,537
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WCA
2019CHRI11
This is a guide for anybody who wants to attend their first WCA (World Cube Association) competition. There are many rules and common courtesies to follow at WCA competitions, so there is a lot to learn before you go to your first one! Obviously, (at the time of writing) there are not very many scheduled competitions right now, due to COVID-19, but you can learn beforehand! This guide will cover how to sign up for a competition, how to compete, how to judge, and other things that you should know about your first WCA competition.

To sign up for a competition near you, you need to have a WCA account (note that this is different from a WCA profile). Go to the "Competitions" section of the WCA website. This page can be found here. Search for a competition near you using the available filters. Click on the competition you would like to go to, and press the "Register" button on the left side. This will bring you to the registration page.

On the top section, there will be a lot of different information about the competition, such as the registration fee and the competitor limit. At the bottom of the page, there is a box to fill in the information about your registration. This includes the events that you are doing, how many guests you are bringing, and a comments box, which can be used for other things to do with your registration, or the organizer of the competition may ask you to specify something about your registration in that box. Click "Register," and you have been signed up for your first WCA competition!

Approximately 1-7 days later (depending on the organizer) a confirmation email will be sent to whatever email account you listed on your WCA account. Make sure to look at other tabs on the "Info" section of the competition page, such as the schedule (to know when you need to arrive at the competition, it is recommended that you arrive at least 10-20 minutes early) and the "Important for all Competitors" tab. This tab includes being familiar with the WCA regulations, which will be covered in the "How do I compete?" section of this guide.

At any point make sure to contact the organizer(s) and/or the delegate(s) of your competition if you have any question whatsoever. For example, at my first competition, I wasn't sure whether timers were supplied or if I had to bring my own. My delegate answered my question, so I didn't have to stress about it at the competition. Again, MAKE SURE TO ASK IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS!
As stated in the last section, you should plan to show up at least 10-20 minutes early to your first event. This means getting all of your puzzles packed and getting anything else ready before leaving, not putting it off until the last minute. You need to make sure you show up on time/early, because you will not be allowed to compete if you are late! Before the competition, the groups will also be posted on the competition page. Make sure you know what group you are in, as this will be very important when you arrive!

When you get to the competition, there will be many tables with lots of people and lots of cubes laid out. I was amazed when I went to my first competition, I saw so many cubes that I had never seen before, such as the Moyu 15x15, some Gan X's (which were a big deal at the time), and many more! Almost all cubers are very accepting, so feel free to sit down with somebody, introduce yourself, and talk about your similar hobby: cubing, of course! At any point during the competition, feel free to ask the organizer(s) and/or the delegate(s) any questions that you might have, literally anything at all!

This only applies to competitions that have a system called "stationary judging." This is where the judges stay at one station and have runners bring them the scrambled cubes. The other system, called a "running judge" system, is when the judges get up from their station, grab a scrambled cube, and wait for the next open station. Ask your organizer/delegate if you need any more help. The stationary judging system will be described below!

The organizer or delegate will call up your group, for example, "3x3 groups 1 and 2, please submit your puzzles!" There will be a table on or near the scrambling table with flipped over cube covers and your scoring sheet with your name on it. Put your cube in your cube cover, and sit down in the competitor waiting area.

In no more than a minute or two, you will hear your name be called. Follow the judge who called your name to the empty solving station they have chosen. After your name is called, you have 1 minute to prepare yourself for your solve, whether this be setting up a camera, doing warm-up algorithms on a different cube, or anything else you do to get yourself ready for the solve. When you sit down, the judge will ask you if you are ready. You do not have to say that you are ready until you are actually ready. Once again, make sure to take your time!

Once you have signaled that you are ready, the judge will lift up the cube cover with your scrambled cube underneath. You can pick up your cube and inspect it for a maximum of 15 seconds. The judge will call out "8 seconds" after 8 seconds of inspection, and "12 seconds" after 12 seconds of inspection. Once the judge calls 12 seconds, it is recommended to put the cube down and start the timer. If you use more than 15 seconds of inspection, which includes starting the timer, a 2-second penalty will be added at the end of your solve. If you use more than 17 seconds of inspection, your attempt will be DNF'ed (disqalified), and the judge will stop you. Make sure to put the cube down and leave yourself enough time to start the Stackmat!

Put both of your hands on the sensors of the Stackmat, and once the green light turns on, you may lift up your hands and start your solve. Once the cube is solved, you set the cube down and place your hands back on the Stackmat's sensors. This will stop the timer. The judge will look at your cube and determine that your cube is solved. If you are 1 turn off, (anywhere between 45 degrees and 180 degrees), the judge will call out "penalty" and add a 2 second penalty at the end of your solve. If you are 2 or more turns off, your attempt will be DNF'ed.

The judge will write your time on the scorecard, (formatted as followed: penalties before the solve + time shown on the timer + penalties after the solve = final time) and will sign it. MAKE SURE THE JUDGE HAS SIGNED BEFORE YOU SIGN! If the judge does not have a signature, the attempt will be disqualified. You will then get up, and go back to the competitor waiting area until your name is called again. You will repeat this process 5 times. Your final average of 5 solves will be calculated by taking out the best and worst times, and finding the mean of the remaining 3 times.

After your attempts, you may be asked to judge or be a runner, which will be covered in the "How do I judge/run?" section of this guide.
At most competitions, you are required to judge and/or run. In a lot of places, you are required to judge and/or run for every event that you compete in. For example, if you are competing in 3x3, 2x2, and pyraminx, you will be required to judge/run for all of those events.
Coming soon...
Coming soon...
Coming soon...
 
Last edited:

Q--

Member
Joined
May 10, 2020
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47
Location
I'm not sure either
WCA
2019MCGA02
I would love some feedback on how the first section looks, and any suggestions about what I could add/change!
This is a minor thing, but breaking it into smaller paragraphs would work wonders. It can be pretty daunting to read a giant wall of text, and even just separating it a bit makes it easier to read.
 

Sub1Hour

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*Insert Comical Location or Coordinates"
The second section is complete! Let me know what you think!
I'm pretty sure that this would go in the last section but I would make sure to mention that you should know who the organizer and/or delegate is and to make sure that you talk to them about anything that you aren't sure about. Taking to an organizer or delegate. about what to do in a situation is infinitely better than just doing what you think you should do. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a judge, runner, or competitor that didn't know how things work and they potentially ruined the results of others. The organization team is there to help you and make sure that the competition runs smoothly, and part of making comp run smoothly is helping newer competitors/staff on what to do.
 

BenChristman1

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2019
Messages
1,537
Location
The Land of 11,842 Lakes
WCA
2019CHRI11
I'm pretty sure that this would go in the last section but I would make sure to mention that you should know who the organizer and/or delegate is and to make sure that you talk to them about anything that you aren't sure about. Taking to an organizer or delegate. about what to do in a situation is infinitely better than just doing what you think you should do. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a judge, runner, or competitor that didn't know how things work and they potentially ruined the results of others. The organization team is there to help you and make sure that the competition runs smoothly, and part of making comp run smoothly is helping newer competitors/staff on what to do.
I will add that to both sections, because, I agree, it is a very important thing to note.

EDIT: Added!
 
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