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Is the 15 second Inspection Time fair?

CodingCuber

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The REAL difference if the 15 second allowance was removed is that you do the inspection during the solving (clocked) time. The more skilled Cuber would be able to inspect faster and plan better in less time, in their looks. Anyone can choose to spend more seconds in planning or start turning, but everything is clocked. That is fair and that can show who the better Cuber is than artificially enhanced times like 3.47, 3.79, 4.1.
That just disregards one of the biggest parts of a solve, that is; efficiency. Speedcubing is not just about how many algorithms and how high your TPS is, it is also about how you plan and apply those. Without inspection, you are essentially just winging it. A lot more luck is required and the skill of intuitively planning out further steps is completely removed.

Anyway, I do see your point and if you are interested with discussing this further, I suggest you post it also on the WCA Forum
 
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In Speedcubing the point is to solve the cube with techniques you know. No inspection would make more advanced techniques completely useless because that takes time. Look ahead would be trash and it would be impossible (almost) to be color neutral. In the Red Bull speedcubing Bill Wang, a color neutral solver, used white cross only in "Fastest Hand" because there was no inspection, making it very hard to use his full skill and potential. Let's take Tymon Kolasinski, one of the best 3x3 solvers in the world. He relies on inspection to plan amazing solutions. His 3.43 Full-step Sub-WR single on ML had a xxxcross and a pause less 4th pair. In a following interview he said that he planned the entire F2L solution during inspection. Think about how crazy that is, most people struggle to plan an xcross but the entire F2L, the hardest step of CFOP! To say that solve would have been more impressive without inspection, maybe a 7-8 second solve is ridicules. If inspection was to be removed it would never have been added in the first place. Sure, there are some debatable rules in the WCA but inspection seems like a no-brainer. Speedcubing isn't about pleasing the spectators like in say, American Football. It's about doing the best you can do with the skill you have, if you want to please the spectators with a less impressive solve with lots of pauses for the average cuber by turning down inspection, go ahead! No one is stopping you. But to argue that it should be removed because you think it benefits not the joy of speedcubing is ridicules. If inspection was not a part of speedcubing I wouldn't partake in the sport because it takes the joy of striving to improve away.

As mentioned in another post, solves would be completely based on luck, not skill. There would be countless variables that take away from efficiency and such, CFOP would be pretty much the only viable method besides LBL and we'd have to go for the first thing we see. Inspection on the other hand is something that you can never stop improving with, you learn and learn, get better and better, and maybe one day be like Tymon, even he is continuously improving. All the skill is to know what to do in each situation and how to take advantage of certain positions. With no inspection you simply don't have time. You can say you work it into the solve but it would be better just to get right into solving then to make a massive pause to look at each individual piece and determine what you can do best with what you know.

I think you should have an understanding of the cube, methods, techniques, planning, etc, before you make a conclusion that it would be possibly better without those 1-15 seconds and, no offense, but with what I can garner you do not have a mediocrely advanced understanding of how to take advantage of things and how to plan multiple moves ahead in a short time.

Just my two cents.

There's a lot to digest in your reply, and thank you for such a detailed one. My question, comments and opinions are not meant to offend anyone, but to try to understand what is not making complete sense to a new beginner with a difficulty understanding even the basics. I can see that some of you might just feel tired of this, or threatened. Please don't be. I believe in questions, even if dumb, and it is healthy for anything of interest to the public.
 
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That just disregards one of the biggest parts of a solve, that is; efficiency. Speedcubing is not just about how many algorithms and how high your TPS is, it is also about how you plan and apply those. Without inspection, you are essentially just winging it. A lot more luck is required and the skill of intuitively planning out further steps is completely removed.

Anyway, I do see your point and if you are interested with discussing this further, I suggest you post it also on the WCA Forum

Thanks for your reply. I don't think I would dare to raise it to WCA, after seeing the reaction here. I got a lot out of this thread and learnt a lot about what speedcubing is and the community feelings.
 
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Sorry for not being able to reply to every one individually. I do appreciate all those who posted and again I would like to point out the intention here is to seek answers for my understanding (and my perception could be very different due to my limited experience here), and not to annoy anyone. I now understand a lot better about many things relating to speedcubing and the forum.
 
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EngiNerdBrian

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I have to think about this, that inspection is a right. So, everyone is entitled to have some allowance and arrangement to make up for their limitation (like 8 vs 12 seconds in your example). I am not sure, but it sounds like a handicap system to me. Max Park IMO could be much faster than many of those who also solves in a few seconds, based on the current inspection rule, as he can inspect and plan so fast, as he has demonstrated. Shouldn't he or anyone who can inspect very fast be rewarded or recognised?

I also have another analogy. Suppose we chop off the time a race car needs to get up to speed by only clocking their speed and time after they cross the first 100m, to avoid limitations particular cars have in traction, in getting enough torque, and getting over the initial slow start due to an excessively large engine? Lighter cars with advanced turbocharger, 4WD suspension, ... that can accelerate faster would be penalised, I think. Records will be broken! In a 100m dash, we can also do something about the stagnant 9 second times, allowing the starting blocks to be spring loaded, so that they can be propelled forward at the start to make up for the time they have to get up and actually run at full speed, fair to all. Every runner can use the new blocks. That sound unreasonable because they are spectator sports and the common people's understanding and feeling, and their commercial value count. I suppose cubing is different, as mentioned and as I can gather from the replies so far, and it is for cube members.
The format of the competition in your racing analogy is something called a time trial. Drivers are given 20-25 minutes to complete laps and the fastest lap wins! In that form of competition all that matters is the driver who completed the fastest lap of the many they complete; Much of the car nuances are leveled because by the time cars cross the finish line the first time and start their second lap lap everyone is up to speed and now it's all about driver skill & usage of their knowledge and tools (car) to navigate the track. The lighter car/torque/acceleration analogy doesn't apply in this scenario because the point of this particular competition is just to measure a specific lap time not overall START TO FINISH time.

If I'm interpreting your replies properly it just seems that what you constitute as a solvers ultimate skill is not what the WCA measures and what the community considers to be "official times." It's a worthwhile topic to consider but *NOT* including inspection I do believe dis-incentives much of what this community has spent the last 20 years developing.

An example - If inspection counted in a timed solve you may be presented with a situation where in the first 2 seconds you notice a cross and easy F2L pair, because all this is on the clock you begin solving and slog through a not very elegant solution; ultimately it's not a very optimal solution. If inspection time was longer, say 15 seconds, you could spend more time turning that same solution into an XCross, EOCross or planning multiple F2L pairs and coming up with a sophisticated and elegant solution to the solve. Inspection allows for a better mix of knowledge and physical skill level to be put to the test.

I personally find the 2nd solve much more interesting to pursue, perform, and spectate/study through reconstructions. Inspection is a fundamental part of what 3x3 speed solving has become. Sure, a "side event" where inspection time counts could be fun and I DEFINITELY AGREE that is a more accurate test of the lower bound of how much time it takes for the human brain & body to turn an scrambled cube into a solved one but ultimately that's not the point of WCA competitions. We are not rats in an experiment but participants in a game when speed cubing.

Inspection is a benefit (someone said "right") or tool available to all participants that makes the competition more fun and meaningful. What if we took the starting blocks away from a 100m dash, removed the shoes from all marathon runners, didn't let wide receivers wear gloves, removed chalk from rock climbers, made race car drivers race without practice laps and qualification runs, etc. etc. Doing any of those things would be a better measurement of ABSOLUTE human skill but I think the competitions would be a lot less interesting to watch and less enjoyable to participate in. Inspection FTW!
 
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Thank you, EngiNerdBrian for a very thoughtful and good analysis. It makes a lot of sense, and your argument about bare foot running is so good, as well as funny. Some African runners who are used to it will dominate all events!

There are a lot of things I am not able to assess or even understand, esp F2L, etc. I can see however that the whole issue seems to be a matter of where and how you draw the line, with regard to inspection. Is 15 second the exact optional time? I heard this 15 second is what members want, and I assume it is based on defined objectives agreed with members and competitors. That's certainly the way to do it to have support from all involved. I also assume it has considered minority interests, if some non CFOP cubers or lower level cubers prefer a longer inspection time (or maybe less time for to level events?) I have never competed, with a PB of 1m 10s and still learning simple finger tricks. So this is not personal.
 

Waffles

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Apr 4, 2021
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A 15 second inspection time benefits creativity, no inspection benefits luck. 15 seconds is fair and great for the spectator. It is part of the game. There is no need to change this because it ain't broke. It's a rule created by cubers, not non-cubers.
What I would like to see is the inspection time in BLD solves be separate like in non-BLD. Imagine if you had 15 seconds inspection for BLD and then the clock starts for the solve? We'd have 8 second BLD solves.

Jack Cai does normal 3x3 as bld, inspecting his entire solve then doing 8-10 second exec with a blindfold on. Of course it’s just to practise algs for bld but I still find it cool, and I’ve been past the 3bld is too hard stage of cubing.
 
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