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Older cubers discussions

SpartanSailor

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Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
726
WCA
2016DUEH02
I was just headed this way to see if we hit page 1000... looks like it!

Regarding the WCA over 40 category... I’m obviously biased, but I do think that will draw some more favourable participation. Much like in running, the “Masters” category is usually over 40s, but they have age groups for a reason. With cubing, I’m not sure the same age issues apply, but certainly there are elements which do apply regarding speed. If nothing else, it would generate some additional interest. Locally, and I assume this is widely true but recognize I should not assume, the vast majority of participants are under driving age. Meaning, parents are there. I see them all sitting around... many of whom twist and play with cubes casually and comment that they’re never going to be as fast as these “kids”. But I would bet they would get involved if there was a Master’s category or over 40, or whatever it’s called.

If privacy of information is an issue, i think that’s easily managed... they have LOTS of information about us each time we register for an event... such as our home, billing addresss, CC info, etc... clearly adding the one piece of info that I’m over 40 isn’t placing me at any greater risk than I already am simply by having a WCA account. FWIW....

Best of luck @Selkie at your new WCA position and if you need anything from the members at large, you know where to find us old guys! LOL
 

openseas

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
396
WCA
2015PARK24
I was just headed this way to see if we hit page 1000... looks like it!

Regarding the WCA over 40 category... I’m obviously biased, but I do think that will draw some more favourable participation. Much like in running, the “Masters” category is usually over 40s, but they have age groups for a reason. With cubing, I’m not sure the same age issues apply, but certainly there are elements which do apply regarding speed. If nothing else, it would generate some additional interest. Locally, and I assume this is widely true but recognize I should not assume, the vast majority of participants are under driving age. Meaning, parents are there. I see them all sitting around... many of whom twist and play with cubes casually and comment that they’re never going to be as fast as these “kids”. But I would bet they would get involved if there was a Master’s category or over 40, or whatever it’s called.

If privacy of information is an issue, i think that’s easily managed... they have LOTS of information about us each time we register for an event... such as our home, billing addresss, CC info, etc... clearly adding the one piece of info that I’m over 40 isn’t placing me at any greater risk than I already am simply by having a WCA account. FWIW....

Best of luck @Selkie at your new WCA position and if you need anything from the members at large, you know where to find us old guys! LOL
@SpartanSailor / I do agree to your points, hey, I'm one of those examples!

BTW, just to be precise, all the information you mentioned are not exposed to the public. Ages (birth information) are not included in the public information (used to be but not any more). What Christ/Mark is proposing is that a certain level of exposure not the whole. Like your birth *year* so that we can tell whether some people are old enough (and *slow enough*) to join this group.
 

SpartanSailor

Member
Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
726
WCA
2016DUEH02
I’m one of those examples too!

Thank you for the clarification, although I don’t think that it is ultimately necessary to share my birth year. It’s sufficient to use that “behind the scenes” info to indicate which members belong to which competitive categories—were there to be different categories.

To further illustrate the point, I see many of the local female cubers claiming to have the WR Female single or average for some event... but that’s not a real title. You currently either are the WR holder or not without regard to any differentiation. I present this to suggest that it’s not just us “old guys” that want to have a bragging point or two...

As another example: I see that @mark49152 is a forum “SUPER MODERATOR”. Also, @newtonbase is a “PREMIUM MEMBER”. Honestly, I have no idea what the criteria are, but I could if I just searched the forum for a bit. Likewise, on my WCA profile it could indicate “MASTERS” and “MALE” or “FEMALE” or “GRANDMASTER” or.... whatever the categories are. Then for MASTERS say, it’s competitive cubers whose ages are between 40 and 59. GRANDMASTERS are competitive cubers who are 60 and over. That’s sufficient. No one needs to know that I’m 45 or 57. And it’s coded to my profile so really doesn’t expose my personal info. And let’s face it, I could be the slowest Cuber on the planet and it would sound cool to tell people I’m in the MASTERS CLASS. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA... but i bet if I did, they would actually relate since that is a commonly used competitive classification widely across genres of competition.

Just a thought.

I’m not trying to create a solution here in a single thought, but I am trying to flesh out the idea so that it makes sense and could potentially be doable. So.... feel free to poke holes in my way of thinking.
 

SpartanSailor

Member
Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
726
WCA
2016DUEH02
Birth year is needed to determine whether each result was achieved when you were 60 or 59, etc.
True, but you don’t have to share it. That information can be kept away from the public and only used “behind the scenes” to determine appropriate category.

Correct me if I’m wrong, and I probably am... didn’t I need to input my birthday when I registered my WCA account? If so, they already have that information. If I’m wrong, then that’s probably an easy fix on the programming side of the house.
 

Mike Hughey

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This sort of thing has already been discussed before during previous discussions. One concern that people have with using actual ages is that a person's age can be somewhat deduced if they attend enough competitions, by seeing when they switch classes.
 

Old Tom

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Joined
Oct 16, 2014
Messages
176
Location
Virginia
WCA
2018DOYL02
I have, obviously to those of you who know that I am 80, read all these comments regarding age-categories with interest. I think it would be reasonable to have age-based rankings, but the problem then becomes, how many categories, and where are the cut-offs? In golf, for example, it is 50. From what I see in the cubing community, 40 would be fine for a Seniors Group. I am NOT advocating for an 80+, just me and Hideaki (but I have him in my sights).

Worth mentioning, just from my one-person perspective: we really do slow down with age, inexorably. This includes our hands and fingers; our nerve impulses just get slower. I am practicing finger tricks now, but can barely reach two HMs per second. It is the same as with any other physical activity. Some of us, myself included, have some actual physical injuries, surgeries, conditions etc. that affect our manual dexterity, but even without all this, we do get slower. And what about our minds? Shhh!

So I'm in favor of WCA taking a look at this.
 

SpartanSailor

Member
Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
726
WCA
2016DUEH02
This sort of thing has already been discussed before during previous discussions. One concern that people have with using actual ages is that a person's age can be somewhat deduced if they attend enough competitions, by seeing when they switch classes.
Very true. I’m not sure how to avoid that directly. Forgive my ignorance, is that a widely held concern? I ask because it seems in any other sport, they use age categories with 5 year increments and if I wanted to know someone’s age... well, it’s actually published on the results. What is the underlying resistance to having one’s age made pseudo public? I’m not trying to be antagonistic, trying to understand the issue better so I can think on different possible solutions.
 

mark49152

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True, but you don’t have to share it. That information can be kept away from the public and only used “behind the scenes” to determine appropriate category.
Personally I don't see a problem with exposing birth year info, for example in WCA exports, as long as (a) it's opt-in only, (b) excludes minors, and (c) includes only the year, which is a good enough compromise for rankings but of little use to identity thieves.
 

SpartanSailor

Member
Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
726
WCA
2016DUEH02
That’s my thought as well. I am interested to hear the argument against that... purely for my own interest. Oh well, if this actually gains any traction, I’m sure we will have a venue to express our thoughts on the matter.
 

Mike Hughey

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@Old Tom While it is undeniably true that older folks get slower, I like to look at musicians for inspiration. Such as Vladimir Horowitz, who was still performing nearly flawlessly at age 85. Clearly, if you can already move fast at something, it is a bit easier to stay fast than it is to get fast in the first place; I'd like to think there's a reasonable chance we can hold onto our speed much longer than the average person does, with practice.
 
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