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Speedcubing in 2020

roller

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I was catching a train yesterday and I started to think of how speedcubing can develop over the next years, so I sat there and thought of this...

Speedcubing somehow gets media recognition. Somebody up there realised that speedcubing can be just as, if not more, entertaining to watch as golf. Soon, World Championships in 2015 gets full sponsorship and media coverage by companies like Sky or Eurosport. It's treated as a one off, something interesting, just like Eurosport would show Rock, Paper, Scissors Championships few years ago. The coverage is done very professionally. We have a couple of commentators, with sufficient knowledge about speedcubing and interviews with former WR holders. Short clips of history of speedcubing or how cubes are made are shown every now and then. Surprisingly, the idea of speedcubing 'clicks' with the audience because of its simplicity. The idea is that anyone can grab a cube and start practising and it never really is too late unlike with other sports like football or golf. It's cheap to start and it benefits children, they learn. A few cubers follow the new path, make the speedcubing even more open and inviting, by going to schools or being interviewed on various shows on tv.
Soon after, there's more and more competitions shown on TV. Euro, UK Open, France Open, big national competitions gain sponsorship and media coverage. WCA becomes even more active institution and still remains as the main judge and decider of all the rules and competitions, just like FIFA would rule over Football.
The next World Championship in 2017 becomes revolutionary. Just like in other sports, in the WC2017 we have an international competition where countries compete against each other. Of course, everything else remains the same, but the main spotlight is stolen by teams of 10 cubers of each country, competing to be the best. Averages of each cubers are being turned into an average of their country, and they all go through rounds, towards the finals to finally reach the glory of becoming World Champions.
The idea soon becomes adapted into smaller competitions. Just like in Football, there's Champions League for the clubs and World Cup for nations, in smaller national competitions we notice that Team Solving becomes a new category. Clubs are made around UK and Europe with the best cubers around representing them. Logos, t-shirts, slogans. Speedcubing becomes very competitive and gains an extra flavour of not just competing person vs person, but group vs group.
Media is still covering competitions, kids or teenagers watching it start following their 'heroes', wanting to be like them. They join regional Rubik's clubs. They try to compete with the best.
WCA is still the main Cubing organisation. Now with its own building, works like an institute, just like UEFA or FIFA. Referees are trained even more professionally, rules are perfected, but most of all, the spirit of fair-play is still at heart of the institution.
Because of speedcubing becoming more and more recognised, so do the cubers. Promoting new cereals on tv or helping out a charity.

Now, I understand that this is just fiction. Easily to spot, most of the patterns I've taken from the idea of organised football. Of course there's many things that wouldn't ever work or wouldn't work in such ways, but just drifting away and thinking of all of this made me smile a little and I simply just wanted to share it with you.
Feel free to discuss, criticize or whatever you want to do with it haha
 

Noahaha

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I've been thinking about this too. I don't think anyone wants to see some of the structural changes you're suggesting, and competitions will always be open to everyone, but you make good points.

I think the problem we have right now is that all media coverage of speedcubing says: "WOW SO AMAZING" instead of "WOW SO EXCITING. WHO'S GOING TO WIN?"

99% of people wouldn't understand the nuances of a game of baseball or either kind of football without the announcers telling them when people do good things or bad things. If we add some announcers to speedcubing who can give basic background information and solve analysis, suddenly it becomes a lot more exciting. Even a noncuber can understand when someone has good lookahead or when someone has a cool turning style.

We need to show people that it's about HOW WELL it's done rather than the mere fact that it can be.
 

acohen527

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I've been thinking about this too. I don't think anyone wants to see some of the structural changes you're suggesting, and competitions will always be open to everyone, but you make good points.

I think the problem we have right now is that all media coverage of speedcubing says: "WOW SO AMAZING" instead of "WOW SO EXCITING. WHO'S GOING TO WIN?"

99% of people wouldn't understand the nuances of a game of baseball or either kind of football without the announcers telling them when people do good things or bad things. If we add some announcers to speedcubing who can give basic background information and solve analysis, suddenly it becomes a lot more exciting. Even a noncuber can understand when someone has good lookahead or when someone has a cool turning style.

We need to show people that it's about HOW WELL it's done rather than the mere fact that it can be.
http://youtu.be/QTev5pSuYLk
 

roller

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I wasn't thinking of changing the structures at all, just adding new bits to it! :) And i fully agree with you, if there's the right people doing the commentary/announcement, more people would be understanding and getting themselves into the idea of speedcubing!
 

applemobile

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There are over 9000 other sports out there that are not totally mainstream, but are really popular and have been for years, but still do not get competitive recognition. 99.9% of people have never heard of speed cubing, and 99.9% of people when it is explained to them say ''what, you just solve it over and over?''
Those people are right, our 'sport' is stupid, and will never ever get recognized any more than it is, unless something happens and next year is 1981.
 

TopCuber

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There are over 9000 other sports out there that are not totally mainstream, but are really popular and have been for years, but still do not get competitive recognition. 99.9% of people have never heard of speed cubing, and 99.9% of people when it is explained to them say ''what, you just solve it over and over?''
Those people are right, our 'sport' is stupid, and will never ever get recognized any more than it is, unless something happens and next year is 1981.
If everybody would think this, then it won't happen. Should we stop because of the small chances? That is not a reason to stop. We have to do something, which makes speedcubing more popular, to get media, and from that, everything is easy.
 

MaeLSTRoM

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If everybody would think this, then it won't happen. Should we stop because of the small chances? That is not a reason to stop. We have to do something, which makes speedcubing more popular, to get media, and from that, everything is easy.
While this is true, the added media attention may not be as good a thing as everyone would like to think. I personally think that the popularity of cubing at the moment, the scale of growth it has and also the current exposure in the media is basically all we need. I'm happy with how it is at the moment, and I think many people are as well. It's not 'messy' right now, but I think that adding media and popularity could be.
 

mark49152

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Cubing doesn't have the characteristics of a spectator sport. The non-cubing audience can't see what's going on in a solve because it's just a blur and over so quick, can't see what goes good or bad, can't see the method or tactics even if they understand it, and can't get engaged because they can't imagine themselves playing and winning in the competitor's place. Cubing is a spectacle not a spectator sport.
 

FinnGamer

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I don't really like this. Competing isn't the only thing in Competitions. Socializing and meeting making new friends is equally important, making speedcubing a hyped up media sport would eliminate most of the goofing around between events. All the cubers are equal, even though some might solve faster than others. One of the most fun I had a competition was solving math problems by Stefan Pochmann with other cubers at Hessen Open, a thing that has little to do with the "sport" itself.
Of course I want it to have some recognition, but making it a constant action live event is unnecessary.
 

KongShou

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Cubing doesn't have the characteristics of a spectator sport. The non-cubing audience can't see what's going on in a solve because it's just a blur and over so quick, can't see what goes good or bad, can't see the method or tactics even if they understand it, and can't get engaged because they can't imagine themselves playing and winning in the competitor's place. Cubing is a spectacle not a spectator sport.
disagree. most of the people who watch football has no idea whats happening half the time. whether a team has good control of the pitch, good tactic etc. neither do they think they could ever imagine themself playing and winning in the footballers place. but it is still a spectator sport, simple to watch and be amazed by it. this is true for most sports and couldnt be more true for cubing. the audience dont need to follow the solve, they just need to enjoy the solve and have an idea of who is the fastest. after all, anyone can tell the difference between a sub 8 solve and a sub 20 solve.
 

~Adam~

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How many people on this forum watch over 1 1/2 hrs of speedcubing every week? I know I probably watch less than 5 mins. If the people on this forum watch less than a typical sports match of cubing each week who do you think is going to be watching cubing on TV?
 

noobium

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A sport game last for at least 1 hour. There is good plays, bad plays, good hit from your team, your best player being hit in the back, goals, close calls, stressful and intense moments. Sports on TV are characterized by the emotions they transport. Fans exist because of theses emotions. Casual fans are able to appreciate a good player, a good play or just a very nice shot. People watch it week after week because every game is different and you can see your team progress and having its chance to get the Cup. When you talk about speed cubing, all i see is a between 2 to maybe 2 mins event(depending of the puzzle). All what is going on is lightning fast turns and its confusing. Next solve? exact same thing...At best, theres is a few different methods...

Finally, like Cube-o-holic pointed out, who would watch it weekly?? and what is the % of people in the world who can really appreciate a good solve?

Thats why I think that Speed cubing will never get on TV and never get sponsored...its the kind of thing people watch when it pops on their Facebook wall...not more.
 

jayefbe

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Is this actually something anyone desires? I like that this isn't a popular thing. Additionally, I LOVE the fact that cubing can be done by ANYONE. Someone can learn the beginner's method, and later that day compete at a WCA event. The beauty of cubing comes from challenging yourself, it's not the competition between people that drives it. Trying to make the equivalent of cubing FIFA would have to significantly change how cubing is done, how people think about cubing, and who has the ability to compete. Finally, cubing is inherently a niche event. I love baseball, and my gf has grown to love baseball despite never having watched a game before we met. Even though I cube for several hours a week, she has zero interest in cubing. Baseball, and other popular sports, have something that cubing does not. Trying to make cubing a popular event, is trying to make it something it's not. I say just enjoy cubing for what it is. If more people become interested in it, and it grows in popularity, great. But even if cubing never becomes popular (which I would bet it won't), it won't diminish my enjoyment one bit.
 

~Adam~

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Just like football players don't really watch other games on tv.
Really? Would you like to present any evidence to back up that ridiculous claim?
Everyone I know who plays football watches it lots as well.

Edit - ninja'd apparently
 
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Noahaha

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Consistent TV coverage is obviously not going to be practical/happen, but I imagine that the world championships could be like the one dog show a year they put on TV: most people would never watch a dog show, let alone more than one, but it's still interesting to see once.

The one thing I can't stand is how misunderstood cubing is. Before seeing tv coverage of it, I'd love it if even the MEDIA understood it.

One quick example:

At the end of the story, in response to me saying that it's not as difficult as it looks (which by the way is taken somewhat out of context in this video along with everything else!!!), the narrator or whatever says "yeah right!"

Clearly the fact that I spend hours a day cubing and know a lot about the subject while they know next to nothing has ABSOLUTELY NO STANDING compared to the preconceived notion that you have to be some sort of genius to do it. I mean... they asked me a question and completely ignored my answer... not to mention the fact that they disregarded the part where I said "my goal is to keep improving and do well in competition" and replaced it with the LIE that my next PRIMARY goal is to teach my father how to BLD. But that's a little off topic.

Anyway, I'd love it if people got that it's like any other hobby where you can get good by taking part and practicing, not by being some sort of super-genius.
 
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