The World Cube Association – or WCA – governs competitions for mechanical puzzles operated by twisting groups of pieces, known as twisty puzzles. Its goal is to have more competitions in more countries, with more people and under fair conditions.
Participants, known as speedcubers, solve cubes in different shapes and sizes to compete. They spend hours practicing before events and rely on their intuition to spot patterns that help them solve the cubes quickly.
Founded in 2004
The Rubik’s Cube has exploded in popularity, with competitors around the world attempting to solve it at ever-increasing speeds. These puzzlers, known as speedcubers, have gathered in groups to compete and share the thrill of solving a cube in minutes. The popularity of these competitions has also encouraged the creation of new cube variations that work better for these fast solves. The World Cube Association (WCA) governs competitions for these twisty puzzles, maintaining records for blindfolded, one-handed, and fewest moves to solve.
WCA competitions are held year round. These events are a great way to meet other cubers, test your skills and have fun. WCA competitions follow a set of rules to ensure fair results and make the experience as enjoyable as possible.
WLUC talked with Carter Kucala, a delegate for the World Cube Association, about how these events are helping to expand speed cubing as a hobby and competitive event. He said the event in Gladstone was a wonderful way to bring attention to this sport and help people of all ages enjoy it.
Governing competitions for twisty puzzles
The World Cube Association governs competitions for mechanical puzzles operated by twisting groups of pieces, known as “twisty puzzles.” It was founded in 2004 and helps keep Erno Rubik’s iconic puzzle game in the public eye. In addition to speedcubers, the WCA also oversees events for people who love solving puzzles.
In most WCA events, competitors are given five attempts. They are then ranked based on their average or mean. In order to avoid a penalty, competitors must follow the WCA’s rules and regulations. For example, they must make sure that they start the timer correctly, and stop it correctly as well. Failure to do so could result in a DNF.
CWU math major Ethan Davis participated in the Sleepless in Seattle 24-hour cubing event this month, where he placed in two events, including 3x3x3 Multi-Blind. His top finish in that event required him to memorize the positions of 37 different cubes and solve them blindfolded.
Organizing competitions worldwide
The World Cube Association organizes competitions worldwide for twisty puzzles such as the famous Rubik’s cube invented by professor Erno Rubik from Hungary. The organization is a non-profit, and participants compete in a wide range of events. The competitions are organized in accordance with the WCA regulations.
Each event is held in a specific room with a dedicated judge and timer. Before starting, you must place your cube on the mat in a standing position and hold it with your fingers – not your palm. After you solve it, the judge will record your time and sign your scorecard. Then, you must go to the waiting area.
During a competition, you must not communicate with anyone other than the judge or WCA Delegate. If you talk to other competitors, they may get an unfair advantage and could help you solve your cube. Besides, talking to other competitors is not allowed unless it’s a matter of safety.
Governing records for speedcubers
During competitions, cubers must follow a set of rules and regulations set forth by the World Cube Association. The WCA is the governing body of competitive speedcubing, much like the NBA is for basketball. The rules are meant to create a fair and consistent environment. If a competitor violates one of these rules, they will be penalized and may even lose their place in the competition.
Competitions are usually spread out over 2-3 days, with each event having multiple rounds. Each round starts with a primitive round, followed by subsequent rounds and then the finals. The rules vary slightly from event to event, so it’s important to read the competition rules carefully.
For many cubers, winning a competition is secondary to meeting other people. Whether it’s hanging out with fellow competitors or sharing stories, the community is often considered the best part of competitions. This is especially true in the case of the Gladstone competition, where local cubers took turns helping each other out.