The Cubing Corner

Speed Cube Competitions

fierce competition in rubik's cube world

Speed Cube Competitions

Trying to solve the Rubik’s cube as quickly as possible in a competitive atmosphere or event is known as speedcubing. Speedcubers aspire to complete solving the puzzle in record times. Speedcubing events are held across the world, and many of them operate under the auspices of the World Cube Association (WCA). Speedcubing events range from the standard 3x3x3 cube solve, to one-handed solves, blindfolded solves, and even solving the cube with one’s feet.

In this article, we take a closer look at speed cube competitions and how the WCA regulates them.

A brief history of speedcubing

The first-ever speedcubing competition was hosted and organized by The Guinness Book of World Records in Munich. This event was hosted on the 13th of March in 1981. The competition was won by Jury Froeschl, who solved the cube in a record time of 38 seconds.

Following this competition, the first international speedcubing competition was held in Budapest, Hungary. This World Championship event took place on the 5th of June, 1982. The winner of this competition was a Vietnamese national, who was also a student from Los Angeles. Minh Thai was the winner and managed to solve the cube in just 22.95 seconds.

While many more events were held after these initial competitions, there were disagreements regarding rules and regulations. In addition, adjudication was not standardized, and claims to breaking records were frequently disputed. To address these issues, the WCA introduced a set of rules in 2004. It also assumed the role of maintaining a history of all the world records. The WCA made it compulsory to use a timing device, referred to as a “stackmat timer” and began scrambling the puzzles with computer-generated algorithms. Since the inception of the WCA, over 142,000 participants have competed at officially sanctioned events.

Outside these official competitions, many informal events cater to players who solve the puzzle in quirky situations.

world cube organization logo competition for speedcubing

The World Cube Association’s role in speedcubing events

The WCA is the world’s foremost authority when it comes to all Rubik’s Cube competitions. In other words, if an event is labeled as a Rubik’s cube competition, it needs the permission of the WCA along with the presence of a WCA-assigned delegate to be considered official.

The WCA is located in Los Angeles, USA. It was founded by Ron Van Bruchem, a Dutch citizen, and Tyson Mao, an American. The organization is run by board members who assign teams, committees, and delegates to organize official speedcubing competitions.

The goal of WCA is to ensure fairness during events and also encourage Rubik’s cube competitions across the world. They are analogous to other sporting organizations that aim to achieve a friendly atmosphere and sportsmanlike conduct between competitors.

WCA’s process to verify speedcubing events

  1.     Participants in the competitions are split into groups
  2.     All competitors in the same group are given the same computer-generated scrambled cube to solve.
  3.     The winners are determined by calculating the average time of the middle three attempts of their five
  4.     The competitor’s best time is also recorded
  5.     Upon the completion of the speedcubing competition, the delegates collect the results and send them to the WCA.
  6.     The WCA verifies the results.
  7.     The results are published, and the competitors have their profiles updated with their results.

If you have already participated in a speedcubing event, here is how to check the results

Determine your ID by noting down the current year, the first four letters of your surname, and finally, an additional two numbers that represent the number of people with the same four letters of your surname who registered before you. Your WCA profile displays your average time and your single best time for each of the speedcubing events you have participated in. Your profile also displays your national, continental, and world rankings.

Get ready to participate in a speedcubing event

If you are planning to participate in a Rubik’s cube competition, make sure that it is officially recognized by the WCA. This ensures that your performance is recorded officially. Otherwise, even if you perform really well, you will not be able to make any claims of holding world records. Make sure to network with other players, and practice well before your big day. With training, strategy-building, and practice, you will definitely perform well at speedcubing events.

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