New rules for inspection?

anders (2007-09-23 15:43:49 +0000)
Today stopwatches are used for timing the 15 s inspection time, but we have a better tool availiable, namely the stackmat timer! Why not use it for the inspection time? This will relieve the burden from the judes to rely on the stopwatch when giving penalties. Below you will find a suggenstion of how Section A3 in the WCA regulations could be changed in order to facilitate the use of the stackmat timer instead of a stopwatch. Comments, please. A3) Inspection A3a) Before starting the solve the competitor may inspect the puzzle. A3a1) The competitor has 15 seconds for inspecting the puzzle, but may end the inspection earlier. A3b) The judge resets the timer and the competitor must place his hands on the timer sensors. A3b1) When the judge and the competitor mutually agree in a reasonable period that the competitor is ready to begin the inspection, the judge says 'OK?'. A3b2) When the competitor replies with 'OK', the judge uncovers the puzzle after 1 second. A3b3) When the judge has uncovered the puzzle, the competitor must start the timer within 1 second. Penalty: 2 seconds. A3b4) When the judge has uncovered the puzzle, the competitor must start the timer within 3 second. Penalty: disqualification of the solve. A3c) During the inspection the competitor is allowed to pick up the puzzle. A3c1) The competitor must not manipulate the puzzle in anyway. Penalty: disqualification of the solve. A3c2) If the pieces of the puzzle are not fully aligned, then the competitor may fix it, only to align the faces (for cubes the manipulation must not exceed limits given in article 10f). A3d) At the end of the inspection, the competitor must place the puzzle back onto the StackMat, in the orientation and position he wishes. A3d1) When the inspection time reaches 10 seconds, the judge calls '10 seconds'. A3d2) The competitor finish the inspection by stopping the timer. A3d3) The timer must read 15 seconds or less. Penalty: 2 seconds. A3d4) The timer must read 18 seconds or less. Penalty: disqualification of the solve. A3e) The judge covers the puzzle completely with hand or object immediately after the competitor has stopped the timer. A3e1) The judge must not move the puzzle nor make any rotations or manipulations of the puzzle.
StefanPochmann (2007-09-24 11:41:22 +0000)
I'm strongly against this because it's completely against the "let's make it easier" idea (the one where the judge doesn't intervene between inspection and solve) which still has my full support.
anders (2007-09-25 18:20:04 +0000)
Stefan, I think it _is_ in the line of "let's make it easier", which I also strongly support. Maybe I should explain why I got the idea of using the stackmat timer for the inspection time. The first reason was to provide a more objective and traceable measure of the inspection time. When using a stopwatch, I find that the judging of +2 s penalty or disqualification is rather subjective and non-trivial for the judge. Furthermore, the competitor can easily challenge the decision of the judge. With a timer that is controlled by the competitor, the time used for the inspection will be measured in an indisputable manner. (This point towards a related issue: How strict should the rules of using more than 15 s inspection time be implemented?) Another reason was to minimise the interaction between the judge and the competitor, which is done if the competitor himself take care of the timing. In my original thoughts, the judge should be quiet during the whole inspection time, but later I thought it would be better if the judge announced when five seconds are left of the inspection time (rule A3d1). Another minor issue is when the competitor puts down the cube and apparently stops inspecting before 15 s has passed. The judge has difficulties to interpret the situation. Should the judge directly cover the cube or should he wait until the 15 s has passed? If using the stackmat timer, the inspection is over when the competitor stops the timer.
StefanPochmann (2007-09-25 20:25:10 +0000)
Oh wow, I just noticed I missed the "cover the puzzle" part in your first post. That is pretty much the most annoying and unnecessary part of the whole current procedure. How many of the top cubers ever get into trouble with too long inspection? I never did, and I get the feeling that the faster guys use less time for inspection.
anders (2007-09-25 20:54:07 +0000)
[quote="StefanPochmann":2q7sihq4]Oh wow, I just noticed I missed the "cover the puzzle" part in your first post. That is pretty much the most annoying and unnecessary part of the whole current procedure.[/quote:2q7sihq4] Well, I used the current regulations as a templet with as little change as possible. If the judge shall cover the puzzle after the inspection or not is another discussion. [quote="StefanPochmann":2q7sihq4] How many of the top cubers ever get into trouble with too long inspection? I never did, and I get the feeling that the faster guys use less time for inspection.[/quote:2q7sihq4] I have never head of anybody being penalised for using too long inspection. But as a judge I have experienced several border cases; they were not top cubers though.
Ron (2007-09-26 20:22:04 +0000)
Hi Anders, Thanks for your proposal. I do not like your proposal because I think it tries to solve a problem that does not exist. For me the main problems with inspection are: 1) it is too long. There are cubers who can memorise a full 2x2 in 15 seconds, and then solve it in under 4 seconds. Even for 3x3 the world record is now 50% faster than the inspection time. 2) there is (too) much interaction between judge and competitor. Thanks, Ron