2009: Competitor's Area

BryanLogan (2008-11-11 22:11:04 +0000)
Make this regulation optional. While it's helpful for larger competitions, it's very difficult to enforce in smaller competitions. While I may require that competitors stay near the stations, the "and only those competitors" is difficult to enforce if my area is just the general spectator seating.
MadsMohr (2008-11-13 10:20:27 +0000)
Agreed that this sometimes are hard to enforce, but with the events at Geneva Open i think that it's clear that we need to enforce this very strictly. Having a competitors area will optimize the flow of the competition and keep competitors away from the scramblers.
BryanLogan (2008-11-13 13:58:42 +0000)
No, this may not have done anything to prevent what happened at Geneva. The area is for competitors who are currently competiting. If I have competitors 1-5 in the waiting area, 6 would actually have to not be in the waiting area since he was not yet called. Yes, it may optimize the flow for competitions, which is why I would want it to be optional. Competitors know that they might have to sit in a designated spot if required by the organizers, but I don't want all organizers to be forced to create designated spots, especially when it's not needed at all competitions. The scrambles need to be kept secret. Geneva didn't follow that rule. This rule had nothing to do with it.
jbcm627 (2008-11-13 20:31:43 +0000)
I agree with this - from my experience, its been good good for larger competitions, but for small competitions (especially in smaller rooms), it can hinder the flow of the competition.
MadsMohr (2008-11-13 21:27:01 +0000)
I fail to see how the flow would be hindered by organising the competitors, especially in crowded rooms. You really don't need that much space for it. For groups of 10 and with 4 timers you would only need chairs for 5-6 people and let the rest be standing. If you can't find space for that then you choose a wrong room.
Tyson (2008-11-18 17:59:58 +0000)
I think it could be done for a small competition as well, and we should be better at enforcing this. Chairs can be set aside for competitors who are waiting to compete, and it will be good because it makes calling up the competitor a bit more easy as you know where they are. Now, if competitors run off, this is indeed an issue. But we can be more strict by mandating that competitors who are waiting to compete stay in the competitor area. Of course, this is double-edged. The organization has a responsibility to keep a healthy number of competitors in the queue so that competitors are not waiting for absurd amounts of time.
Edouard Chambon (2008-11-18 18:08:20 +0000)
I don't agree with you, Tyson. That does not make the calling of the competitor easier. When the room (and therefore the competitor's area) is not too little, there can be really huge persons traffic-jam. It can be hard for the judge to go to the competitor's area, and also hard to go back with one person more. That was the case in Dutch masters for example. That can put the competition late in some cases.
Tyson (2008-11-18 18:44:56 +0000)
Hi Eduoard, You mean the opposite right? You mean when the room is small, it may cause a traffic jam to have a separate competitor room? I do not mean any offense by questioning your wording. I just apologize that I cannot communicate in French. You do have a point, that the layout of a room can vary and this is not something that is easily controlled. However, perhaps this will encourage organizers to find sufficient venues to host the competition? I do want to mention one more thing, and that is that perhaps with a bit more creativity and though-planning in the organization process, you can make a room layout that is more conducive to the competition? I realized something at the Drexel competition, and that is that the timers far from the scrambling table were not being used as much. In the future, I will recommend putting the organization table in the middle (with things to block competitor's view of the scrambles) and have an aisle set up for people to walk. But here's a question... let's say that the room was of perfect size. Then should there be a competitor area? If so, then maybe people just need to find better rooms?
Edouard Chambon (2008-11-18 19:29:23 +0000)
Hi Tyson, You perfectly understood what I meant. I apologize for my english :). About the layout of the room... We usually prefer to put the scramble table in a corner of the room (without any good reason). I think the better is to put the 3 parts (the competitor's area, the stackmats and the scramble table) in a triangle. For me that's kind of optimisation which also avoids traffic jam (because all the competitors do not go to the same stackmat so they don't choose the same way). I love your point of view about the room !! You're right... But... I don't know how it is near you, but here it is very hard to find a room for competition. Because we need a low price and a quite big room. Most of the time, we don't have the choice, and finding a better room is like a mission impossible. If the room is the perfect size (what is the perfect size, by the way ? how to know it when your competitors number can vary between 15 and 45 ?), then I think a competitor's area is really good. But you're right on the point that we often do not really care about the layout of the room... Because we do not understand which consequences it will have.
jbcm627 (2008-11-18 23:54:53 +0000)
[quote="Edouard Chambon":ko1q047v] About the layout of the room... We usually prefer to put the scramble table in a corner of the room (without any good reason). [/quote:ko1q047v] A good reason is that it is easier to keep the scrambles away from competitors. Something else to keep in mind is big cube bld events. During these events, competitors often take a longer break between solves. Making this regulation optional would give them a better chance to walk around and clear their heads... not that this is uncommon anyways.
Ron (2008-12-21 20:59:26 +0000)
I would like to keep the competitors area and start enforcing it more strongly. There are plenty of fairness issues that are solved by the competitors area: 1) prevention of competitors in the same group seeing the inspection and solving of other competitors for the same scrambles (especially for blindfolded events) 2) prevention of competitors in the same group communicating about the scrambles 3) prevention of other people communicating with waiting competitors about the scrambles There are also effects on the flow of the competition: (some competitors are really a pain) a) no need to endlessly look for competitors to come for their next solve b) no need to endlessly wait for competitors to come for their next solve Yes, of course you should find a good position for the competitors area. Yes, in some competition rooms there is hardly any room for a competitors area. Just find an alternative way to solve it, there are no specific requirements for the area itself. For example for German Nationals 2008 we just created a small border immediately behind the competitors. Thanks, Ron
Tim (2008-12-23 05:44:16 +0000)
How does the competitor area reduce 2? (prevention of competitors in the same group communicating about the scrambles) If you put all the competitors right near each other, it seems like it would be much easier for them to communicate about scrambles. I suppose if you had a judge watching them, making sure nobody was talking, then that would be solved. But in practicality, do we want to ban people from talking? This is supposed to be fun. And anyway, talking isn't the only way of sharing information--gestures, facial expressions, etc. can also be used. And we can't stop people from looking at each other. Basically, I don't see how putting all the competitors together prevents them from sharing information about scrambles. But I do like the idea a lot. The only ways that I can think of to reduce competitors sharing information about scrambles would be to force a pool of scrambles picked from semi-randomly, or to make sure that once somebody finishes a scramble nobody else starts a solve with that scramble. That would be organizationally painful, so I vote for the first solution.
StefanPochmann (2008-12-23 13:33:32 +0000)
[quote="Tim":5b3gx65s]And we can't stop people from looking at each other.[/quote:5b3gx65s] Blindfolds?
StefanPochmann (2008-12-23 18:46:45 +0000)
[quote="Edouard Chambon":346u5mqx]When the room (and therefore the competitor's area) is not too little, there can be really huge persons traffic-jam. It can be hard for the judge to go to the competitor's area, and also hard to go back with one person more. That was the case in [b:346u5mqx]Dutch masters[/b:346u5mqx] for example.[/quote:346u5mqx] For that competition (and others at the same venue), here's a suggestion (and how it looked last time). The sizes are probably off, but the structure I think is correct. The advantages I see: - Shorter walking paths with fewer obstacles for judges and competitors. - Audience close and in front of all solving tables without being in the way. - Scramble area shielded because surrounded by judges, not competitors. - I like the room light much better than the uneven and at times too bright sunlight. There was also a board (brown line in first pic) last time making the room appear smaller. Don't know whether it was supposed to define the competitor's area or just to show the competition results. I disliked it. I'd throw it out and put the results on the wall on the right side of my images.
Bob (2008-12-23 22:51:14 +0000)
I created a few weeks ago a proposed layout for the newark winter 2009 competition: [img:1w8utvkr]http://www.speedcubing.us/images/layout.jpg[/img:1w8utvkr] This should work (except for the Blindfold event, but there are less competitors for that, so perhaps they can wait behind? I think it is similar to your idea, Stefan.
Edouard Chambon (2008-12-24 16:33:04 +0000)
I really prefer Stephan's idea. Close to perfection. Problem with Bob's is that when the competitor goes to the timer, there will be a lot of people (between timer 4 and scrambling table + between timer 5 and scrambling table) : judges going and judges + competitors going back.
Bob (2008-12-24 22:10:06 +0000)
[quote="Edouard Chambon":xcofhg70]I really prefer Stephan's idea. Close to perfection. Problem with Bob's is that when the competitor goes to the timer, there will be a lot of people (between timer 4 and scrambling table + between timer 5 and scrambling table) : judges going and judges + competitors going back.[/quote:xcofhg70] Judges don't move. One judge per station that remains. One "runner" on both sides that brings scrambled cubes to each station and brings solved cubes back to scrambler. We did something very similar at Carnegie Mellon...VERY effective.
blade740 (2008-12-25 03:46:05 +0000)
Bob's is pretty much what we used at caltech fall, with one exception: The competitor's area should be BEHIND the timers, not in front. To have competitors moving between the first row and behind the tables to solve would force them to pass either around or between the tables. This is difficult because the judges are there. Plus, anyone videotaping solves will have a much better video when the cubers only move back and forth BEHIND the timer.
Bob (2008-12-25 04:53:31 +0000)
[quote="blade740":nrxvtxxi]Bob's is pretty much what we used at caltech fall, with one exception: The competitor's area should be BEHIND the timers, not in front. To have competitors moving between the first row and behind the tables to solve would force them to pass either around or between the tables. This is difficult because the judges are there. Plus, anyone videotaping solves will have a much better video when the cubers only move back and forth BEHIND the timer.[/quote:nrxvtxxi] That is a good point. I had made that change in my mind after I saw Stefan's diagram, but not yet on paper. I agree with you completely. I think Edouard would agree and was trying to point this out as well.
Ron (2009-01-03 15:09:39 +0000)
[quote:xq5tybh2]How does the competitor area reduce 2? (prevention of competitors in the same group communicating about the scrambles)[/quote:xq5tybh2] You can put a judge there that prevents talking about the scrambles. There is no way you could do that if people are scattered around the room.
Ron (2009-01-03 15:12:14 +0000)
Thanks for the suggestion Stefan. We will do this better for Benelux Open 2009 in February.