## [2010 Ideas] Inspection time down to 10 seconds

Ron (2010-01-20 07:12:44 +0000)
Hi guys, I would like to reduce the inspection time from 15 seconds down to 10 seconds. The reason for this is that inspection often takes longer than the actual solve. People are making more effective use of inspection, and I do not like to go a situation where more parts of the solve are planned during inspection. Btw. for 2x2 we are already in a situation where people can plan more than half of the solve. I think there should always be an inspection time for normal solving, besides the unofficial No Inspection event. We need the inspection phase for some reasons: 1) making sure all faces are aligned correctly 2) making sure that the puzzle is in the 'correct' orientation 3) keeping overhead as small as possible: now we already have overhead for starting and stopping the timer. Without inspection, people need to uncover the puzzle, and there will be a surprise effect when people finally see the puzzle. A reasonable inspection time to solve these issues is 5 seconds. I propose 10 seconds now, because I think the step from 15 to 5 seconds is too large. I do not like the idea of having different inspection times per event. It is not necessary and it will be confusing for new competitors and judges. If we go to a 10 seconds inspection, then the judge could notify the competitor after 5 and 8 seconds. For the scared people: there is no need to invalidate past results that used 15 seconds inspection. Interested in your opinions on this subject. Have fun, Ron
qqwref (2010-01-20 08:42:21 +0000)
Here is why I don't think inspection time should be reduced (especially to 5 seconds): - Slower solvers may not know they have to start the solve so quickly, or may not be ready at that point. 15 seconds is enough to explain to someone that they need to start soon, but if it is down to 5 or 10 seconds there may not be enough time. I don't want to have to penalize slower cubers for not realizing the rules have changed. - Similarly, the extra time is good for relaxing and getting in the mood for doing a good solve. 10 or especially 5 seconds could end up more hectic. Being on stage already makes people nervous enough, and having to worry about inspecting as fast as possible in order to not get penalized would not help. - Certain methods would be disadvantaged by the change. Some methods (such as ZZ and Roux, as well as color-neutral Fridrich) have optimized the first step to allow the solver to look for a little more in the given 15 seconds. Having a shorter inspection would suddenly make these methods a lot less viable. - Faster solvers rarely use anything close to 15 seconds anyway. I don't think I've ever had to penalize someone under 30 seconds for going over the inspection time. So reducing it would really have no effect on people who can easily inspect in under 10 seconds, and have a negative effect on people who can't, since they won't be able to plan everything they would like. I see only negative effects, no positive ones, except to make a few dissatisfied people happy.
I agree completely with Michael's post. I have spoken with many cubers about this in the past, and no one that I have asked wants any less inspection time. I think the current 12 seconds is perfect: long enough for even the slower solvers to look at what they need, and in judging I have rarely, if ever, had to disqualify anyone for going over. Changing this regulation doesn't give any real benefit. It won't change the fundamental nature of inspection in speedsolve events, just make the existing process more difficult.
Olivér Perge (2010-01-20 11:00:16 +0000)
[quote="Ron":2hub9b3s]The reason for this is that inspection often takes longer than the actual solve. People are making more effective use of inspection, and I do not like to go a situation where more parts of the solve are planned during inspection. Btw. for 2x2 we are already in a situation where people can plan more than half of the solve.[/quote:2hub9b3s] That's true, I heard of many solves when the whole solution was being inspected in the 15 seconds. The reason for this is the effective methods for 2x2x2. For example in 3x3x3 many cubers averages below 15 seconds but they don't go any further then the cross or maximum the first pair during inspection. [quote="Ron":2hub9b3s]We need the inspection phase for some reasons: 1) making sure all faces are aligned correctly 2) making sure that the puzzle is in the 'correct' orientation 3) keeping overhead as small as possible: now we already have overhead for starting and stopping the timer. Without inspection, people need to uncover the puzzle, and there will be a surprise effect when people finally see the puzzle. A reasonable inspection time to solve these issues is 5 seconds. I propose 10 seconds now, because I think the step from 15 to 5 seconds is too large.[/quote:2hub9b3s] 4) We need inspection time for putting down the puzzle and starting the timer which is around 3 seconds. 5) We need some extra time to be confident we don't inspect the puzzle too long. If the inspection time is 15 seconds we can finish at 9-10, knowing that it's going to be fine. If it was 10 seconds, we would finish inspecting around 6-7 and the judge would call 8 which would disturb many competitors (not me), because they would know they have only 2 seconds left. In my opinion we do need 15 for all those things together. [quote="Ron":2hub9b3s]I do not like the idea of having different inspection times per event. It is not necessary and it will be confusing for new competitors and judges.[/quote:2hub9b3s] I totally agree. [quote="Ron":2hub9b3s]If we go to a 10 seconds inspection, then the judge could notify the competitor after 5 and 8 seconds.[/quote:2hub9b3s] I just tried an average with 10 seconds inspection. I used JnetCubetimer which counts the last 3 seconds, so you can hear that. Nearly all in my solves I was still inspecting when I heard the first sound, so I knew I had to put down the puzzle immeadiately. I know it's only a 5 seconds cut but I think it would affect (for the most of the cubers) in a negative way overall. As far as I know in the very first competitions they used 15 seconds for inspection, and we still use it. 15 seconds is just perfect for us.
I vote for keeping the current 12 seconds inspection time but removing the +2 penalty for solves started between 15-17 seconds and making it a DNF if you don't begin your solve before the 15 seconds. I have only judged 1 competitor ever that went over 15 seconds and what good are a regulation that are never used?
I have to agree. 15s is just what is needed. MadsMohr is actually right also. But I'm doubtfull about how we can handle this in practice.
BryanLogan (2010-01-20 14:00:24 +0000)
[quote="Ron":3b9vahpj]The reason for this is that inspection often takes longer than the actual solve. [/quote:3b9vahpj] How often? Maybe for some of the best 2x2 people, but the people getting sub-10 on 3x3x3, are they using the entire inspection time? [quote="Ron":3b9vahpj]People are making more effective use of inspection, and I do not like to go a situation where more parts of the solve are planned during inspection. [/quote:3b9vahpj] People are also making more effective use of different cubes and lubes, so should those be banned too? Inspection has always been part of the modern era of cubing. To have it go down to being able to do just the minimal stuff pushes a lot of WR's out of reach.
[quote="deadalnix":1t128xdv]MadsMohr is actually right also. But I'm doubtfull about how we can handle this in practice.[/quote:1t128xdv] What do you mean by "handle this"? Because I don't see any problems in handling my suggestion in practice. Instead of a penalty when you pass 15s then it's just ruled like a DNF.
BryanLogan (2010-01-20 15:13:26 +0000)
[quote="MadsMohr":gtytqzqo]I have only judged 1 competitor ever that went over 15 seconds and what good are a regulation that are never used?[/quote:gtytqzqo] Did you give him a penalty? Then the regulations have been used. I've given this a few times (for new cubers mostly).
[quote="MadsMohr":37jenia1]What do you mean by "handle this"? Because I don't see any problems in handling my suggestion in practice. Instead of a penalty when you pass 15s then it's just ruled like a DNF.[/quote:37jenia1] If the competitor is very close to the limit, it's pretty difficult for the judge to decide if it's DNF or not. I think this is the good point for the +2 penality. Ideally, I think a timer with more function than actual stackmat is the solution for many +2 problems.
[quote="BryanLogan":8ham11fm][quote="MadsMohr":8ham11fm]I have only judged 1 competitor ever that went over 15 seconds and what good are a regulation that are never used?[/quote:8ham11fm] Did you give him a penalty? Then the regulations have been used. I've given this a few times (for new cubers mostly).[/quote:8ham11fm] My bad, I should have written "almost never used". But 1 time in 2 years is very close to never as far as I see it. I still think that it would be a good idea to remove this +2 penalty. It makes the rules easy to understand and to execute.
Pedro_S (2010-01-20 15:37:34 +0000)
I think reducing inspection is not a good idea. Methods were (and are) developed having the 15s inspection in mind. People practice using the 15s inspection. If you can "see" more stuff than someone else, IN THE SAME TIME, it's because you have skills. I believe this would affect negatively our sport. Everyone has the same 15 seconds available. Wheter to use it entirely or not is a personal choice.
DavidWoner (2010-01-20 18:45:11 +0000)
[quote="Ron":3v3gxylb]The reason for this is that inspection often takes longer than the actual solve.[/quote:3v3gxylb] "often?" I think not. Only on some 2x2, some pyraminx/clock, and a handful of 3x3 solves does inspection take longer than solving. [quote="Ron":3v3gxylb]People are making more effective use of inspection, and I do not like to go a situation where more parts of the solve are planned during inspection. Btw. for 2x2 we are already in a situation where people can plan more than half of the solve.[/quote:3v3gxylb] So now we are punishing those with the understanding and experience to see beyond the first step of a solve? That is criminal, and a direct contradiction of the spirit of cubing. [quote="Ron":3v3gxylb]I think there should always be an inspection time for normal solving, besides the unofficial No Inspection event. We need the inspection phase for some reasons: 1) making sure all faces are aligned correctly 2) making sure that the puzzle is in the 'correct' orientation 3) keeping overhead as small as possible: now we already have overhead for starting and stopping the timer. Without inspection, people need to uncover the puzzle, and there will be a surprise effect when people finally see the puzzle. [/quote:3v3gxylb] You left off "plan the first part of the solve," which I would say is the most valuable aspect of inspection. You do not provide a single factual or legitimate reason for wanting to reduce inspection time. As far as I can tell, this is based solely on your belief that someone who can solve fast without inspecting the puzzle is somehow better than one who uses inspection. This is without a doubt the most questionable proposal I have yet seen, and it shakes my faith in the WCA.
Thom (2010-01-20 23:25:11 +0000)
I would simply like to register my disagreement. See qqwref's post for details.
CharlieCooper (2010-01-21 14:07:45 +0000)
I won't repeat everything that has already been said in disagreement. I would however like to emphasise that I don't think it's right to seemingly penalise people by reducing the inspection time just because some competitors are able to plan "more than half of the solve". It's not right to just make things more difficult because people have improved. Also, I feel strongly that some competitors rely on longer inspection time due to the method they use. This regulation change could affect them more, which isn't fair either.
Gilles (2010-01-22 17:23:44 +0000)
Shortening the inspection time could be a good idea for 3x3x3, because as you said, it's rather long compared to solve time (speed solving != speed bld). - "No inspection" would be best, but it is not practical. - 10 seconds? It will be possible when we'll have new timers that include a strict timing of inpection times. For now, this process is too "human" (judge/competitor interference, judge has to tell competitor when to stop inspecting because competitor can't read time). 10 seconds maybe is too short. How can you even think of 5 seconds? => Keep the protocol as it is today.
BryanLogan (2010-01-27 03:30:48 +0000)
So, I just want to make sure that this idea is dead. It wasn't liked in 2008 discussions (viewtopic.php?f=4&t=374&p=2303&hilit=inspection#p2303) It wasn't liked in 2007 discussions (viewtopic.php?t=97&highlight=inspection) And it's not liked this year. And the discussions aren't even close.
Lucas (2010-01-27 22:29:09 +0000)
[quote="BryanLogan":ecu4ab6k]not liked[/quote:ecu4ab6k] While I would advocate retaining 15 seconds, I'd like to note that regulations should be about what we think the regulations [i:ecu4ab6k]should be[/i:ecu4ab6k], not what we'd like them to be. Even if that's often the same.
Ron (2010-01-28 07:01:34 +0000)
Hi guys, Thanks for all your answers. The arguments you have can be categorised in: 1) it is impractical to reduce inspection time I agree that 5 seconds may be impractical. I think 10 seconds would still be practical. 2) it is unfair to people with specific methods to reduce inspection time I do not agree on that because then you might as well say that current inspection time is unfair to people with OTHER methods. There has to be some boundary, and the boundary will always be favourable to some people. 3) it is unfair to people who invested a lot of time in making better use of inspection time I agree that a change may affect some people more than others. Personally I do not think that on the main puzzles there are actually top class people who make much better use of inspection time than others. We can all do cross or 2x2 block, sometimes Xcross. Some people are colour neutral, but I do not see them use more inspection time than others. 4) it is not good to have a hasty start I agree that 5 seconds would give a hasty start. I think everyone should be able to have a decent start within 10 seconds though. It is just a matter of getting used to it. For newcomers there won't be much of a difference, compared to experienced persons. 5) it is not necessary Our hobby is still under development. Our hobby will change over the years. People will use the room they have to become faster. So here we come to the fundamental question: [b:3pvwsrph]Do we want to go to a world where the main part of the solution is planned during inspection?[/b:3pvwsrph] or [b:3pvwsrph]Do we want to go to a world where the main part of the solution is done during the solving?[/b:3pvwsrph] I am obviously in the second group. There are guys out there who can memorise a cube in less than 15 seconds for blindfolded solving! And in a few years they will be averaging 8 seconds for memorisation, or even less. In a few years there will be people who are able to plan 3 or 4 steps out of 6 or 7, during inspection. I do not like that idea. Not because I cannot do it (I may be able to, I may be forced to), but because it takes us away from the "pure" measurement of time. [quote:3pvwsrph]This is without a doubt the most questionable proposal I have yet seen, and it shakes my faith in the WCA.[/quote:3pvwsrph] I will ignore this remark and some others, because everyone has the right to have an opinion and propose things. Even you and me, all enthusiastic WCA members. Nothing will change unless our community wants it. Have fun, Ron
qqwref (2010-01-28 09:58:45 +0000)
[quote="Ron":1x4oa4ac]2) it is unfair to people with specific methods to reduce inspection time I do not agree on that because then you might as well say that current inspection time is unfair to people with OTHER methods. There has to be some boundary, and the boundary will always be favourable to some people.[/quote:1x4oa4ac] It has been 15 seconds for 27 years and all of the major methods have been created or developed in that interval. Many methods were created with this particular time limit in mind, to be able to do a lot [i:1x4oa4ac]within 15 seconds[/i:1x4oa4ac]. It's obvious that any time limit would create some kind of advantage of one method over another, but 15 seconds isn't just any time limit - it's one that has been in place for so long that entire inspection procedures (I'm thinking of EOline) have been created around it. It is not the 10 seconds that would suddenly be a disadvantage, but the [i:1x4oa4ac]drop[/i:1x4oa4ac] from 15 to 10. There is nothing special about 15 seconds except that it has been used for every WCA competition ever. [quote="Ron":1x4oa4ac]5) it is not necessary Our hobby is still under development. Our hobby will change over the years. People will use the room they have to become faster. So here we come to the fundamental question: [b:1x4oa4ac]Do we want to go to a world where the main part of the solution is planned during inspection?[/b:1x4oa4ac] or [b:1x4oa4ac]Do we want to go to a world where the main part of the solution is done during the solving?[/b:1x4oa4ac][/quote:1x4oa4ac] I don't believe that planning moves is "the main part of the solution". If I average 15 seconds, I can maybe get down to 13 seconds with infinite inspection time (just staring at the cube). So that's under 15% of my solve, with infinite inspection. Only on 2x2 and Pyraminx can you plan enough to seriously affect your solve, and I don't think it's optimal to have different lengths of inspection for each puzzle. [quote="Ron":1x4oa4ac]There are guys out there who can memorise a cube in less than 15 seconds for blindfolded solving! And in a few years they will be averaging 8 seconds for memorisation, or even less. In a few years there will be people who are able to plan 3 or 4 steps out of 6 or 7, during inspection. I do not like that idea. Not because I cannot do it (I may be able to, I may be forced to), but because it takes us away from the "pure" measurement of time.[/quote:1x4oa4ac] Don't change rules based on what you believe people will do in the future! This is silly. Nobody knows what the future is like and we should not decide on huge rule changes just because of what we think will happen in many years. Besides, memorizing a cube is far far harder than planning out moves of two or three F2L pairs. You also have to realize that if you want to execute memorized moves as quickly as normal (without memorization delays!) you must keep them in very short term memory, and it's simply not possible to keep much more than an extended cross like that on an average scramble. Thus there is no speed to be gained by checking two or three F2L pairs, even if you could do it. As an experiment, find a reconstructed solve and memorize the moves up to the second or third pair, and then try to solve F2L using what you have memorized. I will bet you that a normal F2L solve will be faster than this. Besides, if you are worried about the "pure measurement of time", whatever that means, you should be trying to reduce inspection to 0 seconds, not 10. Choose one side or the other. [quote="Ron":1x4oa4ac]Nothing will change unless our community wants it.[/quote:1x4oa4ac] I am glad to hear this.
Erik (2010-01-28 13:28:11 +0000)
I am against this idea, just for the fact that I don't see any positive thing in doing this and only negative things. Comparing speedcubing with 15 seconds of inspection to speedbld is far fetched imho, of those 15 seconds you can plan probably only 13 seconds MAX cause of starting and picking up the cube. Anyone who can plan ahead more than half of a SPEED solve in inspection time on a 3x3 is.. just not there. As for 2x2, you'd have to get down the inspection time to like 3 seconds until people can't plan more than half the solve in inspection time. Please show me the people that can plan ahead more than an X-cross on 3x3 (consistently) and I'll start thinking about supporting this idea..