Incident at Hangzhou Open 2011

Tyson (2011-08-27 19:46:15 +0000)
An incident occurred at the Hangzhou Open competition on August 20th and 21st in Hangzhou, China, involving a competitor suspected of cheating in the blindfolded solving event. As they are under-age, we will not be identifying the competitor in question. Participating in the blindfolded solving event, the competitor was suspected of intending to cheat by looking underneath the blindfold and solving the cube visually. In the first two solves of the event, the competitor was unable to solve the cube when their line of sight was blocked by a card held by the judge. During the final solve, at the suggestion of a competition organizer, the judge removed the card blocking line of sight, and the competitor proceeded to begin solving the cube using a typical sighted solving method. The judge then again blocked the cube, and the competitor stopped solving. The judge proceeded to block and unblock the cube, with the competitor starting and stopping solving. We find the actions of the judge, and thus the organizer, inconsistent with the WCA regulations. The duty of a judge during a competition is to ensure a fair environment for all competitors, both those at the competition and those at WCA competitions worldwide. Judges are not tasked with testing the ability of competitors, and questions of potential cheating should be taken to the WCA delegate. As for the competitor in question, given their age we suppose that the cheating was not an individual act, but rather was directed by their parent. We do not intend to punish a child for the actions of their parent, and so the solves in questions will be recorded as incomplete (DNF), and no other action will be taken. We hope the parent will understand the implications of their action, and if the competitor wishes to continue cubing in the future, we hope they will be allowed to participate under fair and fun conditions, per the WCA motto. This was a disappointing situation. We hope that delegates, organizers and judges can work to maintain fairness and improve the competition environment, and we call can continue to enjoy our hobby around the world.