The WCA Guidelines supplement the WCA Regulations. Please see the Regulations for more information about the WCA.
Guidelines are numbered in correspondence with related regulations. Note that mutiple Guidelines may correspond to the same Regulation, and some Guidelines correspond to Regulations that do not exist anymore.
To be more informative, each Guideline is classified using one of the following labels. Note that this should be treated as metadata, not as a description of importance.
- ADDITION Additional information to supplement the Regulations.
- CLARIFICATION Information to address any possible questions about interpretation of the Regulations.
- EXPLANATION Information that clarifies the intent of Regulations.
- RECOMMENDATION Something that is not strictly mandatory, but that should be done if possible.
- REMINDER Information that may be addressed other Regulations/Guideline, but whose relevance is worth reiterating.
- EXAMPLE An example of how to apply a Regulation.
- Article 1: Officials
- Article 2: Competitors
- Article 3: Puzzles
- Article 4: Scrambling
- Article 5: Puzzle Defects
- Article 6: Awards/prizes/honours
- Article 7: Environment
- Article 8: Competitions
- Article 9: Events
- Article 10: Solved State
- Article 11: Incidents
- Article 12: Notation
- Article A: Speed Solving
- Article B: Blindfolded Solving
- Article C: One-Handed Solving
- Article D: Solving With Feet
- Article E: Fewest Moves Solving
- Article H: Multiple Blindfolded Solving
Article 1: Officials
- 1c3+) Results should be ready at the end of the last day of competition.
- 1c3++) Physical records (e.g. score cards, written solutions from Fewest Moves Solving) must be retained for a minimum of one month. Digital records (e.g. scramble sequences, results) must be retained permanently.
- 1c3b+) If there are multiple groups, it is not necessary to identify which competitor was in which groups.
- 1c4+) Corrections to the results should be available within one week of the competition date.
- 1c10+) It is sufficient to ensure access to a digital copy of the Regulations.
- 1h+) Competitors in the same group should use the same scramble sequences. Different groups should use different scramble sequences.
- 1h++) All final rounds of all events, as well as all Fewest Moves Solving rounds, should have the same scrambles for all competitors (i.e. only 1 group).
- 1h1+) Scramblers/judges should only scramble for/judge other competitors in the same group only if it is important for competition logistics.
Article 2: Competitors
- 2c+) First-time competitors should register using their legal name. They may register using a reasonable nickname, at the discretion of the WCA Delegate.
- 2c++) Competitors must not provide intentionally misleading information, and returning competitors should provide information consistent with past information (e.g. exact name and WCA ID).
- 2d+) Date of birth and contact information should be especially secured.
- 2d++) If a third party (e.g. journalist) asks the organisation team to be put in contact with any competitor(s), the competitor(s) should first be asked for consent.
- 2h+) Competitors may be barefoot for Solving With Feet.
- 2j2+) For example, if a competitor is disqualified from an event for failing to show up for the final round, his results from earlier rounds remain valid.
- 2s+) Special accommodations must be noted in the Delegate Report.
Article 3: Puzzles
- 3a+) Competitors may use puzzles of any reasonable size, at the discretion of the WCA Delegate.
- 3a++) By default, a competitor should use the same puzzle for consecutive attempts in a speed solving round. A competitor may switch puzzles between attempts, at the discretion of the judge or WCA Delegate.
- 3a+++) Competitors may borrow puzzles from other competitors privately, to use in competition.
- 3a1+) Competitors may be disqualified if they do not come when they are called, or if they do not have a puzzle ready to submit (e.g. if they planned to use a puzzle that another competitor is currently using, and therefore cannot submit their puzzle at the moment).
- 3h+) Puzzles may be refined internally by sanding or lubricating.
- 3h++) Examples of enhancements include: new moves are possible, normal moves are impossible, more pieces or faces are visible, colours on the backside of the puzzle are visible, moves are done automatically, or the puzzles has more/different solved states.
- 3j+) In the past, engraved/embossed parts have been allowed. This is no longer permitted.
- 3j2+) On Clock, all eighteen inner clock faces are considered similar pieces.
- 3l+) Logos may feature any reasonable design that does not give a conspicuous advantage (e.g. encoding information that could be used to cheat), and leave the coloured part clearly recognisable. Unconventional logos are only permitted at the discretion of the Delegate.
Article 4: Scrambling
- 4b1+) The WCA Delegate must never re-generate any scrambles to replace other ones for the purpose of filtering. For example, it is not be permitted to glance at the scrambles for a competition and generate the entire set again in order to generate "fairer" scrambles.
- 4b2+) In general, all official scramble sequences should be kept secret during the competition and published together after the end of the competition (see Regulation 1c3a). In some cases (e.g. world records), the organisation team may wish to release specific scrambles sooner after the end of a round.
- 4b4+) It is permitted for the puzzle to change its orientation when it is moved from the scrambler to the solving station, as long as no one is attempting to influence the randomness of the orientation (see Regulation A2e1).
- 4d+) Some puzzles use standard colour schemes, except that white is replaced with black. In this case, black is the darkest colour and must not be treated as white.
- 4f+) The WCA Delegate should generate sufficient scrambles for the entire competition ahead of time, including spare scrambles for extra attempts.
- 4f++) If the WCA Delegate generates any additional scrambles during the competition, he must save them (see Regulation 1c3a).
Article 5: Puzzle Defects
- 5b5+) Examples of parts physically detached, resulting in a solved state: one 3x3x3 center cap, one big cube center piece, an inner piece of a big cube.
- 5b5++) Examples of parts physically detached, resulting in a "DNF": two 3x3x3 center caps, two big cube center pieces, a 3x3x3 edge piece, a 4x4x4 edge piece ("wing"), any combination of two pieces that both have coloured parts.
- 5b5+++) Example of parts not fully attached, resulting in a solved state: a 5x5x5 centre piece twisted in its spot.
- 5b5++++) Example of parts physically attached but not fully placed, resulting in a "DNF": a 3x3x3 edge piece slightly popped out.
- 5c+) If a competitor has a puzzle defect, this does not give him the right to an extra attempt.
Article 6: Awards/prizes/honours
- 6a+) ADDITION Awards, prizes or honours may be given to competitors according to the announcement of the competition.
- 6b+) RECOMMENDATION Competitors should attend the winner's ceremony to receive awards/prizes/honours.
- 6b1+) RECOMMENDATION The winner's ceremony should be held in the competition venue, within one hour after the end of the last event.
- 6c+) RECOMMENDATION Winners of awards, prizes or honours should be prepared to talk to journalists or any media covering the competition.
- 6d+) RECOMMENDATION Organisation teams of competitions should have certificates for all category winners, signed by the leader of the organisation team and by the WCA delegate.
Article 7: Environment
- 7d+) ADDITION The temperature of the competition area should be 21 to 25 degrees Celsius.
- 7h2+) ADDITION The competitors in the competitors area should not be able to see the puzzles of the competitors on stage.
Article 8: Competitions
- 8a4+) Changes to increase the maximum number of competitors in the first round should be made at least one month before the competition (see Regulation 9r3).
- 8a4++) The competition should be announced at least one month before the beginning of the competition.
- 8a5+) RECOMMENDATION The competition should have at least 12 competitors.
Article 9: Events
- 9b+) The preferred format for the final of an event is "Average of 5" or "Mean of 3", if possible.
- 9b++) Events other than those specified in Regulation 9b may be held during a competition, but will be considered unofficial and therefore will not be included in the official results of the competition.
- 9b3b+) The "Mean of 3" statistic does not affect the competitor's ranking in a "Best of 3" round (which is based on the best result). The WCA recognises it outside of the competition format.
- 9f1+) If the timer displays 12.678 for an attempt, the original recorded time is 12.67 (drop any digit after a hundredth of a second). A judge may write the full-precision time on the score sheet (and keep the precision in the calculation of penalties), as long as the score taker truncates it for the official results.
- 9f4+) The result of an attempt is DNF only if the competitor began the attempt by indicating his readiness (see Regulation A3b2) but the attempt was disqualified.
- 9f5+) The result for an attempt is DNS if the competitor was eligible for the attempt and did not begin it (see Regulation A3b2). If the competitor did not qualify for an attempt (e.g. in a combined round), he does not have any result for the attempt.
- 9q+) RECOMMENDATION Events and rounds should have at least 2 competitors.
Article 10: Solved State
- 10f+) The misalignment limits are selected so that they provide a natural cutoff between one state of a puzzle (without penalty) and a state one move away.
Article 11: Incidents
- 11e+) Since an appeal is not guaranteed to be successful, the competitor may choose to keep the timer running while appealing it, and resume the attempt when appropriate.
- 11e1+) The extra attempt must be scrambled using an unmodified scramble sequence generated by an official scrambler (see Regulation 4f, Guideline 4f+).
Article 12: Notation
- 12c2+) When counting the moves in case of a misalignment at the end of a solve, x and y are considered separately. Example: (5,1) is considered one misalignment, (5,5) is considered two misalignments.
Article A: Speed Solving
- A1a2+) In case of a cumulative time limit, the judge records the original recorded time for a DNF on the score sheet in parentheses, e.g. "DNF (1:02.27)".
- A1a3+) The organisation team and the WCA Delegate must be mindful that time limits influence the strategies of the competitors (e.g. rushing the first two attempts in hopes of meeting a cutoff in a combined round), and that changing time limits after the beginning of the round can disadvantage some competitors unfairly.
- A1a4+) If a competitor has accidentally been permitted to exceed the time limit, the time limit must be enforced retroactively, and the judge, competitor, and WCA Delegate should be informed (see Regulation 1g2). Judges must always be aware of the time limit for a current attempt (which might depend on previous attempts, in the case of a cumulative time limit).
- A2c1+) In the past, score sheets have been used to cover puzzles while leaving some sides exposed. This is no longer permitted.
- A3c3+) Although the judge is required to reset the timer for the competitor (see Regulation A3b), the competitor may reset it before/during the inspection phase if the judge accidentally neglected to do so.
- A6b+) The arbitrary value of 0.06 seconds was chosen to accommodate concerns about Stackmat timer malfunctions.
- A6g+) While he is determining whether to assign a penalty for misalignment, the judge should not touch the puzzle. Exception: For Clock, the judge will usually need to pick up the puzzle to verify both faces.
- A7c+) If a result signed by a competitor is found to be incomplete or unreadable, it should be interpreted the worst reasonable way (e.g. "1:05" will be considered 1:05.99, "25.X3" will be considered 25.73 if X could be either a 1 or a 7). Given that the Stackmat timer displays a time of X:0Y.ss as X:Y.ss, a missing tens digit should be considered more likely than a missing ones digit (e.g. "1:2.27" will be considered 1:02.27). The judge who signed an ambiguous result may be requested to clarify it, at the score taker's discretion.
Article B: Blindfolded Solving
- B1+) The competitor must use a puzzle without textures, markings, or other features that distinguish similar pieces (see Regulation 3k). This should be given special attention for Blindfolded Solving
- B1b+) Blindfolds should be checked by the WCA Delegate before use in the competition.
Article C: One-Handed Solving
- C1b+) The competitor may use both hands during inspection.
- C1b++) The competitor is not required to use the same solving hand for different attempts of the same round.
- C1b+++) Use of the surface is permitted while solving or repairing the puzzle.
Article D: Solving With Feet
- D1b+) The competitor may wear socks while solving.
- D1c+) While repairing puzzle defects, other body parts must not touch the puzzle.
Article E: Fewest Moves Solving
- E2b+) A competitor may choose to stop his attempt early by handing in a solution before the time limit.
- E3b+) "Rubik's Cube" refers only to the standard 3x3x3 puzzle.
Article H: Multiple Blindfolded Solving
- H1b1+) The attempt is not disqualified for reaching the time limit, due to exceptions for Multiple Blindfolded Solving (see Regulation A1a4 and Regulation A1a5).
- H1b1++) The judge may permit the competitor to continue the attempt unofficially, but the attempt must be stopped and judged first, in full accordance with the Regulations.
- H1d+) Example: If a competitor attempts 10 cubes, stops with a time of 59:57, and has two time penalties, the time for the result is 59:57 + 2*2 = 60:01 (also see Regulation A1a5).
- H1d++) Example: If a competitor attempts 10 cubes, and the judge stops him at one 60 minutes, and has two time penalties, the time for the result is 60:00 + 2*2 = 60:04.