WCA Competition

As with every sport, competition is a fundamental part of the improvement and popularizationn of speedcubing. Competitions helped bring tons of recognition to cubers all over the world and made the conditions for their skills to be compared uniform, so that they could enjoy the fruitful environment of competing. It also helped spread the speedcubing culture across the world and drew many new people into cubing. The main body in charge of regulating all this is the WCA.

What is The WCA?

The WCA (stands for World Cube Association) was formed officially on the 18th of October in 2004 by Ron van Bruchem and Tyson Mao. The main aim was to spread the idea of conducting speedcubing competitions across the world, and make them accessible and fair to everyone. Their goal upon formation was to “have more competitions in more countries with more people and more fun, under fair conditions”.

WCA Competition History

The First Ever Competitions

However, the first ever competition was the international World Championship, conducted in 1982 in Budapest, Hungary. While this was long before the inception of the WCA, it is recognized as the first ever official competition. It had only 3x3, the original Rubik’s Cube, as an event, and used the ‘Best of 3’ format to determine the winner. Minh Thai from the United States is famously recognized as the winner of this competition with a single time of 22.95 seconds!

The inventor Erno Rubik throwing his cube in the air during

Rubik’s Cube World Championship 1982 in Budapest

The next World Championship was held in Toronto, Canada in August, 2003 that included events such as 4x4, 5x5, 3x3 Blindfolded, Rubik’s Clock, Pyraminx, Megaminx, and many more (a total of 13)! However, there were two special events, the Rubik’s Magic and Rubik’s Master Magic, which have since been discontinued. 

Evaluation of WCA Event

Winners of World Rubik's Games Championship 2003

The Evolution of The WCA

The tremendous success of this competition with its cumulative participation and organisation, led to the idea to create a non-profit organisation that would essentially regulate competitions across the world, while setting benchmarks to be reached and guidelines/regulations to be followed uniformly, for the betterment of the sport of speedcubing. So, the very next year we officially had the WCA as the international body that would go on to make the cubing experience consistently better than it had ever been before.

So, with the help of a brilliant structural organisation including a disciplinary committee (WDC), ethics committee (WEC), financial committee (WFC), quality assurance committee (WQAC), results team (WRT) and many other sub-organisations, the WCA achieved great success to grow into a larger, more relevant organisation at the head of the speedcubing scene. But their best inclusion was the concept of WCA Delegates.

WCA Delegates

WCA Delegates are members of the WCA whose role is to ensure the smooth, fair and uniform running of competitions. They can be from any part of the world and their presence is mandatory for the competition to be deemed official. The local organisations that are interested in conducting a competition need to get the approval of a WCA Delegate, and ensure his/her presence there. They can also get volunteers to help with any work needed at the competition venue.

The Official WCA Website!

The entire list of WCA teams and committees as well as the Board of Directors is available on their official website. It also contains the entire list of rules and regulations that need to be adhered to before, during and after competitions, in order to ensure complete fairness in results and also account for any mishaps from their end. The website also houses the entire list of records (National, Continental and World) since the first ever competition and has statistics related to much more than just cubing!

Public Involvement in their Growth

As with any organization, public feedback and criticism is crucial for improvement and growth. So, the WCA has forums wherein cubers, organizers, and pretty much anyone can pose their doubts/suggestions/advice and help make the entire cubing community a better place. These forums also tell the WCA about certain events/rules being unnecessary or if they require any amendments.

A great example of this was the removal of the ‘3x3 With Feet’ event in the beginning of 2020. It was a less popular event, with a low turnout of cubers, and was eventually scrapped for issues related to hygiene as well. A similar story resulted in the removal of the Magic and Master Magic events in the early 2000s, deeming them to no longer be recognized as official events. At the same time, there are lots of petitions to try and introduce new events into the list of official events, such as the Face Turning Octahedron (FTO), 4x4 One-Handed, etc.

Face Turning Octahedron

Face Turning Octahedron

Recent WCA Competitions In India & Their Winners

Competitions

Winners of the competition

Timings in seconds

Single

Average

Welcome Thrissur 2021

Bhargav Narasimhan

8.66

9.52

Cubing In Ranchi 2020

Akash Rupela

10.79

11.13

IISERM Cube Open 2020

Akash Rupela

8.99

9.96

Saraswati Open 2020

Bhargav Narasimhan

7.03

8.85

Synocubix 2020

Bhargav Narasimhan

6.5

9.5

IIT Roorkee Open 2020

Kunal Oak

8.16

9.03

MathSoc Delhi Open 2020

Aryan Chhabra

7.81

8.35

Cult A Way Cube Open 2020

Muhammed Shehzad Khan

9.09

10.81

Quark Cubix Challenge 2020

Akash Rupela

7.28

8.71

Oculus Cube Open 2020

Nikhil Soares

7.81

8.31

Amrita Cube Open 2020

Bhargav Narasimhan

8.08

9.29

CMI Tessellate Cube Open 2020

Anish Rajesh

7.92

8.67

BU Cube Open 2020

Arnav Arora

6.28

7.39

Jharkhand Cube Open 2020

Adil Ahmed

10.2

10.57

DY Patil Cube Open 2020

Aamir Saifee

8.03

9.03

What are the 17 WCA Events? 

The 17 WCA events are (as of March 2022) - 3x3x3, 2x2x2, 4x4x4, 5x5x5, 6x6x6, 7x7x7, 3x3x3 Blindfolded, 3x3x3 Fewest Moves, 3x3x3 One-Handed, Clock, Megaminx, Pyraminx, Skewb, Square-1, 4x4x4 Blindfolded, 5x5x5 Blindfolded and 3x3x3 Multi-Blind.

The most recent amendment to this list was at the beginning of 2020, when an 18th event, namely 3x3x3 With Feet, was officially removed (after careful deliberation and voting) from the list of recognized WCA events, leaving us with the above 17 recognized WCA events. 

Frequently Asked Questions

To answer some very commonly asked questions, here is a quick guide for you:

1. Are stickerless cubes allowed in WCA competitions?

Yes, stickerless cubes are allowed in WCA competitions and are fully legal to use. However, for blindfolded events, you must ensure that your cube has no logo on it, in order to avoid any identification during the solve.

2. Is 2x2x2 Blindfolded a WCA event?

No, 2x2x2 Blindfolded is not a WCA event and is not recognized as official by the WCA.

3. How many WCA puzzles/events are there?

As of March 2022, there are 17 official WCA events, encompassing a total of 11 unique puzzles!

4. How fast do you need to be to participate in WCA competitions?

There is no certain speed you need to be at to participate in WCA events. However, most WCA competitions have their own cutoffs for various events, which are listed under each competitions information page, and decided at the discretion of the delegate. Generally, for the 3x3x3 event, there is no particular cutoff, and 10 minutes per solve is usually permitted, since the timer will stop at 10 minutes. 

Conclusion - The Cubing Competitions We Know Today

This brings me to the conclusion of this article, showing how the WCA has played possibly the biggest role ever in creating a community and regulating the competitive nature of speedcubing to an extent where we have competitions as we know them today. Attending a competition today is such a smooth, well-organised and fun experience, that makes cubers such as myself extremely eager to compete and meet other people of the same community.

Cubing competitions have come a long way, and the WCA is the primary reason for that. Like any organisation, they aren’t perfect, but with mechanisms to facilitate improvement (such as the forums, board meetings, delegate management) they have become one that cubers and non-cubers alike around the world have come to love and respect. The WCA-recognized competitions of today are among the best in competitive sports. You should look to attend one now and embrace an experience like never before!

About Author

Akshaansh Chilakapati

Akshaansh Chilakapati

Akshaansh Chilakapati is a speedcuber from Hyderabad who specializes in big cubes. He started cubing when he was 15 and has 5 years of cubing experience. He loves to play sports, music and has a passion for astrophysics. He has attended 20 competitions and won a total of 64 podiums with 16 gold medals. He is also ranked 13th in India for the overall Sum of Ranks (SOR).

3 comments

Shayak Bardhan

Shayak Bardhan

Thank You so much for the content. Got to know about many things . I am really looking forward to if Cubelelo could come up with a competetion in various States in India , then that would just be Great !!!!

S Praveen Kumar

S Praveen Kumar

Iam very interested

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