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Allow scrambling extra backup cubes for Multi-Blind #766
Duplicate scrambles for two cubes in the same Multi-Blind are bad, more easily preventable than most duplicate scrambles, and it's been proven that you can pretty much eliminate the problem with attentive staff.
That said, duplicate scrambles are still happening. This hurts the competitor:
I've heard a suggestion that we should allow preparing one or two extra cubes for large attempts. They would be kept outside view and reach of the competitor, but the judge could swap out a duplicate scramble with one of these. This reduces the issue to only the first problem (wasted time/distraction for the competitor).
I think we should recommend this for attempts over, say, 10 cubes. This should be better for competitors, and should help us gather better data.
I would also propose changing the scrambling procedure a bit, so that all cubes are scrambled in the same orientation to make checking for duplicates easier, and then randomizing the orientation for all of the cubes. This random order may also be printed out for the MBLD event.
To be clear, I am suggesting this in addition to what you proposed, not instead.
As for the backup cube(s) idea
I’m not sure how I feel about this, definitely has some pros and cons. The competitors will still have to waste time having the judge check to see if they are duplicates (to avoid competitors getting rid of non-duplicate cubes with bad scrambles in exchange for a backup cube) which is bad but necessary and I can still see issue 3 occurring as a result of that (also the fact that having to only memo once for two cubes is easier).
Also forces the competitors to buy more cubes for backup, in some regions where they already struggle getting cubes this just puts more strains on the competitor. As a result we have to also keep the old system to handle duplicates which means the same situations are being handled differently. To resolve this you could make backup cubes mandatory and in those regions it would just force competitors to attempt a lower number of cubes.
As for the orientation idea.
During transportation the cubes orientation may be changed meaning 2 duplicates may not be easily distinguishable.
I would be ok with removing randomized orientation but since competitors using WCA orientation would have an advantage which saves a little bit of time each cube (which adds up). Competitors s could be allowed to request orientation but this could become annoying especially at large comps.
This also would save time in attempts meaning old results would be beaten more easily (more cubes could be attempted or same number could be attempted for faster times).
A pro about orienting is it would allow people to easily make some tools to assist with checking scrambles (place all cubes down and take a picture, this can only verify 1 face but still could catch misscrambles and duplicates)
I would prefer orientation over backups (both could be done though)
Also how do I reply to specific comments and tag people on github XD
Don't sure that it is needed.
The reason this won't affect or bother majority (90%) of competitors is due to the "may" word in the regulation:
it should be up to the competitor to decide whether they want a backup cube or not. we can even add a clause that say, a minimum of 10 cubes or 20 cubes should be attempted before a competitor is given this option. Better yet, we can say:
A competitor may submit at most one backup cube for every 20 cubes they attempt, if they wish to.
this will have the added benefit of allowing people attempting 40+ cubes to submit 2 backup cubes
In the last couple of years, MBLD has progressed quickly with an increasing number of people attempting very large numbers in competition, and no matter how carefully they scramble, scramblers are human and are bound to make errors. giving this option will give an extra security to competitors and due to scrambler signatures being recommended. scramblers will still be held accountable for any errors.
The larger number a competitor attempts, the more likely it is that he will get a duplicate and the larger impact a few wasted seconds can have at a high level where people take less than 40 seconds per cube to memorise, they can instantly have a full cube's memo time gone due to a scrambler's mistake.
As for logistics, I have had this done in an official attempt of mine on more than one occasion and its very simple logistically. every competition already has a supply of cube covers and putting one cover with a cube underneath and placing it say, under the table or on a nearby table and quickly swapping cubes is still much quicker than calling a delegate, having him confirm, then him taking a cube away and re scrambling it.
the main thing that wastes time is the mental disturbance in an otherwise really focused event, and even thinking about the fact that a duplicate scramble can happen can be detrimental to the attempt. having the mental security of the backup cube will help this.
Thanks for reading, Please let me know in case of queries.