We went to Huntington, WV for our son’s first cubing competition and it was called – what else? – Country Roads. Almost heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River… You know how the song goes.
Our son had a lot of fun competing and so did we, watching. The cubing community is very friendly and supportive of each other. The father of one of the participants heard our son’s time on the 2x2x2 and congratulated us, informing us that our son just qualified for Nationals. One of the participants even gave my son a set of hand warmers, which I thought was a nice gesture.
The other thing I like about these competitions is that you do not just compete. You also serve the community by helping run the competition. The competitors get scheduled to judge, scramble, or run.
“Running” means to be a runner boy: you take scrambled cubes to tables and solved cubes back to the scrambling booth. “Judging” means you supervise a competitor’s solve and record the time. “Scrambling” means you sit in the scrambling booth and follow a preset program which tells you how to scramble the cube for the next competitor.
We were pleasantly surprised by our son’s fast times in solving the 2x2x2 and the 3x3x3. He placed 10th overall in both events and they recognized him as the “Fastest Newcomer.” The sponsor gave our son a cube of his choice.
The other thing our son accomplished is that he qualified for Nationals. One can only go to Nationals after having hit certain times in an official WCA competition (under 10 seconds on the 2x2x2, for instance). You can see his profile here.
So… I guess we are going to Nationals in July. Pittsburgh, here we come! This cubing experience has been a fun ride for our son and for the entire family. It all started when I turned off the screens for three weeks last summer.
In order to qualify to a few more events, he will probably hit another competition in May, which offers pyraminx, one handed, 4x4x4, and 5x5x5. He is preparing to get faster in those events. One can always try.
If you want to learn more about the cubing world, I recommend The Speed Cubers, a Netflix documentary. There are a lot of YouTube videos, as well. My son learned the best algorithms from JPerm on YouTube.
You can compete in cubing events by creating a profile on the World Cubing Association website, then choosing a competition closer to your home and signing up for it.