This was the easily largest US Nationals ever, and in one of the most visible venues possible, Las Vegas. From all the great cubers from around the world and the country, the excellent competition heat system, and the prize money in $2 bills, simply put the competition was one of the best I’ve ever been to. I was skeptical about how the competition would go since it was announced, and nothing is perfect, below is a small list of what I think worked well and what didn’t.
- Lighting, I didn’t think it was the best, I asked other people and no one else had complaints about it, so it’s probably just me.
- Expensive stuff, a ATM ate my debit card the day before I got there so I was paying for everything with the cash I had and a credit card. Food was unexpectedly expensive, you always hear about Subway’s $5 footlong subs, in Las Vegas they’re $10 footlongs.
- Venue layout, the side rooms were just in the right place, the tables in the main room were laid out such that spectators could easily watch, competitors could wait behind the stage, and others could congregate around the circular tables. The side stage too was in a good place.
- Seminars, I only went to one of these, there were about three every night though, in the one I did go to the person speaking delivered information that cannot be directly found anywhere and was thus very helpful and insightful, I hope they do these again.
- Heat System, they did this at US Nationals 2011 in Columbus, OH. It’s essentially the smoothest way to handle a large number of competitors. The staff is comprised of judges, runners, scramblers, and recorders. judges stay seated, while runners call people and run cubes to and back from the scrambler’s table where they’re scrambled. When an average is done the runner takes the scorecard to the recorder. It worked great in 2011 and worked even better here, so much so that some events even went ahead of schedule.
- Age limits, if you’re under 21, what you can and cannot do in Las Vegas is limiting. I thought this would be a short coming of the venue, but for the younger cubers seminars and cube mettings through the night took care of this. For the older cubers though, there were a few days where hangovers definitely affected some performances.
World Championships 2013 will be in the same city July 26-28th. I will not be going as I will be in a different country. I’m not too disappointed about this, there will always be more World Championships, and one trip to Las Vegas in a lifetime, being the city it is, is enough for me.