Recently, the World Cube Association Regulations Committee have made changes to the regulations that govern competitive speedcubing which have gone into effect as of the 1st of January 2018. Some of the most notable changes include puzzles with any sort of logo now illegal for blind events, competitors are now allowed to use their hands to inspect the puzzle prior to solving with their feet, and competitors now being allowed to use any “pillowed” puzzle when previously only pillowed 7x7x7 were only legal.
Firstly puzzles with any sort of sticker logo are no longer permitted in blindfolded events. This means if a competitor had a sticker logo of any sort on their puzzle the solve would be counted as DNF (Did Not Finish). This even includes cube stickers with the logo as part of the sticker itself. This has caused Mofangge, the company that produces the Valk 3 and the Valk 3 Power, to respond in a statement offering people who purchased or have purchased a cube to receive an extra cap and an extra white sticker so the cube is legal in blind 3x3 solves. However, on stickerless cubes where the logo is on the actual puzzle this may prove to be a problem.
Another change is that competitors are allowed to inspect the puzzle with their hands in feet events. As stated on the WCA github, previously competitors were restricted to “only using their feet and the surface (the floor) to manipulate the puzzle”.
This may or may not be considered a good change, as in one hand this allows the competitor to properly be able to inspect the puzzle prior to solving with their feet, but on the other hand the competitor is not truly using their feet to look at and solve the puzzle.
Finally, another of one of the many changes to the WCA regulations is the allowance of pillowed puzzles. They were not always WCA legal. Prior to 2009, they were not allowed. The V-Cube 7 changed this. It was the only 7x7 available on the market, and the only pillowed puzzle allowed in competition. Some reasons the WCA had to not allow pillowed puzzles were because they didn’t know how much “pillowing” should be allowed. Certainly, a 3x3 ball shouldn’t be legal to compete with. Another reason was because they weren’t perfect cubes, and it is called the Rubik’s “cube” after all. Some of the reasons they’ve decided to allow them are because many people prefer pillowed cubes, and they don’t give any unfair advantage, and the fact that they thought it was a little bit unclear to competitors which cubes could be pillowed, and which couldn’t, so they just decided to allow them all. In conclusion, I think the WCA decision is a positive change in allowing any pillowed cube. Competing is all about making it your own, and since you must bring your own puzzle to competitions, it may as well be one you enjoy.
In summary, there have been a number of important changes to the way competitive cubing is managed. The full changes can be read at this post.