Magic and Master Magic removed from WCA events, to be replaced with Ball in Cup

by Shelley Chang, The Carrot staff writer

SAN FRANCISCO – In a groundbreaking decision announced last week, the WCA has decided to stop recognizing Magic and Master Magic in official competitions. After extensive discussions with competition delegates, it was decided that these events are too difficult to judge properly and are too much trouble to hold. The recent regulation proposal requiring helmets on all Master Magic competitors has also been a logistical nightmare.

Magic enthusiasts need not despair however, as the WCA is considering the addition of an exciting new event to replace the popular plastic puzzle. “We have been testing the Ball in Cup as a competitive event for several years now,” explains WCA Board member Tyson Mao. “Not only is it easier to judge, it is an appropriate successor for the Magic events that preserves the mindless repetition of movement and absence of logical thinking integral to the Magic experience.”

Former delegate Dan Lo has spearheaded Ball in Cup testing since 2006 and currently holds the unofficial world record. “It’s more complicated than it looks,” he explains as he demonstrates the basic solve, placing a ping pong ball in a paper Dixie cup. “Especially when it gets fast.” His hands become a blur, hitting the timer a fraction of a second before the ball lands in the cup. This flourish of movement is his new method, he explains, capable of achieving the fastest times and promising that Ball in Cup can eventually be as exciting and competitive as Magic is currently.

“This is the best decision the WCA has made in a while,” says competition organizer Vincent Sheu. “Paper cups and ping pong balls are widely available, and we no longer have to deal with broken strings and jammed Magic panels.”