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Handicaps Explained

Tauranga Bridge Club – Handicaps explained

From time to time, we get questions about the mysteries of the handicapping system and from time to time, we pop something in Finesse to explain it, but of course players come and go and never catch up with how it all works and others just plain forget how it works !

The Handicaps are not an exact science and for player’s sakes, we wish it was. 

Initially, all handicaps are calculated within the scoring package, based on your performance for that day. Therefore, if you play 2 or 3 times a week, you will have 2 or 3 different handicaps. This is because you may play better (or worse) on some days due to the strength of the field.

The calculation for each player is based on the following steps:

  1. It looks at all scores for each player over the year for each day of the week
  2. Removes anyone who has played 5 or less sessions for that day
  3. Averages the player’s scores                          eg 56.2%
  4. Subtract the average from 50%                      eg  -6.2% and that is your handicap
  5. Your handicap is then added to your partner’s handicap for an event then averaged.

eg -6.2% + -2.8%.  This is - 9% in total so the partnership handicap is -4.5% for that day

Obviously if your average is below 50% you will get a plus handicap

Without mentioning any names, I have looked up one player who plays 4 times a week and their handicaps are as follows:

Monday:  - 2.14
Tuesday: - 5.89
Thursday: +1.93
Friday:      -5.11

Clearly this person is well above average for the daytime sessions, rather good on Monday slightly below average on Thursday nights.

Sometimes there are anomalies so we review the handicaps at the beginning of each year and sometimes during the year. We will make manual adjustments if required.  We do not always see these anomalies, so are happy to review individual handicaps at any time during the year and analyse your results in detail. Please do not be afraid to ask.

Teams handicaps
This is a challenge, as the only data we have is pairs results for individuals and this may not reflect their ability as a team player or the combined team handicap is not comparable with like teams. Initially we look at the pairs handicap and apply a set formula to each player to arrive at a team handicap.  There is also a need look at the number of boards being played as a team handicap cannot be the same for a 12 board match versus an 8 board match.  We should, however, do a sensibility check and make sure each team has been fairly calculated and if we think they do not make sense, adjust them. 

The handicap list is displayed on the Notice Board and on the website.  Please take the time to have a look when you can.

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