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Bowling Handicap

HANDICAP PROCEDURES

     Handicapping is a means of placing bowlers and teams with varying degrees of skill on as equitable a basis as possible for their competition against each other. WIBC/ABC recommends that higher handicap percentages be used for more equalized matches.

     Example, with handicap based on 80% of 200: (All fractions are dropped when figuring handicap.)

TEAM A TEAM B
Average Handicap Average Handicap
Jill 160 + 32 = 192 Steve 124 + 60 = 184
Barbara 155 + 36 = 191 Pam 122 + 62 = 184
Paul 140 + 48= 188 Carlos 132 + 54 = 186
Juanita 146 + 43 = 189 Jennifer 141 + 47 = 188
Adam 167 + 26 =  193 Mike 160 + 32 = 192
768 + 185 = 953 679 + 255 = 934

     With a 80% handicap, Team A has a 19-pin advantage over Team B. By basing handicap on 80% of 200, it would be difficult for Team B to win the game. If the members of Team A were to bowl their average, it would be necessary for the members of Team B to exceed their own team average by at least 19 pins in order to win the game.

Example, with handicap based on 100% of 200:

TEAM A TEAM B
Average Handicap Average Handicap
Jill 160 + 40 = 200 Steve 124 + 76 = 200
Barbara 155 + 45 = 200 Pam 122 + 78 = 200
Paul 140 + 60 = 200 Carlos 132 + 68 = 200
Juanita 146 + 54 = 200 Jennifer 141 + 59 = 200
Adam 167 + 33 = 200 Mike 160 + 40 = 200
768 + 232 = 1000 679 + 321 = 1000

     If the handicap is based on 100% of 200, the chances of Team B winning the game would be more realistic. The game becomes a most pins over average contest.

     Since WIBC/ABC/YABA rules state that games with handicap included are to be eligible for league prizes, unless the league rules otherwise, problems can arise when handicap is based on the difference of the averages of the two competing teams. WIBC/ABC/YABA recommends handicap leagues use the individual or the team method of handicapping, so that both teams in a match have the benefit of handicap. See Rules 101k and 609 for the rules which govern handicap leagues.

Individual Method of Handicapping

     Set a scratch figure higher than the entering average of any bowler in the league and decide on the percentage to be used for computing handicap. The individual handicaps of the bowlers are added together for the team handicap. In the following example, 100% of 200 is used.
 
 

Actual Average  Handicap 100% of 200
Kathy 130 70
Linda 140 60
Ashley 125 75
Keith 135 65
Ed 170 30
300 (handicap for the team)
(200 minus average of 100% equals bowler's handicap.

Team Method of Handicapping

     Set a scratch figure higher than the entering average of any team in the league and decide on the percentage to be used in computing the handicap. The actual averages of the bowlers are added together in determining the team average. In the following example, 90% of 800 is used.
 

Team C Team D
Kathy 130 Justin  137
Linda 140 Theresa 130
Ashley 125 Sara 131
Keith 135 Todd 120
Ed 170 Frank 167
Total
700
Total
685
Handicap
100
Handicap
115

Handicap for Team C: 800 scratch - 700 team average is 100 X 100% = 100 pins handicap for each game.

Handicap for Team D: 800 scratch - 685 team average is 115 X 100% = 115.

Entering Averages

     The league decides by rule the number of games required to establish an average. When bowlers have had previous league experience, the league may use these averages as entering averages for computing handicap on the first night of competition, or until they have established an average based on the league rule.

     For new bowlers who have no previous league experience or average, the league may:

1. Handicap them from a set figure, for example 100, until they have established an average based on league rule, or
2. Use a "retroactive" handicap, computed after the bowler's first three games, to be applied to that series and the next series in which the bowler competes.  

Courtesy of the ABC/WIBC and Bowling Inc.




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