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  • #1
    Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 11,139 mod Mr. Manager

    I know this isn't the busiest forum but I'm curious to hear about the handicap structures in other leagues around.

    Where I play (Malta) they seem to have the most obscure handicap system, regarding percentage and max handicap, going.

    Going to take last nights league game as an example. It's a local doubles league that is played by the top guys on the island along with a few stragglers (my team included - we're gatekeepers to the upper tier)

    Myself and my coach make up the team along with one other fella. The two others are solid players (217 and 205 scratch average) and then there's me with 180 on the nose.

    So last night we had a tough match up against 3rd place who are playing off 215 and 230 scratch. My partner, coach, is playing off 217 scratch. The handicap allocation has given me 9 pins. 9. So even if I play my average or 20 pins above, I'm still going to lose out to their average games. To me this makes no sense. Every season it's the same teams battling for top spot and the same teams finishing last. My understanding of handicap is that it enables those who aren't as good to give the better guys a bit of a run for their money - to make things interesting (if only a little).

    We lost 6-2 (2 points per game and 2 for total pinfall) last night in what I can only say was a really demoralising match.

    First game we open up for a 484 scratch, 493 with my handicap. But it was futile as our opponents shot 248 & 257 for a 505 scratch game.

    Second game wasn't much better but again we had a solid scratch game of 430, alas it was no good versus their 460.

    Third game went our favour by 14 pins.

    My scratch series was 612 - almost 80 pins above my average
    My partner threw a 764.

    But how are we to compete against the other guys who are playing 708 and 723. The handicap system seems defunct and completely irrelevant.

    To put it into some sort of context, the highest average in that league was one of the guys we played last night - 230.35

    The lowest average in that league is 147 with a handicap of 25 (maximum allowed) so I just don't understand who came up with that and how they saw it fit to be a good base.

    75% of 190 - capped at 25 pins seems totally pointless.

    Curious to hear other peoples views on this.


  • That low a cap is pretty pointless, but as far as the rest, it's hard to say. You don't want to punish the better players for being better, but you also don't want to end up in the situation I'm currently in, where my handicap just doesn't match up to my improvement pace (my handicap is 55 in our league, but I'm regularly starting to throw 160+).

    Possibly discuss with the organiser(s) about moving to 75% of 200/210 instead, as that's very low. Or even moving to 90% of 190.

  • that should be moved up to at least 210, possibly even 220.
    a handicap system should be catching the averages of just about every player in the league.

  • Fired off an e-mail to the president of the MTBA and he responded that their used to be 2 divisions for the league but it got amalgamated.

    They're in discussion of splitting it again. Some what of a result I guess

  • Standard fare would be that the average baseline is moved in line with the highest averages in the league so that there are extremely few players playing off scratch.

    For example the usual would be based off 220 in my centre, but about 5 years ago the main league was moved to 80% of 230 as there were 10-15 people above 229/ since the move to 230 there are maybe 2-3 people who sustain that for a full 18 weeks.

  • Just for the sake of contribution and to give an idea of how flawed the handicap is I'm going to post below the averages and handicaps

    Number Average Handicap
    1 230 0
    2 226 0
    3 222 0
    4 218 0
    5 217 0
    6 215 0
    7 214 0
    8 212 0
    9 208 0
    10 205 0
    11 204 0
    12 203 0
    13 202 0
    14 201 0
    15 197 0
    16 194 0
    17 193 0
    18 191 0
    19 188 1
    20 186 3
    21 185 4
    22 182 6
    23 180 8
    24 179 8
    25 175 12
    26 168 17
    27 161 23
    28 157 25
    29 156 25
    30 153 25
    31 147 25

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  • So 18/28 players in this doubles league are playing off scratch.

    There's me nestled down in 23rd place. Happy with a 180 average but not when there's guys 50 pins better than me and I get 8 pins handicap.

  • Sorry, 18/31, not 28. I missed a team of three. Who coincidentally are the worst. Their best player is 156+25(181).

    Her team mates are 153+25 (178) and 147+25(172)

    So even if they play their average vs. anyone else playing their average (plus their handicap) they're never going to beat anyone. Ever.

    Sucks the fun out of things IMO

  • Looking at the high games/series too is crazy. You can see it's a relatively easy pattern by the high scoring series.

    Highlighted mine but it shows that even if I bowl this I'm still at a disadvantage against most.


  • The point of a handicap system is to level the playing field, as such anyone above scratch is benefitting, maybe have a word with the league secretary, AFAIK this is something that can be voted on to change at a captains meeting at the end/start of a league.

    Although no guarantee to get a quorum, turkeys don't vote for Christmas and all that.

  • Doesn't look fair to me. It should be moved to 80% of 220 not 80% of 190. Totally wrong. Also the decision to cap the handicap at 25 does not encourage players to play in this league if the have a low average. I'm surprised they paly in it. Most leagues have a minimum average of 120 for adults in Ireland. Even dropping the minimum average to 145 in this league with the correct handicap structure would make it fair. Its plain obvious the high average bowlers will clean up every time if they hit their average. Its not challenging them to play better nor encouraging the not so good bowlers to play better.

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  • I've brought it to the attention of the president and backed it up with some stats/facts but I doubt anything will change to be honest.

    They're so set in their ways here.

  • when does the league finish? do they have one before Xmas and one after?
    you could always try get together with a lot of the teams with a lower average and organise a mass boycott.

  • when does the league finish? do they have one before Xmas and one after?
    you could always try get together with a lot of the teams with a lower average and organise a mass boycott.

    There's only two weeks left. Tonight and next Tuesday and then we're on a break until after Christmas.

    I'm planning to e-mail the captains of the other teams to see if they'll join in raising a voice over it. Unfortunately,Malta isn't huge and we can't actually boycott the place because we only have one alley in the entire country.

    That's why they're (MTBA) so stubborn because they have the attitude of "If you don't like what we do then go play elsewhere. Oh, that's right, you can't. Tough luck"

  • Unfortunately,Malta isn't huge and we can't actually boycott the place because we only have one alley in the entire country.

    Yeah, that doesn't really help your chances. Hope you get something sorted in the end.

  • Thanks for the feedback anyway. I'll post an update (if there is one).