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Handicap Guidelines: Automatic Changes to Handicaps (the AHS)

The Automatic Handicapping System (AHS) is the principal method by which handicaps are changed.

Starting Indices

All players carry forward their indices from season to season. When a player's handicap is altered outside the AHS, his index is reset to the trigger point corresponding to that handicap [see Tables 4 and 5 below].

Qualifying Games

Games Played Within the CA Domain

All singles games in CA Calendar Fixtures, Federation Leagues, inter-club contests, and Designated Club Competitions qualify for the system.

Designated Club Competitions are competitions for which all the following apply:

  1. run by Member Clubs
  2. hoops set to CA Tournament standard
  3. clearly publicised prior to the start of the tournament as consisting of qualifying games.

Short croquet, golf croquet, doubles, friendly games within a club, ad hoc games and abandoned games are specifically excluded from the system.

Friendly matches between clubs are included in the system, unless both clubs agree prior to the start of the match that the games will not be included.

The Tournament Handicapper must assign a handicap to each non CA member prior to the start of the player's first event in the Domain.

Games Played Outside the CA Domain

  1. In countries with an equivalent automatic handicap system all singles games are included
  2. In countries without an equivalent automatic handicap system
    1. All handicap singles games are included
    2. Level games are included where the non-CA member has a World Ranking Grade greater than 1600. The handicap of the player must be estimated using the World Ranking Grade as a guide.

Index Changes: Handicap Play

For all qualifying games, a player's index increases by 10 for each win and decreases by 10 for each loss.

Full bisque, advanced-handicap and bisque-difference games are treated the same way by the AHS.

Index Changes: Level Play

The change to a players index depends on the number of steps difference between him and his opponent. The index change is calculated from table 1 for 26 point, 22 point and 18-point games and from table 2 for 14-point games. A step is two bisques from handicap 12 upwards, one bisque between handicaps 5 and 12, half a bisque between handicaps 0 and 4½. For minus handicaps table 3 is used to calculate steps difference. These rules apply to both ordinary level and level advanced games.

Example 1: Roy (handicap 3) and Bab (handicap 14) play each other in a 26-point qualifying game. There are 12 steps difference between their handicaps. Thus, if Roy wins his index increases by 1 and Bab's index decreases by 1. However, if Bab wins her index increases by 19 and Roy's index decreases by 19.

Example 2: Bag (handicap -1½) and Wasp (handicap 0) play each other in a 26-point qualifying game. There are 8 steps difference between their handicaps. Thus, if Bag wins her index increases by 3 and Wasp's index decreases by 3. However, if Wasp wins his index increases by 17 and Bag's index decreases by 17.

Table 1: Level play index changes for 26 point, 22 point and 18 point games
Handicap Steps Difference Index Change
Higher Handicap Wins Lower Handicap Wins
0 10 10
1 11 9
2 12 8
3 13 7
4 14 6
5 15 5
6 16 4
7 or 8 17 3
9 or 10 18 2
11 or more 19 1
Table 2: Level play index changes for 14-point games
Handicap Steps Difference Index Change
Higher Handicap Wins Lower Handicap Wins
0 5 5
1 or 2 6 4
3 or 4 7 3
5 or 6 8 2
7 or more 9 1
Table 3: Notional steps for minus handicaps
Handicap 0 to -½ -½ to -1 -1 to -1½ -1½ to -2 -2 to -2½ -2½ to -3
Notional steps 2 3 3 4 4 5

Handicap Changes under the AHS

Whenever a player's index is on or past a trigger point for a handicap change [see Table 4] his handicap changes accordingly at the end of that day except that all games within an event should be played off the same handicap. However, note Regulation H1(a), which states that for tournaments that run over several weeks, such as the Longman Cup or Mary Rose, each round shall count as a separate tournament for the purposes of triggering a handicap change.

If a tournament (other than at a CA Calendar Fixture) lasts no more than four days then a handicap change can only be triggered at the end of the Tournament.

Within a CA Calendar Fixture, if one event is played to a finish before a separate event is started then a handicap change can be triggered at the end of the first event. However, if several events overlap a handicap change can only be triggered at the end of the Tournament.

All handicap changes at a tournament should be reported to the Tournament Handicapper who must then complete a Handicap Report Form HC1 (PDF) (or HC1 RTF) and return it to the CA office. Any such change not at a tournament must be reported to your Club Handicapper. He must then complete form HC1 and return it to the CA office.

Table 4: Handicap and index trigger points
Handicap Index Handicap Index Handicap Index
-3 3050 2 1800 9 1300
-2 ½ 2800 2 ½ 1750 10 1250
-2 2600 3 1700 11 1200
-1 ½ 2400 3 ½ 1650 12 1150
-1 2250 4 1600 14 1100
- ½ 2100 4 ½ 1550 16 1050
0 2000 5 1500 18 1000
½ 1950 6 1450 20 950
1 1900 7 1400 22 900
1 ½ 1850 8 1350 24 850

Handicap Record Card

All players who compete in qualifying games are required to record their results on an official handicap card. Players should bring their handicap cards to all tournaments in which they play. See the example for an illustration of how to complete a handicap card.

Index Change Lookup Table

Table 5 summarises the information presented in the handicap system description and provides a simple look-up for all level games: the intersection of the winner's and loser's handicaps, shows the number of index points that change hands.

Table 5: Look-Up Table

Winner's
h/c

Loser's handicap
5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 -0.5 -1 -1.5 -2 -2.5 -3
5 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 17 18 18 19 19 19 19 19 19
4.5 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 17 18 19 19 19 19 19 19
4 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 17 18 19 19 19 19 19
3.5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 19 19 19 19
3 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 19 19 19 19
2.5 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 18 19 19 19 19
2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 18 19 19 19 19
1.5 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 17 19 19 19 19
1 3 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 17 18 19 19 19
0.5 2 3 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 16 18 19 19 19
0 2 2 3 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 15 17 19 19 19
-0.5 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 13 16 18 19 19
-1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 5 7 10 13 17 19 19
-1.5 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 4 7 10 14 17 19
-2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 6 10 14 18
-2.5 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 6 10 15
-3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 5 10

David Harrison-Wood has also produced a single-page guide to the AHS that can be kept alongside your handicap card.

 

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