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Guidelines for Club Handicappers

For duties of a Club Handicapper see Managing the Handicap System.

Club Handicappers should be familiar with the handicap system for which they are responsible: AC Handicapping and GC Handicapping.

Difficulties requiring the timely intervention of the Club Handicapper can be experienced with different types of competitive player, namely;

  • Player 'A' who principally plays few qualifying handicap games within their club environment and federation or may be infrequently involved in national competitions, yet plays very regularly within their own club, perhaps mainly playing doubles games. The potential is available for this type of player's ability to improve or deteriorate without this being reflected in their handicap. The intervention of the Club Handicapper in these instances is most important.
  • Player 'B' who regularly competes in qualifying handicap games and tournaments at various different clubs around the country including many events published in the CA fixtures book. Providing a realistic beginner's, initial handicap has been set for player 'B' the Automatic Handicap Systems should, in the majority of cases, now maintain player 'B's handicap so that it truly represents his or her abilities. The exception may be for cases where player 'B' is or becomes a rapid improver where again the Club Handicapper should play a pivotal role.
  • Player 'C' jealously protects their handicap either by omitting or adding game results to their handicap cards in order to maintain an inaccurate handicap and thereby deliberately gain an advantage. Again the Club Handicapper needs to step in to prevent this.

In order to reduce the likelihood of the above scenarios developing, the Club Handicapper should:

  1. Ensure that all newcomers to the game understand how to correctly complete their handicap cards and the criteria for qualifying games that should be recorded on the card. Also to explain how the handicap system works in relation to triggering a lower handicap and importantly, the relevant next trigger point for a player who loses their next few games and falls back through the same trigger point. Ensure spare handicap cards are available to all who may need them.
  2. Periodically check handicap cards to ensure that they are being completed correctly, that there are no mistakes, that qualifying games are actually being recorded, that there are no adding and/or subtracting errors and that changes in handicap have taken place at the correct trigger points and been noted on the front cover, dated and signed. Periodically check the CA handicap data base for your club members and ensure that both tally. It is suggested that, at a minimum, the Club Handicapper should check and sign-off every club member's card at least once a year, before the main season starts.
  3. Understand how to set an initial handicap for a new player as stipulated on the Handicapping pages of the CA website.

    For AC, the relevant test is outlined in Bill Lamb's booklet The principles of handicapping - apply this to all relevant cases. The test is reproduced as Setting Initial Handicaps. Note: Club Handicappers may set an initial AC handicap of above 8. A CA Handicapper may set an initial handicap of 0 or above.

    For GC, the relevant Three Times Round Test is used.

  4. Make and record handicap changes on a player's handicap card as required. Report handicap changes to the CA office.
  5. Be familiar with Managing the Handicap System, which defines duties and explains the constraint and capabilities of the Club Handicapper.
  6. Identify and take appropriate action in regard to rapid improvers. For AC follow the terms found on the CA notification document HC2.


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