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The New Automatic Handicap System for Golf Croquet - 2016 Onwards

The New System has been developed by the CA Handicap Committee for national introduction in February 2016. It has been developed from an analysis of 8,300 games played in the last few years, under both the Effective Handicap trial and earlier system. After a successful trial during 2015 in the East Anglia Croquet Federation, CA Council has sanctioned its roll-out across the Domain for 2016 onwards.

The good news is the new system work much like the previous ones - only the handicap range and trigger points have altered. It no longer uses "Effective Handicaps". Further good news is that for the majority of players, the translation to the new system is very simple.

This guidance is to be read in conjunction with Rule 16 - Handicaps of the 4th Edition GC Rules booklet.

The New System

The New System provides a handicap for every player when they play Golf Croquet in accordance with Rule 16 on Handicap Play. The player's handicap is used to determine the number of extra turns that the more able player has to give to the less able player, so that the competition between the two is approximately evenly balanced. The system requires that players record accurately on their Handicap Card the result of every 'qualifying game' - this means all games of GC singles played under tournament conditions to level or handicap rules. The Handicap Card tracks the player's Index - a running total of points that increase when you win, and decrease when you lose.

Ten index points are exchanged in all handicap singles games - the winner's index increases by 10 and the loser's decreases by 10. When a player's index moves through the 'Trigger Point' for the next handicap level, their handicap is changed. The change is not always immediate and may be held back until the end of a day's play or the end of a short tournament as defined below. The relation between index and handicap is given in Table 1.

Table 1 - New System trigger points
Handicap Trigger Point   Handicap Trigger Point   Handicap Trigger Point

-6

2800

 

2

1800

 

10

1200

-5

2650

 

3

1700

 

11

1150

-4

2500

 

4

1600

 

12

1100

-3

2350

 

5

1500

 

14

1050

-2

2200

 

6

1400

 

16

1000

-1

2100

 

7

1350

 

18

950

0

2000

 

8

1300

 

20

900

1

1900

 

9

1250

     

If a player reaches a trigger point and their handicap changes, it cannot immediately change back again as a result of the next couple of games. For example, if a 7 handicap player with an index of 1390 wins 10 points from a handicap game, his index becomes 1400, the trigger point for 6. Once the handicap has changed, that player would then have to lose 5 games in a row to have his index drop down to 1350 before he again reaches the trigger point for 7, and so became a 7 again.

Although a 'handicap' is not used when playing level games, full records of all level games are also kept as they improve the accuracy of the player's handicap for when they do venture into handicap play. The points interchanged by players after a level game are calculated on a sliding scale as shown in Table 2 below. The points the better player can win are significantly reduced; alternatively should the weaker player win, they gain significantly more than 10 points.

Table 2: Points Exchanged in Level Play
Loser's Handicap

W
i
n
n
e
r'
s

H
a
n
d
i
c
a
p

  -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 16 18 20
-6

10

7

4

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-5

13

10

7

4

2

                                 

 

-4

16

13

10

7

4

3

2

 

                           

 

-3

18

16

13

10

7

5

3

2

                           

 

-2

 

18

16

13

10

8

6

4

3

2

              1      

 

-1

 

 

17

15

12

10

8

6

4

3

2

                     

 

0

 

 

18

17

14

12

10

8

6

4

3

2

                   

 

1

 

 

 

18

16

14

12

10

8

6

4

3

2

                 

 

2

 

     

17

16

14

12

10

8

6

4

3

2

2

             

 

3

 

     

18

17

16

14

12

10

8

6

4

3

3

2

2

         

 

4

 

     

 

18

17

16

14

12

10

8

6

5

4

3

3

2

2

     

 

5

 

         

18

17

16

14

12

10

8

7

6

5

4

3

3

2

2

 

 

6

 

         

 

18

17

16

14

12

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

3

2

2

7

 

             

18

17

15

13

11

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

3

2

8

 

             

18

17

16

14

12

11

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

3

9

 

               

18

17

15

13

12

11

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

10

 

    19        

18

17

16

14

13

12

11

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

11

 

               

 

18

17

15

14

13

12

11

10

9

8

7

6

5

12

 

                 

18

17

16

15

14

13

12

11

10

9

8

7

6

14

 

                 

 

18

17

16

15

14

13

12

11

10

9

8

7

16

 

                   

18

17

17

16

15

14

13

12

11

10

9

8

18

 

                   

 

18

17

17

16

15

14

13

12

11

10

9

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18

18

17

17

16

15

14

13

12

11

10

Qualifying Games

Qualifying games are all singles games in CA Calendar Fixtures, Federation Leagues, inter-club contests (including friendlies) and internal club competitions played in accordance with the rules of the game. Friendly club games, walkovers and abandoned games are specifically excluded from the system.

Handicap Limits

It is entirely reasonable for Clubs and Federations to set upper or lower handicap limits for players in their leagues, matches and events, such as an upper limit of 12 in league matches, for example. But a complete beginner generally won't be playing in such matches immediately, and may benefit from a first season playing within their clubs off 14 or 16, for example.

Changing Handicap

Handicap changes do not necessarily become effective immediately. They only become effective at the end of the tournament if it is a CA Calendar Fixture or any other tournament lasting no more than four days. In all other cases handicap changes become effective at the end of the day. If a player's index goes through a trigger point and then goes back through the same trigger point during the tournament or day, their handicap does not change.

CA members are reminded to notify the CA Office of changes to their handicap.

Changing to the New System

Please see Changing to the New System for a description of how to convert onto the New System.

Minus Players

As there is now a strong correlation between the lowest handicaps and their CGS Ranking grades, minus players (i.e. those with handicaps below zero) who play fewer than 10 GC handicap singles games in a year are allowed henceforth to not keep a handicap card if they so wish, but instead use their current CGS grade to find their current handicap at any time. However a minus player who enters a handicap singles fixture must bring with them a current completed handicap card.

Doubles Games

GC Rule 16(c) covers handicap doubles play and stipulates that Extra Turns are awarded to a particular player rather than a side. The number of Extra Turns given by the lower handicap player on one side, to the lower handicap player on the other side, is given in Table 3 below. The same procedure applies to the higher handicap players on each side.

The number of Extra Turns is calculated by halving the difference in handicaps of the two players being compared. Where this calculation leaves a fraction, this is rounded to the nearest whole number (the fraction 0.5 being rounded up).

NOTE: The comparison of the two highest handicapper and the two lowest handicappers in the CA system is different from that specified in the WCF system (as used in New Zealand, for example), which compares the highest and lowest handicapper on each side.

Different Length Games

The number of Extra Turns awarded in both singles and doubles varies according to the length of the game:

Singles   Doubles

Handicap
difference

Game Length  

Half the
h'cap diff

Game Length

7 pt

13 pt

19 pt

 

7 pt

13 pt

19 pt

0 0 0 0   0 0 0 0
1 1 1 1   0.5 0 1 1
2 1 2 3   1 1 1 1
3 2 3 4   1.5 1 2 2
4 2 4 6   2 1 2 3
5 3 5 7   2.5 1 3 4
6 3 6 9   3 2 3 4
7 4 7 10   3.5 2 4 5
8 4 8 12   4 2 4 6
9 5 9 13   4.5 2 5 7
10 5 10 15   5 3 5 7
11 6 11 16   5.5 3 6 8
12 6 12 18   6 3 6 9
13 7 13 19   6.5 4 7 10
14 8 14 20   7 4 7 10
15 8 15 22   7.5 4 8 11
16 9 16 23   8 4 8 12
17 9 17 25   8.5 5 9 12
18 10 18 26   9 5 9 13
19 10 19 28   9.5 5 10 14
20 11 20 29   10 5 10 15
21 11 21 31   10.5 6 11 15
22 12 22 32   11 6 11 16
23 12 23 34   11.5 6 12 17
24 13 24 35   12 6 12 18
25 13 25 37   12.5 7 13 18
26 14 26 38   13 7 13 19

 

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