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GC Handicaps - Call for Handicap Card Evidence

[<<] [>>] by Martin French
4th January 2015 (GC)

The call for handicap cards is now CLOSED.

Many thanks to the 250 or so players who sent me their cards or responded to questions about their current handicap.

We now have a database of about 6,350 handicap games under the earlier system, and 1,900 under the 2014 trial system.

thanks, Martin French

=====original message: ======

The GC automatic handicap system has run for more than a decade, but it had become clear by late 2013 it had one or two problems. The most obvious and severe was that very low handicap players (0, 1 etc.) seemed to have an advantage in handicap play and were able to win far more than half their games - which was unfair. Closer examination by the Handicap Committee (HC) last winter revealed further problems affecting other groups.

So for 2014, the HC introduced a trial system which expanded the range for low players down as far as -3. The number of additional Extra Turns they would give in handicap play was further magnified by introducing Effective Handicaps that ran down to -6. The first of these changes clearly re-established something more like a fair chance for both players when a low handicap played a high handicap. But the Effective Handicap solution used for the trial wasn't popular.

The HC is now gathering results (copies of handicap cards) from both the 2014 trial season and the earlier pre-trial system, and has engaged a group to examine the evidence and advise how best to set the trigger points etc. to make the system work as well as it can. The group - Jonathan Kirby, James Hopgood and Robert Fulford - are all knowledgeable about the maths and statistics which are behind handicap and ranking systems. We expect the group to report in the New Year, and hope an improved GC handicap system can be introduced in time for the 2015 season - though this will be very tight.

Please add your handicap cards to the evidence the group is considering - email a scan of your card(s) to by 31st December 2014. Make sure it is clear which results are under the 2014 trial system and which are under the earlier system.

- Strat Liddiard (chairman) and Martin French, CA Handicap Committee.


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