HANDICAP GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES

FOR THE 2003 SEASON

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1. INTRODUCTION

These Handicap Guidelines and Procedures, issued by the CA's Handicap Co-ordination Committee ("HCC"), supersede all previous guidelines.

Separate guidelines, issued by the Golf Croquet Committee, apply to Golf Croquet.

The following important changes have been made since the Guidelines were last published:

*   The maximum CA handicap has been reduced from 28 to 24. All players with a CA handicap above 24 will start this season with a handicap of 24 and an index of 850. However, note that `no player whose handicap is over 20 when they enter, may play in an event organised by the CA. This limit does not normally apply to events organised by clubs, although any limit may be advertised in advance. For Association Croquet doubles, the maximum handicap a player may have is 20': Regulation H1(e).

*   Clubs remain free to set club handicaps above 24 for their internal use. However, such handicaps may not be used in qualifying games.

*   From March 2000 Club Handicappers have had jurisdiction over handicaps above 8.

*   The break test (described at 2.1 below) is now just one factor that a handicapper should consider when setting and altering handicaps.

*   Handicappers now have a duty, where possible, to consult other handicappers who have altered a player's handicap in the previous three months before making a handicap change.

*   Qualifying Games have been re-defined to remove ambiguities.

*   At Tournaments (other than CA Calendar Fixtures) which last no more than 4 days, a handicap change can only be triggered at the end of a Tournament.

*   For CA Calendar Fixtures, the position remains that a handicap change can only be triggered at the end of the Tournament. However, note Regulation H1(a), which states that for tournaments which 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.

*   Provision is now made for the non-automatic adjustment of minus handicaps.

*   A procedure has now been established for appeals against the decisions of handicappers. The requirements that must be satisfied before the decision of a handicapper to be overturned are set at a high level and allow a large margin of appreciation.

 *  Note that this is in addition to the established appeals procedure under Regulation O1(c) of the Tournament Regulations, which only applies to appeals from Tournament Handicappers at CA Calendar Fixtures.

*   Previously if Club Handicappers wished for a handicap under 8 to be altered or set they had to recommend such changes to the HCC. Now the procedure is that a Club Handicapper should recommend such changes to an Association Handicapper, normally one within their Federation.

All players are required to maintain handicap cards, even A-class players who do not play handicap games. The reason for this is:

1.   it is important for the leading players to set a good example; and

2.   for the Inter-Counties, players' handicaps affect the pairings that their teams may field. It is therefore important for players' handicaps to be accurate and to achieve this they must maintain a handicap card.

The HCC is aware of the concerns expressed by some players about the operation of the handicap system. We are looking into this matter.

2. SETTING INITIAL HANDICAPS

2.1 For a beginner

A handicapper will have to watch the player play a number of games and ask himself how many bisques the player needs to win half his games against opponents he is likely to play.

The following test may be used, as guidance for the handicapper. The handicapper should set the hoops on a court according to the Tournament Regulations. The balls should be placed on court as if the standard opening had been played and the tice missed on the fourth turn. Thus two partner balls should be placed about three yards apart on the East boundary near hoop 4. One of the other balls should be placed in the tice position near hoop 1 on the West boundary and the final ball should be placed in corner II.

The player whose handicap is being assessed should then construct and play a four ball break to peg, finishing with a tidy leave. Each attempt should be continued to the peg even if disaster strikes along the way.

The total number of bisques used to complete this exercise should be noted and the exercise should be repeated about 5 times. The handicapper may disregard the first two attempts if he considers that the player performed poorly due to lack of familiarity with the exercise.

To calculate the player's handicap the handicapper averages the number of bisques taken to complete the exercise and then subtracts one bisque. The result is then multiplied by two and rounded to the nearest integer to give the appropriate handicap for the player.

2.2 Overseas players

The HCC is considering how best to integrate overseas players into the AHS.

Until guidelines are published under this section, the same rules apply in relation to setting and altering the CA handicaps of overseas players as apply to all other players.

2.3 In all other cases

A handicapper will have to watch the player play a number of games and ask himself how many bisques the player needs to win half his games.

If the handicapper is considering setting a handicap of over 8 he should ask the player to complete the above test. However, he should not adhere religiously to the test result, but should also consider factors including the player's tactical awareness and ability to hit long roquets.

A Club Handicapper may set an initial handicap of above 8. An Association Handicapper may set an initial handicap of 0 or above.

 

3. AUTOMATIC CHANGES TO HANDICAPS

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

3.1 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].

3.2 Qualifying Games

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:

1.   run by Member Clubs;

2.   in which hoops are set to CA Tournament standards; and

3.   which are clearly publicised by the Member Club, prior to the start of the tournament, as consisting of qualifying games.

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

3.3 Changes to Indices: Handicap Games

For 26 point, 22 point and 18 point qualifying games a player's index increases by 10 for each win and decreases by 10 for each loss. For 14 point qualifying games a player's index increases by 5 points for each win and decreases by 5 points for each loss. Full bisque, advanced-handicap and bisque-difference games are treated the same way by the AHS.

 

3.4 Changes to Indices: 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 dames. A step is two bisques from handicap 12 upwards, one bisque between handicaps 5 and 12, half a bisque between handicaps 0 and 4 1/2 . 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 (H'cap 3) and Bab (H'cap 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 l 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 (H'cap -1'/2) and Wap (H'cap 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 Wap's index decreases by 3. However if Wap wins his index increases by 17 and Bag's index decreases by 17.

Handicap Steps

Index Change

Difference

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

19

1

Table 1: Level play index changes for 26 point, 22 point and 18 point games.

Handicap Steps

Index Change

Difference

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

9

1

Table 2: Level play index changes for 14 point games.

Handicap

0 to

to 1

1 to 1

1 to 2

2 to 2

2 to 3

Notional steps

2

3

3

4

4

5

Table 3: Notional steps for minus handicaps.

 

3.5 Handicap Changes under the AHS:

1. At a CA Calendar Fixture or other tournament lasting no more than 4 days

At either:

a)   a CA Calendar Fixture; or

b)   any other tournament lasting no more than 4 days

a handicap change can only be triggered at the end of the tournament.&   If, at the end of the tournament, a player's index is on or past a trigger point for a handicap change [see Table 4] then his handicap changes accordingly.

Any such handicap change should be reported to the Tournament Handicapper. He must then complete form HC 1 and return it to the CA office.

2. In all other cases

Handicap changes take place at the end of the day.   So if, at the end of a day, a player's index is on or past a trigger point for a handicap change (see Table 4], his handicap changes accordingly.

Any such change should be reported to your Club Handicapper. He must then complete form HC I and return it to the CA office.

Handicap

Index

Handicap

Index

Handicap

Index

3

3050

2

1800

9

1300

2

2800

2

1750

10

1250

2

2600

3

1700

11

1200

1

2400

3

1650

12

1150

1

2350

4

1600

14

1100

2300

4

1550

16

1050

0

2250

5

1500

18

1000

2200

6

1450

20

950

1

2250

7

1400

22

900

1

2200

8

1350

24

850

Table 4: Handicap and index trigger points.

3.6 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. For an example of how to complete a handicap card see Appendix 1.

4. NON-AUTOMATIC CHANGES TO HANDICAPS

There are occasions when the AHS is unable to respond to changes in a player's ability. These occur where:

1.   the player infrequently plays eligible games; or

2.   the player is a rapid improver.

In such circumstances it will be appropriate for a non-automatic change to be made to the player's handicap, in accordance with the procedures below.

4.1 Handicappers

There are two grades of handicappers appointed by the CA, Club Handicappers and Association Handicappers. It is the policy of the HCC that there should be a Club Handicapper active within all Member Clubs.

4.2 Handicaps above 8

Both grades of handicapper have power to alter and set handicaps in this range.

When a player's handicap is so altered his index is reset to the trigger point corresponding to that handicap. Odd numbered handicaps above 12 may be used, where they are used the player's index is altered to the value given in Table 5.

Handicap

Index

Handicap

Index

Handicap

Index

13

1125

17

1025

21

925

15

1075

19

975

23

875

Table 5: Supplementary handicaps and indices.

A handicapper who is considering setting or altering a handicap above 8 should normally ask the player to complete the test described in `Setting and Initial Handicap', above. However, the handicapper should also have regard to his ability to hit roquets, his general tactical knowledge and the results of any qualifying games which he has played.

4.3 Handicaps from 0 to 8

Only Association Handicappers may alter and set Handicaps in this range. However, Club Handicappers may recommend such changes to an Association Handicapper but it will not take effect until confirmed by the Association Handicapper.

Any such change must be by at least 3 steps. Such changes must be based on an index change of 80 points over a period of 10 consecutive eligible games. Eligible games are games that count in the AHS.

4.4 Consultation before altering handicaps

Where practical, before altering a player's handicap, a handicapper should consult with any other handicapper who has changed that player's handicap in the last three months,

4.5 Minus Players

Handicappers may not alter or set minus handicaps. In exceptional circumstances the Chairman of the HCC, on the recommendation of an Association Handicapper, may alter or set minus handicaps.

4.6 Reporting non-automatic handicap changes

Any handicapper who changes the handicap of a CA associate has a duty to report the change to the CA office on the appropriate form. Changes to handicaps above 8 must be reported on form HC1, other changes are to be reported on form HC2.

4.7 Appeals from decisions of handicappers

Appeals from handicap changes made by handicappers may be made to the HCC or under the Tournament Regulations. Such appeals will only be successful if the appellant can prove either:

1.   that these Guidelines and Procedures have not been followed; or

2.   that no reasonable handicapper acting reasonably could have made the decision that the handicapper made.

Appeals against a decision of a Club Handicapper may be made to an Association Handicapper who is local to the player concerned.

For appeals against a decision of an Association Handicapper, the Chairman of the HCC shall nominate three members of the HCC, which may include the Chairman of the HCC, who shall hear the appeal.

There is no appeal from a handicap change under the AHS.

4.8 Power of HCC to alter handicaps

The HCC recognises that there may be times when strict adherence to these guidelines and procedures may produce an unfair result. Thus in individual cases the HCC may depart from these guidelines and procedures when it considers it just and equitable to do so.

This power shall be exercised by the Chairman of the HCC on the advice of an Association Handicapper who is local to the player concerned.

APPENDIX A
Guide to Completing a Handicap Card

The following is an extract from the handicap card of Dahlia Middleton at a fictional Summer Tournament, which consists of handicap and class (level play) events.

The names of Dahlia's opponents are recorded in the first OPPONENT column and their handicaps are recorded in the second OPPONENT column

OPPONENT

GAME

INDEX

Name

Hcp

H/l

Res

+/-

New

Maynard, Vita

14

h

-10

-10

1695

Middleton, Cpt. Edmund

20

h

+4

+10

1705

Lockwood, James

3.5

1p

+17

+10

1695

Ramljak, Vedad

12

h

-2

-10

1685

Le Flemin-Shepard., Tom

10

h

-26

-10

1675

Webber, John

16

h

+1

+10

1685

Chappel, Gerald

4

lp

+20

+9

1694

Jowett, Dr Adrian

5

lp

-26

-13

1681

Chappel, Suzan

12

h

+5

+110

1691

Patterson, Victoria

0

lp

+26

+17

1708

NOTE: Although Dahlia's index has crossed a trigger point, her handicap will only change if it is passed the trigger point at the end of the tournament.
   
The first GAME column records whether the game was played as a handicap game ("h") or level play ("lp"). The second GAME column records the score; a win to Dahlia is prefaced by a "+" and a loss by a "-".
The change to Dahlia's index is recorded in the first INDEX column and her new index, after the change, is recorded in the second INDEX column.

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