Handicaps

Why do I need a handicap?

In many sports including croquet, handicaps allow players of different abilities to compete more enjoyably on equal terms.  In croquet, a higher handicap allows you extra turns.  You will need a CA handicap to play in matches and tournaments.

How do I get a handicap?

Your Club Handicapper will assign you an initial handicap and may review it at intervals.  When you start playing competitive games within your club or in matches or tournaments, you will need to keep a handicap card (separate cards for AC and GC if you play both).  Five net wins or losses will usually move your handicap down or up using the Automatic Handicapping System (AHS)

How does the SWF attempt to maintain fairness of handicaps between clubs?

In general, the Automatic Handicapping System works well, particularly if players from your club play frequently against players from other clubs in matches and tournaments.  Occasionally handicaps of clubs become misaligned with national norms, particularly for new clubs which have just started league play.  The SWF Committee do a statistical analysis of the league results at the end of the season. The Federation Handicapper contacts the Club Handicapper of any club with unusually good or bad results to see if that club’s handicaps have got out of line. More than one exceptional result (e.g. a 7-0 win or loss by the same club in the season would also trigger an alarm.  If necessary, the Federation Handicapper will call in an experienced CA Handicapper.

Responsibilities of Club Handicappers

These are set out in detail on the CA Website

Resources for Club Handicappers

The SWF has run workshops for potential club handicappers in the past, and will run them again in the future if there is a demand.  The manual produced at our last workshops can be found here.  Some guidelines for Club Handicappers can be found here.

Resolution of problems

Disputes between clubs about an opposing team member’s handicaps should be resolved if possible by contact with the opposing team’s secretary.  If amicable agreement cannot be achieved quickly, the matter should be referred to the Federation Handicapper for independent resolution.  If necessary, he will call in a CA Handicapper for the code involved.

Club Handicappers can always consult the Federation Handicapper for advice.  If the problem is a player whose handicap is below the level that the Club Handicapper can make a change, a CA Handicapper can be called in.

Federation Handicapper

Currently Richard Jackson