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Bowling Information: League Discussion – - Handicapped Competition
Leagues Determine Their Competition Classification:
The bowling world really has THREE SEPARATE TIERS . visualize it as a PYRAMID .
* The broad base contains the handicapped leagues that use a system designed to
• allow equitable competition between teams with widely varying abilities.
• Every team should have a handicap added to ensure proper evaluation of scores.
* The center portion is classified and more compact with a set-range for team averages.
• It would take a lot of extra work to do this fairly for all leagues in a center.
• Average targets could disqualify bowlers who prefer to stay together as a team.
* The narrow top has the very highest caliber teams that thrive on the challenges of the game.
• (A national proprietor estimates it will never be more than 5%, maybe 10%.)
League Handicap Components: The “2×2 RULE” is the key for good competition:
* EVERY LEAGUE Should Determine Handicap Correctly – - – (just like tournaments).
* Use two parts (percentage allowed and the same basis for every team)
• covering the two aspects of competition, both high scores and points won
* Prizes are awarded to those who truly deserve this recognition for accomplishments!
* Suggested League Rule:
• Handicap will be ____% (such as 90%) of the difference between average and a
• basis figure of _____ (basis or scratch figure set higher than the highest average in the league)
• Any fractions during the calculations are to be dropped.
• Handicap shall not be limited, unless otherwise provided by league rule.
• (Note: Guidelines for determining entering average for individual players, noted on Page 2.)
* Individual Method -
Set basis higher than any person’s average in the league, such as 210. If 90% handicap is allowed,
single game handicap (210-Average) x Percentage, such as (210-175) = 35 x .90 = 31.5 (use 31)
Team handicap for a single game would equal the sum of all of the handicaps of the team’s players.
* Team Method -
Set basis higher than the highest team average in the league, such as 1050.
If 90% handicap is allowed, the single game handicap would equal
(1050-Team Average) x Percentage, such as (1050-850) = 200 x .90 = 180.
The 2 Handicap Components – (additional comments, here and also see examples on page 2)
PERCENTAGE, such as 80%, 90%, 100% (NOTE: see IMPACT research statistics on Page 2).
Higher percentage has been adopted by many leagues. Studies have shown important benefits.
Even at 100%, the higher average team still has an edge. Lower average teams are more involved,
higher-average teams will still be well-served by their talent and experience.
USBC Rule 100g sets percentage at 100%, unless otherwise provided by league rule.
BASIS might be set as often done for bowling tournaments, as a function of team size,
such as, 1000 for 5-players, 800 for four, 600 for three, 400 for two, 200 for singles.
It could also be set closer to the league’s actual ability by setting the value:
a.) GREATER than the HIGHEST AVERAGE for the league,
b.) with ALLOWANCE ADDED to provide for improvements (estimate 10 pins for player),
c.) and finally rounded up to a CONVENIENT NUMBER for ease of use.
[Example: High team average 720, five-per-team (add 5x10=50) yields 770, use 800]
EXAMPLE: (BASIS – TEAM AVERAGE) X PERCENTAGE = HANDICAP
[ (800 - 720) x .9 = (80) x .9 = 72 pins per game, drop any fractions],
[72 x 3 = 216 total handicap for a 3-game series]
If the team bowls a game of 770 scratch, the handicap’d score would be 842,
series of 2200 scratch, the handicap’d series would be 2416.
You can also check related topics in the USBC Rulebook & League Operations Handbook.
High score achievements are an important aspect of league competition.
Everyone deserves a real shot at receiving recognition for their accomplishments.
Don’t miss a “fun part” of league competition – for every team, every game, every week.
—–>> Please “BE SURE to USE the LEAGUE KEY,
Handicap with the SAME BASIS used for ALL TEAMS.”
Handicap Percentage – Impact (Research Statistics):
Years ago, ABC and WIBC analyzed statistics for a four-year period,
the impact of percentage on the team points accumulated towards winning the league championship.
Their research was published in a small blue pamphlet “The Facts About League Handicaps.”
The study included numerous leagues sanctioned at that time – - men’s, women’s and mixed formats.
The results showed that, even at 100%, the higher average teams or bowlers have a decided edge.
A 50-50 distribution of league championships would only result if a 116% handicap was used.
League Championship Won by Championship Won by
Handicap Team with Average Below Team with Average Above
Percentage Median in the League Median in the League
70 0 out of 100 100 out of 100
75 0 out of 100 100 out of 100
80 0 out of 100 100 out of 100
85 6 out of 100 94 out of 100
90 11 out of 100 89 out of 100
95 24 out of 100 76 out of 100
100 30 out of 100 70 out of 100
Bowling Information: Handicap Method – Impacts:
Handicap calculated with 2 components (basis and percentage) for all teams is the best method.
Some leagues use another method, that can only determine points won between 2 teams.
Each week, half of the teams receive no handicap and the
rest are granted a dubious number based on which team that they are scheduled to bowl.
There is no basis for comparison of scores across the league, an important league aspect.
The fact that every team does not receive a handicap value is indicative of a serious problem.
COMPARE HANDICAP Methods: (Regular Basis or Team & Opponent Average Difference)
(a.) Team numbers correspond to team-average-ranking, (Example taken from a local league.)
(b.) Team schedule has these teams bowling each other (Will happen 1-week during each round),
(c.) Every team bowls a game 100 pins-over-their-average.
(d.) “Regular handicap” uses basis=800 and percentage=90%,
Regular Handicap = (800 – TeamAvg) X .9 (and drop all fractions)
Example: (800 – 704) = 96, (96 X .9 = 86.4) drop fractions, so use 86 for game.
Team & Opponent Handicap (where the higher average team gets zero for handicap)
Example: (753 – 704) = 49, (49 X .9 = 44.1) drop fractions, so use 44 for game.
Team Avg 100 *** Game Hdcp’d *** Game Hdcp’d *** Recalculate T&O
POA Hdcp Total Hdcp Total POA Needed for
Game Score Score “League High 853″
if used T&O and
Reg T&O 90% 80% 100%
1 753 853 42 895 0 853 100 100 100
2 704 804 86 890 44 848 105 110 100
3 700 800 90 890 0 800 153 153 153
4 681 781 107 888 17 798 155 157 153
5 670 770 117 887 0 770 183 183 183
6 654 754 131 885 14 768 185 187 183
7 639 739 144 883 0 739 214 214 214
8 625 725 157 882 12 737 216 217 214
9 600 700 180 880 0 700 253 253 253
10 594 694 185 879 5 699 254 255 253
The “team and opponent average difference” handicap method defeats the purpose of handicapping.
League high scores are the same as bowling in a tournament; every team should receive a handicap
for every game, during the league’s schedule. If not, scores are distorted, every team is in jeopardy.
This exemplifies why higher-average teams may dominate high scores, if an inferior method is used.
(A “pins over average” (POA) tournament is sometimes erroneously thought to be a different format,
in reality it uses a 100% handicap allowance. If 100% “Regular Handicap” had been used – - -
Every team would have showed a score of 900.)
Bowling Information: Guidelines for Entering Averages of Players (as Noted in Operations Handbook):
1. Average established in this league last season, based on 21 games or more.
2. Highest average from the previous season in any USBC league, based on 21 games or more.
3. Current average from another USBC league, based on 21 games or more.
4. Bowlers who do not have a qualifying average outlined in items 1-3, establish average the first time they bowl.