Presented by James Hawkins and Don Williamson to a NWFCC Meeting on Sunday 17 March 2013
Handicap Guidelines: Changes for the 2011 Season
Qualifying Games played within the CA Domain
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 for which all the following apply:
1. run by Member Clubs
2. hoops set to CA Tournament standard
3. clearly publicised prior to the start of the tournament as consisting of qualifying games.
Short croquet, golf croquet, doubles, friendly games within a club, ad hoc games and abandoned games are specifically excluded from the system.
Friendly matches between clubs are included in the system, unless both clubs agree prior to the start of the match that the games will not be included.
The Tournament Handicapper must assign a handicap to each non CA member prior to the start of the player’s first event in the Domain.
Qualifying Games played outside the CA Domain
1. In countries with an equivalent automatic handicap system all singles games are included
2. In countries without an equivalent automatic handicap system – (a) All handicap singles games are included and (b) Level games are included where the non-CA member has a World Ranking Grade greater than 1600. The handicap of the player must be estimated using the World Ranking Grade as a guide.
Handicap Changes under the AHS
All games within an event should be played off the same handicap. However, note Regulation H1(a), which states that for tournaments that 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.
Within a CA Calendar Fixture, if one event is played to a finish before a separate event is started then a handicap change can be triggered at the end of the first event. However, if several events overlap a handicap change can only be triggered at the end of the Tournament.
Handicap Guidelines: Setting Initial Handicaps
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.
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. A CA Handicapper may set an initial handicap of 0 or above.
Handicap Guidelines: 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 qualifying games; or
2. the player is a rapid improver.
In such circumstances, it is appropriate for a non-automatic change to be made to the player’s handicap, in accordance with the procedures below.
There are two grades of Association Croquet handicappers appointed by the CA: Club Handicappers and CA Handicappers. CA Handicap Committee policy is that there should be a Club Handicapper active within each Member Club.
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.
From the start of the 2012 playing season the practice of allocating odd numbered handicaps above 12 may no longer be followed. Handicappers should set an index corresponding to one of the AHS trigger points. Where players already have an odd numbered handicap they should convert to the nearest AHS trigger point.
A Handicapper who is considering setting or altering a handicap above 8 should normally ask the player to complete the test described in Setting an Initial Handicap. However, the Handicapper should also have regard to the player’s ability to hit roquets, general tactical knowledge, and the results of any qualifying games played.
Handicaps from 0 to 8
Only CA Handicappers may alter and set Handicaps in this range. However, Club Handicappers may recommend such changes to a CA Handicapper but it will not take effect until confirmed by the CA Handicapper. Any such change must be by at least 3 steps and based on a period of 10 or more consecutive Qualifying Games. Qualifying Games are games that count in the AHS.
Consultation before altering handicaps
Where practicable, 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.
Handicappers may not alter or set minus handicaps. In exceptional circumstances, the Chairman of the Handicap Committee, on the recommendation of a CA Handicapper, may alter or set minus handicaps.
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 Handicap Report Form HC1 (PDF) (or HC1 RTF) and other changes on Handicap Report Form HC2 (PDF) (or HC2 RTF.
Appeals from decisions of handicappers
Appeals from handicap changes made by handicappers may be made to the Handicap Committee or under the Tournament Regulations. Such appeals will only be successful if the appellant can prove that either:
(a) these Guidelines and Procedures have not been followed; or
(b) 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 a CA Handicapper who is local to the player concerned.
For appeals against a decision of a CA Handicapper, the Chairman of the Handicap Committee shall nominate three members of the Handicap Committee, which may include the Chairman of the Handicap Committee, who shall hear the appeal.
There is no appeal from a handicap change under the AHS.
Power of Handicap Committee to alter handicaps
The Handicap Committee recognises that there may be times when strict adherence to these guidelines and procedures may produce an unfair result. Thus in individual cases the Handicap Committee 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 Handicap Committee on the advice of a CA Handicapper who is local to the player concerned