For pairs events, the following handicap system might be used:
All handicaps are expressed as percentages. The minimum percentage shall be 0% and the maximum 22%. The handicap of a partnership shall be 50% of their combined handicap – e.g. two twenty handicappers would get 50% of 40 or 20% and an 8 and 14 handicap pairing would get 50% of 22 or 11%.
The maximum score possible on the night is the “top” multiplied by the number of boards played.This total is calculated as follows (assume an eleven-table Mitchell): 22 x 10 = 220.
This is the maximum score if you scored an outright top on every board. This notional figure is multiplied by half of the combined handicap of the pair as outlined above, to give them the advantage of their handicap.
So, for example, John and Mary are partners. John is 14 handicap and Mary is 11. Their combined handicap is 25 and their applied handicap is therefore 12.5%.
If their actual (“gross”) score on the night is 121 MPs out of 220 (55%), then their handicap-adjusted (“nett”) percentage score would be 55% + 12.5%, so 67.5%, or, in matchpoints, 12.5% of 220 (so 27.5 MPs) would be added to their actual score of 121 MPs, to give a handicap-adjusted score of 148.5 MPs.
For major competitions in the club calendar, clubs may find a big increase in attendance. This usually comes from the higher handicap category and it may therefore be advisable to use 33% of the combined handicaps rather than 50% as used on ordinary nights. This is a matter for the club to monitor and decide.
For teams events, handicaps might be applied as follows:
Calculate the total team handicap in Victory Points (VPs) using the following.
Masters 0 VPs
Intermediate As 0.5 VPs
High Intermediate Bs 1 VP
Low Intermediate Bs 1.5 VPs
Novices 2 VPs
For example, two low Intermediate B players and two Novice players form a team. The B pair would get 1.5 VPs each and the Novice pair would get 2 VPs each. If this team played a match against a team of Masters (who get no handicap benefit), then the team would add 6 VPs to the result achieved on the match. So if the actual score in the match was a loss by 5/15, the handicap-adjusted (nett) score would be 11/15. If their next match was against a team of exactly the same grades as themselves, then the handicaps will cancel out, and the result will be the actual score achieved in the match.
Each club can make slight adjustments to the above based on the general standard in their club. The advantage of handicaps for the club is (a) fairness, and (b) that more players have the chance to win, which should result in higher playing numbers.