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Handicaps may be used in clubs, where the standard is uneven. This is not essential

where clubs are large enough to run special sections. When there is a wide gap within

any section, a handicap system is desirable in the interest of equity.


This is a vital part of ensuring equity and is called seeding. This is not always possible

on the ordinary club night, but can be reasonably achieved, if the T.D. announces that

pairs should start against their equals. For pre-entry competitions the following

standard is recommended: -

Low Handicap………..Master and Strong Inter. (A)

Medium Handicap…...Some Inter (A) & Strong (B)

High Handicap……….Some Inter (B) & Novices

All pairs should meet an equal number of pairs from each of the above groups.

For 1 Session each sector should meet 1/3rd of each sector, in two sessions 2/3rd

of each sector etc. this does not necessitate meeting all pairs which is impossible

with large numbers, but will give “balance” in the competition.


The “PAR” or average gross winning % in most clubs is 62%.

This will be lower in very strong clubs where there is a majority of

Master players or higher in clubs where there are some strong pairs and a majority

of novices or Inter (B). The “PAR” over a year, ranges from 58% to 64% depending

on the mix of grades but the norm is 62%. Each club must decide on the “PAR” from

club records of results.


Each player’s handicap is calculated, by comparing their “ACTUAL” average gross score

with the club “PAR”. For example, a member has an average gross of 52% over the

previous 8 weeks, 20 weeks or year (based on how far back you wish to go).

If the “par” is 62%, he would have a club handicap of 10%. If another player had

an average gross score of 44% he would get a handicap of 18%. If all players

played to their average performance on a night, their handicaps would bring

everyone a Nett score of 62%. This of course cannot happen in practice as some

perform better than normal and others play below their norm for various reasons.

This is why we get Nett scores much higher than 62%. Clearly a scratch pair would

have to perform better than their normal 62% if they were to win the Nett.

The System