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Dr Ian Plummer

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Technical
New Handicap System for One-balls

Kevin Carter addresses how the players' handicaps should be slewed for one-ball play, given that lower handicap players are at an advanage.

A one-ball game is exactly the same as a normal croquet game, but taken as if each side has already pegged out one ball.  Normal croquets, wirings, etc. still apply.  Conventionally the handicap difference between players was divided by 2 as players only have one not two balls to take around.  This has been modified in the light of experience to be divided by 3 which works well except when low handicap players are involved


Kevin writes

The old one-ball handicap system (one third the difference) was strongly biased in favour of low-bisquers. Indeed, it was unusual for any non-A-class player to win a handicap event where one-ball is played.

This is because better players make breaks; weaker players rarely can, even with bisques.

To adjust the balance, experiments with an amended handicap system have been tried and found to be quite successful. The basis of it is to introduce a 'Superstars surcharge' - all handicaps below 2 are counted twice.

Examples:

A 6 plays a 0

standard calculation: handicap difference 6-0 = 6, then divide by 3 to get 2 ;
new calculation: now 6-0+(difference between 2 and 0, i.e. 2) = 8, then divide by 3 to get 2.67, rounded to 2½;

An 8 plays a -1

standard calculation: handicap difference 8-(-1) = 9, then divide by 3 to get 3;
new calculation: now 8-(-1)+(difference between 2 and -1, i.e. 3) = 12, then divide by 3 to get 4;

A 2 plays a -1

standard calculation: handicap difference 2-(-1) = 3, then divide by 3 to get 1;
new calculation: now 2-(-1)+(difference between 2 and -1, i.e. 3) = 6, then divide by 3 to get 2;

If there is no superstar then handicaps are unaffected, e.g. 16 vs 4: 16-4 = 12, then divide by 3 to get 4.

Another way of looking at it is to consider all players with a normal play handicap of less than 2 move onto a different scale:
 
 

Normal Handicap
Superstar Handicap
1
1
½
½
-1
0
-2
-½ 
-3
-1
-4
-1½
-5
-2
-6

Remember, too, that handicaps are always rounded to the nearest half. So, both 1/3 and 2/3 become a half bisque.

We hope this will encourage more attempts at breaks in the below-Superstar classes.

Regards, Kevin Carter; 5.1.00

Author: Kevin Carter
All rights reserved © 2000


Updated 28.i.16
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