The Handicap System

The Handicap System

I’ve played a couple of games recently where the the extra dolls that teams get under the handicap system have allowed them to win a few points from us. That’s exactly what system is designed for. To allow teams that wouldn’t normally be competitive a chance to win games.

With the Premier and A sections being combined there is a massive difference between the averages of the top of the Premier and the bottom of the A. Taking a quick look the Waggon and Horses at Southmoor are averaging 15.85 a leg. Compare that to the Spread who are averaging 25.36 a leg. There is a need for some way of levelling up the scores so that there is a competitive edge to the league.

In an ideal world we would have evenly matched teams playing each other. But that’s just not possible with falling numbers and ranges in ability. The handicaps are created at the beginning of the season. Once all the registration forms have been returned the averages of the all the players are calculated. The best 8 are then added up to give an idea of what that team is capable of. This is where things can go a bit wrong. If you sign a player that has a relatively high average, more so than the section you are in, it will put you higher up or possibly the next section or give you less of a handicap than you otherwise might be entitled.

Once the averages are in the committee get together and discuss who’s moving up, going down or staying put. Then they take a look at how big a difference it is between the top and the bottom teams. The averages are then calculated to raise the scores and add a competitive edge.

That’s how it done. Not rocket science but it does take some time to do. I know from speaking to some of the Friday night Oxford league players that the handicap system there is even more brutal 6 dolls or more can be added to a teams score.

The system in place at the moment is pretty controversial and sometimes it doesn’t seem fair, but when is life ever. The thing is what could it be replaced by? I know that the committee are open to suggestions. Do you think it goes to far? or do you think it doesn’t go far enough. Leave some comments at the bottom or come along to the AGM in January to voice an opinion.

Finally should you carry the handicap over into the beer leg. It’s really up to the teams. There aren’t any hard and fast rules. If the team your playing has just won 6-0 without the handicap then clearly they don’t need it. If they haven’t then maybe they should be allowed to keep it.

If you have a team with 3 dolls and a team with 2 dolls then you take one from the other and the 3 doll is reduced to one doll with the other team getting no extras.

I hope this helps in understanding the system that’s in place. As ever comments at the bottom or email me at

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