Topic: Handicap System

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Rob Spencer (Manchester Snooker League) | Posted on Friday, June 5, 2009

Hi to all, we have just added our League (Manchester Snooker league) to the site and will be using it next season for the first time. My main reason for posting is league handicaps, always a cause of many an argument but I would like to know what systems you guys use, so I can compare it with ours and to be honest use it if it is better. ( as long as you don`t mind)

Rob Spencer
M RIDOUT (Bishops Stortford & District Snooker League) | Posted on Friday, June 5, 2009

Hi Rob

Our handicap system is calculated once every half season (so once every team has played each other once and then again at the end of the season). We used to run it just once a season but changing at the mid point helps keep the players much more level and keeps the league very tight - if a team is running away with the league you'll be sure that their handicaps will come down at half way and the second half of the season will be much tougher for them as a team.

Playing format is 4 players per team each week with each player playing 2 frames. To adjust handicaps frames won are taken off the players handicap frames lost are added.
e.g. A -10 player has a record of games won 2, games draw 3, games lost 1.
frames won = 7, frames lost = 5 so player's handicap would drop by 2 points to -12.

Handicaps are allocated as a player joins the league, with the average club player starting with +14 handicap, and more sensible handicaps given to players who admit to playing at a higher level. The highest handicap is capped at +28, but the lowest handicap is not capped.

Over the years the better players have managed to achieve very low handicaps and still remained competitive, currently we have one player who plays off -57.

We do tend to have a few players who 'pole' between handicaps, so for example a -10 player in the first half of the season, wins far more games than they have lost and drops down to -20. Then in the second half of the season looses most of their games and ends up back on -10 again for the next season. Clearly their correct handicap should be -15 but it doesn't seem to normalise.
But overall the system works well!

Perhaps it would help if you posted your current system up on the forum?

Rob Spencer (Manchester Snooker League) | Posted on Saturday, June 6, 2009

Thanks for the response and details of your handicapping system, our present system is based on results. Each player has a handicap which are in multiples of 5 and range from -50 to +25. Each month all players handicaps are reviewed and any player who has won/lost more than 60% of matches since the last time their handicap changed will move up or down by 5 points. It seems a pretty good system but we seem to be getting an inordinate number of complaints from the players at the moment, we have used this system for about 20 years now, hence the wish to introduce a new system to perhaps freshen the league up a bit.

News on any other systems would be appreciated.

Tony Beetham (Preston & District Snooker League) | Posted on Friday, June 19, 2009

Hi Rob
Send me your e-mail address and I'll send you, and anyone else who is interested, a copy of the handicapping rules for Preston & District.

Tony Beetham
Preston & District Snooker League
Steve W (Leamington & District Snooker League) | Posted on Friday, September 4, 2009

Tony, I am looking for a handicapping system to use in a competition. Could you send me details of how yours works.

At the moment I have gathered all the individual frame scores for the past 2 seasons, and based on this, and my knowledge of how good most of our players actually are, I'd like to try and implement something that can help me to this fairly.


Tony Beetham (Preston & District Snooker League) | Posted on Friday, September 4, 2009

Sure Steve, just drop me an e-mail to and I'll be happy to send you the details by return.
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