Calculating Handicap

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Here’s how to calculate a bowlliards handicap.

A bowlliards handicap is calculated exactly the same as a bowling handicap.


Most amateur bowling leagues and tournaments utilize a bowling handicap system. Learning how to calculate your bowlliards handicap will allow you to compete against other players with varying levels of skill and ability and have an equal chance of winning.


A bowlliards handicap is a percentage of the difference between your average and a “basis average” multiplied by the “percentage factor”.


If you’ve never played in a league, don’t worry. Leagues assign you an average until you establish one or apply your initial average retroactively as soon as you play a few games.


Ask your league operator or tournament officials what basis average and percentage factor they use. The basis average is high intended to be more than any individual player’s average. Typically, basis averages range from about 200, 210, or 220.


The percentage factor is used to calculate your handicap and will usually be 80, 90, or 100 percent, but may vary in special competitions.


Play enough games to get an average score. In league a starting player’s average is usually calculated after your first 3 games. The average is the total number of balls scored divided by the number of games played.


Find out what basis average and percentage handicap are used by a league you are interested in joining. A typical basis average is 210 balls with a percentage factor of 90%.


Subtract your average from the basis average. Then multiply that number by the handicap percentage factor to get your individual handicap. For example, if your average is 150 and the league handicap is 210 and 90%:


(210 – 150 X .90) = 54 balls


Your handicap is 54.


In the event of fractions of balls you always drop the fraction. For example, using the above basis/percentage, if your average is 175:


(210 – 175 X .90) = 31.5 balls


Your handicap would actually be 31.


Now add the handicap to your actual score for each game. For instance, if you have a game in which you score 160 and your handicap is 54, your adjusted score is 214.


Any time your average causes a negative handicap, you are considered a “scratch player” and therefore your handicap would be zero.


Bowlliards is a game that applies the scoring concepts of bowling to pocket billiards.


See: How to Play



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