UPDATE: the New System is rolled out nationally with effect from 2016.
See the CA website
for details. Though essentially the same as the new national scheme, the 2015 EACF trial details
are retained here as a matter of record only.
This new system has been developed by the CA Handicap Committee with a view to its introduction nationally in 2016. It has been developed from an expert analysis of 8,300 games played in the last few years, under both the 2014 Trial System and the earlier system.
The East Anglian Croquet Federation AGM has approved the trial, and the CA has sanctioned an official trial of this new system within the East Anglian Croquet Federation during the 2015 season – feedback from this trial may lead to the system described below being refined for 2016.
The good news is the new system works exactly like the previous ones – only the handicap range and trigger points have altered. Further good news is that for the majority of players, the translation to the new system is very simple.
This guidance is to be read in conjunction with Rule 16 – Handicaps of the 4th Edition GC Rules booklet.
The New System provides a handicap for every player when they play Golf Croquet in accordance with Rule 16 on Handicap Play. The player's handicap is used to determine the number of extra turns that the more able player has to give to the less able player, so that the competition between the two is approximately evenly balanced. The system requires that players record accurately on their Handicap Card the result of every 'qualifying game' – this means all games of GC singles played under tournament conditions to level or handicap rules. The Handicap Card tracks the player's Index - a running total of points that increase when you win, and decrease when you lose.
Ten index points are exchanged in all handicap singles games – the winner's index increases by 10 and the loser's decreases by 10. When a player's index moves through the 'Trigger Point' for the next handicap level, their handicap is changed. The change is not always immediate and may be held back until the end of a day's play or the end of a short tournament as defined below. The relation between index and handicap is given in Table 1.
|Handicap||Trigger Point||Handicap||Trigger Point||Handicap||Trigger Point|
If a player reaches a trigger point and their handicap changes, it cannot immediately change back again as a result of the next couple of games. For example, if a 7 handicap player with an index of 1390 wins 10 points from a handicap game, his index becomes 1400, the trigger point for 6. Once the handicap has changed, that player would then have to lose 5 games in a row to have his index drop down to 1350 before he again reaches the trigger point for 7, and so becomes a 7 again.
Although a 'handicap' is not used when playing level games, full records of all level games are also kept as they improve the accuracy of the player's handicap for when they do venture into handicap play. The points interchanged by players after a level game are calculated on a sliding scale as shown in Table 2 below. The points the better player can win are significantly reduced; alternatively should the weaker player win, they gain significantly more than 10 points.
|Points exchanged in Level Play|
Qualifying games are all singles games in CA Calendar Fixtures, Federation Leagues, inter-club contests (including friendlies) and internal club competitions played in accordance with the rules of the game. Friendly club games, walkovers and abandoned games are specifically excluded from the system.
Handicap changes do not necessarily become effective immediately. They only become effective at the end of the tournament if it is a CA Calendar Fixture or any other tournament lasting no more than four days. In all other cases handicap changes become effective at the end of the day. If a player's index goes through a trigger point and then goes back through the same trigger point during the tournament or day, their handicap does not change.
Please see Changing to the New System for a description of the trial in the EACF area for 2015, and how to apply it.