The handicap system that is currently used, abused and locally modified within the current system of bowling is broken and worthless.
With that said the USBC need to put some serious though in to fixing this problem. Other sports (most notably golf) have a centralized and uniform system for handicapping and the USBC would do well to emulate that type of system.
The current USGA system takes into account several factors in determining a handicap and some of these are:
Score in relation to par
Difficulty of the course as identified as a slope rating
What teeing ground you play from which effects the slope rating
And several other mathematical calcualtions
Based upon you best 10 scores of the last 20.
You post you scores in a computer
which then uses a mathematical calculation to determine your handicap. There is also a chart for adjusting you handicap if you where to go play a different course.
So what you say! All of the above can easily be converted over to bowling.
Score in relation to par – USBC would determine what “par” would be in relation to a specific pattern. Since the majority of houses today have computerized scoring your sanctioned league score would automatically be entered into the system.
Next would be the difficulty of the pattern. The pattern difficulty number would be provided by the surface machine company after the USBC has tested it with their new bowling robot. This (these) numbers would be entered into the computer
by the house and would include the time the pattern was put down.
The lane type would be a constant and can be confirmed during annual lane certification. For all intensive purposes the lane itself are pretty close and if you wanted to you can even add another variable of wood or the various synthetic lanes.
With this scenario (which I will freely admit needs to be refined) a calculation can be developed that could put together a realistic handicap that can equitably be used house to house. This would also help in setting up flight leagues because a handicap would be based upon the 10 best games you have bowled out of the last 30. This would help eliminate some of the sandbagging because 10 of the last 30 would not be one house dependant.
What do you think?