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#76659 - 01/22/09 09:25 PM Re: Bowling needs a new handicap system [Re: leftykev]
Ron A. Offline
Junior

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 22
A/S/L: Olathe, KS
I do not think that the reason behind a handicap system is to make it such that lower average bowlers would win all the time, but just to make scoring more equitable so that the lower average bowlers can bowl in a format in which they can either play against others at the same level or have a slight chance of winning from time to time. You want to beat the higher average bowlers you need to practice.

Considering the comments I've seen in several forums that I visit everyone complains about the multiple handicap systems that leagues use, but when it comes down to actually looking at ways to improve the system all I here is "it won't work because the better bowlers will win in the long run"

Well DUH! That happens in most sports including golf that have a handicap system and if you didn't know they also have a handicap system in billards/pool. In pool the better players usually win also. Why? because they practice and are better!

If the USBC can put as much effort into the handicap system as it put in to the ball research and they actually formulated a system that uses research and actual statistical input the USBC might actually be able to put together a system that everyone will actually use. They might actually be able to design a system that is fair to the high average bowlers and equitable to the low average bowlers.

Until that day comes we will not even take ourselves serious unless we are bowling scratch. To do otherwise is foolish because handicaps today mean very little.
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#76674 - 01/22/09 11:46 PM Re: Bowling needs a new handicap system [Re: Ron A.]
leftykev Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 329
A/S/L: Spokane, WA
Handicapping is about leveling the playing field between the lower average bowler versus the higher average bowler. Bowlers with the same or near the same aveage don't need the same handicapping system.

I agree with you! But, this game (not sport) is a game of chance, like pool or darts or horse shoes, that requires a level of luck, that practice can eliviate.

But, what you are talking about is leveling the bowling playing field between the lower average bowlers and the higher average bowlers. The only way to level the playing field is to penalize the higher average bowler by taking pins away and giving to the lower average bowlers, meaning you are penalizing the higher average bowlers for having a better bowling game, no matter why they have a better game.

It won't work. It's about being realistic, not pesimestic. The reality is a national tour golfer will NEVER be able to complete, no matter what handicap you give him, against the top tourinng golf professfionals, simple because the touring exempt pros are several levels above national tour golfers.

What you keep saying is you want a bowling negative handicap option with bowling, and that will never fly with the higher average bowlers because they have earned their higher averages, be it with a better understanding of equipment, better understanding of lane conditions, or just plain old hard work and practice. I will not and no one else will stand for having my score reduced just so a lower average bowler can have a chance. If he/she puts the time in and and learns how to earn a higher average, then they deservce the privledge to complete against higher average bowlers. No one gets a free ride!


Edited by leftykev (01/23/09 12:07 AM)

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#76697 - 01/23/09 01:39 AM Re: Bowling needs a new handicap system [Re: leftykev]
Smooth23 Offline
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Registered: 02/04/07
Posts: 146
A/S/L: 23/M/Jackson, MI
Haha yeah pool does have a handicapping system, except in league pool play serious players are always sandbagging to avoid being bumped up a level and to keep themselves in amateur tournys, etc.
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#76702 - 01/23/09 02:02 AM Re: Bowling needs a new handicap system [Re: Smooth23]
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
The fact is that I have NEVER seen a bowler that could NOT get better. That being said, those that want handicap to make them equal or better without the benefit of hard work, should not be in competition no matter how small that competition is.

Its all a matter of how bad you want it. Those that want to improve do. Those that do not, want handicap to pick up the slack. So the two factions are forever apart.

Bowling centers want to fill houses. So they have leagues that "welcome everyone" no matter the skill level. That's really the problem. Not enough bowlers at each level to support the center in their own leagues. If you made everything scratch and just had divisions then you'd have less populated leagues at the top level. And then you'd have higher skilled spouses that wanted to bowl with their lower skilled spouse but couldn't, due to the tier levels.

So that leaves bowlers to join whatever league they can fit into. Some 200+ bowlers cannot compete in the highest scratch leagues. Some 130 avearge bowlers feel intimidated whenever they have to compete against a team with no one under 170. So the handicap system tries to level the playing field. A good example is our Wed league. We were in roll off for 1st and 2nd for the 1/2. We gave over 300 pins handicap per game on the most notoriously bad pair in the house. We lost all 4. So we dropped from 2nd to 5th, but we have over 10,000 more total pins then 1st place. That's handicap.

Erin

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#76713 - 01/23/09 05:52 AM Re: Bowling needs a new handicap system [Re: Atochabsh]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9798
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
Couple of years ago, there was a discussion at the USBC Convention to have all handicaps based off 300. 300 was used cause there is NO such thing as PAR in bowling, but there was perfection. The only league variable would be the % applied to the average difference.

Guess it stayed in discussion.

Can you imagine a 5 man team with 200 averages having a 500 pin cap?
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#76733 - 01/23/09 09:20 AM Re: Bowling needs a new handicap system [Re: Dennis Michael]
General Pounder Offline
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Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 3398
A/S/L: 40/M/Midlothian, IL
I don't like the idea of negative handicap for higher average bowlers. It encourages them to keep their averages lower.

I like a handicap system where it is based on the difference of the 2 teams averages. Then for the end of the year awards, you have a handicap system in place so people can win awards that aren't scratch.
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#76737 - 01/23/09 09:48 AM Re: Bowling needs a new handicap system [Re: General Pounder]
Ron A. Offline
Junior

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 22
A/S/L: Olathe, KS
I spent the night think about this a little more and I believe that we need to look at a couple of items a little more closely.

The first is a bowlers average. A 220 avg bowler on you average house shot is good. Put that person on the shark pattern and they would have a very hard time averaging above 200.

So averages mean absolutely nothing in bowling. It is an ego thing. You tell me your a 220 bowler first thing I would ask, Is that a sport pattern average?" If you responded No! I would say nice, and understand that is is good for a house bowler, but in no way am I impressed.

If we had a real handicap system (Plus minus doesn't matter) and you told be you had a 15 handicap and 15 related to a 200 bowler on the PBA tour I would be impressed because I do not need to know where you bowl, what type of shot you bowl on, what type of lanes you bowl on or how big you ego is. I immediately know you are actually good and I would be impressed.

The second point of a handicap system is not to take points away from anyone or give points to someone. It is away to allow those of lesser ablility to play in a format that is equitable and fun for both while at the same time being competitve.

Handicap leagues should be able to provide that type of entertainment. Various players of various ablity having competitive fun together.

If you are a good player and you want a league you will always win in then start your own and set up the handicap system like they do today to favor a specific level of team and go play.

If you want to play against players of differnt levels in a manner that will test your skills and ablities then the USBC will need to develope a new handicap system.

Do I expect the USBC to do anything? NO! Why? They have not show the resolve to do anything to govern the game and improve the sport. Checking the balls is a start. Governing the lane oiling regardless of what the houses want would be next (Do you think the USGA and the R&A actual care about what the course owners or the club manufacturers want when they put together rules) and then putting together a true handicap system would be next.

And they won't do anything unless the membership pushes them to do it.


Edited by Ron A. (01/23/09 09:50 AM)
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#76739 - 01/23/09 10:17 AM Re: Bowling needs a new handicap system [Re: Ron A.]
sk8shorty01 Offline
Virtual League Champion x2

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 5163
A/S/L: 30/M/Merritt Island, FL
I just think that the handicaps as they are set right now do everything you are asking for. You say you don't trust anyone's averages in bowling, but if you took those same numbers that people have right now and made it a USGA type handicapped system, those same sandbaggers are still at a lower level than what they actually should be. Therefore no matter what numbers you add or subtract or whatever you want to do, the sandbaggers will always be at an advantage.

I will say that some times it seems like its tough to cover 300 pins of handicap, but you do have to remember that the lower team has to cover that 300 pin difference just the same. Considering most leagues run a 90% of the difference type handicapped system, if every player shot average the higher average team still wins. As far as individual handicaps go, most handicaps are based on 90% of the difference of average and 220. This of course only in the positive with no negative numbers appliied. This gives a high average bowler an enormous advantage as they are not penalized for having a high average, they just get no handicap. So lets say a 230 average bowler enters a tournament and bowls their average 230 for the game. Now another bowler with a 210 average in the same tournament bowls a 220. They still lose even though they shot 10 over their average and the other bowler shot his or her average exactly. I don't think the handicapped system is all that bad, and I don't think there will ever be a way to eliminate the people that are chasing pins. They will always be there, and I don't see why what we have isn't just as fair as the USGA handicapped system.
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#76747 - 01/23/09 11:07 AM Re: Bowling needs a new handicap system [Re: sk8shorty01]
bdgf06 Offline
Bantam

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 16
A/S/L: 27/M/PA/USA
Shorty, I agree with you that no matter what system you setup, people will find a way to work it to their advantage. The only solution I see is to discourage those abusers from joining your leagues or bowling in your tournaments.

USBC bylaws (Rule 319c) allow for averages to be re-rated for tournaments, and the all encompassing "Management reserves all rights" clause in most tournaments' rules that you agree to when you sign the entry form. You might lose a couple entries but overall the atmosphere might be much better if they were actually read, understood, and used effectively.

As far as leagues go, allegations of sandbagging and abuse falls under misconduct or conduct detrimental to the sport and the league in particular. Rule 114-115 allows for someone to give a written complaint to the League President or other officer, which requires a hearing on the matter and can dismiss the member from the league. It is a little work and may stir the pot a little, but its another procedure that if used effectively it can help that problem as well. I was very close to invoking these rules on more than one individual in the past two weeks.

I'm sorry I am sounding like a rule-thumping idealist but I've been peeved with some antics in one of my leagues and my home center closing I mentioned in another topic. So I apologize if the tone of this post is a little strong.
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#76754 - 01/23/09 11:44 AM Re: Bowling needs a new handicap system [Re: General Pounder]
leftykev Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 329
A/S/L: Spokane, WA
Originally Posted By: General Pounder
I like a handicap system where it is based on the difference of the 2 teams averages. Then for the end of the year awards, you have a handicap system in place so people can win awards that aren't scratch.


I bowl in a league that uses this type of handicap system. The handicap is 100% of 235, which is the book average of the highest average bowler in the league. I didn't understand the concept when they first started, but see now it's benefit. As GP states, when 2 teams bowl each other, the team with the lower team average gets that difference in pins, as team handicap.

This past monday, my team bowled a team with a slightly higher team average 936 versus 896, giving us 40 pins team handicap a game. We happened to win all 4 because we were able to match the other team scratch. But the week before, we had to give opposing team 150 pins, resulting in losing all 4 games, because our 5 bowlers could not bowl over our averages to make up the difference.

In this league, the higher average teams do not have an advantage and the 3 years this has been in effect, the lower average teams end up winning 1st place. The higher average teams end up in the middle of the pack. This is a 32 team league and the bowlers keep coming back because it's about as fair as you can get.

------------------------
As I mentioned in a previous post, I do believe you could come up with a handicapping systems for tournaments, with individual bowlers, and am open to the idea


Edited by leftykev (01/23/09 11:58 AM)

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