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#76581 - 01/22/09 01:47 PM Bowling needs a new handicap system
Ron A. Offline
Junior

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 22
A/S/L: Olathe, KS
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?
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#76598 - 01/22/09 03:27 PM 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
The problem with this idea is that the lane surfaces play such a huge role in how the lanes play. Not only that but what type of oil is being used? How is the oil machine applying this oil? What are the average weather conditions in the area during that time? What type of pins does the center have?

I understand where you are going, I just think that coming up with a system that would take into account the variences in difficulty from center to center would be virtually impossible.
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#76600 - 01/22/09 03:35 PM Re: Bowling needs a new handicap system [Re: sk8shorty01]
General Pounder Offline
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On top of that, you would need buy in from the cost cutting USBC and bowling alleys. Even with a uniform handicapping system, there would still be people who would find a way to cheat the system.
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#76603 - 01/22/09 03:39 PM Re: Bowling needs a new handicap system [Re: General Pounder]
cgeorg Offline


Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 3567
A/S/L: Pittsburgh, Pa
Joe Slowinski came up with a way of measuring slope/difficulty. It was in a BTM a couple years back. I don't see the article on his site. It took into account things like pin material and age, lane material and age, oil pattern ratio, etc.
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#76605 - 01/22/09 03:49 PM Re: Bowling needs a new handicap system [Re: cgeorg]
sk8shorty01 Offline
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Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 5163
A/S/L: 30/M/Merritt Island, FL
Wow really? I had no idea. I just think people who look to abuse the system will always find a way to do it, no matter how hard you try to stop it. I am sure that their are plenty of golfers that sandbag as well. I would think taking a book average for a whole year would prevent sandbagging much better than the 10 best of last 20 thing as it would be easy to go in a screw up 20 games to get a low average, then bowl in a tourny and win. Bowl 20 games bad in league again, and so on.
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#76607 - 01/22/09 03:54 PM 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 think that you put to much into the multiple variables on the oil. In golf the course is in a constant state of change from the wind, weather, grass growing or just cut, location of the pin, and the location of tees. I aggree that the oil patterns can be a little differnt due to the factors that you list, but if you base it on the known pattern and a time variable that it has been on the lanes the other factors will have a minimal impact over the 10 of 30 games you will need bowl.

IF, and I know it is a big if, the USBC was to take the time to do this it would be totally voluntary for the centers to join the system. But if the only way you could get a recognized average was to use this system a lot of leagues would push the local houses to adopt this system.

You cannot play in a USGA Open event without a USGA handicap that meets a certian level AND has been certified by the local pro and as a result most courses have a USGA handicap system in the Pro Shop. Local courses also use this sytem to set up flight level tournaments and league.

If a reasonable and equitable system could be put in to place I think that in the long run it will help the league system and improve the particiapation and competiton at local tournaments because you can set up true handicap type tournaments.

And for comparision I am a 9 handicap golfer, but if I were to play a scratch golfer I would have a hard time beating them unless I shot lights out. It would be very close and I might win in match play, but heads up stroke play I would lose a majority of the time. The differnce between bowling and golf handicaps is that most people trust a golf handicap, most people are very wary of a bowling average/handicap.
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#76612 - 01/22/09 04:02 PM Re: Bowling needs a new handicap system [Re: sk8shorty01]
Ron A. Offline
Junior

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 22
A/S/L: Olathe, KS
Originally Posted By: sk8shorty01
Wow really? I had no idea. I just think people who look to abuse the system will always find a way to do it, no matter how hard you try to stop it. I am sure that their are plenty of golfers that sandbag as well. I would think taking a book average for a whole year would prevent sandbagging much better than the 10 best of last 20 thing as it would be easy to go in a screw up 20 games to get a low average, then bowl in a tourny and win. Bowl 20 games bad in league again, and so on.



I think that the number of games can be worked out during the development process.

As for sandbagging in golf, yes we have them but those people do not normally play in tournaments because they would be noticed right away.
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#76619 - 01/22/09 05:13 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
This is a good idea in principal, but could not be applied to bowling since you would have to change the way you score a bowling game.

There is not a positive/negative scoring system in bowling, like there is with golf, thus trying to apply golf type handicapping, based upon a positive or negative score, will not work. And, you could never come up with a handicapping system that makes it fair for every bowler, since you would end up penalizing the higher average bowler, by subtracting from his score, so the lower average bowling would have a higher score.

I think you understand what i'm saying. USBC admits there is no way to use handicapping to make it 100% fair.

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#76623 - 01/22/09 05:37 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
Yes you can use a positive and negative system. It works fine in golf. In golf if I am a 9 handicap and I am playing Tiger Woods who is approximately a +10 handicap our scores would be something like:

Me at 83-9= 72 and on the same course TW 62+10 and we would effectively tie ( I know. It only and example I would shoot like 92 if I had to play a round with him)

In bowling I bowl a 185 with a +20 handicap = 205
Walter Ray Williams JR bowls a 290 on the house shot with a -30 handcap and he scores a 260 and still wins.

All handicap systems will never be perfect and regardless of whether you just add pins to the lower score or subtract the pins from the higher score you are still making a mathematical change to a final score. I doesn't change what you actual shot just adjusts it. WRW still shot a 260.

Also, if you can make adjustments to lane conditions (which the USBC was able to put an number to) like we do for the sport patterns then they are admitting that it can be done

If the USBC says it cannot be done they are just lazy and as for fair there will never be a perfect system I am just interested in an equitable system.


Edited by Ron A. (01/22/09 05:43 PM)
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#76630 - 01/22/09 06:15 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
Actually, USBC has tons of bowling league sheet data, which shows, that no matter what you make the handicap percentage, the higher average "teams" in a league almost always win the league over the lower average teams. The percentage is like 70% or higher.

This holds true for the leagues that apply negative handicapping as well.


Edited by leftykev (01/22/09 06:15 PM)

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