# Your Opinion - Simple 8 Ball Handicap System

#### the chicken

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

The Problem: The local bowling alley sponsors a weekly Eight Ball Tournament that follows BCA rules. There are virtually no participants because one or two players consistently win every tournament.

I have an idea for a simple handicap system to help level the playing field and encourage more players to participate.

The handicap system has three categories:
“A” Player – Makes shot and plays position
“B” Player – Makes shot but doesn’t play position.
“C” Player – May make shot and doesn’t play position.

Skill level is determined by observing a player break a nine ball rack and pocket balls in order. Player has ball in hand after the break and after each miss.

During Tournament Play, an “A” player must win three games; a “B” player must win two games; a “C” player must win one game.

Please let me know if you think this handicap system is worth promoting.

Thanks,

John

#### Dockter

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I don't like that a "C" player would only have to win one game and I know "letter" divisions are different everywhere but I think even C players play position. I've always heard it used by racks run around here. A "C" player might run an occasional rack, A "B" player runs around 1-10 or so and an A player runs a majority of racks.

I just think 1 game penalizes "A" players a little too much.

#### pocket

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

The Problem: The local bowling alley sponsors a weekly Eight Ball Tournament that follows BCA rules. There are virtually no participants because one or two players consistently win every tournament.

I have an idea for a simple handicap system to help level the playing field and encourage more players to participate.

The handicap system has three categories:
“A” Player – Makes shot and plays position
“B” Player – Makes shot but doesn’t play position.
“C” Player – May make shot and doesn’t play position.

Skill level is determined by observing a player break a nine ball rack and pocket balls in order. Player has ball in hand after the break and after each miss.

During Tournament Play, an “A” player must win three games; a “B” player must win two games; a “C” player must win one game.

Please let me know if you think this handicap system is worth promoting.

Thanks,

John

John,

The most important thing is to have a handicap that you think is fair. Then stick with it. You need a tournament director that is willing to stick to their guns and take the inevitable guff from players.

The consistency and fairness is what will build the tourney.

Best of luck.

#### ElCorazonFrio

##### Banned
Weird.

Are you sure that it is because the same players win that nobody plays?

In my experience, a well-run tourney that starts on time will be easy to draw players. I used to go to a wednesday tourney that would have 32-40 players, of whom maybe 5 were likely to win.

No handicap. Everybody had fun and the TD wouldn't allow any BS.

#### Drop The Rock

##### 1652nd on AZ Money List
Silver Member
Easy to sandbag based on not playing shape. I know a really straight shooter that breaks like a tank that cant hardly play shape at all but barely misses. Even a bad player can win one 8 ball rack so I dont like the race to one either, how about 7-5-3. or 4-3-2. I hate handicapped tournaments anyways though. They punish good players from being good and act like an excuse for bad players.

#### Banks

##### Banned
Easy to sandbag based on not playing shape. I know a really straight shooter that breaks like a tank that cant hardly play shape at all but barely misses. Even a bad player can win one 8 ball rack so I dont like the race to one either, how about 7-5-3. or 4-3-2. I hate handicapped tournaments anyways though. They punish good players from being good and act like an excuse for bad players.

Unless there's no added money, tournaments are held to get people in the door, not to reward players for spending years of their lives at another bar, hall or home.

#### ctyhntr

##### RIP Kelly
Silver Member
What is the current format of the tournament and the handicap scale?

#### Donny Lutz

##### Ferrule Cat
Silver Member
sandbagging

Easy to sandbag based on not playing shape. I know a really straight shooter that breaks like a tank that cant hardly play shape at all but barely misses. Even a bad player can win one 8 ball rack so I dont like the race to one either, how about 7-5-3. or 4-3-2. I hate handicapped tournaments anyways though. They punish good players from being good and act like an excuse for bad players.

I agree.

Having played in eight different league systems since 1966 in four different states and talking to thousands of players across the country, I have an opinion.

I think the World Standardized Rules, though perhaps not perfect, are the most fair and equitable. The BCAPL, VNEA and ACS suggested rules and handicap system seems to be the most popular (fewest players leaving the system). They allow local leagues to adopt and alter their rules and format according to the wishes of the players.

Sadly, I've met far too many players who try one league system, don't like it, and give up on league play altogether.

#### Skippy27

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Winning 1 match is not enough as anything can happen by shear happenstance.

I would say make it a race to 2 + handicap:
A v A Race to 2
B v B Race to 2
C v C Race to 2
A v B 3-2 race
B v C 3-2 race
A v C 4-2 race

Determining what player falls into what category is going to be the trick. If they play in any other league you can get their rating from that as a starting point.

#### 7forlife

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
there are so many things to consider, like what is the skill level of the players, what's the gap of the players who win vs the rest of the field. For the weakest players i feel that balls also need to be add to the handicap as games don't mean crap against a better player.
The format that Skippy has seems ok but i feel that the races are too short "gesh and the felt that mosconi was crap at 5, lol". All races are to 5 with the required handicap, an A giving up 3 games to a C seems like a fair race, that C not being able to make 3 balls in a row is going to need and additional spot.

#### Skippy27

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
7forlife, how would you do balls for 8 ball?

Would you say they are removed right after the break?

OR

Would you say that they get to take them off the table when they get to them? Example: I am solids and get 2 balls. I shoot in the first 5 of my choice and then get to remove the remaining 2 so my next shot is on the 8?

I ask because removing balls right after the break gives the better player the advantage as there is less clutter to work with and I would say it makes it slight more difficult for the lower player as they have less options to shoot at.

We should all know one of the biggest sucker bets is to tell someone they get to break and then you will remove all their balls except one.

#### fastone371

##### Certifiable
Silver Member
Why not keep what ever handicap system you guys are currently using and make the weekly winner win an extra game per set for maybe his next 4 tournament entries. Do that to everyone that wins, if a guy wins again after his handicapped is reduced back to normal make his handicap of an extra game per set permanent. That way all weekly winners are penalized for winning and that may give others a chance to win.

#### 3andstop

##### Focus
Silver Member
A players put up 15 bucks, B players put up 10 bucks, and C players put up 5 bucks.

Play even or go get some bowling shoes ... :thumbup:

#### APA Operator

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
7forlife, how would you do balls for 8 ball?

Would you say they are removed right after the break?

OR

Would you say that they get to take them off the table when they get to them? Example: I am solids and get 2 balls. I shoot in the first 5 of my choice and then get to remove the remaining 2 so my next shot is on the 8?

I ask because removing balls right after the break gives the better player the advantage as there is less clutter to work with and I would say it makes it slight more difficult for the lower player as they have less options to shoot at.

We should all know one of the biggest sucker bets is to tell someone they get to break and then you will remove all their balls except one.

OR

How about you don't remove any balls, and declare the 8-Ball "in play" for the weaker player when they get down to their spot? For example, if they're getting two balls, they can legally sink the 8 when they have two or fewer balls remaining. They could also sink one of their remaining balls to continue shooting. It would really make defensive play a challenge!