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Scoring a Pairs Event


Pairs events can be 'handicapped' to give your lesser players a better chance of winning.
NB - Results including handicaps can be used for interest only, or for the awarding of a trophy or title, but under EBU regulations, Master Points can NOT be awarded based on handicapped results.
(Master Points and NGS will be based on the 'raw' results, before application of handicaps.)


In order to produce handicapped results, firstly you have to ensure that each individual member has been assigned a handicap. This can be done via the Player Database screen.
Clubs are free to use whatever method they like to determine player handicaps - there is no 'right or wrong' method, or even an officially recommended one. Traditionally handicaps were based on previous results at the club or Master Point rankings. But since the launch of the National Grading Scheme, this has become the easiest, and most transparent, basis for handicaps.
Assuming that you choose to use this basis:

Click on the “Player Management” tab at the top of the Player Database screen. In the top right corner of the new screen is a box headed “Stratification Level”, with a button “Set All Player EBU Details”.
This button will check all the players in your database against the EBU database, and will assign to them Stratification levels, and - if you have ticked the appropriate box - handicaps based on their NGS ratings: Any player ranked as an “Ace” will be assigned a handicap of -6; a “King” -5; etc.; an “eight” is an average player (49-51%), and is given a handicap of zero; any player below 39% receives a handicap of +6.
A handicap of -5, for example, represents that the player's percentage will be reduced by 5% when the handicaps are calculated.

  • NB (1) - the process of updating player details can take a long time, especially if you have a large player database. (You may need to set aside time in advance of an event).
  • NB (2) - The following will automatically receive a handicap of -6:
    • any player that cannot be identified on the EBU database,
    • any player that chooses to have their NGS rating suppressed from public view,
    • any player who otherwise does not have an NGS rating (e.g. having not played sufficient boards)
  • Individual handicaps can be manually amended afterwards if the club feels this to be appropriate.


When you have run your event and finished scoring, go to the Reports screen.
If you want rankings to take into account handicaps, click on the tickbox “Ranks + Handicaps”, before you display the rankings.
The results will be shown in order of scores after the handicaps have been applied.


In version 1.1.8 onwards of EBUScore, you have an option of a “100%” handicap or “50%”.

  • If you apply the 100% handicap, then pairs will be given an adjustment of the full weight of the difference between their NGS grades and 50%.
    e.g. Two 60% players (each with a handicap of -5) in partnership will be given an overall adjustment of -10% (the sum of their handicaps).
    If all players performed according to their NGS “expectation”, then they should all score approximately 50% after the application of the handicap. This in turn should mean that all participants should have an equal chance of winning, regardless of their ability.
  • If you apply the 50% handicap, then two 60% players will be given an adjustment of -5% (the average of their handicaps).
    Thus the better players will have their chances of winning reduced, and the poorer players increased, but the better players will still be more likely to win.

In versions 1.1.x of EBUScore, and its predecessor (PairsScorer), the only option (invisible) was “50%”. If you have been using this, you may wish to continue to do so for reasons of consistency.
Conversely, if you have switched over from ScoreBridge, then you should use the 100% method for consistency.

handicaps.txt · Last modified: 2021/02/14 15:17 by