Handicaps in teams leagues

Does anyone have experience of using NGS (or other methods) for calculating a handicap and applying it to a teams league (scored by VPs)?


  • I don't have experience, but there is information about how to do it on p39 of the Full NGS Guide.

  • As might be expected, I have frequently used the NGS to handicap teams events for the purpose of awarding handicap prizes. These have been for Multiple Teams events, including the annual Sheffield event mentioned at the end of the section in the NGS Guide (FR7 on Page 39 as per Gordon's link).

    I haven't tried it for a handicapped league, but if you are converting scores for each match into VPs, then you would need to treat each match in the way that the guide describes a knockout match but you then convert the adjusted IMP difference into VPs.

    The guide says: " .... the stronger team must finish with a plus score in excess of the difference in average grade multiplied by 0.1543 times the number of boards to be played in the match in order to “win” the match."

    Because we need an IMP score to convert to VPs, we would take the actual (raw) IMP result of the match and for the stronger team, we subtract this figure of [difference in average grade multiplied by 0.1543 times the number of boards to be played] and for the weaker team, we add this figure.

    One question to be decided is at what point do you extract each team's average grade. If you allow teams of greater than 4 players, it becomes very cumbersome to publish the handicaps at the start of the league season. It may be better to extract current grades at the time of each match.

    Handicapping using the NGS is currently all manual, but for a club league, with an administrator using their club's Members Area on this EBU web site, it shouldn't take too long whichever way you decide to extract players' grades. If any player keeps their grade private, they might be persuaded to "unprivate" their grade, or else you'd probably give them an overrated estimate!

    Barrie Partridge - Senior Kibitzer in Bridge Club Live - Pig Trader in IBLF

  • Interesting question BarkerBridge. I am interested in the reasoning/benefit of handicapping a teams league. Is this for promotion/religation purposes? Or is this a means to level out the leagues over a season? I have played in multi-team handicapped matches (all play all) and find them good fun and they do give the lower rated players a chance of winning, and they do
    Best wishes

  • A league was in the position of being reduced to one division. The organiser was interested in doing something to keep the previously second division teams interested in playing.

  • Yes can see that it would work. As Barrie has said you could handicap the IMPs scores and then calculate the VPs on the revised IMPs. However, you might have to structure the rules so that either the winning team(s) could decide not to take promotion to the league above, or you could treat both leagues under different "umbrellas" so that they never do promotion or relegation. I can see that we could be heading into a similar situation (not enough teams) and we might have to do something similar. I would be interested to hear how you get on.

    I know of one club where the attendance on one evening dropped and they started doing a teams night once a month. That was well attended for a while and then the numbers dropped off. Handicapping (using NGS) was brought in with a "prize" for the winning handicapped team and numbers have increased again. So trying "new"experiences would appear to be the way to go. Good luck and hope it works out.


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