Introduction of handicapping system.

As we agreed at the AGM, we are going to try to get started with calculating handicap-adjusted scores as well as “actual” scores from each evening’s bridge … starting from the beginning of November i.e. next week!

I propose that each player’s handicap should be calculated at the end of each month and used throughout the following month, and that it be calculated from previous results rather than any individual or committee decision. That handicap will be taken from the average of the player’s last 10 scores (not necessarily the last 10 weeks) and the handicap value between 5 and -5 assigned according to:

Average % Handicap
Below 41 5
41 – 42.99 4
43 – 44.99 3
45 – 46.99 2
47 – 48.99 1
49 – 50.99 0
51 – 52.99 -1
53 – 54.99 -2
55 – 56.99 -3
57 – 58.99 -4
59 and above -5

Each evening, a pair’s handicap-adjusted score will be their actual score with their current handicap values added. For example, a pair scores an actual 48% but they have individual handicaps of 1 and 2 respectively so their handicap-adjusted score for the evening would be 48+1+2% = 51%.

Published results on the website will show both actual and handicap-adjusted scores for each pair playing (Neville assures me that this is straightforward, although I don’t know if it would be quite so easy if we weren’t using the Bridgemate software – question for Nev). “Actual” scores count towards the Rhayader Cup, “handicap-adjusted” scores count towards the Ted Stratford Cup.

I’m happy to use a spreadsheet to calculate the new handicaps at the start of each month (unless Bridgemate can automate some or all of it), and I’ll pass them on to Neville in good time.

Happy to alter the method but, otherwise, let’s give it a go!

Let me know



“Won’t you play a little faster?” Sylvia said to me –
“It’s a bridge club not a funeral – I was standing here to see.
You trance all through the bidding, now you’re trancing as you play …
Though it’s Hesitation Mitchell, you can’t hesitate all day!
Your playing rate would not disgrace the average three-toed sloth:
Don’t think you’re Leslie Davies, Berwyn Wolnough or both!”

But I was working out the hand (one can’t afford to rush);
The Director was distracting me. I shook my head for hush.
Now was that lead fourth-highest? No, I dare not play a card
Until I’ve planned my strategy, a task I find quite hard.
Could it be third and fifth, perhaps? I stared out into space.
The wisest course it seemed to me, was not to force the pace.

“You’re holding up the movement!” Sylvia had returned:
Her dewlaps danced with dudgeon and her eye with ire burned.
“Unless you start to play this hand, and play it like a shot
I’ll send your name to Neville – he’ll give it to you hot!
He’ll know just what to do with you, who sit and think for ages:
It’s in the Laws and Ethics Book or else the Yellow Pages.”

But I was working out the hand (I’ve read a lot of books)
By very many famous sharks, so I just ignored her looks.
My gaze was fixed on dummy, and I viewed it with unease:
What entry problems would there be if I essayed a squeeze?
An injudicious card from me would quite destroy the play …
So as I fell once more to thought I murmered “Go away …”

“Get on with it!” she yelled at me. “What are you trying to prove?
Like Earth, pre-Galileo, we simply do not move!
All these good folk have gathered here at 2 good quid a head:
Most think you’re cataleptic; the remainder think you’re dead!
I just don’t need this aggro: a Director’s life is hard,
So will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you play a ruddy card?”

The experts all advise a girl impulsive play to curb.
I waved a hand dismissively and muttered “Don’t disturb.
One cannot rush these matters … ” Then Sylvia struck her brow
And staggered and fell sideways, looking mad as any cow.
Well this was bad! Her rude display had quite derailed my train
There was no help for it; I’d have to start again.

She reached into her handbag then, and expertly withdrew
A hefty yellow rule book and a pistol engraved WBU.
“On fines or penalties,” she growled, “I will not waste my breath!
For slow play on this scale, my friend, the penalty is DEATH!”
She fired the gun: and through the head (the hole was very neat)
She plugged my patient partner Gil, who’d been dozing in his seat!
You’ll want an explanation,” our Director calmly said.
“You’ll want to know just why I shot your partner through the head
When you were the offender. Well, the whole thing is to do
With legal complications, for your family might sue!
I thought about it just in time – as I had you in my sights –
Then luckily remembered that a dummy has no rights!”

Peter Rowlett with adaptation by Rita for the AGM.