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Thread: Figuring progressive handicap

  1. #31
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    I like the general idea but wonder about A division. We have five guys in our league that average over 220 and one over 230. Our PSO rolled a 715 last night. His average is 227.
    The worst of those guys last night was a 663. I'm about a 190 bowler and have never bowled a 663. My high is about a 657 or so. I do see that you specified different patterns. I enjoy different patterns but I wouldn't be averaging 190 on a harder pattern. It 'may' work and I'd like to see a test of it but think everyone might lose 20 or so pins off their average and let's face it, the top average guys will likely figure out the harder patterns before the lower average guys, which will further separate the groups. Just my thoughts but I would love to see a test of it to see how it plays out.
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  2. #32
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    Okay:
    In regards to handicap, As Capt Archer said in Star Trek Enterprise (Cease Fire episode): "someone once defined a compromise as a solution that neither side is happy with."

    There is no truly fair handicap, Just the one everyone agrees to compromise on.

    Going with ALL USBC sanctioned leagues being scratch. personally I wouldn't mind. But most likely sanctioned leagues would soon disappear as bowlers left for un-sanctioned leagues.

    The lower averages would leave first for the un-sanctioned handicap leagues, which would then grow in size and prize money. The scratch bowlers left in the sanctioned leagues would soon follow, Because their leagues are now shrinking and bleeding money.

    This is what happened to the sanctioned scratch leagues that we use to have in the past, The money dried up and the handicap leagues were huge with a lot prize money, so the scratch bowlers joined the handicap leagues figuring easy wins. Then the complaints about handicap began and are still on going.

    Having divisions is okay in tournaments, But I doubt very much ever work for all leagues. Plus requiring every USBC sanctioned center to offer at least enough leagues to accommodate one league per division that would take up the entire center's lanes on one night That would never happen.

    Also divisions would suffer basically the same problem as scratch and handicap leagues did. You would most likely have one division that was bigger than the rest, This would most likely be the division with the ave. joe bowler middle of the road averages.

    The high average bowlers would want to be in that league or stay in that league because it would have all the money. Average management would then become rampant. Of course you would also be dividing up families and friends that want to bowl together.

    Right handed Stroker, high track ,about 13 degree axis tilt. PAP is located 5 9/16” over 1 3/4” up.Speed ave. about 14 mph at the pins. Medium rev’s.High Game 300, High series 798

    "Adjust too soon and maybe ruin one frame, adjust too late and ruin a game."

  3. #33
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    Well just for the heck of it and the fact I already had our standings sheets up I decided to see how many we would have in each division. Granted the league is smaller than last year due to everything going on but I will also check last years for comparison.

    Current league:
    Division A (191 and up): 28
    Division B (176-190): 12
    Division C (150-175): 14
    Division D (0-149): 4

    Last season:
    Division A (191 and up): 56
    Division B (176-190): 25
    Division C (150-175): 32
    Division D (0-149): 5

    Yeah, I'm bored....lol
    Arsenal "15# Brunswick Uppercut" "15# Brunswick Ignitor" "15# Radical Squatch Pearl" "15# Radical Conspiracy" "15# Brunswick Kingpin" "15# Hammer Black Widow Gold" "15# Brunswick Rhino Black Pearl" "15# Brunswick T-Zone"
    Rev Rate about 325 @ about 16 MPH at the pins* High Game: 279 - High Series: 657
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  4. #34
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    While I feel that the divisions based leagues would be an interesting concept, it would essentially kill league bowling. This essentially exists in a smaller scale of handicap vs. scratch leagues. Team composition would be a nightmare and you are essentially penalizing people for increasing their average by telling them good job, now you cannot bowl with your friends anymore because they are not at your level. I have seen high level leagues die because of capping and people not being able to bowl with their friends, and these are the people most committed to the game. The issue is here (on the site) we are talking with the highest level of enjoyment and commitment to the game - grab a standing sheet and see how many teams would survive such a breakdown - most spouses would not be allowed to bowl with each other, many friends are not at the same level, and lastly the way many of these leagues maintain is someone has a spot on their team and brings in a friend who hasn't bowled before - that is gone as well. Looking back at some of my leagues recently, if we tier those averages many of those people I flat out do not want to spend 36 weeks with - I have done this in the past and it sucks if you don't like your team.
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALazySavage View Post
    I have seen high level leagues die because of capping and people not being able to bowl with their friends, and these are the people most committed to the game.
    I've seen this happen also, (A example here one time) A league tried to start for the higher average bowlers and it set a low team Ave. cap. cause they didn't want to have loaded up teams.

    Then what happened was you had friends that wanted to bowl together, they had high averages. So you wound up with several teams trying to find one low average bowler so they could meet the cap. Which was a problem low average bowlers usually didn't want to bowl on a high average league so it was really hard finding someone if at all.

    So the only other options were split up the teams, (of course they didn't want to do that they wanted to bowl together) or quit the league.

    The league suggested raising the cap to open it to more people, but the cap was raised so much to get people in there was really no point in having the cap in the first place.

    Right handed Stroker, high track ,about 13 degree axis tilt. PAP is located 5 9/16” over 1 3/4” up.Speed ave. about 14 mph at the pins. Medium rev’s.High Game 300, High series 798

    "Adjust too soon and maybe ruin one frame, adjust too late and ruin a game."

  6. #36

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    I think most people join bowling leagues for the social aspect of it. It’s a fun way to spend time with friends one night a week, which I think has always accounted for a huge part of the success of league bowling as a leisure activity.

    We all know that putting casual bowlers with wildly varying skill levels into scratch leagues will almost always result in massively uncompetitive leagues that will quickly drive away the poorer teams. And you guys have accurately summarized the problems with creating leagues with tiers for different skill levels or (to a lesser degree) putting caps on team averages, namely that these measures may prevent friends from bowling together, which will similarly drive away a large number of potential league bowlers.

    To paraphrase Winston Churchill, this all makes handicap leagues the worst type of league there is…except for all the other types that have been tried. The key to making a handicap league fair – which I define as a league which gives the better teams higher chances of success, while assuring that even the poorest team has a mathematically realistic chance of success – is to choose the right handicap formula.

    This is the exact problem I’ve spent years working on. The problem boils down to choosing the right handicap formula for the league’s specific mix of teams and league attributes. So how do you do that? You do it with mathematics.

    The math is easy if you set the handicap percentage to 100%. In a 10-team league with a 100% handicap, we know that each team enters the season with a 10% chance of finishing in first place, regardless of league attributes or team averages. But since this handicap percentage fails to reward bowlers for getting better, such leagues are generally not popular.

    We know that as you lower the handicap percentage, the better teams’ chances rise above 10% and the poorer teams’ chances sink below 10%. But by how much? There’s never been a way to put exact numbers to the teams’ chances as you change the handicap percentage. This is exactly what my software, Bowling League Tuneup, does.

    Perhaps a quick example is in order. Suppose a league has 10 teams with 4 bowlers per team bowling 3 games per week, with 1 point earned for each game win and an additional point awarded for winning total pins over all 3 games. The league lasts 24 weeks with 2 position weeks. The entering team averages are as follows:

    506 723 682 653 677 529 651 597 661 564

    With a handicap formula of 90% of 230, the teams’ chances of finishing in first place are:

    0.2 33.0 17.5 10.3 16.1 0.6 10.3 3.2 12.3 1.6

    This means that if this league bowled together for 100 seasons, team 2 could expect to finish first in 33 of those seasons. Meanwhile, team 1 could expect to finish first about 0.2% of the time, or once every 500 seasons. This doesn’t come close to meeting my criteria for fairness. (Note that these numbers total over 100% because a tie for first awards first place to both teams.)

    With a handicap formula of 95% of 230, the chances change to this:

    2.5 21.8 15.4 11.8 15.2 3.3 11.5 6.9 12.4 5.2

    This is certainly better and might be chosen as a fair handicap formula. But some leagues might still consider it unfair that for every first place finish by team 1, team 2 could expect almost 9 first place finishes. If this disparity is still considered too great, here are the numbers with a handicap formula of 97% of 230:

    4.8 16.8 13.9 11.5 13.3 5.6 11.6 8.6 12.4 7.2

    Other ways to alter teams’ chances would be to change the season length, go to a split season, or even use one handicap formula to start the season and another to end it. Bowling League Tuneup can determine the effects of any changes to a league’s attributes.

    There is no other tool I know of that can make these computations! There’s much more to it than this, but Bowling League Tuneup is essentially a calculator that can model any bowling league and assess its fairness. Regardless of how a league is set up, bowlers entering a league can then be assured their league has been “tuned up” to reward better teams and assure poorer teams that they can succeed with good performances relative to their abilities.

    Without this tool, no one has any idea about the real chances of a league’s teams. That is unfair to bowlers who enter a handicap league with the potentially false promise that all teams have a realistic chance to succeed. And as bowlers come to realize their chances of success are slim to none, they will cease being league bowlers.

    Bowling League Tuneup also has tools that help explain actual league outcomes by measuring bowler performance relative to established ability (something else no other tool does), which in turn provides invaluable information for detecting potential instances of sandbagging and dumping (the biggest problems of handicap leagues, as we all know).

    I’m sorry for this ridiculously long post. The bottom line is that I believe that handicap leagues still offer the best way to attract people to league bowling, and I believe that Bowling League Tuneup is an essential tool to ensure the success of handicap league bowling.

  7. #37
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    Does the software account for the deviations that occur in the individual bowlers scores? For example, the 150 average bowlers that regularly put together 180-190 games? These are the bowlers that totally throw off handicapping, especially when the higher average team is struggling.

    It is very rare for bowlers to always bowl their average each and every game of a 3 game series. Building a model that assumes bowlers bowling their average each game is potentially discounting the effect of large deviations in bowlers scores.

  8. #38
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    Something we did try last year summer league but it didn't go over real well. If a team won by 100 pins they got 2 bonus points and if they won by 50 they got 1 bonus point. One issue was it was very difficult to track and many mistakes were made. Secondly the better teams earned these bonus points far more often than the lower average teams.
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    Rev Rate about 325 @ about 16 MPH at the pins* High Game: 279 - High Series: 657
    Oh, and LEFTY!!!
    I am a proud member of bowlingboards.com bowling forums

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by boatman37 View Post
    Something we did try last year summer league but it didn't go over real well. If a team won by 100 pins they got 2 bonus points and if they won by 50 they got 1 bonus point. One issue was it was very difficult to track and many mistakes were made. Secondly the better teams earned these bonus points far more often than the lower average teams.
    Yes that wouldn't really have been good for the lower ave. teams. They would have a harder time making that 50-100 pin difference.

    If they wanted to try something different, they should have just used a "Petersen Point System" (That's where you get 1 point for every "Block" of 25, 50 or 100 pins of total scratch or handicap scores. The points are then calculated by taking the player's or team's total scores (scratch or handicap) and dividing it by the block size.)

    Right handed Stroker, high track ,about 13 degree axis tilt. PAP is located 5 9/16” over 1 3/4” up.Speed ave. about 14 mph at the pins. Medium rev’s.High Game 300, High series 798

    "Adjust too soon and maybe ruin one frame, adjust too late and ruin a game."

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryster View Post
    Does the software account for the deviations that occur in the individual bowlers scores? For example, the 150 average bowlers that regularly put together 180-190 games? These are the bowlers that totally throw off handicapping, especially when the higher average team is struggling.

    It is very rare for bowlers to always bowl their average each and every game of a 3 game series. Building a model that assumes bowlers bowling their average each game is potentially discounting the effect of large deviations in bowlers scores.
    Yes, the software accounts for the deviations, small and large, from average that every bowler experiences over the course of a season. And no, these deviations do not “throw off handicapping.” Everyone has deviations in their scores, and if the bowlers with 150 averages regularly bowl games in the 180-190 range, that surely means they also regularly bowl games in the 110-120 range.

    A model where a 150 bowler bowls a 150 game every game of the season not only would have no resemblance to reality, it would also produce totally incorrect results. Such a model would tell you, for instance, that in a best-of-9-game scratch series, a bowler who ends up averaging 150 would always lose the series to a bowler who ends up averaging 155. In fact, that model would tell you the 155 bowler would win literally every game by the score of 155-150. That’s obviously nuts.

    The reality is that you could expect the bowler averaging 150 to win the 9-game series against the bowler averaging 155 about 37% of the time. How did I get this answer? I just ran the simulation in Bowling League Tuneup.

    It is true that some bowlers are less consistent in their scoring than other bowlers. In Bowling League Tuneup’s lingo, the 150-average bowlers who regularly toss games in the 180s would be called high-volatility bowlers. Volatility is one of three measures of bowler performance which are used to characterize each bowler’s performance. The 37% figure above becomes almost 40% if both bowlers in the series have high volatility (wildly inconsistent scores), and it goes below 35% if both have low volatility (rock-solid consistency).

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