Handicap League Format Suggestions

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Hey everyone!

Basically cross posting with this and mytt. Trying to boost the game in my area a little more. I've experimented a couple times locally with some variation of a handicap league the past few years. Initially did a teams oriented thing, but after two seasons of that it became so messy with lack of commitment that I can't justify trying again. Took a year off, and now am looking to try a singles league instead this year. Our club has some decent level gaps so the only feasible way to do it is with handicaps.

Hoping to hear from anyone that is involved with handicap leagues currently that has opinions on formats that work really well and formats that don't work well. For context, the level ceiling at our club is about 1800 US, and there's a healthy population of players between beginner and 1500.

Aside from handicap format, any fun suggestions for a points system to cumulate to end of season standings would be great! Though I'm less worried about being able to come up with something in that regard than I am the handicaps. But I do want to incentivize participation as much as possible, so playing for 'something' is a way that makes sense in my mind.

Thanks guys!
 

NDH

says Hi Dean, It was really to gauge your playing standard -...

NDH

says Hi Dean, It was really to gauge your playing standard -...
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How many players are you likely to get signed up, and will they all want to play weekly?

For example, if you had 21 people, could you run it where everyone plays 2 games per night for 10 weeks (20 total matches)?
 
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Hard to say honestly. Part of why I am moving to a singles league is the inconsistent participation. So I'm moving to something that allows people to participate however often they want to. Previously in the teams league I tried, people would sign up and then not show up. Players who didn't sign up would show up and want to play, so I'd be making swaps every time and it was pretty chaotic. No matter how firm I tried to be it was unavoidable. We just don't have enough committed players.

So I'll be orchestrating it in a way that allows me to have a player show up and participate if they want. I understand that this might mean the people who participate the most are simply the ones who sit in the winners seat at the end of a season, but it also might incentivize people to show up more at least somewhat. I'm really just trying to find a better handicap system/format.

Our previous approach was using handicaps ranging from -5 to 5 with 11 point games, and then adjusted to -5 to 10 in 21 point games. Just hoping for other suggestions.
 

NDH

says Hi Dean, It was really to gauge your playing standard -...

NDH

says Hi Dean, It was really to gauge your playing standard -...
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If it’s a league, I think you’ll struggle to run it efficiently if people drop in and out.

I hear what you are saying about incentivising people, but it could go the other way if people lose interest due to being too far out.

Could you run “one off” events each week? How long do you have each night?

Regarding the handicaps, I’d rank everyone from 1 to X, but you can leave numbers out to make it fairer.

For example, if you had Ma Long at number 1 and Dan Ives at number 2, although they might be the best 2 players in the league, it would be extremely unfair on Dan to play a game against Ma Long with no handicap advantage.

So in that instance you’d have Ma Long at 1 and then Dan at 40 (for example).

You could then use a handicap system like below to calculate the handicaps.

For scoring, I’d play 3 sets to 11, and then the handicap gets added at the end.

The max points the “better” player can score is 33 (if it’s 10-10 you just play to 11).

Example Handicap system below:

 
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You could do it like the Chinese did in those men vs women exhibitions. They started at a certain gap and if the favorite wins the set the underdog gets an additional point gap the next set and vice versa if the underdog wins he gets one point less of a gap.

So for example you start at a 3 point gap and if favorite wins set 1 he has a 4 point deficit the next set and if he loses the set it is only 2 points the next set.
 
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