USBC updates study on the effect of handicap

Most bowling leagues are structured with a set handicap. Handicapping is a means of positioning bowlers and teams with varying degrees of expertise on a more level basis for their competition with one another. It is set by subtracting a bowler’s average from a set number and multiplying the difference by a percentage. For example, with a handicap of 90 percent of 200, a 160 average bowler would have a handicap of 36 (40x0.9) or a four person team with an average of 700 would have a handicap of 90 (100x0.9). Handicapping percentages vary from 70 to 100 percent.

In 2008, the bowling governing body USBC (United States Bowling Congress) released a four-year study on the effect of handicap percentages in determining which team will eventually win the league championship. The teams in the studied leagues were divided into two categories -- teams with an average below the median and teams with an average above the median. This study has been recently updated and the conclusions are very similar to the previous findings.

With handicaps of 70 to 80 percent, teams with low averages have virtually no chance to win the league championship. With an 85 percent handicap, the lower average teams had only a 6 percent of placing first. As the percent handicap was increased, the lower average teams chances improved. At handicap percentages of 90, 95 and 100, the chances for league championship were 11, 24 and 30 percent, respectively. This clearly shows those teams with the higher average bowlers have a distinct advantage in league competition. The USBC has always recommended that higher percentages be used to equalize matches. These figures reinforce this recommendation.


The annual Georgia Games were held this past weekend. The Middle Georgia area had 21 participants. Five local bowlers received medals: Ronnie Glaze (gold in adult division 8), Hallie Hoffman (silver in youth division 4), Andrew Mackey (silver in youth division 1), Frances Thigpen (silver in senior division 13) and Scott Calarco (bronze in adult division 10).


Bill Williams posted a nice 200 game in the Bibb Summer league. The Summer Outsiders stars were ET Stanley (683/257 game), Joe Beeman (665/272 game), Bryan Wimberly (652), Cohen Bickley (644), Matt Harmon (639), Nathaniel Blocker (633), Rico Greene (631), Ruben Peck (601), Leslie Strozier (564) and Donna Carroll (552). Leading the Summer Smoke Free bowlers were Ed White (642), Steve Davis (64 1/250 game), Dana Harris (621), Roger Harris (621) and Charles Carter (612/258 game).


Mike Mauro (660/253 game), Henry Owens (643), Billy Collier (639) and Arlene Todd (599) were super for the senior group.


Jeff Herman (822), Steve Putnam (818) and Cara Stasel (733) were high in the PBA Experience league, which consists of four games. The high rollers in the Summer Peterson Point were Steve Putnam (703/254 game), Will Kirksey (680/259 game), Todd Manning (657/256 game), Karley Bowie (619) and Amber Lethco (616).


Q: I have seen several bowlers with two balls during league play. What is the common purpose of two balls?

A: Many bowlers will start a frame with what they consider their strike ball. If they do not get a strike, they will use the second ball to help them pick up spares. This ball is normally of a less reactive nature and will stay on a straight line when delivered.


The annual certified Gold Cup Youth/Adult Tournament will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday in Warner Robins. The entry fee is $12.50 per bowler.


SUMMMER SENIORS: Mike Mauro 660-253, Henry Owens 643-245, Billy Collier 639-233; Arlene Todd 599-223, Mae McGregor 512-216, Jan Daniell 478


PBA Experience (four games): Jeff Herman 825-243, Steve Putnam 818-215, Will Kirksey 781-225; Marie Nicholson 604-190, Cody Suskay 748-222, Hunter Heuberger 599-169, Eddie Langdon 579-163; Cara Stasel 733-212

SUMMER PETERSON POINT: Steve Putnam 703-254, Will Kirksey 680-259, Todd Manning 657-256; Karley Bowie 619-222, Amber Lethco 616-211, Eva Erlich 529 .


BIBB SUMMER: Bill Williams 400-213, Williams Reeves 295, Marvin Ogle 257, Henry Lathrop 160, Mark Baker 151; Rhonda Newell 358-188, April White 267-167, Maria Schwed 232.

SUMMER OUTSIDERS: ET Stanley 683-257, Joe Beeman 665-272, Bryan Wimberly 652-245. Joe Beeman 246; Leslie Strozier 564-203, Donna Carroll 552-217, Colleen Dunagan 488, Bernice Davis 476-176, Elma Ross 196.

SUMMER SMOKE FREE: Ed White 642, Steve Davis 641-250, Dana Harris 616-216, Charles Carter 258, Roger Harris 213; Shirley Wilday 505-192, Lynn Abercrombie 488, Theresa Walker 463, Janet Norton 184, Kathy Jones 176.