A handicap is a number between 0 and 100 and is intended to indicate the ability of an archer, the lower the number, the better the number.  An archer has different handicaps for Indoor and Outdoor rounds.

Handicaps tables are provided by Archery GB and give a handicap for every round and score.  The tables can be purchased from Archery GB, but there are a number of software packages available to calculate your handicap, including a free online version.  Use your favourite search engine and search for “archery handicap”.

However, the best method is to send them to the Club Records officer and they will add them to the clubs copy of the handicap software and publish them on the website.  They will also send handicaps when entering you into any competition.

How do I calculate my Handicap?

Calculation of a handicap is the same for both indoor and outdoor and consists of three stages

  1. Initial Assessment
  2. On-going Assessment
  3. Annual Reassessment

Calculating your initial handicap

An initial handicap is based on the first three rounds recorded.  Once the initial handicap has been calculated, it can be improved after each round shot.

To work out the handicap for a given round, just look up the round, find your score and read across to find the handicap.

If you have never had a handicap, you need to shoot three rounds; the handicaps of these three rounds are then averaged to give your initial handicap.

For example:

Indoor Portsmouth

Date Score Round Handicap Established Handicap Calculation
19/11/14 435 58  
26/11/14 444 57  
03/12/14 440 57 (58+57+57)/3 = 57.3  

On-going Assessment – Improving your handicap

As further rounds are recorded, and your scores get better your established handicap can go down.  Your established handicap can only improve if the handicap for the round just shot is two or more less than your current handicap.  If it is, you average your current Established Handicap and the handicap for the round to give your new Established handicap.

For example:

 Date Score Round Handicap Established Handicap Calculation Notes
19/11/14 435 58    
26/11/14 444 57    
03/12/14 440 57 58  (58+57+57)/3 = 57.3  
10/12/14 456 55 57  (58+55)/2 = 56.5 55 is two less than current Estab. Handicap, so recalculate
14/01/15 438 58 57   58 is greater than current Estab. Handcap, so don’t recalculate
21/01/15 356 66 57   66 is greater than current Estab. Handcap, so don’t recalculate
04/02/15 476 52 55 (57+52)/2 = 54.5 52 is three less current Estab. Handicap, so recalculate
07/02/15 550 35 45 (55+35)/2 = 45 35 is twenty less than current Estab. Handicap, so recalculate

Annual Reassessment

At the beginning of each new season (1st July for Indoor, 1st January for Outdoor) your handicap is recalculated.  If you have shot at least three rounds in the previous season, your new handicap is then calculated on the average of the best three rounds in the previous season round up.

For example:

Assuming that the archer in the examples above doesn’t submit any more indoor scores, then at the end of the indoor season in July 2015, the best three handicaps would be: 35, 52, 55 giving a new Established Handicap for the new season (1st July onwards for Indoors) of 48.

Can my Handicap go up?

Yes.  Your handicap can go up if the average of your best three rounds in a season is higher than the average handicap of the best three rounds in the previous season.

For example:

Season 2013/14: Best three handicaps 30, 35, 42 giving an average of 36

Season 2014/15: Best three handicaps 35, 52, 55 giving an average of 48

Your starting handicap for 2015/16 would therefore be: 48

Competitions

Handicaps are often used in competitions to even the field of play and give novice archers the chance to compete with experienced archers with lower handicaps.

When entering a Handicap competition a number of points will be added to your score based on your handicap.  The Archer with the highest points after handicap adjustments wins.  The number of points to be added to your score can be found in the Archery GB Handicap Tables.

Classifications

Classifications are grading scales that allow an Archer to achieve different levels of scores.  They are based similarly to Handicaps, in that you need to submit three qualifying scores.  For more information see our Classifications page.

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