The Suffolk Handicap League aims to bridge the gap between the county's elite teams competing in the Suffolk Cup and those competing at the top end of the Suffolk Indoor Series. Currently, each team plays each other once per season, either home or away.
Matches are best of five sets. The first two sets will be to 25 and must be won by two clear points. With sets possibly longer than usual due to one team starting below zero, if at any point the sets are shared, the remaining sets would be to 15 instead of to 25 with halved handicaps to try to stop the match taking too long and over-running a two-hour booking.
Teams are allocated handicaps at the start of the season based on results between the clubs during the previous season. The handicaps will be used to determine the starting scores in each set.
When the sets are shared (i.e. the score is 1-1, 2-1 or 2-2), the remaining sets will be played to 15 plus a bit instead of 25 (still must win by two) with the handicap difference halved and rounded up. This is to help prevent the matches going on for too long and overrunning a two-hour hall booking.
How to score the sets:
- Increase the target winning score (i.e. normally 25 or 15) by half the handicap difference, rounded down
- Start the stronger team on 0
- Start the weaker team on the handicap difference.
e.g. suppose the handicap difference is 9:
- For full length sets, team A starts on 0, team B starts on 9, first to 25+9/2 = 29
- For any reduced length sets, team A starts on 0, team B starts on 9/2=5, first to 15+5/2 = 17
- (taking into account the rules where rounding up and down occur).
This is easier for scorers than the previous method involving negative numbers, but the refs and players will need to remember not to stop at the usual 25 or 15. Writing the starting and target scores on a whiteboard visible to all can help everyone know what's going on!
Provisional handicaps for 2018-19 are as follows:
- Open Division
- Stowmarket: 0
- Newmarket: 0
- Bury Bobcats: 8
- Ipswich Ravens: 16
- The home team is expected to provide at least a referee and scorer.
Results so far can be found via Google Sheets.
The following resources are available for download:
- Scoresheet - Photos of completed scoresheets should be uploaded to the competition's WhatsApp Group.
- Line-up sheets
- Instructions for completing scoresheet:
- SVA Competition Rules
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