A handicap is a number representing an archer’s shooting ability and is used to allow both beginners and experienced archers to shoot competitively.

Whilst beginners will start with a high handicap, experienced archers who have gradually improved their shooting will have been awarded a lower handicap.

To get your first handicap you must shoot 3 rounds. Submit your scoresheets from any home shoot or tournament to the Records Officer.

Single Round Handicap

In terms of handicaps, whenever an archer shoots a round, the score achieved at the end of the round is referred to as the ‘pure’ score.

Archery GB issues the Records Officer with a set of handicap tables.

For any round shot, the Records Officer will use the pure score to find the corresponding handicap.

Example: Philip shoots a New National and scores 132.

The Records Officer will read the handicap rating against the New National score of 132. In this case there is no 132 score so it must be rounded down to 130.

This gives Philip a handicap of 56.

Your First Handicap

Philip then submits 2 more scores of:

National       score 390

Warwick       score 281

This gives Philip two new handicaps of 54 and 52.

Philip’s first handicap is calculated from the average of his first three handicaps:

(56+54+52) / 3 = 54.

Philip now has a handicap of 54.

Handicap Improvement

With each new round shot, the new handicap is the average between the current handicap and the handicap for the score submitted. If the average between the two is not a full number, then the handicap will be rounded up.

Handicap Competitions

Handicaps make it possible for beginners and experienced archers to compete.

In a Handicap competition, an ‘allowance’ is added to the archer’s pure score based on their handicap to make an Adjusted Score.

Example: We shoot a National Round, the results are:

In the example above, Harry wins the pure score with 430, but Tom, the beginner, wins the handicap award with an adjusted score of 1457.

End of Year Handicap

At the end of the year, the Records Officer will take the average of Philip’s best 3 handicaps that year for his starting handicap for the next year.

Example: Philip’s best 3 rounds of the year were 51, 52, 53 giving the average of 52.

Philip will start next year on a handicap of 52.