Latest International Handicap Committee Resolutions

13 Oct 2010

The IRTC has recently approved a changes to the arrangements for classifying and recording results for Category 1 players and a number of other handicap and ranking related matters.

Rules for Awarding Ranking Points

Issue Players entering tournaments with a reasonable number of entrants and reaching the quarter finals without playing a match through no personal fault may be unfairly deprived of the Ranking Points available for reaching this stage of the tournament where their opponent withdraws because of injury etc. The rules for awarding Ranking Points are set out at

Decision With effect from 1 September 2010, tournament entrants who lose in the quarter finals of a tournament without having won a previous round will now receive Quarter Final World Ranking points on the conditions that: a) The tournament in question had at least 16 players in the draw; and b) The entrant in question was not seeded straight into the quarter finals.

Handicap Categories

Issue The IRTPA has requested a change in the arrangements for classifying professionals for handicap purposes so that a new group is created for players with handicaps of 5 or less (after rounding) and some amendments to the rules on adjusting handicaps for this group of players (see next decision).

Decision With effect from 1 September 2010, the handicap categories will be amended to create a revised Category 1 for players with handicaps of 5 (as rounded) and less. The amended categories are summarised below:

Handicap (rounded)

Handicap Category

5 and less


6 � 9


10 � 19


20 � 29


30 � 39


40 � 49


50 � 59


60 � 69


70 � 79


Note to table: Handicaps will be treated as being in the categories into which they fall after rounding. Accordingly, a handicap of 5.4 will fall into Handicap Category 1 and 5.5 into Handicap Category 2.

Handicap Adjustments (to be read in conjunction with the resolution on �Handicap Categories�)

Issue There has been concern about movements to the handicaps of elite players which have taken place as a result of social matches. There have also been inconsistencies in the application of the rules regarding manual adjustments of professionals� handicaps.


i) Results Based Adjustments

The results of all matches recorded on RTO, other than for players in Handicap Category 1 (5 or less after rounding), will continue to be effective for adjusting handicaps, irrespective of the circumstances in which the match is played. Following implementation, the IHSC will review the results of matches involving players who move into or out of Category 1 and may amend its policy as necessary.

With effect from 1 September 2010, the results of any player, irrespective of his or her amateur or professional status, whose Singles handicap as recorded on RTO is 5 or less after rounding (Category 1 player) will only be effective for adjusting his or her handicap where the match played forms part of a competitive tournament. For these purposes, a competitive tournament is any match organised under the authority of one of the National Associations or the IRTPA and shown on RTO as a Sanctioned Tournament.

ii) Manual Adjustments

With effect from 1 September 2010, the rules on the manual adjustment of handicaps will be as follows:

a) The default ruling is that no manual adjustments are permitted for Category 1 players. Nevertheless, in the unlikely event that a player feels that he or she is being unfairly disadvantaged by this ruling, his or her National Association may appeal to the Chairman of the IHSC setting out the circumstances and the reasons why an adjustment should be made. If it is considered that the appeal has merit, the Chairman of the IHSC will then inform the Chairman of the IRTC, who will rule on whether an adjustment should be made and inform the applicant National Association of the outcome within one month of the application being received.

b) Players with handicaps of 10 or less after rounding may have their handicaps adjusted, but only with the authority of the IHSC.

c) The rules governing manual adjustment of the handicaps of players with handicaps of more than 10 after rounding will be a matter for each player�s National Association.

In general, manual adjustments are discouraged by the IHSC and it is always preferable that adjustments to handicaps take place through the normal playing of matches. The IHSC reminds professionals and handicap administrators that the use of �provisional� handicaps is a valid way of dealing with rapid improvers. However, if a provisional period is used for a rapidly improving player, the IHSC recommends that it should be for a representative period of not less than five matches.

If manual adjustments are made, the reason and authority for the adjustment should be clearly stated on the player's RTO record. Any unauthorised adjustment may be invalid in determining a tournament entrant�s handicap.

Familiar Court Advantage

Proposal The familiar court advantage rules within RTO provide that, on the first five times he or she records a match on any given away court, a player is treated as being two handicap points worse than his or her recorded handicap.

Decision With effect from 1 September 2010, these familiar court advantage rules will not apply to Category 1 players.

Use of Decimal Points in Computing Match Odds

Issue Currently there is inconsistency in the basis on which decimal places are treated in computing match odds with some taking the handicap difference and then rounding and others rounding the handicap and then taking a difference

Decision Although the resulting difference is likely to be small (maximum of 1 or perhaps 2 difference), the approved method is to take the handicap difference to one place of decimals and then round.

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