- So that you know whether or not you have improved, based on an objective look at your current performance.
- To enable you to set realistic goals based on both your typical and best performances.
- So that you are not disappointed if you don’t shoot your handicap.
- So that you can see your improvement over a season rather than just comparing each score with the previous one.
- To help to maintain your interest in archery.
- To help to identify factors which led to good or bad performances in the past so that you repeat the good ones and eliminate bad ones in the future.
- So that you recognise when you are shooting well and enjoy your success.
The minimum requirement is to shoot some rounds, score them and record at least the name of the round (or distances shot), date and total score. It is wise to get into the habit of scoring every arrow in your score pad since this can also provide a double check on the adding up of the scorer.
Handicap tables are a very useful tool for competing against yourself or monitoring your performance. Every GNAS round that you shoot has a handicap that can be found in the tables [available from GNAS]. Handicaps range from zero to one hundred, the lower the handicap the better the standard. You will have a separate handicap for the indoor and outdoor seasons. Handicaps are recalculated for the following season from the average of your best three rounds shot during the season. Use of the handicap tables is illustrated by the following example. Say you shot a National round and scored 360, the handicap for that score would be 56 since you have bettered the score of 351 required for a handicap of 56 but not reached 367, the required scored for a handicap of 55.
Obtaining and reducing your personal handicap
Your initial handicap is based on the average handicap (rounded up) of the first three scored rounds that you shoot. From there onwards, every time that you shoot a round with a handicap lower than your current personal handicap, your new handicap will be the average of the handicap from the round you have just shot and your personal handicap. If you shoot worse or equal to your personal handicap then your handicap remains unchanged. This means that during a season your handicap cannot increase.
Monitoring your performance
Because it is difficult to know how well you are doing or what scores you should be getting on rounds not familiar to you, I suggest that you compare the handicaps that you shoot to for each round. Keeping a list of the handicaps of every round that you shoot will make it easy for you to see your improvement and calculate your running handicap. I find it useful to plot my handicap for each scored round on graph paper. It is important to plot all scored rounds on the graph. Over a period of time you hope to see a reduction in the handicaps – the graph will make it easier to see trends in your performance over the season. The graph will also help you to see that your current personal handicap reflects your BEST performances, not your average, so don’t be disappointed when shooting a score worse than your current handicap.