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Applying Handicaps to results for mixed ability turnaments

#1 User is offline   paharry 

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Posted 2020-November-23, 03:25

Our club have been successfully using BBO during the Covid period as a virtual club. We have one problem as time marches on of keeping our weaker and improving players interested. Why should they play only to see out top players winning all the time? In the real world we do not have this problem as we use handicaps.

We would like to able to apply an handicap file (say CSV format output from a spreadsheet) to our BBO results and display the net handicap score. Please can this or something similar be done or is there any plans to do so?

Please note this problems exists all smaller clubs where numbers do not allow separate tournaments of different abilities.
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#2 User is online   paulg 

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Posted 2020-November-23, 04:26

Handicapping of certain events has been a feature of our club for almost fifty years. Prior to BBO, in the last decade, we've let our scoring systems, ScoreBridge and Pianola, apply the handicaps before publishing on our website. Then we get the scratch results, which are used for master points, and the handicapped score which is used for competitions.

We do the same with BBO. We use BBO Extractor and then input that to ScoreBridge and Pianola, which then apply the handicaps.

Both ScoreBridge and Pianola use the HAN format for specifying the handicaps, for both matchpoints and cross imps.
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#3 User is offline   paharry 

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Posted 2020-November-23, 04:43

View Postpaulg, on 2020-November-23, 04:26, said:

Handicapping of certain events has been a feature of our club for almost fifty years. Prior to BBO, in the last decade, we've let our scoring systems, ScoreBridge and Pianola, apply the handicaps before publishing on our website. Then we get the scratch results, which are used for master points, and the handicapped score which is used for competitions.

We do the same with BBO. We use BBO Extractor and then input that to ScoreBridge and Pianola, which then apply the handicaps.

Both ScoreBridge and Pianola use the HAN format for specifying the handicaps, for both matchpoints and cross imps.



Yes and No, I am aware about using ScoreBridge as that is our real world scoring system. However there are 2 problems.

1. Players want their results immediately and do want to wait until processing via bbx/bbo to xml / import to ScoreBridge and finally posting to BridgeWebs
which min would take 10-30 mins
2. The process described above cannot handle robot(s) or substitutions

This post has been edited by barmar: 2020-November-26, 17:19
Reason for edit: fix quote

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#4 User is online   paulg 

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Posted 2020-November-23, 05:04

View Postpaharry, on 2020-November-23, 04:43, said:

Yes and No, I am aware about using ScoreBridge as that is our real world scoring system. However there are 2 problems.

  • Players want their results immediately and do want to wait until processing via bbx/bbo to xml / import to ScoreBridge and finally posting to BridgeWebs which min would take 10-30 mins

This is not a real problem in my view :)

View Postpaharry, on 2020-November-23, 04:43, said:

  • The process described above cannot handle robot(s) or substitutions

BBO Extractor gives the option of how to handle substitutions. Within ScoreBridge, you can change the robot to a club member, perhaps called GIB Robot, who has a handicap: although I decided not to do this as it wasn't worth the effort of maintaining it.
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I don't work for BBO and any advice is based on my BBO experience over the decades
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#5 User is offline   paharry 

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Posted 2020-November-23, 05:48

View Postpaulg, on 2020-November-23, 05:04, said:

This is not a real problem in my view :)


BBO Extractor gives the option of how to handle substitutions. Within ScoreBridge, you can change the robot to a club member, perhaps called GIB Robot, who has a handicap: although I decided not to do this as it wasn't worth the effort of maintaining it.



So you have never gone through the torturous process with multiple pairs with robots? It does not work very well

My request was for simple process.

Not a work around involving multiple stages with manual intervention that does not always work! I want a simple modification to BBO that allows a csv handicap file to be applied to the results as a option. The players handicaps could be preloaded like how pre-dealt hands are handled

DO you think players want to wait at least 30mins or more liekly for the following day for their results? BBX does not work when the BBO extractor is under heavy load!

My request is for a serious problem for my club and every other mixed ability club
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#6 User is online   paulg 

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Posted 2020-November-23, 06:39

View Postpaharry, on 2020-November-23, 05:48, said:

So you have never gone through the torturous process with multiple pairs with robots? It does not work very well

No. The SBU does not permit players to register with robots in our games so the only robots are substitutes and are only normally used to prevent a sit out.

View Postpaharry, on 2020-November-23, 05:48, said:

My request was for simple process.

Not a work around involving multiple stages with manual intervention that does not always work! I want a simple modification to BBO that allows a csv handicap file to be applied to the results as a option. The players handicaps could be preloaded like how pre-dealt hands are handled

Unfortunately I doubt that BBO will put this on the list of enhancements, it is just too niche and difficult to implement. If they did, then it will be so low priority as to never arrive.

View Postpaharry, on 2020-November-23, 05:48, said:

DO you think players want to wait at least 30mins or more liekly for the following day for their results? BBX does not work when the BBO extractor is under heavy load!

My request is for a serious problem for my club and every other mixed ability club

I understand that this is a serious problem for you, but no-one else has raised the issue of handicaps. They are not a problem for my mixed ability club and I suspect that it is a combination of factors that is causing pain for your club - which severely reduces your claim that it is a serious problem for everyone else. If you had the ACBL on your side it would be different, but stratification rather than handicaps are its preference.

It is sad that your club members are so intolerant of a short delay in the publication of handicapped results. My members are just happy to playing any bridge at all.
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#7 User is offline   paharry 

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Posted 2020-November-23, 07:12

I am not in the USA so why should have ACBL be on my side or otherwise?

I have highlighted a significant problem for all small clubs of mixed ability and proposed a very easy solution and if I had access to the code I would do it myself in a few days.

I do not think if you do not understand the issues or the simplicity of the solution.

Do I need you blessing or the ACBL in making this very modest request but very useful powerful ability.

As for others making this request or not, maybe is because we were one of the first virtual clubs and come across the issue early. All others small mixed clubs will now or soon have the sane issues. I am already looking at alternatively bridge platforms and I am sure others will also do the same. BBO now they this new online membership would be wise to keep them.

During this summer I have managed to persuade nearly 150 players to come online with less than 25 previously online. After all this immense effort it would be shame for them to drift off and lose interest. It is up to BBO to adapt to its market and perhaps these new online players are worth looking after or not.

How do I make a formal sw change request to BBO. Here or by email to someone?
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#8 User is online   paulg 

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Posted 2020-November-23, 07:26

View Postpaharry, on 2020-November-23, 07:12, said:

I am not in the USA so why should have ACBL be on my side or otherwise?

Everyone has a long list of simple BBO enhancements that they want. Those that are supported, or needed, by BBO largest's customers, like the ACBL, are likely to be prioritised higher.

View Postpaharry, on 2020-November-23, 07:12, said:

I have highlighted a significant problem for all small clubs of mixed ability and proposed a very easy solution and if I had access to the code I would do it myself in a few days.

I do not think if you do not understand the issues or the simplicity of the solution.

I don't claim to understand all the issues, but I do know that the issue of making 'a simple change' to BBO is that there are no simple changes.

View Postpaharry, on 2020-November-23, 07:12, said:

Do I need you blessing or the ACBL in making this very modest request but very useful powerful ability.

You certainly don't need my blessing to make this request. I was just trying to highlight some of the difficulties of getting changes made by BBO. Everyone always claims that their changes are simple and for a wide audience; these claims are rarely true.

View Postpaharry, on 2020-November-23, 07:12, said:

As for others making this request or not, maybe is because we were one of the first virtual clubs and come across the issue early. All others small mixed clubs will now or soon have the sane issues. I am already looking at alternatively bridge platforms and I am sure others will also do the same. BBO now they this new online membership would be wise to keep them.

With virtual clubs running for over six months, it is still surprising that there has been no request for this.

View Postpaharry, on 2020-November-23, 07:12, said:

During this summer I have managed to persuade nearly 150 players to come online with less than 25 previously online. After all this immense effort it would be shame for them to drift off and lose interest. It is up to BBO to adapt to its market and perhaps these new online players are worth looking after or not.

I applaud your efforts in helping your club members find some bridge in this time. Every club needs a driver to help everyone overcome their fear of playing bridge online.

View Postpaharry, on 2020-November-23, 07:12, said:

How do I make a formal sw change request to BBO. Here or by email to someone?

https://www.bridgeba...r-the-software/
The Beer Card

I don't work for BBO and any advice is based on my BBO experience over the decades
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#9 User is offline   paharry 

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Posted 2020-November-24, 04:59

To keep members interested to playing BBO online it is vital everyone feels they have a chance of winning!

In smaller/mid size social clubs it is not possible {or desirable] to have separate tournaments for players of different abilities.

Many clubs in offline bridge employ a handicap system [many different methods] to results to produce a level playing field.

We would like to be able to preload a handicap file [spreadsheet or csv] rather like pre dealt hands per tournament and this to be applied to the results pop up window are the end of the tournament. The result should be sorted by net scores but should also display the gross score before handicap. This would be a option in the tournament to use handicaps. Master points still to be rewards on pre handicap [gross] scores.

I think unless virtual clubs can offer this feature we will see lessor ability players and the social players will stop playing.

I am not asking for the ability to set handicaps as it opens up a big can of worms of methodology! So instead I have requested the ability to load up handicap values for each player and apply these values to the tournaments results.
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#10 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-November-26, 17:23

I've merged your two threads on this topic together.

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