Originally Posted by SCfanatic35
Originally Posted by sacm3bill
Certainly you *can* play against the course (or par) on your own, but then handicaps wouldn't be necessary. What we're talking about here is indeed competing against your opponent - that's why both your and your opponent's handicaps are relevant.
I understand exactly what your talking about. My reply was to why in other games no one is spotted points or given an advantage to make bad players equal to good players. In most other sports, individual or team, you are directly competing against your opponent. Not every team competes against the same quality of opponent. It makes it next to impossible to determine what the handicap, if you will, would be when competing like that. How would go about calculating handicaps in other sports? IMO you couldn't in most, which is why they don't do it in other games/sports.
Ok, I see what you're saying but I would describe it differently. I would say that handicaps are possible in any sport where measurement of individual performance is possible. In golf or bowling for example, you can play on your own and get a score, and the history of those scores can be used to establish a handicap. But while those two sports are the only ones I know of where that method is used, it could also theoretically be applied to sports like swimming, rowing, running, cycling, auto racing, etc - basically any sport where you're measured by how long it takes you to travel a certain distance. You could use that time measurement, just as you use the scoring measurements in golf and bowling, to establish a handicap. For those time-based sports, when you compete against someone you'd get a head start (or, an adjustment to your time if you weren't racing head to head) equal to the difference in your handicaps.
As you correctly point out though, that wouldn't be possible for sports like basketball, football, fencing, etc. But I think that you *could* have handicaps in sports other than golf or bowling - there just isn't a lot of interest in doing so. (At least not in an organized/structured way, but people still use the "head start" and "spotting points" methods in informal contests.)