Once a new member to archery and our club has qualified to shoot at his or her distances, that person can then shoot rounds, which should be recorded and entered onto one of the scoring sheets provided by the club. (These forms must contain your Name, Date of Shoot, the Round shot etc). Once this is received and entered the 3 scores from that member is then transferred to the system which adds up the scores and associated handicaps. The computer system then averages out the handicap achieved for each of those 3 rounds to give that member their starting handicap ranking.
From then on, each round that is recorded and submitted by any of the club members is then added to the handicap system.. If for example you have a starting handicap of say 65, and then you shoot a round where the handicap equates to 63, then the average of those two figures, (that is to say, 65 plus 63 = 128 divided by 2 is 64). A 64 handicap then becomes your new handicap rating at that time. If the scenario was that the handicap of 65 was in place, but that you then shot a handicap round of say 62, (65 plus 64 = 129), then the average where it falls between two numbers, is always rounded up to the higher whole number. This would still mean that the handicap in this case would be 65. However, if you shot a round with a handicap of say 68, then your present handicap of 65 remains unchanged.
There are several reasons for having a handicap system. One is, you can watch your own progress as your archery improves! Another is, when you are shooting in a shoot where handicaps are taken into account, you then have an allowance of points measured against your present and declared handicap rating. For example: if you were shooting a round, shall we say a Western, and you have a handicap at that time of 65, you may be allowed 500 points. These 500 points would be added to your actual score, say 500 at the end of the shoot. So in this scenario your score of 500 plus your handicap allowance tallies a total of 1000 points. A fellow archer with a handicap of say 40 could perhaps have an allowance of 350 points. He or she shoots the same round and scores 620. This together with the allowance of 350 points makes a total of 970. In a handicap shoot, you the person with 1000 points would beat the 970.
As your handicap reduces, (a bit like golf really, lower handicap means better golfer/archer),
Finally, at the end of each year the handicap system adds your best 3 rounds shot over that year. It then adds the handicaps of each of those best 3, averages them out and produces a new starting handicap and classification for the start of the next year. Example:- say your best 3 shoots had handicaps of 62, 57 and 56 = 175 divided by 3 = 58.333 rounded up makes a New Year start handicap of 59.
I hope this clarifies Handicaps , and how to gain and improve on them.