The toughest part of running a handicap tour is the complaints about others' handicaps. The number of complaints have actually led to the demise of another handicapped tour in another state.
Being aware that complaints are part of the territory of running this type of tour, it's so important to me to be very transparent with decisions, and also to ensure I work hard to get the handicaps set right the first time a player plays.
How do I do this?
I have a core group of trustworthy people that I ask their opinions. Hardly ever has there been a huge difference of opinion. And you have to realize that the players wont ever lie - they WANT the handicaps correct. They don't want to go up against a player who should be their same ranking but may not be. So, it's a well-rounded system.
I did have one new player who complained quite loudly about his ranking. I told him I had already asked a group of players who were well represented, and then he still asked me to ask his best friends. Uh, NO. Not only no, but hell no. lol. Nice try.
However, what does one do when it's a player no one from the core group knows?
Yep, you search the internet!
I sometimes ask on Facebook if anyone knows a certain player.
Further, with the new Fargo ratings, anyone can be looked up nowadays. (Fargo Ratings general information from CSI is located here, and how to look up ratings is at this link: http://fairmatch.fargorate.com/
But the internet can be a funny place to find information. Before the February Omega Tour stop, we were trying to find out how to rank a new player that no one knew. Someone did a search on the ole' reliable internet and found an article about him from his local town, that had interviewed him for a story about pool.
I was told he might be a 6. Then I read the article, even showed it to one of the core members, and we agreed that the article led us to believe he should be a 7. He was either bragging about hustling people, or exaggerating about being a master level player, or trying to show off for the newspaper, or something. After his first match that weekend, I easily moved him down to a 6.
Be careful embellishing in your stories, peeps!