'Handicap' in sports...

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Mehrgan

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Hi all,

Is there any informal way of talking about a 'handicap' (the advantage we give to an opponent to encourage them, or increase their chances of winning)? If not, may I, please, have a few examples how a one would use it, say in a chess game with a friend?

(What I mean is, definitely the register of language used among teenagers, for example, makes me expect some very casual structures and vocabulary which I hope I'll have some of, in this thread.) Thanks!
 

Mehrgan

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I think 'odds' is also used instead of 'handicap'. For example, in a chess game the stronger player may remove their queen at the beginning of the game so that the weaker one feels a bit encouraged.
 

Rover_KE

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In races the weaker runners may be given a start of – for example – 10 yards or five seconds ('staggered starts').

In golf, a player with a handicap of five is said to play off 5.

Rover
 

emsr2d2

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For info, in the UK, I doubt you'll find many teenagers who have the faintest idea about chess terminology, nor would they probably understand the term "handicap" when referring to sport unless they happen to be in the very small minority who play golf.
 

Rover_KE

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...or snooker or bet on horses.
 

emsr2d2

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...or snooker or bet on horses.

None of which are common pastimes for British teenagers these days. They're all too busy playing computer games, bending their heads over their smartphones, updating Facebook or trying to look like Justin Bieber.
 

SoothingDave

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I agree that "handicap" is only known in the golf world. In the case of a race, one might be given a "head start."
 

BobK

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I wouldn't say 'only known' - 'only known in the relevant sense' maybe - but one can have a handicap in any sport (in the sense of 'obstacle to optimal performance'. ;-))

b
 

SoothingDave

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I wouldn't say 'only known' - 'only known in the relevant sense' maybe - but one can have a handicap in any sport (in the sense of 'obstacle to optimal performance'. ;-))

b

I meant in the sense of having a systematic way of matching competitors with known historical skill levels.

Now that I mention is, they do the same thing in bracket racing (drag racing). The person with the slower car starts first.
 

emsr2d2

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I know that some horse races are called, for example "The XXX Handicap Chase" but I've never worked out what it means as, as far as I'm aware, they all start from the same point and finish at the same point.
 

BobK

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I know that some horse races are called, for example "The XXX Handicap Chase" but I've never worked out what it means as, as far as I'm aware, they all start from the same point and finish at the same point.
Yes they do, but they carry different weights.

(There is a foot-race - possibly Emsley Carr Mile - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, though I'm not sure - that has the runners starting at different times.)

b
 

emsr2d2

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Yes they do, but they carry different weights.

Ah, thank you. Not being a fan of horse racing (an opponent, in fact), I'm surprised I even knew the term!
 

Rover_KE

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...but some of them have to carry extra weights in saddlebags.
 

SoothingDave

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They carry different weights.

Never mind, I see this was answered already.
 
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