A handicap tournament is a men’s / women's doubles or mixed doubles competition and is named for the way the scoring process is. Handicap scoring is a way for players with different levels of experience and ability to adjust the starting score, so that both opponents have a fair chance of winning, making the match competitive and fun for all.
Example of scoring
Lose the first game, you start the second game 15/0 up
Win the first game, you start the second game 0/15 down
Lose 3 games in a row – or if you stay 3+ games behind you start each game at 40/0 until you win a game. The score then will drop down to 30/0 even though you are still more than 3 games behind and if you win the next game you drop down to 15/0. BUT if you lose that game you go back up to 40/0 until you win another game as long as you are 3+ games behind.
If you are within 3 games of the opposition the scoring can look like this:
You are down on the scoreboard: Games score 2/3 you would start the next game 30/0
You are up on the scoreboard: Games score 3/2 you would start the next game 0/30
Don’t let the scoring system put you off. They are a lot of fun and there are people who can help you through scoring the games!