It is the score bowled plus the bowler's handicap added to it.
Bowling Green Handicap was created in 1975.
Your bowling handicap depends on what league you're in. My handicap went from a 12 to a 33 when I switched leagues.
A handicap league is one in which handicap is added to a bowler's score to place bowlers and teams with varying degrees of skill on as equitable a basis as possible for scheduled competition.
Most leagues work out the bowling handicap based on 200. If your average is 148 for example, then your handicap would be 52. Some leagues use other methods, but this is the most common
The lower the bowling handicap, the higher average player you are. However, there is not a standard rule defining handicap rules across the board. So if you had a 180 average in one League, you might have 18 pins handicap and in a different league you might have 27 pins handicap.
In bowling, 'scratch' means without the handicap added in. A scratch game is the actual score of the game, whereas a handicap game is the scratch game and the handicap added together. So 'high game scratch' would be the highest game a person in the league or tournament bowled without adding in the handicap. For example, someone with a 12 handicap bowls a 249. The 'scratch' score is 249, the handicap score is 261.
Typically, the average and handicap are recalculated after every session of a bowling league. For tournament leagues (such as the Amateur Bowlers Tour), averages and handicaps are recalculated after every tournament.
Each league votes on the handicap system. Common rules is to assign each bowler a handicap based on 90% of the difference between the bowlers average and 200. Team handicap commonly is calculated by summing each bowlers handicap on a team. There is software that does this for you, such as Bowling League Secretary by CDE Software, which the majority of centers in the US use.
In tournaments, at the end of the round it is added to the final sanctioned score.
The maximum handicap is determined by the base used for handicap calculation. For example, if the base is 230, then the maximum handicap could potentially be 230 depending on the percentage used for calculation. If the base was 300, then the maximum could potentially be 300.
Handicap is added to a bowler's score to place bowlers and teams with varying degrees of skill on as equitable a basis as possible for scheduled competition.