What is a handicap?

There are many different dictionaries and authors who interpret the meaning of the word "handicap". Let's consider what a handicap is and what meanings this term may have, and find out in which cases it is used.


  1. The most common meaning of the term “handicap” is a certain advantage in different types of sports competitions, which is given to participants in order to equalize the chances of winning each of the athletes.
  2. Fora (Phora) - a biological term that applies to the genus Diptera insects (flies) from the family Phorida.
  3. In the old days, this term was used as an exclamation of praise and approval. Thus, actors or singers, in general, any artists, were called to the stage to repeat the performance. In other words - called an encore. This term is interpreted in his dictionary V. I. Dahl. The place of origin of the term is Italy. Translated from the Italian language fora - forward, outward, it means “to go forward, outward”.
  4. The term "handicap" is used when betting in sweepstakes. Mostly this term is typical for horse races.Here handicap is a bet that is adjusted in a positive or negative direction. The adjustment, in itself, is directly dependent on the leader and the last participant of the races. Thus, a positive handicap is an adjustment to the latter, an outsider of the competition, and a negative handing to a favorite. The subtleties of these adjustments are known to fans of such events.
  5. In Lower Austria (state), the head start is the name of the fair commune.

In sports

Handicap - the advantage of athletes during the competition. The thing is that athletes can be trained in different ways, and their strength and capabilities are unequal because of this. Therefore, there is the concept of odds in competitions.

The main sports in which handicap is used are chess and checkers, board games, horse riding, golf, sailing, skiing, biathlon, pentathlon and others.

Handicap can be measured in different units. It can be time (seconds, minutes, even hours), distance (centimeters, meters, kilometers), weight (grams, kilograms, tons). This is the most standard of its form.

Most often, the odds are represented by time. This is also called a handicap.Although the term “handicap” has the same meaning as “handicap”, it is still a narrower and more specific category. Despite this, these words are considered to be synonymous.

Handicap is an advantage of some athletes in multi-stage competitions earned in the previous stages, which consists in releasing these athletes from the start line a few seconds earlier than others. In other words, a victory at one stage gives the athlete a handicap (or handicap) to go to the start a few seconds before the others. For example, in biathlon in the pursuit race, the winner of the previous race starts first, and his pursuers are released from the start for as many seconds later as they lost the day before (seconds are rounded).

Give odds

In everyday life, the phrase “Give a Handicap” is used, which means to surpass anyone in anything or anywhere. Immediately come to mind the lines from the poem of a professor, academician of REA and the winner of three awards - Valery Vasilievich Tarasov:

  • "I am awaiting update
  • not believing hundreds of little things
  • ready to give odds to a generation
  • both young and strongman. "

This poem reveals the meaning of the expression "Give a Handicap."

Now you know what a handicap is and where this word is most often used.

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