I'm delighted to see the responses here! I woke up to find this and I immediately sat up and got my thinking cap on
I completely agree that it would be great if we had a format in which anyone on the island could have a competitive match. Here are my thoughts on the ideas so far...
Aces' "Pick a colour" -
A very interesting and innovative idea. Personally, I wouldn't like to play this way though.
In creating the SIWC, one of the things I wanted to avoid was it having an affect on people's regular games with their real life friends. What I found in reality, for me at least, was that it did have some affect. In my first set of 4 frames, I was buzzing about playing the SIWC and changed my game up, playing looser and going for breaks. I could see that this irked my opponent somewhat as he wasn't getting the usual game he expected. He warmed to it a bit in the following 5 frames, but it has taken a little away from our regular match-up.
In all 9 frames I was going for ridiculous pots to try to continue breaks when normally I would have played safe. This helped me in SIWC (to a certain extent), but hindered me in real life.
I think going for as many yellow/greens as possible in a frame would take too much away from the real life game. I can't see my playing partner being too thrilled with me playing this way.
Pink Ball's "Break average handicap" -
I'm warmer on this idea than Aces, but he's right that it could end up a little boring. I don't agree that calculating the handicap is an issue. I'd be happy to do that, and I'm sure others would too. People could keep track of their own handicaps as well, perhaps. But I think using this idea would only work in a one-off competition format, rather than as a regular thing or for friendlies. The problem is that it makes the result too random.
So, what we need is something that closes the gap between players of different levels, but doesn't completely bridge it. I've got some ideas and will share in the next post.