Arena Polo Rules

RULE 1 - FACILITIES

  1. Playing Arena.
    1. A playing area of 300 feet in length by 150 feet in width is considered ideal for Arena Polo. The indicated minimum size is 150 feet in length by 75 feet in width; this size would only be suitable for two-a-side.
    2. Goals shall be centred at opposite ends of the Arena and shall be 10 feet in width by 12 feet in height, inside measurement. In smaller arenas the goal size may be reduced, but not to less than 8 feet in width by 10 feet in height (1.1).[1]
    3. Arenas should be clearly marked on each side, at the half way mark and also the 15 yards and 25 yards points.
  2. Balls.
    The ball shall be not less than 12.5" or more than 15" in circumference and the weight not less than 170 grams or more than 182 grams. In a bounce test from 9' on concrete at 70 degrees F, the rebound shall be a minimum of 54" and maximum of 64" at the inflation rate specified by the manufacturer. This provides for a hard and lively ball.

RULE 2 - MOUNTS AND EQUIPMENT

  1. A mount is a horse or pony of any breed or size.
  2. A mount blind in an eye may not be played.
  3. A mount showing vice or not under proper control shall be excluded from the game.
  4. Protection of ponies by boots or bandages on all four legs is compulsory.
  5. Blinkers are not allowed, nor any form of noseband which obstructs the vision.
  6. Rimmed shoes are allowed, but the rim may only be on the inside of the shoe.
  7. Frost nails, screws, calkins and studs are not allowed.

RULE 3 - PLAYERS AND ALTERNATIVES

  1. There shall normally be three players in each team, designated as No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3. Each team may designate one or more alternative players. It is possible to play two-a-side.
    1. Players shall not appear in any event in other than proper uniform including a suitable helmet or cap with chin strap in place.
    2. A player shall not use sharp spurs nor any gear with protruding buckles or studs.
    3. If in the opinion of the Tournament Committee the colours of two competing teams are so alike as to lead to confusion the team lower in the draw or second named in a league competition shall be instructed to play in some other colours.
  2. A player may be substituted for another during an event if the latter player is, for any reason, unable to finish the event. Any such substitution must be made prior to the commencement of a period except as provided in Rule 16.h. relating to an injured player.
  3. In all cases of substitution, the substitute must be qualified to play in the event and the team must remain qualified for the event after the substitution has been made. The handicap of the player having the higher handicap shall be counted in any game in which a substitution occurs.
  4. In case a player is disabled so as to be unable to continue, the team shall have the option of providing a qualified alternative. If an alternative is needed and not available, a player may be removed from the opposing team by the Umpire, thereby equalising the number of players on each team, and the game continued. (3.1)[2] If the disablement is as a result of a foul, the Captain of the team fouled shall have the right to nominate the player from the opposing team whose handicap is nearest above that of the disabled player who shall retire from the game.
  5. A team shall present itself to play at the time scheduled by the Committee.
  6. No player shall play for more than one team in any event.
  7. No person shall play in any tournament or advertised match conducted by an Affiliated Club or Association in the British Isles and Ireland unless:
    1. He is an Associate Member of the H.P.A.
    2. He has lodged a signed declaration, either with his Club or the H.P.A., to be bound by the Rules, Regulations, Orders and Directives of the H.P.A.
    3. He is listed in the Association's current handicap list, or has been allotted a handicap by the Association's Handicap Committee during the current season, or his handicap has been confirmed by the Secretary of the Association.
  8. No player may play under the influence of stimulative drugs.
  9. No individual shall participate as a player or official in any match if physically impaired (e.g. sick, hurt) before or during a match and such impairment endangers the safety of the individual or others. In the event of a player being, or seeming to be, concussed, the following action will be taken. The Umpires, or if no Umpires are present, the senior player on the ground will stop the game and arrange for the player to see a doctor as soon as possible. The player will not be permitted to play again for a minimum of one week without a certificate of fitness from the official medical officer of his club. If no doctor is present when the accident occurred it will be the sole responsibility of the Umpires or the senior player present to decide if the player was actually concussed. This rule is to be strictly enforced by the Umpires and the Tournament Committee.
  10. A player registered with the H.P.A. is eligible to play in any match, game or tournament event except that a player with a handicap of S may not playin an H.P.A tournament until that player reaches 0. A player with a handicap of 0 may not play above the 8 goal level. (3.2)[3]
  11. Level Minium Maximum
    2-4 goals S 4
    4-8 goals 0 5
    8-12 goals 1 9
    12-15 goals 2 10

RULE 4 - OFFICIALS

  1. Tournament Committee.
    1. Each H.P.A. event will be conducted by a Committee appointed by the Association or by the Host Club which shall be responsible for all aspects of the event including scheduling, conducting the draw, appointment of officials, and resolution of all questions which arise at times other than when the Umpire is in charge. (4.1)[4]
    2. It is recognised, that some limitations may, from time to time exist, which make it impossible or impractical for the Committee to fully comply with the Rules of Arena Polo. In such cases, the Committee, shall spell out such exceptions, prior to the event. The Committee shall make every effort to comply with the intent of these Rules, if an exception must be made.
    3. The Committee may impose penalties, including Penalty 8 or 9 and/or recommend discipline, by the Stewards of the Association for actions before, during or after a game (see Disciplinary Procedures in the Regulations in the Current Year Book).
  2. Umpire and Referee.
    1. Every tournament should either have two Umpires, one of whom will be in the stand, or one mounted Umpire at the discretion of the Committee.
    2. The authority of the Umpire and/or Referee, shall extend from the time each game is scheduled to start until its end.
    3. The Umpire shall be responsible for enforcing the Rules and maintaining proper control over players and teams during the game.
    4. Subject to Rule 18, all decisions of the Umpire, or agreed decisions of two Umpires, shall be final.
    5. In the event of there being two Umpires and they disagree, no foul will be awarded.
    6. Should any incident or question not provided for in these Rules arise during the game, such incident or question shall be decided by the Umpire.
    7. Umpires must wear a protective polo helmet, polo cap or hard hat all of which must be worn with a chin strap.
  3. Timekeeper.
    1. The Timekeeper shall be appointed by the Committee, whose responsibility it shall be to keep track of time elapsed during and between periods of the game.
    2. The Timekeeper shall signal the expiration of time to the officials. (4.2)[5]
    3. The authority of the Timekeeper shall be subordinate to that of the Umpire.
  4. Scorekeeper.
    1. The Scorekeeper shall be appointed by the Committee whose responsibility it shall be to keep track of goals scored, including goals by handicap or penalty.
    2. The Scorekeeper shall fill out any forms or score sheets required by the Committee following the game or event. In cases where the Scorkeeper is not situated at the scoreboard he/she will inform the Umpires of any incorrections shown on the scoreboard.
    3. The authority of the Scorekeeper shall be subordinate to that of the Umpire.
  5. Goal Judges.
    Goal Judges may be appointed, who shall give testimony to the Umpire at the latter's request, as to goals scored or other points of the game near the goal, but the Umpire shall make the final decision.
  6. Team Captains.
    Once an Umpire has called a foul and said what it is for, no player may speak to the Umpire. If a player argues with an Umpire a penalty must be given against him, or, if already a penalty, it must be made more severe.

RULE 5 - LENGTH AND NUMBER OF PERIODS

  1. A regulation game shall be four periods of 7 minutes each, with intervals of 4 minutes after each period, except the second period. There will be a 6 minute interval after the second period.
  2. Each period of play shall terminate after the expiration of the prescribed time (it is designated by the ringing of the bell or other signal). A bell or other signal will be sounded 30 seconds before the expiration of the prescribed time as a warning signal.
  3. In the case of a tie, after the interval of ten minutes, the game shall be continued in periods of the usual duration, with the usual intervals until one side obtains a goal, which will determine the match. (see Rule 8.a.)
  4. When the Umpire blows the whistle and stops play during a period, for any cause provided in these rules, the clock shall be stopped, and the elapsed time shall not be deducted from the length of the period.
  5. When a goal is scored, the Umpire shall signal by raising his arm, and time shall not be taken out.
  6. The judgement as to whether a ball went out of play, or was put in play before or after the horn, is the Umpire's.
  7. All penalties shall be exacted in the period in which they are awarded. If less than 5 seconds remain in the period, the clock shall be reset to 5 seconds prior to the free hit

RULE 6 - SCORING

  1. A goal counts one point.
  2. In order to score a goal, the ball must hit the boards within the goal area. (6.1).[6]
  3. Where play is stopped in the belief that a goal has been scored, and it is subsequently ruled that no goal has been scored, play shall be resumed by a throw in at the 15 yard mark with the nearer goal to the Umpire's right.
  4. Goals awarded by Handicap or Penalty shall count as goals scored.
  5. The team which scored the most goals shall win the game.
  6. Following a goal, play is resumed by a throw in at the centre of the arena.
  7. If a goal scored at approximately the same time as a foul is called :
    1. The goal will be disallowed if the foul was against the attacking side and the foul was confirmed.
    2. The goal will be allowed if the foul was against the attacking side and the foul is over-ruled, or if the foul was against the defending side whether or not the foul is confirmed.
    3. If a goal is scored at approximately the same time as the whistle blows for a time out (officials or players) the goal shall be counted and play resumed at the centre of the arena. (6.2)[7]

RULE 7 - DEAD BALL

  1. When a ball is broken or trodden into the ground in such a manner as to be unserviceable, or when it strikes the Umpire or Umpire's mount so as, in the Umpire's opinion, to affect the flow of the play, the Umpire shall stop the game, take time out and throw the ball in towards the kneeboards between the players at the point where the event occurred but not closer than 15 yards from the goal.
  2. If the ball becomes lodged against a player, mount, or equipment and cannot be dropped immediately, the ball shall be declared dead and thrown in at the point where it first became lodged, but not closer than 15 yards from the goal.
  3. If the ball becomes involved in a melee such, that neither team can properly make a play, the Umpire may blow the dead ball and throw the ball in at a point where it was blown dead. The throw in shall not be closer than 15 yards from the goal.
  4. If the ball is driven outside or leaves the arena, whether or not it bounces back into the playing area, while the game is in progress, the Umpire shall stop play and the clock. Play is resumed by a throw in at the point nearest to where the ball left the arena, but not closer than 15 yards from the goal; the Umpire will throw the ball in towards the knee-boards, no player being closer than 3 yards to the Umpire. (7.1)[8]
  5. If the ball is hit, in the opinion of the Umpire, over the back wall by an attacker, the defender will have a free hit 15 yards from the backline, opposite where it crossed the backline, but not less than 5 yards from the sideboards. No player shall be within 5 yards of the player making the hit. The ball must travel 5 yards forward. Both teams are governed by the same Rules as applied to Penalties 5 and 6.
  6. At any time the Umpire blows the whistle the ball is dead and no further play may be made by any player. Play is resumed by a free hit or a throw in, as specified elsewhere in these Rules.
  7. If a foul is called and overruled, and no goal scored, play shall be resumed by a throw in at the point of the alleged infraction, but not closer than 15 yards from either goal.

RULE 8 - STARTING OF THE GAME AND PERIODS

  1. The Umpire shall toss up a coin before the game, in the presence of the Captains of the opposing teams, first designating which Captain shall call. The winner of the toss shall have the choice of which goal to defend. Ends shall be changed after each period of play. In the event of an extra period, the ends shall be changed in the same manner as after each other period. (see Rule 5.c.)
  2. The Umpire shall start play in any period by throwing the ball underhand, along the ground, between the teams which shall be lined up in parallel lines at the centre of the arena, each team on the side of the centre line nearer the goal it is defending, and at least 3 yards from the Umpire.
  3. The timer shall start the clock at the moment the ball leaves the Umpire's hand.

RULE 9 - PENALTIES

  1. A violation of these Rules may be penalised by the Umpire in accordance with its severity, its location, and its effect on the game, by awarding to the offended team one of the following penalties:
Penalty 1. The team fouled shall be awarded a goal. On resumption of play, the Umpire shall throw the ball in towards the sideboards at a point 15 yards in front of the centre of the goal defended by the fouling team. The fouling team's goal shall be to the Umpire's right. Penalty 1 may be awarded by an Umpire at any time. It should be awarded if, in the opinion of the Umpire, a defending player commits a foul in the close vicinity of the goal where in the opinion of that Umpire, the attacking side has been deprived of a virtual certain goal-scoring opportunity.
Penalty 2. A free hit at the ball by the team fouled from a spot 15 yards in front of the mouth of the goal undefended by the fouling team, all players to be behind the point from where the free hit is made until the ball is hit or hit at. No player shall be within 5 yards of the player making a hit; the ball must travel 5 yards forward when hit. Play shall continue in the event no goal is scored on the free hit.
Penalty 3. A free hit at the ball by the team fouled from a spot 25 yards in front of the mouth of the goal undefended by the fouling team, all players to be behind the point from where the free hit is made until the ball is hit or hit at. No player shall be within 5 yards of the player making a hit; the ball must travel 5 yards forward when hit. Play shall continue in the event no goal is scored on the free hit.
Penalty 4. A free hit at the ball by the team fouled from a spot 25 yards in front of the mouth of the goal, all players to be behind a point from where the free hit is made until the ball is hit or hit at, except one of the fouling team, who may be placed between the mouth of the goal and the 25 yard line. No player shall be within 5 yards of the player making a hit; the ball must travel 5 yards forward when hit. Play shall continue in the event no goal is scored on the free hit.
Penalty 5. A free hit at the ball by the team fouled from the centre of the ground, no player shall be within 5 yards of the player making a hit; the ball must travel 5 yards forward when hit.
Penalty 6.
  1. In the event of a failure to correctly carry out the above Penalties 2, 3, or 4 by the fouling team, another free hit shall be granted to the hitter called for in the penalty awarded, if a goal has not been scored. However, if, in the opinion of the Umpire, the original free hit would have resulted in a goal, but was missed or blocked because of failure of the fouling team to correctly carry out the Penalty, Penalty 1 shall be awarded to the team making the free hit.
  2. In the case of failure to correctly carry out Penalties 2, 3, or 4, by the team fouled, the ball shall be thrown in at the centre of the Arena, or in the case of Penalties 5 or 6 where the foul occurred.
  3. In the cases of a failure to correctly carry out Penalties 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 by both teams, another free hit shall be granted the hitter from the same spot regardless of whether a goal was scored.
  4. In the case of a failure to correctly carry out Penalties 5 or 6 by the fouling team, another free hit shall be granted the hitter.
Penalty 7. The Umpire may remove a player from all or any part of the remainder of the game in addition to any other penalty in cases of a deliberate or dangerous foul, or conduct prejudicial to the game.
Penalty 8. The match shall be forfeited. (9.1)[9]
Penalty 9. The player or mount shall be disqualified. If the disqualification is for illegal equipment, the player or mount may return when the offending equipment is removed.
  1. On penalties 2, 3 or 4 the team fouled may only hit the ball once and may not hit or hit at it again until the ball hits the wall, an opposing pony or player, or until an opposing hits or hits at the ball. If the hitter misses the ball completely, the team hitting may not hit or hit at the ball until it has been hit or hit at by a member of the opposing team. On penalties 5 and 6 the hitter may only hit or hit at the ball once, thereafter any player may hit or hit at the ball. In the event the hitter misses the ball completely it remains in play and the line of the ball is defined in Rule 11.b. (9.2)[10]
  2. On penalties 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 play shall begin and the clock started when the Umpire calls "PLAY" and the ball is hit or hit at. The hitter must hit or hit at the ball promptly after the call of "PLAY" and if he does not, Penalty 6.b. may be called against him. (9.3)[11]>
  3. On Penalties 2, 3 or 4 there shall be no contact between any player and opponent until the ball is hit or hit at. This does not apply to Penalty 5.

RULE 10 - CALLING OF FOULS BY UMPIRE

  1. The Umpire may declare any violation of Rules of Play a foul when seen or, when not seen, upon evidence satisfactory to the Umpire.
  2. When a foul is called, the Umpire shall stop the game, call time out and announce the foul to the players.
  3. If both teams commit a personal foul at approximately the same time, no free hit is taken and the ball is thrown in at the point where play was stopped. Personal fouls involving unsportsmanlike conduct such as:
    1. Disrespect towards Officials,
    2. Arguing with the Umpires or Other Officials,
    3. Foul or abusive language to anybody on the field,
    4. Appealing for fouls verbally or with a stick,
    Must, at a minimum, be penalised progressively as follows:
    1. Penalty for first offence,
    2. A more severe penalty if a penalty has previously been called,
    3. Penalty 10 will be awarded with a player being suspended from the remainder of the chukka,
    4. Penalty 10 will be awarded with a player being suspended from the game.
  4. Vulgar language, disrespectful attitude towards the Umpires, Referee or other players or any other form of unsportsmanlike conduct shall not be permitted.
  5. The following Penalties may be exacted for violation of specific Rules:
    Rule Violated Penalty Exacted
    2.b,c,d,e 9
    2.f 8
    3.a.1,2 9
    3.c,e,f,g 8
    4.f, 1,2 1,2,3,4,5,7,8
    7.e 1,2,3,4,5,7,8
    12 1,2,3,4,5,7
    13 1,2,3,4,5,7
    14 1,2,3,4,5,7
    15 1,2,3,4,5,7
    16.b,i,j 1,2,3,4,5,7
    1. Any foul committed by the defending team within their 25 or 15 yard areas will be subject to a minimum of a Penalty 2 being awarded.
    2. Any foul committed by the defending team within their halfway and 25 yard lines will result in a minimum of a penalty 4 being awarded.

RULE 11 - LINE OF THE BALL

  1. The Line of the Ball (hereafter referred to as 'Line') is the Line of its course or that line produced forward or backward at any moment.
  2. When the ball is put into play by a free hit a Line is created when the ball is hit and assumes a direction. If the ball is hit at and missed, a Line is established at the time of the stroke forward and backward to the centre of the goal.
  3. When the ball is put into play by a throw in, a Line is created at the instant the ball leaves the Umpire's hand.
  4. Should the ball become stationary while still in play the Line remains the last Line travelled before the ball became stationary except as provided in Rule 11.b.
  5. At any time the ball changes direction, from whatever cause, a new Line is immediately established and a new Right of Way (Rule 12), as determined by the new Line, may be created.

RULE 12 - RIGHT OF WAY

  1. At each moment of the game there shall exist, as between any two or more players in the proximity of the ball, a Right of Way, which gives to the player entitled to it the right to proceed in the direction in which the player is riding.
  2. No player may enter, cross, or obstruct the Right of Way of the player entitled to it unless at such a distance that no risk of collision or danger to either player is involved.
  3. When the Line of the Ball changes and, as a result, the Right of Way changes, a player must be granted the necessary time to clear the new Right of Way. A player clearing the Right of Way may make no offensive or defensive play in doing so.
  4. Subject to Rule 12.g. no player may have the ball other than on the offside or the offside of the player's course, if in so doing an opponent is endangered who could have safely attempted a play had the original player kept the ball on the offside, or the offside of that player's course. This subsection take precedence over 12.e. and 12.f. below.
  5. Subject to Rule 12.g. each of two players, when one is following and the other meeting the ball, must ride with the Line of the Ball on the offside until they have passed. (12.1)[12]
  6. As between two players when both are following or both are meeting the ball:
    1. The player riding parallel to or at the lesser angle to the Line of the Ball has the Right of Way over the player riding at the greater angle to the Line of the Ball.
    2. In the case of two players on opposite sides of the Line of the Ball at equal angles to the Line of the Ball, both players have a Right of Way up to the Line of the Ball or until the angle of one becomes less than the angle of the other.
    3. A player waiting on the projected line for the ball must yield the Right of Way to a player following the course the ball has already travelled.
  7. Subject to Rule 12.i, when playing the ball along the side or end wall, if the distance of the ball from the wall does not permit an offside play, a player who is both at the least angle to the Line of the Ball and following the direction of the Ball shall have the Right of Way even though playing the ball on the near side.
  8. Subject to Rule 12.i, the player with the Right of Way may play the ball at any speed and any player approaching from the rear must make a play from the near side. However, a player may not check suddenly so as to cause a following player to collide. (12.2)[13]
  9. Two players riding together on, or at an angle to, the Line have the Right of Way over a single player riding at an equal or greater angle to the Line regardless of whether the players are meeting or following the direction of travel of the ball.

RULE 13 - DANGEROUS RIDING

  1. Careless or dangerous riding or lack of consideration for the safety of other players, regardless of team, is a foul.
  2. The following are examples of riding prohibited under this rule:
    1. Bumping at an angle or speed dangerous to a player or to a mount. (13.1)[14]
    2. Running into or over the rear quarters of another mount.
    3. Pulling up, on or across the Right of Way of another player.
    4. Zigzagging in front of another player.
    5. Riding an opponent dangerously across the Right of Way of another player.
    6. Running the head of a horse into an opposing player.
    7. Riding an opponent's mount dangerously into the side or end walls.
    8. In certain cases two team-mates simultaneously making a play against a single opponent. (13.2)[15]
    9. Riding one's mount into the stroke of another player. (13.3)[16]

RULE 14 - IMPROPER PLAY

  1. A player shall not strike an adversary's or team mate's mount with hands, whip or stick.
  2. A player shall not strike the ball or interfere in the game when dismounted.
  3. A player shall not seize with the hand, strike or push with the head, hand, arm or elbow, an opponent, but a player may push with the shoulder, provided the elbow is kept close to the side.
  4. A player may not hold the ball in the hand, arm or lap: nor kick or hit at the ball with any part of the person in such a way as to direct its course. The ball, however, may be blocked with any part of the person or mount.
  5. No player shall appeal in any manner to the Umpire or Umpires for fouls, nor may they discuss or dispute a decision with the Umpire or Umpires during the game, except that the captain has the sole right to ask for clarification on a decision.
  6. A player may not dismount while the ball is in play. (14.1) [17]
  7. If a line - The Morton Line - is painted on the boards half-way between the goal posts and the corners, no player who has walked the ball along the back wall may hit it again between the Morton Line and the first goal post.

RULE 15 - USE OF THE STICK

  1. A player may hook or strike the stick of an opponent with the stick provided that :
    1. a. The opponent is in the act of striking at the ball, including both the upward and downward phases of the stroke; or b. The opponent is attempting to hook the hitter, in which case the hitter may strike the opponent's stick.
    2. The player is on the same side of the opponent as the ball or in a direct line behind.
    3. The contact is made below the level of the mount's back. (15.1)[18]
  2. A player may not reach over, under, in front of or behind another's mount.
  3. A player may not strike another's mount with the stick. (15.2)[19]
  4. In any throw in, players shall hold the stick with the head below the level of the mount's back. (15.3)[20]
  5. All players shall carry the stick in the right hand.
  6. A player shall not intentionally strike the player's own mount with the stick. This includes using any portion of the stick as an aid in managing the mount.
  7. No player may use the stick carelessly or dangerously, for example:
    1. Taking a full swing in close quarters.
    2. Hooking, striking or slashing an opponent's stick with unnecessary force.
    3. Carrying the stick in such a way that it might become entangled in a player or mount's equipment. (15.4)[21]
    4. Using the stick to hit or hit at the ball in the air, when in close quarters.
  8. A player striking at a ball assumes the full responsibility for using the stick safely. Swinging at it in close quarters will not be permitted.
  9. A player is at all times responsible for the consequences of the stroke including backswing, stroke, and follow through. (15.4)
  10. No player may swing the stick in "windmill" fashion as in appealing for a foul.

RULE 16 - INTERRUPTION OF PLAY

  1. The Umpire shall stop the game immediately and take time out when a mount falls, or a player or mount is injured or in danger of being injured.
  2. Any player may request that the Umpire take time out in the event of equipment breakage which endangers the player or his mount. (16.1)[22]
  3. Time out for equipment repair may be called for after a goal is scored or at any time the ball is out of play.
  4. In the event of a player falling, the Umpire shall stop play.
  5. There shall be not time out for a lost or broken stick. However, time may be taken following a goal or when play is otherwise stopped to retrieve a lost stick.
  6. In the event of a lost helmet, play should be stopped as soon as possible but at such time that neither team is favoured.
  7. In the event of a runaway or uncontrollable mount the Umpire shall stop play and order the mount removed. (16.2)[23]
  8. In the event of an injury to a player, the player shall have not more than fifteen minutes time out after which the player shall be considered disabled and the provisions of Rule 3.d. shall apply. Any injured player who has been unconscious shall be considered disabled and ineligible to continue (Rule 3.i.).
  9. No person shall enter the arena to assist any player unless play has been stopped by the Umpire.
  10. A player wishing to exchange mounts may do so only when play is stopped and with the permission of the Umpire. Any interference with the subsequent play of the game may occasion a penalty.

RULE 17 - HANDICAPS

  1. A player's handicap is based on a game of four 7 minute periods. The aggregate handicaps of the players of each team shall constitute the team handicap.
  2. In all matches played under handicap conditions the higher handicapped team shall concede to the lower handicapped team the difference in the handicaps divided by two and multiplied by the number of periods of play of the match. All fractions of a goal shall count as 'half a goal'. Mistakes in handicaps, or in computing goal allowances, must be challenged before a match begins, and no objection can be entertained afterwards.
  3. The aggregate handicap of a team must fall within the limits specified for an event. No team whose handicap is higher or lower than the specified limits shall be permitted to participate, except if the handicap of a player is adjusted mid-season. (Note 18)
  4. Players not handicapped by the Arena Handicap Committee must play off their outdoor handicaps plus 1.

RULE 18 - HANDICAP COMMITTEE

The Arena Polo Handicap Committee shall have the same constitution as set out in Regulation 7 of the current Hurlingham Polo Association Year Book, except that the Committee shall be held mid-season and at the end of March.

All revisions and allotments of handicaps when approved by the Handicap Committee shall become effective at once. Note: in these regulations 'effective' means the date on which the revised (or new) handicap becomes applicable for the working out of goal differences. In tournaments where there is a handicap limit the new handicaps, whilst applying for working out of goal differences, will not apply for entry purposes for the rest of the season.

APPENDIX
Discussion of Right of Way

With the exception of play along the boards, and free hits, the Rules governing Right of Way in Outdoor and Arena Polo are quite similar. The Appendix to the Outdoor Rules (See current Year Book) illustrates many such situations with reference to the applicable Outdoor and Arena Rules:
Example I: Arena Rule 12.d,e
Example II: Arena Rule 12.b,f
Example III: Arena Rule 12.e
Example IV: Arena Rule 12.i
Example V: Arena Rule 12.f
Example VI: Arena Rule 12.f
Example VII: Arena Rule 12.i,13.b.5,8
Situations unique to Arena Polo are illustrated and discussed below:

EXAMPLE I

Play Along the Wall

The Right of Way in Example 1 will be awarded to A or B depending on the following circumstances:
  1. If play is away from the wall, B is entitled to Right of Way regardless as to whether the ball was hit from X to X' or from X' to X. Under Rule 12.e, B is placed with the line of his offside. A has no play at all.
Example I
Play Along the Wall
arenarules1
  1. If the wall is represented by the line between X and X', the Right of Way is determined as follows:
    1. If the line of the ball is parallel to the wall, A may carry the ball from X to X', but may not meet it; and B may carry the ball from X' to X but not meet it, under Rule 12.g.
    2. If A hits the ball to the wall at Y so it rebounds towards B, B may pick up the ball on the offside and assume the Right of Way. A loses the Right of Way the instant the ball rebounds at Y. A cannot be positioned on the offside of the Line from Y to B without crossing B's Right of Way.
    3. If B hits the ball to the wall at Y so it rebounds toward A, A may pick it up on the offside. However, B still has a play if B can turn toward A at Y and at all times keep the Line of the Ball on the offside.

EXAMPLE II

Right of Way on a Free Hit

On a free hit the No. 3 Red hits or hits at the ball at X. The Right of Way following the hit is determined as follows:
  1. If the ball is hit from X to X', the next play is a goal defence by No. 3 White who may change the Line of the Ball by striking or by a rebound off the pony. No. 3 Red has a Right of Way from X to X' but may not again strike the ball until a play is made by No. 3 White. Future play is determined by the Line established by No. 3 White.
  2. If the ball is hit from X to Y by No. 3 Red, No. 3 Red has a Right of Way on the offside to Y, but may not again play the ball until it rebounds from the wall at Y towards Z. At the instant of the rebound, the Line changes and No. 3 Red may lose the Right of Way to No. 3 White who can now follow the ball away from the wall on the offside. Nos. 1 Red and 1 White may have anticipated the Line change off the wall and be travelling on the new Line thereby assuming the Right of Way.
  3. If the ball is hit from X to Y' No. 3 Red has a Right of Way, but may not play the ball until the ball rebounds at Y'. Any goal defence No. 3 White at Y must be made so that not the slightest risk to No. 3 Red is involved. Following the rebound from Y' to Z', both Nos. 3 Red and White must be careful they position themselves so as not to be in a fouling situation should Nos. 2 Red and White be advancing from Z' to Y'.
Example II
Right of Way on a Free Hit
arenarules2

[1](1.1) Arena polo is normally played in rings with kneeboards and gates enclosing them. Goals painted on the kneeboards do not make satisfactory goals as they do not mark a goal line across which the ball must pass. Goal boxes, as shown in the sketch above, in height equal to the kneeboards may be used.
Although arenas with open ends, goal line and goal posts are not favoured by the Rules Committee, it would suggest that Rules 8, 10, 11 and Penalty 6 as provided in the Official Outdoor Rules be followed with the exception that the free hit called for in Penalty 6 be taken 25 yards from the goal line.

[2](3.1) The question of qualified alternatives and whether or not a player should be removed must rest with the Umpire. In such a case, it is suggested that the Umpire confer with the Committee to arrive at a solution which is in the best interests of the players and the event.

[3](3.2) Tournament Committees have the right to vary Rules 3 j & k.

[4](4.1) The Committee will generally consist of three or more qualified individuals who have little or no personal interest in the outcome of the event. If no formal Committee is announced prior to the event, the host club's Chairman and individuals appointed by the Chairman, shall comprise the Committee.

[5](4.2) A horn or bell is usually used. These rules will refer to the traditional horn. The officials should make clear to all involved what means will be used to signal the expiration of time. The Timekeeper is responsible for running the official clock. In all cases, time expires at the time intended by the Timekeeper and the Umpire's whistle confirms the end of the period.

[6](6.1) Note that the arena polo goal has a specific height limitation, whereas the outdoor goal extends to an indefinite height. These rules presume a recessed goal such as discussed in Footnote 1.1

[7](6.2) The Umpire shall have the discretion of determining whether or not the defender could have stopped the goal and therefore have the goal counted or not.

[8](7.1) Whenever these Rules call for resumption of play by a throw in, the Umpire shall be positioned at the point play was stopped, but not closer than 15 yards to either goal, facing the kneeboards. The team will line up on opposite sides of a line from the Umpire perpendicular to the kneeboards. No player shall be within 3 yards of the Umpire when the ball is released.

[9](9.1) In the event that both teams commit a rule violation in the same game invoking penalty 9, both teams shall forfeit the game regardless of which violation occurred first.

[10](9.2) A violation of Rule 9.b. is penalised as stated in Penalty 7.b.

[11](9.3) For the benefit of the game, it is important that the ball be put in play promptly. Players should position themselves when the foul is announced. The Umpire should drop the ball at the designated spot and, unless the ball has positioned itself so as to present an unfair situation for the hitter, call "PLAY". If the ball rolls into a position, such as in a hole or behind a clod, the hitter may be permitted to reposition it before "PLAY" is called.

[12](12.1) A player who cannot be placed with the Line on the offside, or maintain the Line on the offside until the opponent has safely passed, without dangerously crossing the oncoming opponent, who already has the Line of the Ball on the offside, has no play at all.

[13](12.2) A player carrying the ball along the boards has a further obligation to maintain a reasonable pace. An opponent may execute a ride off or may hook as long as the opponent does not ride into the path of the swing.

[14](13.1) What is considered a dangerous bump is left to the discretion of the Umpire. However, the following factors among others, should be taken into consideration:

  1. Relative speeds of the two mounts. It is very dangerous to bump an opponent if you are not moving at approximately the same speed as he is moving, whether it be fast or slow.
  2. Relative sizes of the two mounts.
  3. Relative positions of the two mounts. It is dangerous if either mount is more than a foot or two ahead of or behind the other.
  4. The angle at which the mounts converge. At high speeds, angles which might be safe at slower speeds become extremely dangerous.
  5. States of exhaustion of the mounts involved.
  6. Lack of readiness of an opponent for the bump (blind siding).

[15](13.2) For example "sandwiching" a player between two opponents, is a foul, but hooking an opponent's stick or striking at the ball whilst the opponent is being ridden off is permitted provided there is no danger.

[16](13.3) The rules give the Umpire the opportunity to call a foul on either the player striking the ball or the opponent riding into the play. If in the opinion of the Umpire, the player striking the ball started the stroke while clear of an opponent's mount, but did in fact hit into the legs of an opponent as a result of the opponent riding into the stroke, then no foul is called on the player hitting the ball. Furthermore, if in the opinion of the Umpire, the opponent dangerously rode into the stroke of the player on the ball, the Umpire may call a foul on the opponent. By the same standard, if the player on the ball dangerously strikes into the mount of an opponent who was alongside when the player began the stroke, the striker may be called for a foul.
Two situations where the Umpire would usually call a foul on the opponent for riding into the player's ongoing swing are : (1) where the opponent's mount is endangered by causing it to be struck by the player's mallet, and (2) where the opponent endangers a player who is leaning way out making a shot (usually, but not necessarily, a back shot) by riding up fast from behind at the last minute between the ball and the mount of the player making the shot causing the player making the shot to be hit from behind by the head of the opponent's mount.
Ordinarily no foul would be called against a player who attempts an under the neck shot at a ball which is under the player's own mount's neck even though the follow through might extend across the path of the mount of an opponent who had been attempting to ride him off on the other side when the players began the stroke. If, however, the mallet actually strikes the opponent or the opponent's mount, a foul would usually be called, or if the ball was in the path of the opponent's mount, it would be a foul to try to hit it.
The decision as to whether a player struck an opponent's mount or whether the opponent rode into the player's stroke rests with the Umpire. As a guide, if the striker began the down stroke while clear of the opponent's mount but struck the opponent's mount as a result of the distance between mounts being lessened during the course of the stroke, the foul would be called on the opponent who rode into what would have been a safe stroke had the original position been maintained. On the other hand, if the opponent's position relative to the striker is established before the down stroke begins, the striker is guilty of hitting the opponent's mount. In the event of a total inability of the Umpire to determine which player fouled, the Umpire may chose to (a) ignore the incident by not calling a foul, or (b) call a double foul as specified in Rule 10 (c). This note applies to the fore shot as well as the back shot.

[17](14.1) If a player has cause to dismount, a request may be made for time out at any time play is stopped under Rule 16.

[18](15.1) In Outdoor Polo the stick may be hooked up to the shoulder of the rider.

[19](15.2) The decision as to whether a player struck an opponent's mount (Rule 15.c), or whether the opponent rode into the player's stroke (Rule 13.b.9) rests with the Umpire. As a guide, if the striker began the down stroke while clear (see 15.h) of the opponent's mount but struck the opponent's mount as a result of the distance between mounts being lessened during the course of the stroke the foul would be called on the opponent who rode into what would have been a safe stroke had the original position been maintained. On the other hand, if the opponent's position relative to the striker is established before the stroke begins, the striker is guilty of hitting the opponent's mount. In the event of a total inability of the Umpire to determine which player fouled, the Umpire may choose to (a) ignore the incident by not calling a foul, or (b) call a double foul as specified in Rule 10.c.

[20](15.3) The requirement to hold the stick head down does not appear in the Outdoor Rules.

[21](15.4) In some cases, an exaggerated backswing may strike an opponent's properly held stick. In such a case, the opponent should not be penalised for a foul hook. On the other hand, a stick carried carelessly may inadvertently contact a proper backswing creating a foul hook.

[22](16.1) What constitutes a dangerous situation is left to the Umpire. A player who requests that the Umpire stop play for a reason which the Umpire later determines to be unjustified may occasion a foul to be called.

[23](16.2) Due to the confined nature of most arenas, the Umpire will generally take a lenient view of a player changing a mount proving troublesome. Players should not, however, be permitted to delay the game by changing mounts at will.

 
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