GAME RULES

THE TEAMS

Each team has 4 members each with a distinct position, as shown by the number on their shirt.
No 1
  -  Is essentially a goal stricker.
No 2
  -  Also a forward but plays harder especially on defence.
No 3
  -  Is the pivotal player between offence and defence who tries to turn all plays to offence.
               He is usually the highest rated player on the team.
No 4
  -  Or back is the most defensive player whose primary responsibility is to protect the goal area.

THE GAME & STOMPING THE DIVOTS

 •  The game is divided into six chukkas with each lasting 7 minutes with a 3 minute interval in between,
    to allow the players to change horses.

 •  The teams change ends whenever a goal is scored.

 •  At half time, it is a long standing tradition that the spectators walk onto the field to "stomp the divots"
    made by the ponies hooves.

 • Chukka comes from the Indian word for a circle or round.

HANDICAPS

 •  All players are rated from -2 to 10 (10 being the highest rating).

 •  The team handicap is the sum of its players handicaps.

 •  The highest handicapped players in NSW are on 7 goals (Robert Archibald and Glen Gilmore).

SAFETY

 •  Please stay behind barriers. Do not approach the field during a game. The field extends 10 metres beyond the red boards.

 •  Do not approach the horses and do not pat them.

 •  Please watch the game, a polo ball travels at 100km and can sometimes find its way into the spectators at speed.

 •  Please keep dogs on leads.

 

PENALTIES, FOULS & CROSSING

 

The white player has the line, and at fair speed the black player would be crossing the line without sufficient safety margin, resulting in a penalty against black.

Even at a far lesser angle
the black player would
still be crossing the line if he continues in that direction, and committing a dangerous foul.

When travelling in the same direction the black player may draw level with white and then force him across the line and take possession of the ball without committing a foul
or incurring a penalty.
(See Bumping No. 3).

1

2

3

Two players riding for a ball from opposite directions in the open must both give way to the left and take the ball on their right or offside.

5

6

When two players are approaching
a ball in the open from different directions, the player approaching
at the least angle to the line of the
ball has the right of way.

The black player may move in parallel with the line and play a shot, providing he can do
so without interfering with white’s mount or causing him to check back. If black should cross the line to the dotted position it would be a foul.

4

BUMPING OR RIDING OFF

In a scrimmage
or dead slow play,
black may bump white from any angle without fouling as there would be no real danger

In fast play black
can only bump
white if he
approaches
from an angle less than
45 degrees, and is travelling
in the same forward direction. He does not have to draw parallel with white.

If at the moment of contact,
black’s horse’s shoulders
are ahead of those of the
white player, he is committing
a foul. He must wait until the shoulders of each horse draw level.

1

2

3

HOOKING

A player may hook another player’s stick to prevent him striking the ball, only if (a) he does not raise his own stick above shoulder level and, (b) he does not reach over or under his opponent’s pony. He must be on the same side of his opponent that the stroke is being made.

Don’t hook under

...or over

No elbowing

 

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