|Rules & Regs ---> Arena Polo Rules ---> Dangerous Riding or Play
DANGEROUS RIDING OR PLAY
- Careless or dangerous riding or lack of consideration for the safety of other
players, regardless of team, is a foul.
- A player may not use his pony to spoil a shot by riding over the ball and
into an opposing player who has already started the downward swing of a
full shot. A player who is holding the ball through dribbling should be
penalised if he is judged to have created the danger by then playing a full
shot. In both cases, the player who creates the danger should be blown for
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) wherethe 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.
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.
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 ©. This note applies to the fore shot as well as the
- The following are examples of riding prohibited under this rule:
- Bumping at an angle or speed dangerous to a player or to a mount. What is
considered a dangerous bump is left to the discretion of the Umpire.
However, the following factors among others, should be taken into
- 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.
- Relative sizes of the two mounts.
- 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.
- The angle at which the mounts converge. At high speeds, angles
which might be safe at slower speeds become extremely
- States of exhaustion of the mounts involved
- Lack of readiness of an opponent for the bump (blind siding).
- Running into or over the rear quarters of another mount
- Pulling up, on or across the Right of Way of another player.
- Zigzagging in front of another player.
- Riding an opponent dangerously across the Right of Way of another player
- Running the head of a horse into an opposing player.
- Riding an opponent’s mount dangerously into the side or end walls.
- In certain cases two team-mates simultaneously making a play again a
single opponent. 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.