|Rules & Regs ---> Arena Polo Rules ---> Right of Way
RIGHT OF WAY
- At each moment of the game, there shall exist as between any two or more
players in the proximity of the ball a priority referred to as The Right of Way.
This shall be considered to extend ahead of the player who has
established himself on it, and in the direction in which that player is riding.
The width of the Right of Way should allow a player to proceed down the line
freely and is taken to be approximately 5 feet. The five feet is taken from the
line of the ball. The Right of Way is not identical to and must not be confused
with the line of the ball, and does not depend on who last hit the ball.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 takes precedence over 12.e. and 12.f. below .
- 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. 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 .
- As between two players when both are following or both are meeting the
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, i.e. less
than 5 foot, 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.
- . 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. 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.
- 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
- A player on the Right of Way, defended by an opponent, and in possession
of the ball shall continue to move the ball. Should the player walk or stop,
the Umpire may blow the whistle and throw the ball in.
- If, when turning the ball on the off or near side, the offensive player brings
plays to a virtual standstill or less, the defending player is entitled to ride
off the opponent.
Note: The defending player must be aware of Rule 13b.). A “stroke” is
defined as a mallet head in motion toward the ball. A “dribble”, where the
mallet head is kept below the level of the pony’s hock or knee, is not a
However the defending player must not ride off the
offensive player on the ball side until the first change of the Line of the Ball
has been executed by the offensive player.
Example 1 Red no.3 closely followed by Blue no.2 turns the ball either on the nearside
or offside. Blue checks, turns inside Red and Red dribbles around the turn.
Blue executes a ride off - no foul.
Example 2 Red no.3 closely followed by Blue no.2 turns the ball either on the nearside
or offside, Blue checks, turns inside Red and as Red hits away, Blue
executes a ride off as the stroke is played - foul by Blue.
Example 3 Red no.3 with the ball, checks in order to play the ball. Blue no.2 goes to
the immediate ride off on the ball side - foul by Blue
- If a player is in possession of the ball either on the off or near side and is
alongside the arena wall when their stick is hooked, that player must
maintain the speed of the game or move immediately out of the right of
way so that the player behind is not impeded
- A player in possession of the ball, but with an opponent in a position to
attempt a defensive play, must continue to move the ball. If he is moving at
walking speed, a slow canter or stops he may tap the ball once only and
then must leave it, accelerate to run with it or hit it away.
A throw in should
be awarded for the breach of this rule. The opponent is considered to be in
a ‘position to attempt a defensive play’ if he is within one horse’s length on
either the off or the nearside of the player with the ball. If an opponent is
in a defensive position on either the near or off side of the player with the
ball and the player elects to tap the ball more than once in a left or right
handed half circle and thus placing the opponent in a position that is on or
across the new Right of Way, the player in possession is to be penalised for
breach of the above rule.