1. Any infraction of the Field Rules constitutes a foul, and the umpire can stop the game. However, the umpire is free not to call the foul if stopping the game or applying the foul or enforcing the foul results in a disadvantage to the team against which the foul was committed. Once the advantage to the fouled team has been given, the umpire cannot blow the whistle for the same foul.
2. The Umpire shall carry a whistle which he will use to stop the game. When he stops the game, the ball shall be considered dead until the game starts again, but the time would only be discounted according to General Rule No. 7 (g)
Note: If a whistle is blown for a foul at approximately the same time as a goal is scored:
3. (a) Horses that are blind, showing vice or out of proper control will not be permitted to play.
(b) Players must take all reasonable steps to ensure the welfare of their ponies.
(c) Any pony showing blood, whether from the mouth, flanks or any other part, shall be removed from the game.
(d) After the fall of a pony, it shall be trotted up sound and fit to play before the player remounts.
(e) Any pony that is lame shall be removed from the game
(f) No mount shall be played for more than one team in tournaments of handicap 10 goals and over. The penalty for violations of this rule shall disqualify a team to participate in that match regardless of the players knowledge or intent. Unlike many other penalties which an umpire may elect not to exact, the penalty for violation of this rules must be enforced, if a referee, umpire or a member of the committee is notified of or otherwise becomes aware of the violation within 24 hours of the violation having taken place. IPA alone may waive this rule.
4. (a) Side blinders will not be permitted.
(b) Horseshoes with outside rims are not permitted. The rim should be on the inside of the horseshoe. Nails or hooks that stick out are not permitted, but the use of calks, whether permanent or temporary, are allowed as long as they are placed in the heels of the hind shoes. The calks will not exceed two cubic centimeters.
Note: calks are permitted so they can be replaced when they are worn out without having to re-shoe. Temporary calks should be as close as possible to the regular permanent calk. Toe grabs, screws, or frost nails may not be used.
See Explained Note: IV
5. (a) Spurs that are pointed or sharp are not permitted.
(b) No player shall wear buckles or buttons on their boots in such a way that they can damage the equipment of another player or cause injury.
(c) Whips and/or spurs may not be used unnecessarily or excessively
(d) Polo clubs and umpires must ensure that, save for exceptional circumstances, whips are not used to strike ponies on the field of play except when the ball is in play.
(e) Umpires should at least start the game with a penalty 5(b) if a player strikes a pony on the field of play after the umpires have ridden on to the field of play and before the ball is in play.
(f) A player must not strike another player or his pony with his whip.
6. Nobody other than the players and the umpires shall enter the field during the game for any reason. The player who needs a mallet should go to the backline or the sideline to get help that he needs. No one shall enter the field to help him. Nobody should enter the safety zone during the game except for the players, the umpires, the referee, the goal judges and the mallet keepers. In case of injury to a player or a horse only medical/veterinary personnel and horse holders may enter the field.
START OF PLAY
8. A goal is scored from play when the ball passes between the goal posts or the imaginary vertical lines produced by the inner surfaces of the goal posts and across and clear of the goal line. A ball on the line is still in play. In case the ball is broken, the larger broken part that passes between the goalposts counts for the score.
9. (a) After each goal, ends will be changed, except, when a goal is scored by the application of Penalty No. 1. Teams will change ends after half time if no goal has been scored. The game will resume at the same respective point on the field before the sides were changed. After scoring a goal, the game will start again in the middle of the field, as established in Field Rule No. 7.Players will be allowed reasonable time to reach the middle of the field at a slow canter to take their positions.
(b) If the umpires inadvertently allow a wrong alignment of the teams, it is their responsibility to correct the error at the end of the period/ chukker, if no goal has been scored.
(b) A reasonable amount of time will be allowed for the attacking team to find their places on the field, and the ball will be put back into play without undue delay after the umpire has ordered “play”.
11. If the ball is hit over the backline by a player from the defending team, whether directly or after having bounced off his own horse, the boards or the goalposts, Penalty No. 6 will be applied. If before going out, the ball has touched any other player or horse, it will be put back into play according to Field Rule No. 10.
(b) If the ball goes out of bounds over the sidelines or the boards, it must be thrown in by the umpire from a point just inside the side boards or 5 M inside the sideline where it went out in an imaginary parallel line to the two lines of the goal and between the two teams lined up on each side of this imaginary line. No player shall be positioned less than five meters from the umpire. The players must remain without moving until after the ball has left the hand of the umpire. A reasonable amount of time will be given for the players to line up.
13. When the game resumes after an interval the ball will be put back into play at the place it would have been if the game had been continued without a time out. This is in accordance with Field Rule No. 9, 10, 12 or 23. If the ball had touched the boards without leaving the field at the end of the prior period, it would be put back into play according to Field Rule No. 12 as if it had passed over the boards. The umpire need not wait for players who are late.
14. If the ball is damaged or buried, the umpire will stop the game and throw in a new ball as described in Field Rule No. 23.
NOTE: If possible, the game should be stopped when the ball is in a neutral position and new ball thrown in.
15. A player shall not carry the ball or hit it with anything except his mallet. He may stop it with any part of his body. If a ball is caught by either a player or his horse in such a way that it cannot be returned to the field immediately, the umpire shall blow his whistle and start the game again at the place where the ball started to be carried.
16. No player shall cross an opposing player who is travelling on the line of the ball, (understanding that the "line of the ball" means the line which the ball has travelled, and its extension), except at a distance where there is no risk of collision or danger to either player involved. If the line of the ball changes unexpectedly, (for example: glancing off a mount), the player who had the Right of Way must be given an opportunity to continue for a safe distance.
NOTE: While exercising their discretion in determining what is rough riding, umpires will consider the following:
Two situations where the umpire would usually call a foul on the opponent for riding into the player’s on-going swing are:-
(b) No player may physically abuse another player or the player’s own or another player’s pony.
(c) A player deliberately striking another player or another player’s pony with hand, whip or stick shall be ejected from the remainder of the game worth no substitution in accordance with penalty 10 and the incident shall be reported by the umpire to the appropriate disciplinary committee.
19. (a) No player may hook an opponent’s stick, unless he is on the same side of the opponent’s pony as the ball, or in a direct line behind, and his stick is neither over or under the body or across the legs of an opponent’s pony, nor may any player hook or strike at an opponent’s stick unless all of the opponent’s stick is, below the opponent’s shoulder level. The stick may not be hooked or struck unless the opponent is in the act of striking the ball.
Note: The act of striking the ball is defined as the final downward motion of the stick head towards the ball. A preparatory or upward swing of the stick is not included in the act of striking the ball.
(b) No player may reach immediately over and across or under and across any part of an opponent’s pony to strike at the ball, nor may he hit into or amongst the legs of an opponent’s pony.
(c) No player may intentionally strike another player or his pony or another player’s pony with his polo stick.
(d) No player may use his stick dangerously, or hold it in such a way as to interfere with another player or his pony such as : -
20. (a) If a player loses his headgear the umpire shall stop the game as soon as an opportunity occurs that favours neither team
(b) In the event of broken tack or equipment:-
21. No dismounted player can hit the ball or intervene in the game.
22. (a) If a horse falls, or a horse or player is injured, or in the case of damage to the equipment of a horse, which in the opinion of the umpire can be of significant danger to the player or other players, the umpire can stop the game. What constitutes a fall is left up to the judgment of the umpire.
(b) If a player falls off a horse, the umpire need not stop the game unless he feels the player is injured or is endangered.
(c) When a game has been stopped according to (a) above, the umpire will resume the game in the manner described in Field Rule 23. immediately when the player is ready to go back into the game. The umpire need not wait for any other player who is not ready to start.
(d) If a player is injured, he will be given 15 minutes to recuperate. If the injured player cannot play after 15 minutes, the umpire will start the game with a substitute in his place. However, if the injured player eventually recovers, he can go back into the game to replace the substitute with the permission of the umpire when the ball is dead.
(e) If a player be disabled by a foul so that he is unable to continue, Penalty 10(a) may be exacted, or the side which has been fouled shall have the option of playing a substitute. Penalty 1, 2 or 3 shall be exacted in any case.
RESTARTING THE GAME WHEN THE BALL
HAS NOT GONE OUT OF THE FIELD
24. If during a match, there is an incident or an issue that is not covered by these rules, such an issue shall be decided by the umpire or umpires. If the umpires cannot reach a decision, the decision will be left to the referee. There are varying degrees of dangerous play, or play which does not conform to the rules which gives the advantage to the team that attempts to abuse the rules. The umpires in their judgment must control these situations. When more than one foul is committed, the penalty to be applied is left to the discretion of the umpires and will be submitted to the referee only in cases where the umpires are not in agreement as to the severity of the penalty.