Only one horse is allowed per player per chukker. Players will not be allowed to change horses during the chukker,
If a horse or a player is injured, both must leave the field. A reserve player (if available) will be allowed in on another horse. If there´s no player available play will resume 3 against 4.
In the case of a player injury, a reserve player will be allowed on the same horse the injured player was playing.
Games and tournaments will have two types of duration during this first stage.
A. 6 chukkers of 5 minutes each. (max. of 6 horses allowed per player, per game).
B. 8 chukkers of 4 minutes each. (max. of 4 horses allowed per player, per game).
After each goal, the team who scored the goal will resume the game with a hit in from the backyard line. They shall face the opposite direction of attack as they were previously appointed.
When the ball goes over the boards, the team who did not send the ball over will restart the game with an indirect shot. The umpire will place the ball 5 yards away from the boards, from where the ball left the field. The player must then strike the ball once (indirect shot). Teammates and opponents must be at least 30 yards from the ball. To make it easier to determine which team allowed the ball to go out, we will consider the horse a continuation of the player (i.e. if the ball goes out due to the action of a white player’s horse or stick, the blue team will restart the game).
When the umpire stops the game for a fall, injury or any other contingency, the game will restart with an indirect shot from the team that held possession of the ball before the game was stopped. If the referee cannot determine which team had possession of the ball before the incident, he will restart the game with a throw in.
Fouls from the spot, as well as 60, 40 and 30 yard penalties will be eliminated. When the whistle is blown due to an infraction, play will resume in the exact place where the offense was committed, regardless of whether the player is in attack or defense. There will be two types of penalties: PENALTY A and PENALTY B.
These are serious offenses which cause danger and includes all the infractions that apply today and are described in the Argentine Polo Association rule book.
In this case, the player who was fouled will resume play with a stopped ball from the spot where the foul was committed, aiming at the opponent’s goalposts. All other players must be behind him. The player who committed the foul must be 15 yards behind the player taking the shot; all other six players must be a further 30 yards behind the infractor.
In this type of penalty, because it’s a serious offense, the player who restarts play will have no one between himself and the goal he is attacking.
NOTE: When the infraction is between mid field and the 60 yard spot, the team fouled may ask for a direct shot at the goalposts. In that case all 7 players will be in front, as usual, and anyone form the fouled penalty can take the shot. (only one shot permitted).
These are minor offenses that do not cause danger but undermine the spectacle and flow of the game. They are two:
Possesion at low speed: When a team in possession of the ball deliberately slows down the game speed, next play they must do is hit the ball. If they don´t do so, a penalty will be awarded against them.
Interference: The opposing player who is closest to the player in possesion (or who is heading to the ball) cannot be marked or blocked by anyone. HE IS UNTOUCHABLE. This will apply both in attack and defense (i.e. When a defending player is going to hit a backhander, nobody from his team can ride off the opponent that is going to mark him).
In this type of penalty, because it’s a minor offense, the player who restarts play will have all four opponents between him and the goalpost he is attacking.
The difference between penalties A and B is that with the A the clock stops and the umpire puts the ball down on the spot where the foul occurred for play to recommence. (No teeing up will be allowed in any case) With the B the clock is not stopped, (the umpire raises his hand), the same ball remains in play, and all the nearby players of the team which fouled have to withdraw immediately from its vicinity. The team, which had been fouled has 5 seconds to restart play without the umpire needing to call out ‘Play’.
It is absolutely forbidden for the players to speak back to the umpire. The only player who can address the umpire respectfully is the team captain and he must ask permission before speaking. If the player speaks to the umpire without asking for permission first, the player will receive a yellow card.
Umpires will be trained to properly communicate orders to players detailing what they should or should not do and when to play the ball. In other words, they will CONDUCT
Umpires will also be trained (and forced) to call only the fouls where there is real danger, approximately 30% of the fouls that are called today.
Speed of play will be essential in determining if the line of the ball is relevant or not in the case of anyone crossing it. At a high speed, if the umpire decides that there is an appropriate distance between players and the line of the ball, it does not matter the angle at which the player reaching the ball first comes in: the whistle will not be blown. At a slow speed the umpire will assume there is no danger whatsoever; here the line of the ball is no longer the most important factor.
The “enter at your own risk” rule applies for the player who is coming to take the ball from the one who has it. As long as he does not come in at a high speed, or create danger, he is allowed to come from the side or from behind (at any moment of the swing) to win the ball.