All Pro Polo League2022-11-24T13:49:14+00:00


The All Pro Polo League (APPL) is an association formed with the aim of organising
wholly professional polo tournaments around the world. The league works with a new set of rules in order to encourage fast, open polo.


About Us

The All Pro Polo League (APPL) is an association formed with the aim of organising
wholly professional polo tournaments around the world. The league works with a new set of rules in order to encourage fast, open polo. A ProAm division has also been established to give patrons the chance of growing within the sport without the economic strain that has become common place in polo.

The All Pro Polo League stems from Javier Tanoira’s ambition to take polo back to the glory days. His aim is simple: to encourage dynamic, open polo and motivate a professional attitude towards the sport.

The APPL hopes to make polo a simpler, more enjoyable spectator sport by enhancing the qualities that make the game so thrilling. A new set of rules has been put in place to simplify the game, not only for spectators, but for players and umpires as well. The league fosters principals of respect and camaraderie, while allowing the game to grow in speed and skill.

Young up-and-coming polo players are invited to form part of the only professional league of its kind — the All Pro Polo League is formed exclusively of full-time professional polo players. Sponsors are invited to join the league by supporting a team or tournament. As polo becomes increasingly competitive and exclusive, the APPL presents a unique opportunity for brands to form an authentic relationship within the world of polo.

A separate ProAm League has also been formed to give patrons the chance of playing with the new set of rules. This league allows amateur players to get more involved on the field. With only one horse permitted per chukka, the APPL and Pro-Am league give patrons and players the occasion of competing without the obligatory economic strain now synonymous with traditional high-goal polo tournaments.

The support of the Argentine Association of Polo (AAP), the Federation of International Polo (FIP), the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) and the United States Polo Association (USPA) allow the APPL to grow internationally, hosting tournaments in Argentina, the US, England, Spain, and France with the goal of creating a Polo World Tour.

This league stands out from traditional polo tournaments thanks to its innovative approach to the game; free from speculation and economic exclusivity, the APPL aims to rebuild the purity of polo on foundations of professionalism.

Fast, open, simple.

Welcome to the future of polo.


International Polo Club, Wellington, USA – view images
La Esquina, Pilar, Argentina – view images
Helvetia Polo Club, Indaiatuba, Brazil – view images
Chantilly Polo Club, France – view images
Dos Lunas Polo Club, Sotogrande, Spain – view images
Santa Maria Polo Club, Sotogrande, Spain – view images
Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina

International Polo Club, Wellington, USA – view images
Chantilly Polo Club, France – view images
Cowdray Park Polo Club, England – view images
Sotogrande, Spain – view images
Deauville Polo Club, France – view images
Helvetia Polo Club, Brazil – view images
Honolulu Polo Club, Hawaii – view images
Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina – view images

Palm Beach, Florida, USA – view images
Sotogrande, Spain – view images
Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina (Team USPA vs Argentina) – view images

Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina – view images


Only one horse is allowed per player, per chukka. Players will not be allowed to change horses during the chukka.*

New Rules

A. After each goal, the team who scored the goal will resume the game with a hit in from the back line, facing the opposite direction of attack they were previously appointed (sides change after every goal scored).

B. 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 five 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.

C. When the ball goes over the back line, as soon as the last player from the attacking team enters the field, the defending team can play the ball (if they decide to do so), without needing to wait until all the other players are 30 yards away. All the players of the attacking team will be off side and cannot take part in the play until they cross the 30 yard line.

D. 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.

E. 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 offence was committed, regardless of whether the player is attacking or defending. There will be two types of penalties: PENALTY A and PENALTY B.


These are serious offences which cause danger and include all infractions that apply today and are described in the Argentine Association of Polo rule book. In this case, the team who was fouled will resume play in two different ways:

1.1 Between mid field and their own goalposts, the team that suffered the foul will resume play from the spot. The player who fouled will be 30 yards behind the ball, and he will be able to be part of the play once he reaches the position of his teammates. Prior to that, he will be offside, unable to play the ball or to ride off an opponent.

1.2 Between mid field and the 60 yard line, there will be a one shot penalty with all the players in usual position. In that case, the player taking the shot will be allowed to tee up the ball.

1.3. From the 60 yard line onwards, there will be a one shot penalty, but all players must be behind the line of the ball, and the player taking the shot will not be able to tee the ball up.

1.4 In case of a dangerous foul, or accumulation of fouls in the same chukka, misconduct, or an offence the umpire judges inappropriate, the fouled player will resume the game with a stopped ball from the spot where the foul was committed, aiming at the opponent’s goal. All other players must be behind him. The player who commits 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. As this penalty is caused by a serious offence, the player who restarts play will have no one between himself and the goal he is attacking.


These are minor offences that do not cause danger but undermine the spectacle and flow of the game:

1. Possession at low speed: When a team in possession of the ball deliberately slows the game speed, their next play must be to hit the ball. If they don’t, a penalty will be awarded against them.

2. Interference: The opposing player who is closest to the player in possession (or who is heading to the ball) cannot be marked or blocked by anyone. This will apply both in attack and defence (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 A penalties the clock stops and the umpire puts the ball on the spot where the foul occurred for play to recommence. With B penalties, the clock is not stopped, (the umpire raises his hand), the same ball remains in play, and all nearby players of the team which fouled have to withdraw immediately from the vicinity. The team which has been fouled has 5 seconds to restart play without the umpire needing to call out ‘Play’.

Umpiring Criteria

1. 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, the player will receive a yellow card.

2. 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 the game.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.


“There are two fundamental reasons why we believe that the limitation of one horse per chukka can be beneficial for polo.The first is simply common sense, considering that twenty years ago, when polo was more fluid than it is today, only one horse was played per chukka. Consider that good mares used to play two whole chukkas in the Argentine high goal. Horses did not tire because polo was a team sport; the problem is that polo today is centred a lot more on the individual. Horses do not tire from running; what exhausts them is the constant stopping, starting and crashing that is so common in polo now. By limiting the number of horses allowed per chukka, we intend to force players to play polo as it was originally played. Our aim is to create a more attractive spectacle for everyone involved, beyond winning or losing.”

“The other reason has to do with self-limitation. Every season more people, namely patrons, distance themselves from the polo world because they cannot compete with the big organisations with unlimited budgets and players who use twelve or fourteen horses per game. By limiting the number of horses to be played per chukka, thus allowing only six horses per match, we are rewarding those players who focus their efforts on riding well and training their horses correctly, and who administer the energy of their horses (and overall, we are rewarding the best horses). We believe that this rule will revolutionise the sport of polo, making it more accessible to a wider audience.”

“This type of limitation has already been enforced in other sports (motor racing limited the number of cars a team could use during a championship) and has seen positive results. In these first editions of the APPL, we have reduced the length of a chukka from seven minutes down to five. Players will be able to adjust to the rules and have time to prepare their horses for the challenge, but we hope to play seven minute chukkas with one horse in future editions.”



A PRO-AM division has been developed so as to give patrons the chance of playing with new APPL rules. Our PRO-AM league promotes fast, open polo and encourages team play, giving patrons the opportunity of becoming more involved in the game of polo.

Our Pro-Am league differs from traditional polo tournaments due to the principals of respect and camaraderie it enforces and the fluid style of play it stimulates. Patrons will no longer be considered secondary players; they will take on a fundamental role both on and off the field.

The one horse rule stated by the APPL will be upheld in the PRO-AM division. Patrons will be able to play high-goal polo tournaments with only six horses (one horse per chukka). The excess now associated with polo will be eliminated, and therefore so will the costs. Our Pro-Am tournaments are a unique invitation to experience real polo.


The All Pro Polo League (APPL) works to make polo faster, simpler and more competitive, but also more inclusive. In the current polo climate, where younger equals better and players over forty have to compete with those far less experienced than them, the APPL invites players who are still in their prime to continue playing exciting polo, in a unique series of tournaments know as the Golden Age Tour.

APPL Founder Javier Tanoira was disappointed by the fact that polo players have such a short professional life. He noted that the modern polo system excludes players over a certain age, players who usually still have a lot to show, teach and give. The Golden Age Tour is the first polo series of its kind designed to include both professional and amateur players over forty. The series has been adapted to suit the needs of the players, and therefore the Golden Age Tour is played with APPL’s Pro-Am rules. These offer only slight variations, and many of the original APPL rules, such as limiting one horse per chukka, still stand.

So far, players such as Mariano Aguerre, Lolo Castagnola, Pancho Bensadon, Pite Merlos, Ernesto Trotz, and Alejandro Agote have participated in the Golden Age Tour.

Player Comments

“We had fun, and it is always positive to come and play. This is an initiative put together by Javier that is working to bring about change in polo. I think it would be good to do a full tournament, so we can get a better understanding of the positives and what needs more work. This has already made an impact in the Triple Crown, where we no longer use throw-ins when the ball goes over the boards. That in itself is a big step.”

Adolfo Cambiaso

“The league was a lot of fun to play. It was a great experience to be part of the league after having seen two or three exhibitions around the world. The APPL has a lot of positive aspects, some things can also be improved, but that is what Javier wants – for us to give our opinion and to better the concept as a whole. I particularly like the focus on not losing rhythm. If the ball goes out, we have to hurry back and be planning the next play straight away. The aim is to eliminate ‘dead time’ – we can’t just be standing there waiting for something to happen. After you score a goal you have to run back to defend quickly – the same happens when you are attacking, or when you start the chukka. The game never stops, and that is fundamental for what we are trying to achieve in polo. We want to keep people entertained, especially those watching on TV.”

Facundo Pieres

“The APPL was fun to play. I think the initiative is great, and I like that it promotes dynamic, open polo. There are many things that can be taken from this. It is a step in the right direction, and we can see the positive effect it has had so far in the Argentine high goal.”

Hilario Ulloa

“I had only seen a couple APPL games before, in Argentina and Palm Beach, and I honestly didn’t understand the concept very well, until I played it. I was
surprised to find that the rules were nothing out of the ordinary. It is very similar to what we try to achieve in the Open. The APPL wants to make everything faster – the fouls, the hit ins – which I think is great. There are lots of changes that I like; I thought that it would be harder to pick up, or that the rules were going to be weird, but that is not the case at all. It is like playing a practice for the Open, where there are no fouls. I like the way the APPL treats fouls, but I wouldn’t like to see penalties go. I like having 30, 40 and 60 yard penalties. I think that the blocking rule could be adopted into regular polo – it encourages people to go forward and make quick plays. I think these rules could help patron based polo a lot, more so than fully professional polo, like the Open. While there have been a few slower games in the Open, almost every Triple Crown player wants to run and make polo a fluid game. Patron based polo can be scrappy and slow, so these rules could make that polo more enjoyable for people on and off the field.”

Facundo Sola

“I think it is a good, innovative idea. It is a way of returning to the old system of polo; it is fun and dynamic. Some of the rules could even be applied to traditional polo. The aim is to make polo a more open sport by combining APPL rules with traditional polo rules. I particularly like the speed of it; you have to think fast, get
to the ball first, know what you want to do with it without tapping, and favour the player who is running rather than the one who is stopping.”

Felipe Viana

“I think that the APPL is a really great idea, and the aim is to see whether the changes can be carried forward into today’s polo; many people agree that
something in polo needs to change. The best thing about it is that it is fun to play: it is open polo, where everyone hits the ball, you go flat out and players are not thinking about winning fouls. It has received positive feedback because everyone who plays gets on really well and it is great to watch. As a spectator you want to enjoy yourself. Also, the matches aren’t long or slow as they can be in ‘traditional’ polo.”

Jero Del Carril

“The best thing about the APPL is that it makes the game more dynamic and open; there are less fouls and that gives the game fluidity. It also makes it more fun knowing that I will play with friends who are my age.”

Santi Torres

“The best thing about the league is that the key to the game now lies in teamwork. The rules mean that if you don’t play as a team then you can’t win. The game has therefore become more attractive as a spectacle.”

Marcos Menditeguy

“I like that the APPL is about fast, open polo, where all four players pass the ball and all eight players participate equally. It is a lot more fun to play, and to watch. The best thing about the league is that no one is looking to win a foul, everyone plays forward and backwards. Fast, open, simple.”

Manu Sundblad

“The All Pro Polo League is a pleasure to watch and to play. The game is more dynamic and, most importantly, it is a lot of fun!”

Francisco Rodriguez Mera

“The All Pro Polo League is great because it is fun to play and the polo is nice to watch. It is also fun playing with friends, something the league encourages.”

Segundo Bocchino

“I love the open style of polo the league generates, and how it teaches you to anticipate plays.”

Juan Martin Obregon

“The league generates fast, fun and dynamic games – that’s why I like it.”

Juan Martin Zubia


JAVIER TANOIRAFounder and Director
Javier Tanoira is a former 7-goal player from Argentina. Having been involved in professional polo for more than 20 years, he now focuses on family life, poetry-writing and filmmaking – all while striving to improve the quality of the sport of polo. His 2009 essay, A Reflection on Argentine Polo, was instrumental in establishing new and improved rules.
Justo Del Carril is a professional polo player and a teacher. He has spent the last fifteen years predominantly travelling to Dubai to develop the UAE polo season that is now so distinguished. In 2003 he wrote ‘Essential Tips-POLO’, a polo guide book. A keen coach, Justo works alongside beginners and young professionals; he co-founded the APPL with the hope of improving the game of polo.
MARCOS ALDAOUmpiring Director
Marcos Aldao is a former 5-goal polo player and successful entrepreneur. Current President of Ascochinga Polo Club in Cordoba, Marcos is also President of the Umpiring Committee of the Argentine Polo Association and their representative for the next world rule unification. He has teamed up with Javier Tanoira in order to develop rules which will simplify the game of polo. He lives in Buenos Aires and has three kids, Marcos, Mora, and Fermin.
Carolina Beresford has a rich family history of polo and relishes her part-Irish, part-Chilean nationality. She has travelled the globe watching her father, uncles and brothers play. After graduating from Bristol University with First Class Honours in History of Art, the multi-linguist moved to Argentina, where she now lives and works.
Vita is a woman of many skills: Actress, clown, producer, playwright, community manager, language teacher, polyglot and amateur photographer. A polo fan since 2002, Vita enjoys working closely with young, talented players and hopes to share her passion for the sport of polo in a simple, straightforward and entertaining way.
Alejo Yael is a filmmaker, hardware developer and entrepreneur who thrives on challenges. Futurist and big time animal lover, Alejo is a multi-disciplinarian who enjoys working in a team.
JUNIOR BOTTINGStatistics manager
Alejandro Botting is a sports fan who especially enjoys football and polo. He currently studies Business Administration at Salvador University in Pilar, Argentina.
Laura is a Marketing and Sport Business Manager, graduate at IESE Business School, with more than 15 years experience worldwide. As polo lover, she moved to Sotogrande (Spain), where she now lives and work as entrepreneur. Looking always for new challenges and getting on very well in changing environments. Creative and disruptive thinker.

Let’s keep in touch!

+549 11 4832 3783
Guatemala 4533 — CI1425
Buenos Aires, Argentina