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Hurlingham Polo Association
Rule Changes and Updates for Season 2024


Hurlingham Polo Association
Hurlingham Polo Association

HPA Rule Book 2024

Updates for Season 2024

a. Helmets. Polo helmets must always be worn during play and must be type approved to the standard or PAS015:2011 with CE mark (type approval must be performed by a Notified Body for Personal Protective Equipment), E2001, VG1 01.040 2014-12, or UTAC/CRITT 04/2015, NOCSAE and any newer version of the same standard, including EN1384:2017.

b. Spurs. Any spur likely to wound a horse is not allowed. Spurs, including any rowel, must be blunt with the shank of no more than 2 cm pointing downwards and to the rear. If the umpires have sent off a horse for an injury caused from the player’s use of spurs, then that player is not permitted to wear any spurs for the remainder of that match.

c. Whips. Whips must be no more than 48 inches long including any tag. Broken whips are not allowed. The whip may only be used with left hand when the ball is in play and then only down its shoulder or on its quarters. A whip must not be used when not involved in the play (e.g. coming back from a change). Misuse includes:

  • Use of the whip when the ball is not in play.

  • Hitting the pony more than once on its quarters without allowing the pony to react before any further hit.

  • Hitting the pony on its flank, ie anywhere between its shoulder and quarters.

  • Raising any part of the left arm above shoulder height. Misuse of the whip constitutes unsportsmanlike conduct and is therefore subject to a yellow flag. Should the whip cause damage, or a player be issued a yellow card for misuse of the whip, then the player’s whip will be removed for the remainder of the match.



o. Water at Polo. Water must not be withheld for an extended period prior to play. Ponies must be offered water before leaving the club or ground

s. Excessive Heat. Guidelines for when temperatures are very high are on the HPA website. Under amber Met Office heat warnings, or forecast temperatures of 28 degrees and above, free changes are to be given with a restriction of one minute for the change.

u. Ear or nose twitching. Ponies must not be ear or nose twitched for a player



Hurlingham Polo Association

Rule Changes and Updates from Season 2023 which are still active

a. Ponies of any height may be played.
b. A pony may not play if:

  • It is blind in an eye;

  • It has any form of open tracheotomy (tubing) or has been de-nerved (chemically or surgically desensitized). If desensitized temporarily then it must not be played until full sensation has returned.

  • It is not under proper control or is showing a vice so that it is unsafe, such as kicking or biting. See Part 2 Rule 2.4t.

  • It has a contagious or infectious disease.

  • It is lame or showing any signs of distress.

  • It has any signs of spur damage.

  • It is showing blood from any part. If the blood is not part of any spur damage and the bleeding is superficial so that it can be stopped the pony may return to play if a club official or the umpires are content.

  • It has be suspended by the HPA

  • Been sent off by an umpire



One free hit by the team fouled from the centre of the 60 yard line nearest the goal of the team that has fouled.

  • a. The team taking the hit to be free to place themselves where they choose. The free hit shall be taken in one stroke with the intent to score. If the player taking the hit mishits, misdirects or misses the ball, he or any member of his team may only hit or hit at the ball with a half shot, that is with the head of the stick starting the downward swing below the shoulder of the hitter, until the ball has been hit or hit at by a player of the team facing the hit. However, the stick may be raised above the shoulder to stop or re-direct the ball.

  • b. All of the team defending the hit to be 40 yards from the Penalty 4 line until the ball is hit or hit at. This will be marked by a dot, 20 yards from the backline and in line with the centre of goal which is to be used by the umpires as a point of reference.




One free hit from a spot on the 60 yard line opposite where the ball crossed the back line, but no more than 40 yards out from the centre.

  • a. The team taking the hit to be free to position themselves where they choose. The free hit shall be taken in one stroke with the intent to score as for a Penalty 4;

  • b. The team facing the hit to be behind the 30 yard line and at least 40 yards from the ball until the ball is hit or hit at.



Hurlingham Polo Association

Please note that CEPA shares Rule Updates that apply to the Central European Region. Rule Updates which apply only for the United Kingdom can be found in the official
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