Understanding Polo Rules: Part 1

Understanding the 'Right of Way' in Polo

equestrian team sport

Equestrian team sport.

The 'Right of Way' (ROW) is one of the most fundamental and important rules in the sport of Polo. It is designed to ensure the safety of the players and horses, and to maintain the flow and integrity of the game.

What is the 'Right of Way'?

In Polo, the 'Right of Way' is an imaginary path created by the ball when it is hit or directed along the ground. This path extends in front of and behind the ball, and the player who has struck the ball has the right to this path. Other players must not cross or interfere with this path, as doing so can result in a foul.

How it Affects the Flow of the Game

The ROW rule significantly influences the strategy and tactics of Polo. Players must constantly be aware of the ROW and adjust their positioning and movements accordingly. It encourages strategic play and teamwork, as players must work together to control the ROW and create scoring opportunities.

The ROW rule also helps maintain the flow of the game. By preventing players from recklessly charging into the path of the ball, it reduces stoppages and keeps the game moving at a fast pace.

Penalties for Violating the 'Right of Way'

Violating the ROW is considered a serious foul in Polo. The severity of the penalty depends on the nature of the violation and the potential danger it posed to the players and horses.

Penalties can range from a free hit for the opposing team from the spot of the foul, to more severe penalties such as a penalty goal awarded to the opposing team, or even ejection of the offending player from the game in extreme cases.

In conclusion, the 'Right of Way' is a crucial aspect of Polo that every player must understand and respect. It is not just about following the rules, but also about ensuring the safety of all participants and maintaining the spirit of the game.