The HPA Rules Test.
Passing the rules test is part of the process of advancing from a starter (S graded polo player) to a minus two handicap. Safety in this often fast paced game is paramount and the rules have been developed to reduce the risk of collisions and accidents. It is important for players to have a good knowledge of the rules at an early stage and emphasis is placed on having a good understanding of the line of the ball and which player or players have the right of way. All the rules are published each year by the HPA in their year book which is available from your club to HPA members. The rules can also be viewed on the HPA website as a pdf.
Do your homework. All the rules should be read and thoroughly understood. Play particular attention to Annex F which contains diagrams explaining the right of way. The test is designed to make sure you have good enough knowledge of the rules to not be a danger to others and contribute towards the smooth running of the game. You need to know the rules about the line out and the different penalties; there are often questions about where players are positioned for defended and undefended penalties. As a minus two player you should know the rules about hooking and riding off, and what is considered dangerous play. A lot of the questions in the rules test are designed to make sure you really understand the ROW (right of way). How is the ROW affected if the ball changes direction? Make sure you really know who has the ROW and which player is committing a foul.
The HPA produce a Rules DVD each year which can be ordered from their website. This is a compilation of fouls with commentary and graphics explaining why the whistle was blown. You can watch last year’s HPA Rules video if you go to our ‘Polo Videos’ page.