In the HPA’s No 9 Update for Clubs (published on 13 June), it was detailed that “The 8 goal and above and Victrix Ludorum may proceed as planned but each team must include a minimum of 3 professional or aged 16 and over elite pathway players (as 1st January 2020), along with the team player/manager who will is responsible for putting together and entering the team. The HPA will produce a list of elite pathway players shortly which will be kept under review as the season progresses.”
Yesterday, Tuesday 30 June, the details of the HPA Elite Development Pathway as well as those players who are included as part of the Elite Development Squad were published. The HPA Elite Development Pathway is open to British and Irish players who fulfil the following criteria:
Any player aged over 16 and under 19 on 1st January who has a current handicap of at least zero goals.
Any player aged over 18 and under 21 on 1st January who has a current handicap of at least one goal.
Women players aged over 16 and under 19 on 1st January who have a current handicap of at least one goal.
Women players aged over 18 and under 21 on 1st January who have a current handicap of at least three goals.
The entire list of players who meet the above criteria and are included on the HPA’s Elite Development Squad are listed in below:
Yesterday, Tuesday 30 June, the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) held another Covid-19 Steering Group meeting which was attended by David Woodd, Michael Amoore, Victor Chua, Antony Fanshawe, Chris Bethell, Josh Tuthill, Mark Tomlinson, Tim Bown, Issy Branch, Olly Hughes and Lucy Lewis. The notes from the meeting are outlined below:
1. Notes of Meetings Tue 23 Jun. Noted.
2. Outlook. No change but regular discussions continue to be held with DCMS. Govt is clearly under pressure to allow recreational cricket to start and ECB pushing for a change on 4 July. Difficult for the Govt to approve sports which include amateurs on an individual basis.
3. Elite Pathway Players. Due to go on the website today.
4. Rules and Umpire Measures. Agreed that:
• All teams should appoint a Covid Marshall responsible for their team’s social distancing and wearing of face coverings (tent, pony lines, loading, unloading). If there was evidence of abuse of the above the team Captain would be subject to an immediate fine of up to £500 payable before the next game.
• Any player who failed to wear a suitable face mask that covered his mouth and nose effectively when playing or changing ponies would be penalised with a minimum Penalty 5b or a yellow card and/or a sin bin and only allowed back on with an effective mask. An umpire who failed to enforce the above would have his fee reduced by 50%.
• Teams in the 22 goals would continue to be limited to playing 40 ponies in a match but could take 2 spare ponies in case of injury on the journey. Any team playing more than 40 ponies would be liable to disqualification and a fine.
• Teams would be allowed to use their substitutes to hold spares. Subs limited to 5 to allow for a double substitution.
• The ‘no contact’ rule would be amended with contact allowed as soon as the umpire called play. The use of the whip could still not be used until the ball was in play, ie when it was hit or hit at.
• No change to the length of chukkas in the 22 goal.
• Agreed that it was important that clubs and individuals maintained high standards and did not allow them to slip.
• Confirmed that a face mask must always be worn if persons were within 2 m of each other and put on if that was appearing likely. However, if persons were practising social distancing correctly, then they were not required to wear one by Govt guidelines and this applied at a polo ground.
a. Agreed that the Govt guidelines were that polo should be played behind closed doors and that this meant still no spectators at polo (incl over 70s). Where catering facilities existed at clubs, it was up to clubs as to whether they could open within the guidelines and independently and separate from any polo being played.
7. Covid-19 Education and Test. Agreed that this requirement should apply to all attendees at polo and should be delayed by a week, so effective Wed 8 July.
8. Next Meeting. 1100 Tue 7 July 2020.