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Polo around the world
Polo around the worldPolo around the world

Polo around the world

Rules in Argentina, Palm Beach 2018, England, & more

July 27, 2017
July 27, 2017
After a few weeks of intense reunions discussing the future of polo in Argentina, both on and off the field, several ideas have come to fruition. People from every aspect of polo took part in the meetings, from umpires, player and directors, to founders of the All Pro Polo League, which has generated much excitement over the last two years.

While the final decisions will be confirmed in the upcoming days, the rule most likely to change is the throw-in that takes place when the ball goes over the boards. The game, therefore, will continue with a spot hit in favour of the team who did not send the ball out. Another aspect of the game which is still up for discussion is the number of chukkas in a game or the length of them. 

A subject that has been kept more under wraps relates to the umpiring for the upcoming Triple Crown. There is a possibility of setting up a ranking via points, where umpires ascend or descend different categories (A, B, or C) throughout the season. Several players have also asked for foreign umpires to oversee Triple Crown matches once again. 

The format for Hurlingham and Palermo will be the same - American-style - where everyone plays everyone in their respective zone, and the winner of each group qualifies for the final. Therefore, Palermo will have a different format for a third year in a row. Another point being discussed is the possibility of Triple Crown teams interchanging positions with teams wanting to qualify in the next years. The winner of the Cámara is expected to face a play-off with the last to qualify.

UNITED STATES

Sunday saw the confirmation of a team that was causing much speculation in the polo world: Valiente’s recruitment of Facundo Pieres, who will now play alongside Adolfo Cambiaso in the 26-goal at Palm Beach. At first glance, it would be a historic occasion for polo. But, it is not all positive; given the hardships polo is going through at this time, particularly at this level, this new line-up has caused other teams, such as Coca-Cola and Audi, to back out of the 26-goal. 

One hopes that the 20-goal season will continue to attract many teams to Palm Beach, as it has over the past few years. Facundo and Gonzalito will play together once again, as they have been doing in Argentina and England. So the dream of seeing Facundo and Adolfo playing together in the high-goal seems to be further away (remember they played together in the 2013 Coronation Cup for Argentina). The reality is that playing polo at that level is becoming more expensive every year, and patrons cannot afford to face the two best players in the world, working together in the same organisation.

ENGLAND

The English high-goal season is nearly up; it comes to an end with the Coronation Cup this Saturday at Guards Polo Club. The match will be streamed live, exclusively via PoloLine.TV. England will take on the Commonwealth once again in an effort to redeem their 2016 loss. The event is one of the most anticipated fixtures of the English season, attracting huge crowds to the club. 

In other news, Argentine players participating in the English season have met with a lawyer to inform themselves on the current situation regarding work permits. There will be updates in the coming week. In terms of handicaps, the most notable changes relate to Tincho Merlos and Nico Pieres, who both went from 8 goals to 9. After a successful 15 and 18-goal season from Park Place, the team announced their involvement in next year’s 22-goal. Valiente is another team that seems likely to join the high-goal, with Adolfo Cambiaso at the helm. King Power have confirmed their participation, but the line-up is yet to be confirmed.

AUGUST

Lastly, we’re ready for an intense August. Saint Tropez will host two 18-goal tournaments, which will see Gonzalo and Nico Pieres take part, as well as Ruso Heguy and other world class players. Sotogrande will see 10-goalers Facundo Pieres, Pelon Stirling, Pablo Mac Donough and Juan Martín Nero take to the field. Deauville will also see high-goal action, as players such as Sapo Caset, Tito Ruiz Guiñazu and Fran Elizalde fight for the Gold Cup. Finally, in the US, high-goal polo kicks off in Greenwich and Denver; the former will host the East Coast Open, with the presence of Mariano Aguerre, who is set to play Palermo once again this year.