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English Season 2018
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English Season 2018

Valiente's decision regarding new helmets, the support of the AAJP, and more

May 16, 2018
May 16, 2018
After last Saturday’s controversy in the Prince of Wales Trophy, where three Valiente players took to the field using their original helmets, instead the new ones enforced by the HPA. The HPA was expected to act, but they did not. The polo world eagerly await Wednesday's Prince of Wales match between Emlor and Valiente, to see what Valiente would do.

In the end, the three Valiente players who originally refused to wear the new helmets (Magoo Laprida, Adolfo Cambiaso and Rob Jornayvaz) will be playing with the new helmets, after being warned by the HPA that they would not be allowed to play with their original ones. Valiente have said that they will follow the rules, but they argue "they should not force us to wear something which has not been proved to be safe, unless we receive some form of insurance."

On Tuesday, the complaint from Valiente players - which was backed by many high goal players, as was published by Pololine on Saturday - was also supported by the AAJP (Argentine Polo Players Association) via a letter sent by the AAJP President, Marcos Di Paola, to the HPA’s David Wood. 

In the letter, the AAJP state that they are in favour of measures being taken in order to increase safety and minimise the risk involved in the sport, but they request "verification that the new helmets fulfil or indeed exceed that vital function over and above those that players currently choose to wear."

Also on Tuesday, during a two and a half hour call conference between the HPA and a group of lawyers, one of the members of the HPA acknowledged that the new helmets failed the test a couple of times. Despite this, the HPA stood by its position and said that the letter presented on Saturday, where many top players asked for insurance from the HPA and/or the clubs if they are to use the new helmets, will not be signed.

Cristian Laprida, Adolfo Cambiaso and Rob Jornayvaz will use their new helmets on Wednesday against Emlor, but the situation continues to concern many players, the Argentine Polo Players Association (AAJP) and parents who have been hesitant to accept the security of the new helmets for their children.

To be continued.