RULES OF PLAY
Right of Way – During play there is an imaginary “line of the ball”, which is generally the direction in which the ball is travelling at any one moment. When a player has established the right of way along that line, it may not be crossed by an opposing player if there is the slightest risk of collision.
Crossing – Any player who crosses the player in the right of way close enough to be dangerous or cause a player to slow up, commits a foul.
Riding Off – is the act of pushing another player and his horse out of the way using your horse, and is permitted whether the other man is playing the ball or not. But it must not be done by charging in at a dangerous angle, nor must the man in possession of the ball be crossed.
Hooking sticks – A player may hook an opponent’s stick provided he is on the same side of the opponent as the ball, or directly behind him, and provided the stick is below the level of the opponent’s shoulder. Players must not attempt to hook an opponent in front of the pony’s legs.
Each player is given a handicap level from -2 to 10 goals depending on his ability. The lowest handicap is -2, with 10 being the highest possible. A team’s rating is calculated by adding together the 4 players’ handicaps.
A team is numbered from 1 to 4 and each position has a purpose. No1 and No2 are the forwards; No3 is the pivot position and usually the best player in the team, and No4, or Back, the goal defender.
DURATION OF PLAY
The match is divided into chukkas, each lasting 7 minutes, with an interval of 3 minutes between each one. At half time the interval is extended to 5 minute and spectators are invited to take to the pitch to tread in divots. The bell is rung at the end of each 7 minute period. Play continues until the ball goes out of play, or the umpire stops play for a foul, or the bell is rung for a second time 30 seconds after the first bell. In the final chukka play stops with the first stroke of the bell.