Senior School Polo

SUPA Rules for Senior Schools

Learn about the rules governing SUPA Senior School fixtures

Senior School Rules & Regulations

The rules of the Hurlingham Polo Association will govern all tournaments played.

Specific SUPA rules are as follows.  Please refer to the HPA rules for anything not covered below.

  • All players are expected to well turned out and safe for all SUPA matches and throughout the event.  All players must wear team shirts, white breeches/jeans, kneepads and proper riding boots or boots and 1/2 chaps.
  • Helmets/hats must meet the criteria as set out by the HPA .
  • Helmets/hats must be tagged by SUPA prior to playing in any tournament.
  • Goggles, it is recommended that goggles are worn by every player.  Please contact our sponsors R.J. Polo who will be glad to help with any advice needed.
  • Mouth Guards, it is recommended that mouth guards are worn by every player.
  • Knee pads must be worn in all SUPA sanctioned events and Championships, as per HPA Rule 2,g (ii)
  • In the interest of safety long hair must be secured appropriately.
  • Spurs – these are not allowed under any circumstances in any SUPA sanctioned match or Championship and no dispensation will be given.  If you are seen wearing spurs, you will be asked to remove them.
  • Hiring of horses – If you are hiring horses to play at a SUPA event, it is your responsibility to ensure that the provider holds a current REL (Riding Establishment Licence) to hire out horses for payment or renumeration.
  • All players must be member of SUPA before they can play.
  • Rules of Play – The rules as laid down by the HPA are to be applied, unless SUPA and their officials deem otherwise.  For example, in the Arena, SUPA does not score ‘2 pointers’ from goals hit outside the 25 yard mark in any division with the exception of the Open. The rules maybe interpreted in a slightly different manner due to the facilities used by the officials on the day.  The decision of the Section Manager and Tournament Manager will be final.
  • Handicaps – The outdoor registered handicap is the one used by SUPA.  For arena polo a outdoor handicap plus 1 is taken.
  • All players must be current full time students at a senior school Year 9 – Year 13.
  • Beginners – this section is for players who have not played any competitive matches and are new to the sport.
  • Novice – this section is for players who have played in the beginners section and are therefore no longer deemed a beginner.  The maximum handicap is -2 in this section and the player must be deemed not ready to play at lower inters by their coach after discussion with the relevant Section Manager.
  • Intermediates – this section is for players who have worked their way through the beginner and novice sections with SUPA, and for Pony Club and HPA members who are not ready to play at the Open level.  0 goal players will be allowed to play in this section as the discretion of the Section Manager.  No one with a handicap of 1 or above may play in this section.
  • Open – this section is for players with an HPA handicap of 0 and above.
  • Combined – combined teams in all levels must be approved by the Section Manager.  Please note that under no circumstances may School Managers, Parents or Coaches enter mixed school teams into a tournament without prior agreement from the Section Manager.  If you do not have enough players to make up a team please speak to the relevant Section Manager.  If you are found to be entering a mixed team without prior approval from SUPA you will be disqualified.
  • Substitution of Players – If you have a withdrawal from your team and need to substitute a player you must inform us through the website immediately.  If you do not have another player within your schools pool you must speak to the relevant Section Manager.  You may not, under any circumstances, substitute a player from another school without written permission from the relevant Section Manager. Substitute players must be a current SUPA member.
  • Section Managers and SUPA Stewards reserve the right to move teams/players into different divisions if they deem them to be entered into an in appropriate division.
  • If anyone is found to be breaking the above rules it could result in the team being disqualified.
  • Payment for an event.  It is the School Managers responsibility to ensure that all entry fees are paid prior to the closing date for the tournament.  If payment is not received then the team/s will be withdrawn by the organiser.  No payment = no play!
  • Cancellation/Postponement of Event/Tournament -i.In the event of cancellation/Postpone of your tournament due to unforeseen or difficult to predict circumstances such as adverse weather conditions, infectious equine or human diseases or government directives that curtail sporting events.  SUPA will endeavour to give as much notice as possible of cancellation.  SUPA will try to reschedule the same tournament for a later date.  If this is not possible or if there are players who may not be able to attend on the rescheduled dates SUPA will then reimburse entry fee less a £10 admin fee per transaction.ii.SUPA accept no responsibility and are not liable for the compensation of any charges that maybe incurred by horse hire or coaches/instructors.iii.SUPA accept no responsibility to reimburse contractors for cancellation/postponement of services due to circumstances listed (i.) above.
  • Event Relocation.  The Organiser has the right to change the location of the event due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Withdrawal of a team or players.  If a team or a player has to withdraw after the closing date the entry fee is non refundable and could result in a fixed penalty (currently £30-£80).  Please co-ordinate with your Section Manager to mitigate fines as early as possible.  Teams that withdraw after the draw has been published will be fined £200.
  • Behaviour.  The Schools Manager or players representative is responsible for the behaviour of their team/teams or player/players.
  • Complaints, Protests and Objections.  No complaint may be raised directly with an apposing team, player or official.  Only Schools Managers or ther appointed representative notified to the relevant Section Manager, or Tournament Organised are entitled to lodge objections or protests and they must be made on the same day and as soon as possible after the incident.  They will be heard by a Jury of Appeal.  Protests should be made in writing accompanied by a deposit of £50 which will be refunded if the objection is upheld.
  • Players or parents who approach any SUPA Steward with a protest or objection will be referred to their Schools Manager.  No photographic evidence will be accepted in support of a complaint, protest or objection.
  • Any complaints about umpiring must be made to the appropriate Section Manager and not directly to the Umpire.  School Managers may then take up complaints with the SUPA Committee and appropriate Section Managers, but as per the HPA rules of Polo, the Umpires’ decision is final and results of matches cannot be altered after the match has been completed.
  • Late for Play – during a tournament any player who is late for the start of their chukka and does not have a valid excuse or has not informed SUPA well beforehand, may result in the ball being thrown in and the match being played.  The late player may not join play until the whistle has blown for a break in play.  Should a team not arrive on time for their chukka and have not informed the relevant SUPA Section Manager well beforehand of a problem  will forfeit that chukka.
  • Scores – the final score of any match in any section must be agreed by the Umpire, scorers and players from both teams prior to leaving the arena/pitch.  The Umpires word is final.
  • Overseas Players will play off their last registered HPA handicap or the handicap given by their governing polo association.
  • Polocrosse – players who play or have played polocrosse will play off the handicap given and assessed by the approved schools coach/instructor using the HPA approved scale of:- A= 1/2, B=0/1, C=-1, D=-2
  • Insurance – Includes limited public liability and personal accident insurance.  SUPA does not offer personal medical insurance.


SUPA, the HPA and tournament and event organisers or any person acting on their behalf, do not accept liability for loss, damage, accident, injury or illness to competitors, spectators or any person or property whatsoever.

Schools Manager, Players Representative, or parents and guardians acknowledge and agree that equestrian activities are dangerous and involve risk of serious injury and/or death and/or property damage and that polo is an extremely dangerous and ultra hazardous activity. Schools Manager, Players Representative, or parents and guardians consciously and voluntarily assume all such risks, dangers and hazards inherent in these activities.

SUPA, the HPA and tournament and event organisers aim to meet the necessary medical, veterinary and health and safety standards but the responsibility for the players, spectators and supporters rests with the individuals and, if they are under 18 years, with their Schools Manager, Players Representative, or parents or guardians both on and off the ground or in/out of the Arena.

A player with a known medical condition must obtain qualified medical approval before participating in any SUPA activity.

Schools/Parents/Guardians are responsible for the behaviour of their players at all times when their players are participating in any SUPA event.

Every eventuality cannot be provided for in these rules

It is the School’s/Coaches or Parents/Guardians responsibility to ensure they are complying with the rules of the competition.