University Rules

University Rules and Regulations

The rules of The Hurlingham Polo Association will govern all tournaments played. Specific SUPA rules are as follows:


Team Captains

All teams must appoint an official Team Captain to represent the team. The Team Captain will take full responsibility for the eligibility of the players' SUPA Membership as well as the health, safety and riding competence of the team(s) entered.



2016 Conditions and Eligibility of Players


Players are expected to be well turned out and safe for all SUPA matches and throughout the event.

HATS:   As from 1st January 2010, all participants in ANY SUPA National Torunament or Sanctioned Event , must wear a BS Kitemarked helmet.  There are several 3 and 4 point linkage helmets on the market, but the helmet must carry the BS Kitemark to be deemed safe.  Polo Helmets, Riding Hats and Skull Caps will all carry this inside the helmet on the lining. Advice can be given from SUPA if you are unclear.

GOOGLES:  It is recommended that googles are worn by every player. Lensless or specialised googles are available from Polo equipment suppliers.

KNEE PADS:  Knee pads are to be worn in all SUPA sanctioned events and Championships, as per HPA Rule 3,b.

SPURS:  This are not allowed under any circumstances in any SUPA sanctioned match or Championship, and no dispensation will be given. If you areseen wearing spurs, you will be asked to remove them.

: GOPRO cameras or any other miniature recording devices are not to be worn or held by any person once they are mounted.

RULES: The rules as laid down by the H.P.A. are to be applied, unless SUPA and their officials deem otherwise. The rules may be interpreted in a slightly different manner due to the facilities used by the Officials on the day. Changes and interpretation will be listed on the notice boards before play if made.  Decision of the Section Manager and Tournament Chairman will be final.

SUPA AUTHORISED EVENTS:  [BASED ON THE HPA - "Unauthorised Polo Events" since December 2014 Regulation 1.15 ]

SUPA is responsible for Authorising "Sanctioned Events, National/Regional Tournaments and National Championships" which are acknowledged SUPA activities and considered Membership Benefits. These activities which involve SUPA Member-players enjoy many membership benefits, including limited public liability insurance.  Participation in  ANY OTHER "non-Sanctioned" or  non "SUPA" polo activities involving SUPA members render player Membership and its benefits null and void (this means:  SUPA all benefits including insurance benefits will not apply and membership temporarily suspended.)  


All players will play off the minimum handicap of  "S" or the handicap as given by a registered HPA Club if they are a paid up member.  SUPA matches are played open, although handicaps are used to seed and Section players.  The Outdoor Registered handicap is the one used by SUPA unless the player in question is awarded a separate Arena Handicap.  For Arena an Outdoor Handicap  plus 1 is taken.  ALL players must be Registered and paid up members of SUPA before play.  University Players benefit from a Limited Public and Accident Insurance provided through HPA and Lycetts Insurance Brokers..

All players must be current full-time or part-time students at a SUPA Member University, and a member of the institutions Polo Club or Society.  The Chairman or Captain of the University/College Club or Society is legally responsible for its playing members, their riding proficiency and conduct and attest to these qualifications when selecting and entering a team to compete at any SUPA Event or Tournament.   To enable SUPA member players to enter individually, SUPA offers a Combined Section which allows players to play in teams "made-up" or approved by the SUPA Section Manager . 

  • POLO CROSSE:  Players who play or have played Polo Crosse will play off the handicap given and assessed by that HPA Polo Club. If a player is not a member of an HPA Club, then they will be asssessed by SUPA, through consultation with the appropriate Certified HPA Instructor. Non handicapped players will be registered as "S".
  • OVERSEAS PLAYERS:  These players will play off their last registered HPA Handicap, or if not registered then the handicap given by their Governing Polo Association. It is the Team Captain, Manager, Club Captain or Chairman's responsibility to clarify this with all overseas players and notify SUPA immediately.  The official online registration or signature on the Official Tournament Entry form will confirm the eligibility and attest to the safety of the players entered by the Team Captain, Manager, Club Captain or Chairman.
  • ALUMNI PLAYERS: All other former school or university players or bonefide full-time staff may be eligible to join SAPA, SUPA Alumni Polo Association, Ltd, and participate in SAPA Polo events.  SAPA, an HPA Association, is a separate and privately owned affiliate of SUPA, Ltd. which was founded to provide a "bridge" to club polo and to generate funds in order to grant monies to SUPA as and when possible.

BEGINNER: This Section is for players who have just started playing in this current academic year **If a player has ever played polo in any shape or form in the past they are not eligible to play in this section**. Where possible, the Member Institutions' HPA Instructor will be responsible for the suitability and safety of these players and as required provide evidence of  Level One Certificate of Polo Riding Competance Certification normally issued if requested.  This Section is for "S" or un-registered players.
NB: In the Beginner Section only the ball may be thrown in from the centre following every goal.

NOVICE: This Section is for any player "S" or -2 handicapped players deemed safe by their HPA Instructor. Beginners can play in this Section. Provided your handicap remains at -2 or below you may continue to play in novice in subsequent academic years.

LOWER INTERMEDIATE:This Section is for teams comprising of any player up to and including a -1 handicap.

UPPER INTERMEDIATE: This Section is for teams making a maximum of "3" goals in total.

OPEN: This Section is for teams over "3" goals in total.

COMBINED SECTION:  This Section is for any player of any handicap, who is unable to join a team elsewhere due to lack of members, handicap or availability.  SUPA will "make-up" and determine the balance these teams. This Section may be split depending on numbers and handicaps.


The final score of any match in any section must be agreed by umpires, scorers and players from both teams prior to leaving the arena/pitch. This means that any non playing team captains or presidents must make their objections known to an official i.e. umpire before the teams leave the arena/pitch. 

 LIMITED LIABILTY INSURANCE:    All players are to be fully paid up before they play. Forms can be completed and payment made online from the website .  The annual coverage is for 12 months from registering. From 2015-2016 the annual subscription is £55 per member-player which includes Limited Public Liability and Personal Accident Insurance. SUPA does not offer Personal Medical Insurance coverage which should be sought by its member-players.  We are the first Polo Association provide this benefit and details of the policy can be downloaded from the HPA website .  It is the players responsibility to be registered and provide proof of payment to any third party if required. Again our Official Registrar, Mrs. Donna Stephens, may be reached to assist members if any problems arise.   SEE: ​

MEDICAL INSURANCE: SUPA does not provide any level of medical insurance coverage.  All players must determine and confirm with their University if sports insurance, including polo, is available whilst playing university polo.  All players are advised to seek and secure all risk insurance coverage which includes the sport of polo.  Polo is a dangerous sport.


If a team or player has to withdraw less than 10 days before a tournament the entry fee will be forfeited and penalties [currently £30] may be affixed.  Please coordinate with the Section Manager to mitigate possible fines as early as possible. Withdrawals on the day of the Tournament will be subject to the relevant HPA Rules and the appropriate actions taken.