polo umpire
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Brenda Myrjam  de Boer is the driving force behind the website www.polo-umpire.com She has been playing for 20 years, is a teacher IN what and runs Polo Club Midden-Nederland in the Netherlands. Her goal is to promote the use of independent umpires and fair play so that the match flows throughout. Through polo-umpire.com  match organisers can find an umpire for their polo tournaments all over the world. 

Ignacio Fernandez Llorente – an official umpire of the Argentina Polo Association, is renowned for his helmet camera which he uses to film videos of polo games(The Polo Rules Course ). He is the founder of the page www.poloin.com.ar which details penalties, tactics  and polo tips.

Why would you spend a lot of time reading pages and pages of boring rules? We know what we are doing yes and it is pretty obvious when somebody crosses your line?


Wrong! If you take in account that 40% of the score is determined by fouls it does pay off to know these rules better. Read them regularly, discuss with fellow players, ask questions and watch as much polo as you can. It so much easier to improve your polo without even investing in horses, sticks or hitting technique. You may be surprised how many new things you can discover even after reading them dozens of times.


Ignacio Fernandez Llorente is a professional umpire and filming polo non-stop. He sees many occasions where feminine players doubt and loose the line or opportunity to play the ball.

Here are some fouls that can be avoided easily and many people do not seem to be aware of:

  1. In the throw in  players tend to hook the opponent before the ball is in play. This is where you loose a first free hit because you can’t.
  1. It is allowed to hook a player while she is being ridden off by a team-member. As long as it does not come to a sandwich situation it can be very effective.
  1. It is allowed to hook an off-side back, as long as it is below the shoulder
  1. You can ride off a player on her stick-side, as long as you enter on the right angle and before she hits.
  1. In the HPA rules you cannot use the whip when the play has stopped.
  1. If another player is meeting you frontal, you hardly ever get away without a foul by hitting near-side. The player with the ball on the off-side holds the main right of way.
  1. You are not allowed to prevent another player from hooking by hitting her stick away.

It is smart practice though to hook somebody under the stick, instead of from above.

  1. If a ball passes above the goal post it is not a goal. So don’t waste energy appealing.
  1. If the line changes unexpectedly a player on the previous right of way has to right to get away befor you or your team members can play the ball

Especially for women, if you play with confidence, claim the line and move in the field. Without a doubt, you will improve 100 % just like that!

More questions?

Send email to Ignacio Fernandez Llorente and Brenda Myrjam de Boer if you have any further questions.