RULE 24- RIGHT OF WAY 

a. At each moment of the game there shall exist as between any two or more players
in the proximity of the ball a Right of Way, which shall be considered to extend ahead
of the player(s) entitled to it, and in the direction in which that player or those players
is or are riding.
b. The Right of Way, which is awarded in subsections (e), (f), (g), and (h) below, is
not to be confused with the line of the ball, nor does it depend on who last hit the ball.

24. RIGHT OF WAY a…INTERPRETATION: The Right of Way (“ROW”) has sufficient width and distance to permit the player to continue safely in the direction and at the speed in which the player is riding and to be positioned to play the ball on the off side in safety. Any play by an opponent must leave the ROW clear. Should the player be required to check or alter course to avoid risk of collision or danger a ROW violation has taken place. The player with the ROW does not have a “right” to hit or hit at the ball. The player only has a right to safely continue on his course.

EXAMPLES: Red is carrying the ball on the offside. Blue rides slightly ahead and to the
left of Red. As Red passes mid-field, Blue pulls to the right narrowing the ROW and Red
checks to maintain control of the ball. Foul Blue. When Blue pulled to the right, Red’s
ROW was infringed.

Blue carries the ball on the offside. Red rides from the right to bump. Blue checks slightly, Red miss-times the play, and passes close in front of Blue. Foul Red. The ROW of Blue prevails over Red because Blue is both parallel to the Line of the Ball (“LOB”)and has the LOB on the offside.

Red #2 is carrying the ball to goal. Blue #4 riding slightly ahead and to the left of Red, realizes he will not be able to wait for a ride-off and crosses to his nearside where he hopes to be able to back the ball. Red, closing seeing Blue only slightly ahead, checks and pulls his horse to the left, passing behind Blue. Foul on Blue for causing Red to pull out to avoid a collision.

Red #1 is on the ROW and carrying the ball at speed. Blue #4 comes from Red’s left at a wide angle and speed to engage Red #1 in a ride-off. As Blue #4 flattens out, his horse’s rear quarters drift in the ROW of Red. Red #1 checks and avoids a collision. Foul on Blue for shading the ROW and causing a dangerous situation.

24. RIGHT OF WAY b…INTERPRETATION: The ROW is determined by a player’s
and opponent’s relationships to the LOB. The player who last hit the ball may lose the
ROW to another who can better meet any of the conditions of (e), (f), (g) and (h). Once
an opponent has safely met one or more of these conditions and assumed the ROW, the
original player may be required to adjust speed or course to honor that new ROW.

EXAMPLES: Red, riding at speed, cuts the ball to his right. Blue, close behind, turns
inside Red and places himself with the new LOB on his offside. Blue has assumed the
ROW from Red.

Blue hits a long ball forward. Red safely enters the ROW ahead of Blue and behind
the ball. Red has now assumed the ROW and Blue must adjust his course accordingly.

Blue #2 hits a strong offside neck shot. As he strikes, he crosses the new LOB extended
back from the ball and turns to his left to pick up the new LOB, now on his left. Red #3, following, turns inside Blue and now has the new LOB on his right. Each player’s ROW is defined by his relationship to the new LOB, not by his ROW on the old LOB.

(to be continued in next member email)

©David Lominska