By Ron Allen
At their annual fall meeting the USPA decided to drop the prestigious US Open from 26 goals to 22 goals beginning in 2019. There will also be a 17-goal limit on the two highest rated players on each team. Which means a team with a 10 goal pro cannot play with another 10, 9 or 8 goal teammate.
The decision has sent shock waves through the polo world as the sport continues to struggle with a diminishing number of patrons at the high goal level. The tournament will remain at the International Polo Club through 2019 despite bids requesting relocation to other clubs in Wellington, Florida. IPC owner Mark Bellissimo says he is planning on an all-pro league for next season that will be played on grass.
A shake up in organizational leadership has Tony Coppola taking over as President with Chip Campbell the new Chairman. The acting CEO, Bob Puetz, will take the top spot of the association on a permanent basis. There are no details available on the 2018 budget, which has been under scrutiny by some concerned members.