A call for the rule to be amended
Polo Times is aware of increasingly disgruntled feelings towards ‘blocking’ in polo matches. The enjoyment of the sport is spoilt for patrons, players and spectators alike as players are consistently taken out of the action before they even have the ball.
Some members of the polo community have asked for the consideration to be made to forbid the hitter (at knock-ins) to send blockers to the opposition trying to approach the player hitting in. From the back line it is often maddening for managers to see double and even triple blocks rendering the team immobile.
Blocking has long been an issue in the high goal, but now it is trickling down to the low goal matches too, and there are worries that young players will never improve their polo if all they learn is how to effectively block. Additionally patrons, the backbone and funding force behind polo should be allowed to enjoy the matches and hit the ball, rather than constantly mark the opposition. No other sport allows players to tackle players without the ball (apart from men’s lacrosse). In American Football, players are even penalised if they ‘Hold’ the opposing players.
There is also a call for the need to prevent the player who is turning the ball in ‘one-play’ from having 1-3 blockers keeping the opposition players away from challenging him as the ball carrier. Some feel that this spoils the game and a rule change to stop this would in principle be the same as preventing blocking from the knock-in.
Polo Times is interested in the views of players from both home and abroad, so if this is something which affects you or you wish to express an opinion upon them, please click here to email the Polo Times office. These views will then be presented in the next issue of Polo Times.
Photograph: Polo has been criticised for blocking like the USA’s NFL. Courtesy of the Daily Herald