*Changes are designated with bold type*

On even terms, a player may ride off an opponent or may interpose the player’s mount between an opponent and the ball, but may not ride dangerously, as for example: 

a. Riding off in a manner dangerous to a player or mount; i.e., with undue force. What is considered a dangerous ride off is left to the discretion of the Umpire. Whenever a mount is knocked off balance, whether it falls or not, a dangerous ride off has occurred, and the mere fact that some of the dangerous factors listed below were absent does not mean that a foul should not be called. The following factors, among others, should be taken into consideration: 
(1) Relative speeds of the two mounts. It is very dangerous to ride off an opponent if you are not moving at approximately the same speed whether it be fast or slow. 
(2) Relative sizes of the two mounts. 
(3) Relative positions of the two mounts. It is dangerous if either mount is more than a foot or two ahead of or behind the other. 
(4) The angle at which the mounts converge. At high speeds, angles which might be safe at slower speeds become extremely dangerous. 
(5) States of exhaustion of the mounts involved. 
(6) Lack of readiness of an opponent for the ride off (blind-siding). 

b. Zigzagging in front of another player riding at a gallop.

c. Pulling or sliding across or over a mount’s fore or hind legs in such a manner as to risk tripping either mount.

d. Riding an opponent across or into the Right of Way of another player at an unsafe distance.

e. Exhibiting a lack of consideration for the safety of one’s self, one’s mount, or for another player or mount.

f. Two players of the same team riding off an opponent at the same time whether or not on the Right of Way. However, it is not necessarily a foul for a player to hook or strike an opponent’s mallet while the opponent is being ridden off by a teammate of the player hooking or striking.

g. Riding at an opponent in such a manner as to intimidate and cause the opponent to pull out or miss the stroke although no entry or cross of the Right of Way actually occurs.

h. Deliberately riding one’s mount into the stroke of another player. For the purpose of this Rule, a “dribble,” in which the mallet head is not raised above the mount’s hock or knee, is not considered a “stroke.”

i. Improper Blocking: During the execution of a knock-in, Penalty 5.a or 5.b, or a free hit resulting from a ball hit out of bounds, an offensive player may not block a defensive player from marking the offensive player’s teammate who has a play on the ball (i.e., set a pick on the defending player). When an offensive player improperly blocks a defensive player, the Umpires shall call a foul and award an appropriate penalty. Improper Blocking may or may not constitute Dangerous Riding, and result in a yellow or red flag under Rule 33, depending on the degree of danger as determined in the discretion of the Umpire.

: A legal ride off is performed without displacing the opponent with a forceful blow or jolt. All factors should be taken into consideration when determining a dangerous riding violation, including defining the aggressor. The foul should be called against the aggressor, regardless of which mount is knocked off balance.

EXAMPLES:Blue # 3 hits a long shot down field to Blue # 2. As Blue # 2 races to hit the ball, Red # 3, coming to the line of the ball from Blue’s left, engages at a high speed and at an angle. As Red collides with Blue shoulder to shoulder, Blue’s mount is staggered from the force of contact. The combination of speed and angle created the danger. Foul Red, as he was the aggressor.

Red and Blue meet shoulder to shoulder, at a steep angle and high speed. Both horses are staggered by the impact. The Umpire, if unable to determine the aggressor, should nevertheless stop play and throw the ball in.

26. DANGEROUS RIDING e…INTERPRETATION: Any careless or deliberate act which unnecessarily endangers an individual or mount, including the player and the player’s own mount, constitutes a violation of this rule.

26. DANGEROUS RIDING h…INTERPRETATION: A “stroke” is defined as the mallet head in motion toward the ball. A “dribble” where the mallet head is kept below the level of the mount’s hock or knee, is not considered a “stroke.” The wind-up is not part of the “stroke.”

EXAMPLES:Red #3, closely followed by Blue #2, turns the ball to the right. Blue checks, turns inside Red, and as Red dribbles around the turn, Blue executes a firm, but fair, shoulder-to-shoulder ride-off and comes up with the ball. No foul.

Blue #3, with the ball in front, leans forward and dribbles the ball down field. Red #2 reaches under his mount’s neck to hook and puts the mount’s head in Blue’s lap. Foul Red for a dangerous ride off, but not for riding into the dribble.

Blue #2 carries the ball down field. Red #3 rides from Blue’s right, at an angle, to successfully hook Blue’s stick. As Red completes the hook, his horse travels over the ball, makes solid, shoulder to shoulder contact with Blue’s horse, rides Blue off, and permits Red to execute an offside tail shot. No foul. The hook was fair; and, once hooked, Blue was no longer swinging at the ball when Red’s horse crossed the line of the ball and executed the legal ride-off.

As Blue #4, with the ROW, begins his back-swing, Red #1 bumps him on the mallet side. No foul–the mallet head was not in motion toward the ball.

Red #1 hits a short shot down field. As Red rides to strike again, Blue #4 comes for an offside ride off. Red, seeing Blue approach, cocks his arm for a strong fore-shot. Blue rides off Red and hits the backshot. No foul–regardless of how exaggerated the back-swing may be, Blue made contact before the mallet head was put in motion toward the ball.

Red and Blue ride parallel, but not in contact toward the ball. Blue prepares for a neckshot and strikes Red’s mount on the downswing. Foul Blue–Red was safely positioned before the stroke began.

Blue hits the ball down field. As Red closes to ride him off, Blue cocks his mallet and begins a downswing although well away from the ball. Foul on Blue. Although the mallet head was in motion, it was not directed toward the ball. Blue hit into Red’s horse.

26. DANGEROUS RIDING i…INTERPRETATION: For the purposes of this provision only, “the execution of a knock-in, Penalty 5.a or 5.b, or a free hit resulting from a ball hit out of bounds” shall be deemed to occur from the time the Umpire calls “Play” until the time an offensive player either hits away or runs with the ball. During that time period, improper blocking may occur and be penalized anywhere on the field where an offensive player is blocking a defensive player from marking the offensive player’s teammate who has a play on the ball. Improper blocking can occur even if there is no contact between the blocker and the defensive player attempting to mark the blocker’s teammate who has a play on the ball.

EXAMPLES: Red #3 is knocking in. Red #1 is riding alongside Blue #2 at the 30- yard line as she moves downfield for a pass from Red #3. Red #3, followed by Red #4, hits the ball slightly short and to the outside of Red #1, who continues to ride with Blue #2 and between Blue #2 and the ball. Red #3 uses Red #1 as a shield preventing Blue #2 from making a defensive play while Red #3 taps the ball then leaves it for Red #4. Improper blocking; no deliberate conduct by Red #1 is necessary.

Red #3 is knocking in. Red #1 is riding alongside Blue #2 at the 60-yard line as she moves downfield for a pass from Red #3. Red #1 and Blue #2 are engaged in riding each other off and Red #1 is between Blue #2 and the ball as Red #3 taps the ball in from the backline. This is not improper blocking because Red #1 and Blue #2 are too far away from Red #3 for Blue #2 to have a play on the ball.

Red #3 is knocking in with Red #4 following. Blue #3 waits at the 30-yard line. Red #3 taps the ball just short of Blue #3, then goes to Blue #3 while leaving the ball for Red #4. Because Red #3 has not yet hit away or run with ball, but instead has prevented Blue #3 from marking Red #4, who has a play on the ball, this is improper blocking.

©David Lominska

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