*Changes are designated with bold type*


a. The Umpire(s) may declare any violation of the Rules a foul when seen or, when not seen, upon the presentation of satisfactory evidence to the Umpire(s).
(1) When a foul is called, the Umpire shall stop play by sounding the whistle and announce the foul and penalty.

(2) Should a foul be called when play has already been stopped, the Umpire shall so indicate by again sounding the whistle and/or by displaying a yellow or red flag, and announce the foul and penalty. 
(a) A “dead ball” foul may be penalized by offsetting an announced foul, or increasing or decreasing the severity of an announced foul. (b) A “dead ball” foul may be called at any time play is stopped including following a goal or between periods of the game.

b. There are degrees of dangerous and unfair play. Where more than one Penalty is prescribed, the selection is within the discretion of the Umpire. Among the considerations: 
(1) Degree of danger or unfair advantage; 
(2) Location of the violation on the field; 
(3) Position of players on the field; and 
(4) Frequency of similar violations.

c. More than one penalty may be exacted by the Umpire where appropriate. 

d. If both teams commit a foul at approximately the same time, no free hit is taken and the ball is thrown in at the point where play was stopped. 

e. The following penalties may be exacted for violation of specific Rules:

Rule Violated: 2; Penalty Enacted: 9 
Rule Violated: 3; Penalty Enacted: 9 
Rule Violated 4; Penalty Enacted: 10 
Rule Violated: 5b or c; Penalty Enacted: 8 
Rule Violated: 5d; Penalty Enacted: 9 
Rule Violated: 5h; Penalty Enacted: 2,3,4,5 or 10 
Rule Violated: 6; Penalty Enacted: 8 
Rule Violated: 21.a.; Penalty Enacted: 6 
Rule Violated: 21.f; Penalty Enacted: 9 
Rule Violated: 21.g. (4); Penalty Enacted: 2, 3, 4 or 5 
Rule Violated: 22.e.; Penalty Enacted: 2, 3, 4 or 5 
Rule Violated: 24; Penalty Enacted: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 
Rule Violated: 25; Penalty Enacted: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 
Rule Violated: 26; Penalty Enacted: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 
Rule Violated: 27; Penalty Enacted: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 
Rule Violated: 28; Penalty Enacted: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 
Rule Violated: 29; Penalty Enacted: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 
Rule Violated: 30; Penalty Enacted: 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 
Rule Violated: 31; Penalty Enacted: 2, 3, 4 or 5 
Rule Violated: 32; Penalty Enacted: 2, 3, 4 or 5 
Rules Violated: 33; Penalty Enacted: 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 
Rules Violated: 34; Penalty Enacted: 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 

(1) Penalty 1. If in the opinion of the umpire, a player commits a dangerous or deliberate foul in the vicinity of the goal in order to prevent a goal being scored, the team fouled shall be awarded one goal. 

(2) Penalty 5.a. or 5.b is to be awarded for fouls that: 
(a) Are without danger 
(b) Are inadvertent, not deliberate 
(c) Provide a minor advantage or disadvantage to either team 

(3) Penalty 10 may be awarded for a dangerous or deliberate foul or conduct prejudicial to the game. The umpire should display two yellow flags or a red flag. (4) Increasingly severe penalties shall be exacted for repetitive or flagrant fouls.

35. SELECTION OF PENALTIES a…INTERPRETATION: The selection of penalty gives the Umpire a range of penalties from which to choose for most situations. In making the selection, the Umpire must apply two principles: 1) the team fouled must never be worse off after the penalty award than before; and 2) by definition, the term “penalty” means that the fouling team must be disadvantaged by the penalty award. The penalty must suit the violation and penalize the fouling team by awarding an advantage to the team fouled.

EXAMPLE:Blue is running to goal and approaching midfield. Red, riding to Blue’s left and half a length behind, realizes that he will not be able to catch Blue and make a ride-off. As Blue prepares to hit a centering shot, Red reaches across and tips Blue’s mallet, spoiling the shot. Although the infraction, a cross-hook, is minor, it was committed deliberately, and the disadvantage to Blue is major. Penalty 3 should be awarded. 

Red #4 rides to back the ball from the goal mouth. As Red begins his stroke, Blue #2 bumps late and rides into Red’s stroke. Foul Blue – riding into the shot. The penalty awarded should be a No. 5 from the center of the field. The foul was deliberate and endangered a mount. 

Blue #2 and Blue #3 sandwich Red #3 about 75 yards out and running to goal. Foul Blue and a severe Penalty award to Red. Not only is this a dangerous foul, but also stops Red’s run to goal. Open goal Penalty 3 or No. 2. A Penalty 4 is not adequate in this situation.

35. SELECTION OF PENALTIES b…INTERPRETATION: The Umpire is required to consider all four factors in selecting the appropriate penalty. Each factor should be weighed in the Umpire’s decision.

EXAMPLE:As Blue #3 turns to pick up a tailed back-shot from his #4, he is hit hard by Red #2 and his horse stumbles. The horse regains its footing, but Blue is too late to make the play. Foul Red – dangerous riding. The penalty award must consider: 1) location – deep in defending territory – perhaps a No. 5 center hit; 2) position of teams – Blue #3 was well positioned, and had he not been fouled might have had a good run – perhaps a Penalty 4; 3) effect on the play, the difference between Blue making the play and putting the ball in Red’s territory and missing the play is great – Penalty 4; 4) frequency of similar fouls – if Red has played a clean game, and the foul is just bad timing – Penalty 5.b; however, if Red has been penalized several times for rough play – Penalty 4.

35. SELECTION OF PENALTIES c. d…INTERPRETATION: The Umpire is expected to apply whatever penalty or combination of Penalties from No. 1 to No. 10 that will best fit the circumstances considering the parameters from Rule 35.a. and b. Simultaneous fouls by both teams are offsetting, but flagrant conduct may cause an additional Penalty such as Penalty 10 to be awarded.

EXAMPLE: As Blue prepares to hit to goal from about 50 yards out, he is deliberately cross-hooked by Red. Blue retaliates by swinging his mallet at Red’s head. These fouls are sequential, not simultaneous: Penalty 2 or. 3 against Red for the foul hook. Blue may be immediately ejected in accordance with Rule 33.b(2)(a) and Penalty 10 for the mallet. Blue carries the ball down the right boards at mid-field and sees Red coming from the left for a ride-off. Blue checks to avoid the bump and Red crosses in front to get to his nearside. As Red crosses, Blue goes to the whip, jumps his horse into Red and knocks Red to the ground. Foul Red for crossing; foul Blue for dangerous riding. The fouls are offsetting, but if the Umpire feels Blue deliberately knocked Red down, Blue may be immediately ejected in accordance with Rule 33.b(2)(a) and Penalty 10. 

As Blue #2 hits the ball to goal, he is fouled by Red #3. Blue #3, seeing the foul but away from the play, twirls his mallet to draw the Umpire’s attention to the foul. Penalty 3 would normally be awarded to Blue for the foul. However, the mallet twirl should also be penalized. Offsetting fouls should be called and the ball thrown in. 

Red #3 sees Blue #2 ahead and safely to the left waiting to bump. Red pulls his mount off the LOB and rides hard into Blue knocking horse and rider to the ground. Foul Red. Penalty 4, 3 or 2 against Red for dangerous riding and consideration of immediate ejection of Red #3 in accordance with Rule 33.b(2)(a) and Penalty 10 for the deliberate, dangerous act. 

A Penalty 2 is announced against Red. The Red Captain argues loudly that the call is incorrect. A violation of Rule 33 is called. As the ball cannot be moved forward from a converted Penalty 2, the foul should be announced as a Penalty 5.b following the execution of the Penalty 2, or a re-hit is awarded if the Penalty 2 is missed.

35. SELECTION OF PENALTIES e.1)…INTERPRETATION: Penalty 1 is for fouls which prevent the scoring of a goal. The player fouled must have a high probability of scoring. Once such a foul is called, Penalty 1 shall be exacted. The penalty is to award the goal which likely would probably have been scored. Penalty 1 may be exacted whether or not the goal was actually scored (seeRule 22.c.(1). Although sometimes difficult to determine, the perceived intent of the player responsible for the foul may be considered when applying this rule. 

The rule also requires that the foul occur “in the vicinity of the goal”. Although there is no defined area that is considered to be “in the vicinity of the goal” the Umpires in their discretion should consider any fouled player within reasonable shooting range and who would otherwise be expected to score from that spot to be in the vicinity of the goal.

EXAMPLE:Red carries the ball to goal with Blue riding on his left and with him all the way. As Red crosses the 30-yard line and prepares to tap the ball through the goal, Blue reaches behind Red’s back and cross-hooks him. Although not necessarily dangerous, the play is obviously a deliberate attempt to prevent the scoring of a goal – Penalty 1. 

As Blue approaches the goal, Red realizes that a goal is imminent. Red’s only chance is a hard bump that knocks Blue off the ball. Red makes the bump, Blue’s horse stumbles badly but recovers, and the ball rolls through the goal. Foul Red – Penalty 1. The field goal does not count but the Penalty 1 awards a goal a Penalty 5.b, going in the opposite direction. Red’s play was deliberate and dangerous and to prevent a sure goal. 

Red #4 rides Blue #1 wide as Blue #2 carries the ball behind them. As Red #4 nears the back line, he realizes that Blue #2 has a sure goal. Red #4 turns back crosses Blue #2 takes the ball and saves the goal. Penalty.1 against Red. Red #2 has deliberately fouled to prevent a goal. Whether or not the foul is considered dangerous, a Penalty No. 1 is called for. A Penalty 2 does not penalize Red #4 sufficiently for the deliberate foul.

35. SELECTION OF PENALTIES e.2)…INTERPRETATION: A play without the elements of danger, deliberation, advantage, or disadvantage is seldom a foul. A minor infraction, if called in favor of the offensive team, should be moved forward to Penalty 4. This does not mean that a foul in favor of the defending team should not move forward. Penalty 5.a from the point of the infraction should be awarded only for the most minor incidents and not from within the 60 yards in front of the goal the fouling team is defending. The penalty awarded must advantage the fouled team at the expense of the fouling team.

EXAMPLES: Blue prepares to back the ball from the goal mouth. As Blue starts the swing, Red rides over the ball, and Blue is forced to check the swing. Foul Red – riding into the stroke of Blue. Penalty 5.a from the spot. Although inadvertent and not dangerous, Blue had no opportunity to set up an offensive play. 

Red clears the ball from goal with a neck shot to the corner. As Red rides to hit again, Blue picks him up, and they ride together to the ball. Both players fence for the ball, turning and jostling for position. Blue ends up inadvertently cross-hooking Red. Foul Blue. Penalty 5 from the point of infraction. In the same play, if Red fouls Blue, Penalty 4. Penalty 5 should not be awarded within the 60 yards of the goal the fouling team is defending. 

Blue, carrying the ball 40 yards from mid-field, with a clear field, is fouled by Red who crosses Blue to position for a nearside back-shot. At least a Penalty 4 or, if Red’s cross was dangerous, a Penalty 2 or 3.

35. SELECTION OF PENALTIES e…INTERPRETATION: Although a wide range of penalties are available for most infractions, extreme penalties are intended for extreme situations. This applies to extremely severe as well as extremely minor situations. Selection of the penalty must discourage improper conduct and play. If improper conduct continues, the penalty selected should be increasingly severe until the desired result is obtained. A foul normally calling for a Penalty 4 may be awarded a Penalty 2 or 3 if the fouling team has been consistently fouling.

EXAMPLES:Red #1 takes a full swing in the lineup, hitting an opponent’s horse early in the game. Penalty awarded. As the game goes on, Red #1 continues to take full swings in the lineup. The penalty for successive violations should be moved to a No. 4, or, if necessary, a No. 3 until Red stops taking full swings in the lineup. 

Several members of the Blue Team are penalized early in the game for dangerous riding such as: hitting behind the saddle, severe angle, unnecessary force. The severity of penalty awards should be increased until the Blue Team resumes safe play.

35. SELECTION OF PENALTIES…INTERPRETATIONS: The Umpire must act firmly and consistently to address the player whose behavior has crossed the line. When the whistle goes, the appropriate penalty is awarded. If the player then, physically or verbally, commits a personal foul as defined in Rule 33 the whistle should again sound and the ball placement be advanced. If the violation occurs a second time on the same play or before the ball is put back into play, the player should be sat down for two minutes of play with no substitution. (SeeRule 33.b(1)(b).) Advancing the ball repeatedly on a player who has lost control is embarrassing and does not achieve the desired result. 

A technical foul is a personal foul charged against a player, a team, a coach, or a groom for misconduct or a rule infraction not involving active play. To indicate that a technical foul has been called, the Umpire shall sound his whistle and pull a flag. If a penalty has previously been called, a more severe penalty shall be exacted. If a second technical foul is called on the same player, prior to the ball being put into play, the player should be sat down for two minutes of play with no substitution consistent with Rule 33.b(1)(b). A player receiving a third flag during the game should be sat down for the remainder of the game consistent with Rule 33.b(2)(a).

If an Umpire elects to put a player off the field for any reason, the Umpire should confer with his fellow Umpire and explain why he is ejecting the player from the game. If the second Umpire challenges the call, the referee shall make the final decision by upholding the opinion of either Umpire.

EXAMPLE: Blue #4, on the right of way, goes to back the ball, as Red No. 1 crosses in front of Blue #4 and hits the ball forward towards his goal. The whistle sounds and a Penalty 5.a is awarded. Red #3 insults the Umpire by stating that the call was incorrect. The Umpire sounds his whistle and waves a yellow flag indicating that a technical foul has been called and announces that the ball placement will be advanced one degree to mid field. Red #3 continues to insult and argue with the umpire. A second technical foul is called, the yellow flag is waved again, and the player is sat down for two minutes of play with no substitution consistent with Rule 33.b(1)(b). 

Blue #3 crosses Red #2 and the whistle sounds. The foul is announced as a Penalty 4 against Blue #3 and Blue #3 argues loudly that the call is incorrect. The whistle should again sound, a yellow flag is waved, a violation of Rule 33 announced and the ball moved to a Penalty 3. Further protest should cause the player to be sat down for two minutes of play with no substitution consistent with Rule 33.b(1)(b). 

Blue #3 protests the Umpires’ call loudly, abusively, and with a foul and offensive personal reference to the Umpire. An immediate ejection is justified. No preliminary warning or penalty is required. The Umpires eject Red #3 for the remainder of the game in accordance with Rule 33.b(2)(a), which allows the Umpire(s), at their sole discretion, to award a red flag and eject that player for the remainder of the game for that player’s first offense. 

A crossing foul against Blue #3 occurs as Red #3 carries the ball along the side boards in the far corner near his goal. The Umpires stop play and award a Penalty 5.a. Blue #3 argues with the Umpire and the whistle sounds again, the Umpire pulls a yellow flag, and a technical foul is called. The Penalty 5.a is moved up one degree and the ball is placed at center field for a Penalty 5.b consistent with Rule 33.b(1)(a). 

The Umpires call a crossing foul on Blue #3 and stop play in Red’s end of the field, 20 yards from the centerline. Blue #3 argues with the Umpires and the whistle sounds again, and the Umpire pulls a yellow flag and calls a technical foul. The Penalty 5.a is moved to a Penalty 4. Moving the spot hit to center field for a Penalty 5.b would not sufficiently disadvantage the Blue Team by moving the ball for-ward 20 yards, and therefore, a more severe penalty is warranted. (See Rule 33.b(1)(a).) 

White #3 receives a yellow flag for arguing with the Umpires in the first period. White #3 receives a second yellow flag in the second period for vulgar language and is sat down for two minutes of play with no substitution consistent with Rule 33.b(1)(b). In the third period, White #3 receives a red flag for arguing with the Umpires. White #3 is sat down for the remainder of the game consistent with Rule 33.b(2)(a).

©David Lominska.

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