HPA Update No11
Yesterday evening, Wednesday 22 July, the Hurlingham polo Association announced that after months of discussions with Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) competitive polo can return across all levels. The announcement was made in the below Update No11 from Nick Wiles (HPA Chairman): Further to the announcement of the Government’s revised guidelines for competitive recreational team sport we are pleased to inform clubs and members that the DCMS has today informed us that they are content for the HPA to activate team sport guidance procedures which enable the return of polo.
The procedures and guidelines are available on our website. However, the DCMS has not formally endorsed the team sport guidance and therefore strict adherence to these procedures by all clubs and individuals is paramount to the sport being allowed to continue as this permission could be withdrawn at any time.
Everyone should be made aware of the negative consequences for the whole sport of any failure to comply with these procedures. The HPA will be authorising individuals to visit clubs in order to ensure that procedures are in place and to help them with any queries they may have. This outcome has been the result of many months of hard work and engagement with the DCMS and we are hugely grateful for their willingness to appreciate the unique nature of our sport and the strong framework of procedures we have put in place to support the safe resumption of the sport.
The announcement was accompanied by an updated HPA Procedures document which outlines all of the details for playing polo in England. Crucially, these changes to the HPA’s Procedures mean that competitive, four on four polo can be played across all levels, whereas previously it was limited to only 8 goal and above. This news throws a lifeline to smaller clubs for whom polo below 8 goals is their lifeblood. Another one of the main changes to previous Procedures issued by the HPA, is that whereas previously only players, grooms and officials were allowed to attend polo matches, they have now adjusted the Levels system to include social and family members allowed to attend (at appropriate Level clearance); the HPA has also made provision, within Level 8, for members of the public allowed to attend but currently this status will not be granted to any club. It is good news for Clubhouses as well as “Clubs may use clubhouses and hospitality facilities in line with government guidance on hospitality settings.”In order to view the full list of updated procedures, click here.