The USPA Board of Governors has learned that some member clubs do not enforce all USPA Rules. When joining the USPA or renewing their annual membership, member clubs agree “to be bound and to abide by the Constitution, By Laws, Rules, Tournament Conditions and Policies of the USPA, as published yearly in the USPA Rulebook, and as amended from time to time.” The USPA By Laws require, in Article VII, Section 3.A, Paragraph 1(G), that each Active Member Club “comply with all … terms of membership as stated on the membership application.”
The USPA Outdoor Rules and the USPA Arena Rules are largely designed to protect the safety of players and mounts. Paramount among the rules that member clubs are expected to enforce to ensure player safety and ensure that players are adequately insured in the event of an accident are the four following rules:
- Outdoor Rule 2.b – “A player whose registration fee to the USPA has not been paid in full, or who has not been assigned a current handicap, shall not play in any event.”
- Arena Rule 3.b – “No player shall participate in any event unless the player’s USPA registration fee has been paid and a handicap issued for the year in which the event takes place.”
It is critical that clubs require players to register as USPA members before they play in any Club Event or USPA Event so they will have coverage under the USPA Accident and Excess Medical Insurance and USPA Excess Equine Liability Insurance that is a free and automatic USPA member benefit for USPA members only.
- Outdoor Rule 4.a – This rule requires all outdoor polo players to wear a NOCSAE-compliant polo helmet in any game unless they have qualified for and obtained a variance from the rule.
- Arena Rule 3.a(2) – This rule requires all arena polo players to wear a NOCSAE-compliant polo helmet in any game unless they have qualified for and obtained a variance from the rule.
The USPA has alerted its membership that NOCSAE Compliant Helmets manufactured with a magnetic buckle by Casablanca occasionally come unbuckled unexpectedly. Any USPA Member who owns a Casablanca NOCSAE Compliant Helmet with a magnetic buckle will be allowed a variance to play temporarily in a helmet that is not NOCSAE-Compliant if he or she does not wish to play in his or her Casablanca helmet with a magnetic buckle. To qualify for this variance or others that may be available, simply email USPA Membership and Handicap Director Lindsay Dolan at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will assist you through with the process.
The USPA Board of Governors has asked the USPA Club and Member Administration Committee to work with the USPA staff to make sure that USPA Member Clubs enforce these important rules to ensure the safety of all players. USPA Member Clubs that do not enforce these rules will not be allowed to renew their USPA memberships and will no longer be eligible to receive the benefits that accrue from membership in the USPA.
The Rules exist to protect both USPA members and USPA member clubs. We are more than happy to answer any questions or concerns. If your club has any, please have your Club Delegate reach out to Lindsay Dolan, USPA Membership and Handicap Director, at email@example.com.