As in other ball games there are a variety of penalties for fouls in polo. It is important to understand these so as to better follow a game. POLO+10 explain the different foul-situations according to the official rules of the German Polo Association.
It is important to bear in mind the following: ROW – Right-of-Way and LOB – Line of the Ball are not identical or interchangeable. A player on the line of the ball always has the right-of-way.
The following are forbidden and constitute a foul:
1. Playing at an angle that could be a danger to the pony and player.
2. Playing at a higher speed than the opponent is riding.
3. Riding into the opponent’s horse from behind the saddle. Opponents may only play as high as the pony’s shoulders.
4. Riding criss-cross in the way of a galloping player in an attempt to force him to reduce speed.
5. Sideways parrying, pulling the opponent’s horse, or other similar acts that put the pony at risk of tumbling.
6. Infringement of the right-of-way.
7. Galloping head-on towards an opponent so as to intimidate him or force him into parrying or missing the ball even without fouling or crossing the line of the ball.
8. Creating the so called “sandwich” whereby two teammates force a player of the opponent’s team into the middle.
9. Intentionally riding into the opponents backhand or forward hit.
10. Riding outside the sidelines or goal demarcation lines. Riding in a manner that could harm the referee.
Penalties and free hits are taken at a distance of 30, 40, and 60 yards.