Under new Arena Rule 5.c(2)(iii) the mounts used in a shootout shall be those used in the final regular period unless replaced with the Umpire’s consent due to injury or fatigue.

*Changes are designated with bold type*


a. A regulation game shall be four periods of 7-1/2 minutes with intervals of 4 minutes after each period except the second period. There shall be a 10-minute interval after the second period. Should the Committee so designate, an event may be played under one of the following options:

(1) An event may be played with “split periods” as follows: (a) At the first play stoppage, including a goal, following the expiration of 3 1/2 minutes in any period, the timer shall sound a horn. (b) During this stoppage, not more than 2 minutes will be allowed for players to change mounts.

(2) An event may be played with six periods of 5 minutes with intervals of 4 minutes after each period except the third period. There shall be a 10-minute interval after the third period. b. The timer shall sound a horn to signal the end of the period.

(1) Play shall continue in all periods except overtime periods until ended by the final horn.

(2) Play shall stop at the sound of the timer’s horn and the ball shall be dead at that instant. The Umpire shall confirm the end of the period by sounding the whistle.

(3) In an arena without a visible clock, it is recommended that a 30-second warning be sounded. c. In the event of a tie at the end of the last regular period, a winner shall be produced under one of the following options as designated by the Committee prior to the commencement of the event:

(1) The game shall continue, after a 10-minute interval, with additional periods, as required, the team first scoring to be declared the winner.

(2) A “shootout” procedure, after a 4-minute interval, conducted as follows: 

(i) The Umpire(s) will determine which goal to use. One Umpire will set up each ball, the other Umpire to serve as goal judge.

(ii) For the purpose of player substitution, the “shootout” shall be considered an additional period of the game.

(iii) The mounts in the shootout shall be those used in the final regular period unless replaced with the Umpire’s consent due to injury or fatigue 

(iv) During a shootout, all mounts not being used shall be immediately excluded from the arena. Players may switch horses with members of their own team before or between turns only (not between approaches) as frequently as they choose so long as they do so within the 4-minute time limit set forth in Rule

5.c(2) above or within the 2-minute time limits set forth in Rules 5.c(2) (v) and 5.c(2) (ix) below, as applicable.

(v) Each player, in turn, will attempt a free hit from the 25-yard line at an undefended goal after the Umpire who sets up the ball calls “Play.” A player must hit or hit at the ball on the first or second approach. After each player hits or hits at the ball, the Umpire who sets up the ball will measure an interval of up to 2 minutes and call “Play.” Each player must promptly hit or hit at the ball within a reasonable time period after the Umpire calls “Play” or the Umpire(s) will declare that player’s turn forfeited.

(vi) All players not hitting to be behind, and not closer than 10 yards from the ball. (vii) The team to hit first shall be decided by lot.

(viii) Each shootout goal to score 1 point. After all players have hit, the team with more points will be declared the game winner by one goal.

(ix) Should a tie remain after all players have hit, following a 2-minute interval, all players will hit again, the team which hit first, now hitting last, until a winner is produced.

d. When the Umpire sounds the whistle and stops play during a period for any cause provided in these rules, the clock shall be stopped, and the elapsed time shall not be deducted from the length of the period.

c. When a goal is scored, the Umpire shall signal by raising an arm and time shall not be taken out.

f. All penalties shall be exacted in the period in which they are awarded. If less than 5 seconds remain in the period, the clock shall be reset to 5 seconds prior to the free hit or bowl-in in the case of a Penalty 1. A penalty awarded between periods of a game will be executed at the start of the following period.

5.f. …INTERPRETATION: The bowl-in on resumption of play is an integral part of Penalty 1. A minimum of 5 seconds should be on the clock when the ball is bowled in.

RULE 5A- ROUND ROBINS: Round Robins are not desirable as a tournament format. However, if an event has only three teams entered and time constraints, weather, or other adverse conditions prevent an alternate format, a Round Robin may be used as a single event to be played in one day.

a. A Round Robin shall consist of three games of two periods each.

b. Each team shall play in two games, playing each other team one game. The two teams to play in the first game shall be decided by lot. Should the first game result in a tie, the teams that play in the second game shall be decided by lot. Otherwise, the second game shall be between the loser of the first game and the team idled in the first game. The third game shall be between the team idled in the first game and the team idled in the second game.

c. The winner of the Round Robin shall be the team with the best won-lost record. if there is such a team. In determining the best won-lost record, a win will count as 2 points, a tie will count as 1 point, and a loss will count as 0 points. In the event of a won/lost tie at the end of the Round Robin, the order of finish shall be determined based on net goals in both games played, if conclusive; or gross goals in both games played if net goals is inconclusive; or if both net goals and gross goals are inconclusive, the “shoot out” procedure set forth in USPA Arena Rule 5.c(2), except that only one player from each of the tied teams shall participate.

©Larry Johnson.

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