World Elephant Polo Association

December 20, 1996

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE WEPA HELD AT TIGER TOPS 6TH DECEMBER 1996

Present: James Manclark, A V Jim Edwards, Chuck McDougal, Raj Kalaan, Peter Prentice, Ram Prit Yadav, Lisa Choegyal

Apologies: H H Bhawani Singh, Col. H S Sodhi, General Nara SJB Rana, Subama Chettri, Hank Auerbach, James Bruxner, Ann Aylwin

Observer: Pradeep SJB Rana

  1. The minutes f rom the last meeting were approved by James Manclark and seconded by Peter Prentice.
  2. The present committee was unanimously voted back into office.
  3. Several rules were discussed and changed as follows:
    1. Ref Organisation of the game, Rule number 1 will be amended to read as follows: "The game will be played by four players on each team, on four elephants with four sticks on a marked pitch 104m x 70m, using a standard size polo ball."

    2. Ref Elephants, Rule number 8 will be amended to read as follows: "No elephant may lie down in front of the goal mouth. To do so once will constitute a foul. A free hit shall be awarded to the opposing side from the 30 meters semi-circle in front of an undefended goal. The second offence will result in the elephant and player being sent off the field for unsporting behaviour for the rest of the chukker or game at the unpire's discretion."

    3. Ref Head Gear, Rule number 13 will be amended to read as follows: "Elephant drivers and players must wear a hat in the form of the traditional solar topee, or polo helmet, at all times. Should a player's hat fall off the game shall be stopped at the discretion of the empire using the "advantage" consideration. However if the hat falls off in the D the game shall continue until a goal is scored or the ball goes out of play. The game is then commenced as per normal rules and regulations. However, should the ball be knocked back out of the D, after the hat falls off , it is then lef t to the umpire's discretion using the "advantage" consideration as to when to stop play and award a throw-in between one defending and one attacking player. All other players must be 15 metres away from the spot".

      Should a hat fall off at any time out of the D the game is stopped and a throw in awarded between one member of the defending team and one of the attacking team . All other players will be 15 metres away from the spot.

      Should the same player or other members of the same team continue to "lose their hats", at the discretion of the umpire a free hit may be awarded against the team committing the disruption. All other players will be 15 meters away from the spot.
  4. It was resolved that a new rule be introduced regarding elephants. This will read: "The names and drivers of each elephant in each of the four teams of four will be taken down at the beginning of the tournament. Except for injury or other serious reasons, the elephants of each team will not be switched or changed with other elephants from other teams, nor will substitute elephants not originally chosen be allowed. Furthermore no elephant driver may be changed from one elephant to another during the tournament and specifically not during a particular match. Therefore if a driver plays one chukker on a particular elephant, the same driver must play the second chukker on the same elephant unless injury occurs, in which case the committee members and captains make a final decision on a replacement.

    Each team of elephants will be divided into A, B, C or D teams and will be chalk marked at the beginning of the Championship.

    At the beginning of each day, chalk marks will be checked and elephant and drivers' names will be rechecked in order to avoid possible confusion. Elephants can only be substituted from the Reserve Pool by consent of the committee and captains involved.

    These rules apply for the World Elephant Polo Association Championship matches. In the All Nepal knockout, drivers may choose whichever elephant they wish to use from among the original championship elephants. No new elephants may be introduced.

  5. It was proposed by A V Jim Edwards and unanimously approved that Alf Erickson be invited to be a member of the World Elephant Polo Association committee as part of the USA Chapter.

  6. Lisa Choegyal informed the committee that the Ministry of Tourism had requested that the World Elephant Polo Association Championship be part of the official Visit Nepal 1998 activities. Tiger Tops will retain control of the Organisation of the Championship. This proposal was endorsed by the committee as bein4 an excellent way to attract further press and media, enhance Visit Nepal Year 1998's international profile, and support HMG Nepal.

  7. It was decided the next championship will be held at Tiger Tops 7th-13th December 1997, to be confirmed later.

  8. It was proposed that a series of World Elephant Polo Association badges and blazer buttons be designed and produced. These could be used as gifts; for specific identification as needed during the event; or awarded at the discretion of the committee as WEPA Colours. As with present blue & red supporters' ties, badges may be sold even to non-players but blazer buttons, as with the present gold and green ties, can only be awarded to WEPA Championship participants, or as Colours at the discretion of the Committee.

  9. A vote of thanks was unanimously made to the Managing Director of Tiger Tops, A V Jim Edwards, for the use of Tiger Tops and to Lisa Choegyal and her team for organising the event. Mr Ram Prit and the Director General of National Parks & Wildlife Conservation Department were thanked for their elephants and continued invaluable support.

    There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.