WORLD ELEPHANT POLO ASSOCIATION

Founded at Tiger Tops Nepal - April 1982

 

ORGANISATION & RULES OF THE GAME

1. The game will be played by three players on each team on a marked pitch 100 x 70 metres, using a standard size polo ball.

2. The game will consist of two 10 minute chukkers of playing time, with an interval of 15 minutes. The whistle blown by the referee stops and starts play.

3. The pitch will be marked with a centre line, a circle with a radius of 10 metres in the centre of the field, and a semi-circle, in front of the goals, with a radius of 20 metres, measured from the centre of the goal line at either end of the pitch.

4. Elephants and ends are changed at half time.

5. To be a goal, the ball must travel over and across the goal line, not just stop on the goal line.

RULES OF THE GAME

1. START OF PLAY: The play is begun when the Umpire, from outside the centre circle, throws the ball in between two opposing elephants inside the ring. No other elephants may enter the ring until the ball has been hit out by either of the two opposing players. To do so is a foul. A spot hit is to be given to the fouled team, from the spot where the offending player fouled. Defending elephants must be 15 metres from the ball.

2. NUMBER OF ELEPHANTS IN EACH HALF OF PITCH: No team may have more than two elephants in one half of the pitch at any given time, including at the throw-in, before the start of the game, and the throw-in after each goal is scored. To do so constitutes a foul. A spot hit to be given from the point where the ball is when the foul is committed. Elephants from the Defending side should be 15 metres from the ball.

The elephant designated as the one to be positioned, in the opposition half, must stand in the opposition's half, at the throw-in, that commence play, or before the throw in that starts play following a goal.

3. GOAL - SEMI CIRCLE: If the Attacking team have more than one elephant in the semi-circle, then the defending team are given a free spot hit from a point on the semi-circle line opposite the middle of the goal. Opposition players to be 15 metres from the ball. If there are two Defending elephants in the semi-circle, this also constitutes a foul. A free hit is given to the Attacking team from the point at which the ball is when the foul occurs. Elephants from the Defending side must be 15 metres from the ball. This could mean that the elephants from the Defending side must be over the back line, or at the sides of the semi-circle - 15 metres from the ball, even if it results in an undefended goal mouth.

4. HIT OUTS - SIDELINE / BACKLINES: All opposing elephants must be 15 metres away from the ball, whether the hit-in be from the sideline, the backline or a spot hit awarded inthe field, for whatever reason, as decided by the umpire.

Should the Attacking team be awarded a free hit at 20 metres from where the ball went out over the back line, from a defender's stick, either having been struck at, or the ball accidentally hits the defendant's stick, the Defending elephant must be 15 metres from the spot.

Should an Attacking player hit the ball and the ball goes out of play, having deflected off any elephant whatsoever, then it is a knock-in from the back line for the defending team. All Attacking elephant must be 15 metres from the spot.

Should a Defending player hit the ball out over the backline, whether it deflected off an attacking or a defending elephant, it will be a hit in for the attacking team 20 metres out opposite where the ball crossed the line. All defending elephants must be 15 metres from the spot and only one defending elephant in the "D". Likewise should a defending player hits the ball and it rebounds off an Attacking player's stick before going out directly, or off any elephant whatsoever, on its way out, then it is a knock-in for the Defending team. All elephants of the Attacking team to be 15 metres away.

6.ELEPHANTS - SIZE - SEX AND BEHAVIOUR: There shall be no restrictions as to the height, weight or sex of the elephants.

7. NUMBER OF ELEPHANTS & MAHOUT:- A team of three can, if sufficient numbers are available, consist of four elephants. Each team captain had the right to choose three of the four to play, before any match of two chukkers begins. Once chosen the elephants cannot be changed except in case of an injury to an elephant. The three elephants chosen must play both chukkers. The mahout or rider of the elephants chosen, must play the entire match and cannot be changed during or at the end of a chukker, except for injury.

8. No elephants may lie down in front of the goal mouth. To do so will constitute a foul. A free hit shall be awarded to the opposing side from the 20 metre semi-circle in front of the goal, with only one elephant defending and 15 metres from the spot.

9. An elephant may not pick up the ball in its trunk during play. To do so shall constitute a foul and a free hit shall be awarded to the opposing team from the spot where the ball was picked up. The defending players shall be 15 metres from the spot.

10. FALLING OFF: If a player falls from an elephant, play is stopped while the rider remounts. In the case of substantial injury, where the player cannot continue, the reserve may be called upon. Play is commenced with a throw-in by the Umpire between two elephants - one from each team, similar to the start of a game, but from the spot where the ball was when the player fell. All other elephants shall be 15 metres from the spot.

11. ELEPHANT HARNESS: Should there be any failure in the elephant's harness, the elephant shall retire to the side or end line to repair it, and the game is stopped and restarted, where the ball was, when the game was stopped.

12. BROKEN STICK: Should a stick be broken, when play is in the D, the game will not be stopped until the ball leaves the D. For a broken stick when the play is outside of the D, the game will be stopped while the player changes his stick. Play commences with a throw-in by the umpire, between one elephant from each side. All other players being 15 metres away.

13. HEAD GEAR: 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, outside the"D", the game is stopped while it is recovered. A spot hit is awarded to the opposing side and the game shall resume when the umpire signals to do so by whistle and flag. Defending players must be 15 metres from the spot. Should the hat fall inside the "D", the game will not be stopped until the ball clears the "D".

14. PICK-ME-UPS: Sugar cane or rice balls packed with vitamins (molasses and rock salt) shall be given to the elephants at the end of each match and a cold beer, or soft drink, to the elephant drivers and not vice versa.

15. PERSONAL FOULS: The following acts constitute a foul.

[A]. Hooking the opponent's stick.

[B]. Deliberate crossing in front when the opponent has the ball and is moving with it. The player with the ball has the "right of way" and an opponent cannot impede his line of advance.

[C]. Intentionally slowing down to impede the game, i.e. standing on the ball.

[D]. Intentionally hitting another player/elephant, or Umpire with the stick.

[E]. Dangerous play. More than one "round house" swing is not allowed prior to hitting the ball, except if there is no other player nearby. The definition of too close is at the discretion of the Umpire.

16. PENALTIES:

A. When a player from one team commits a foul, from 1 or 2, of "Personal Fouls", the opposing team is allowed a free hit, from where the foul occurred. Elephants from teams that fouled, must be 15 metres from the spot.

B. The penalty for breaking Rule 15D or 15E will be at the discretion of the Umpire. The Umpire, may award a spot hit to the team offended, from the spot where the ball was when the foul was committed, or if serious enough, or following a repeated warning, from the 20 metre semi-circle with only one opposition player, 15 metres away, guarding the goal.

C. Should the Attacking team be awarded a penalty on or within D, only one Defending elephant will be allowed in the D, but it must be a minimum of 15 metres away. The other defending elephant cannot be in the D, and must be 15 metres away. Defending elephants can be anywhere outside the D, including behind the goal line but cannot enter through the goal mouth, nor enter the D until the ball has been hit or hit at.

17. UMPIRES, REFEREE, GOAL JUDGES, AND TIME KEEPER:

A. There will be a Senior Umpire, and if requests a support Umpire mounted on the Referee's elephant. The official Referee, can be on the Referee Elephant, or be positioned near the time keepers. The Referee will follow the play as closely as possible without impeding it. The Senior Umpire may consult with the Referee should there be a serious doubt as to infringements or penalties awarded or an official protest from a team captain.

B. There will be a goal judge at either goal.

C. There will be a Time-keeper on one side of the pitch at the mid-line.

i. When the ball is knocked out of bounds, the time is stopped until, at a signal from the Umpire,using a whistle and flag, it is knocked in again.

ii. Time is also stopped when a penalty is called by the Umpire. Again by using a flag and whistle, the game is started again.

iii. The first chukker will end at the ten minute bell.

iv. Second chukker - at the end of 10 minutes play the bell/bugle shall signify the end of the normal chukker - play stops.

18. EXTRA TIME IN FINALS OR NON-LEAGUE GAMES: If the score is nil all, or tied, at the end of both chukkers, it will be decided by "sudden death". Ends shall be changed, but not elephants. The first team to score a goal wins the match.

19. THE LEAGUE:

Should there be a draw in the league between two teams (2 points - win; 1 point - draw), the team with the higher goal difference (goals scored minus goals against), including handicap, shall go through. Should there still be a draw, there will be a play off, of two, five minute chukkers. After this, if still a draw, there will be a sudden-death play off i.e. the first team to score wins. Before the sudden-death play off, the teams change ends, but not elephants.

20. HANDICAPPING: The full W.E.P.A. Committee shall meet at the beginning of each championship to decide each team's handicap. Their decision shall be final.

 

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