I have the line, player and referee mentality

This is one of the phrases that I have heard the most times from polo players on the field. And also "is my line" "you have the line" "cannot enter"

For simplicity when teaching the rules many players say "you can't cross the line"

For many years the right to the line was synonymous with absolute power. This absolute power was used by professionals, who have great control of the ball, to have the ball so that no one can take it away.

We have already discussed in many notes that the fouls to go around the field are composed of the priority (based on the line of the ball) and the possibility of collision (distance, danger).

Let's try to be in the mind of the player, the player wants to bring the ball to the goal individually or by passing with his teammates, hitting from a distance, can run with the ball at high speed or can go with the ball at low speed, and also take the ball to the step or almost stopped. All the player's movements have the ultimate goal of scoring a goal.

Let's try to get into the mind of the referee, the referee wants the players to circulate within the field and not collide. Do you want the players to score? NO, he doesn't care.

As you can see, the mentalities are very different.

The possibility of collision is rooted in speed / movement, the higher the speed the greater the possibility of collision. At lower speed, little possibility of collision. If there is no movement there is no possibility of shock.

In this last time, little by little, the right to the line is losing absolute power. But the player's mentality rejects this change. And there are countries and places and specific parties where the absolute power of the right to the line is maintained. It is very easy to notice, players who stop with the ball, advance slowly, many fouls, permanent protests, endless games.

The players are ultimately the ones who send and reject these changes, the higher the handicap, the more rejection. On the other hand, when the players are asked what amuses them, they prefer to run, few fouls, and hit the ball long. But ultimately the players are the ones who evaluate and hire the referees, and the referees don't want to be left out, they have to adapt to the player's requests. I insist the referees are evaluated (they get work) with the mentality of the player. How awful!

There is a vicious circle from which you cannot get out, and which in my opinion is bad for polo: the leaders (tournament organizers) want to have the best possible players and they consult them, the leaders pay attention to those players (the players interpret polo with their mentality, and to keep their job), the referees try to match the tastes of the players, the leaders see that polo is unattractive and do not understand why.


In this small world where the only thing that counts is the opinion of the players, the only thing they have achieved is that polo is more boring, and less showy.

But little by little, especially in Argentina and England, the regulation is being interpreted correctly (but it does not get to what it really should be, because the players do not give in). The regulation does not legislate on what play can be made (it is what the player thinks), it regulates how the players can move safely within the field of play.

The regulation has its origins in polo with horses and the ball moving at the highest possible speed.

The closest way that the mentalities of the player and the referee are alike is when the player drops the ball as soon as possible, and tries to get his horse to run. To the extent that the player wants to stop, stop the mentalities will be opposite.