Become a club
Setting up a club
Below are the guidelines for setting up a club. These do not replace the regulations of the HPA.
Structure of the HPA
The HPA is an affiliation of clubs and a club must be provisionally affiliated before it can accept members. Any playing member of an affiliated or provisionally affiliated club automatically becomes an associate playing member of the HPA and is thereby granted a handicap by the HPA.
Provisional affiliation is granted by the Stewards of the HPA, who normally meet four times a year, in February, April, June and November. Clubs are then recommended by Stewards to Council for full affiliation.
- Step 1 – Application for Provisional Affiliation.
Complete Annex A and send it, with a cheque for £300 to cover the initial inspection, to the HPA Office. The minimum requirements are:
A suitable ground or arena with secure tenure, safe access for lorries and cars, water for drinking and washing down, sufficient pony lines, a score board and on match days the availability of a kitted out trailer or equivalent for injured ponies.
A full set of rules, which show whether it is a members’ or private club. A draft set of rules that can be used as a guide is at Annex B.
A staff structure that is able to comply with the rules and regulations of the HPA. This must set out as a minimum those individuals within the club who are responsible to the HPA for:
- The general business of the club – normally the Polo Manager.
- The conduct of polo and players at the club – normally the Polo Manager.
- The conduct of umpiring at the club – normally the Chief Umpire.
- The handicapping of members – a Chairman and at least 2 suitably qualified players one of which may be a member from another club.
- The accounts for the club– should be independent of the above.
- Pony Welfare – a welfare officer who should be separate from the polo manager.
A dedicated fax and email.
A list of prospective members.
- Step 2 – Inspection.
Once the application and fee have been received, the facilities will be subject to an initial inspection by an official of the HPA. The club grounds and/or arena will be inspected and assessed as to whether they are suitable for the level of polo to be played.
The inspection will look at the size and condition of the grounds and/or arena, access, parking, water, pony lines, office set up and any other facilities. A report will be written which will set out any shortfalls that will need to be rectified for full affiliation.
- Step 3 – HPA Approval.
The application for provisional affiliation will then be put to Stewards for their approval. If provisional affiliation is granted by the Stewards, the club will be informed in writing and only then may the club admit members to the HPA, ensuring that they all sign the HPA declaration at Annex C which should be retained by the club.
Outdoor clubs will appear in the Blue Book and Arena clubs in the Green Book, with a note saying that they are “provisionally affiliated” provided that provisional affiliation has been granted before the respective publication goes to print. A representative of a provisionally affiliated club may attend and speak at Council meetings but they have no vote.
- Step 4 – Application for Full Affiliation.
A club must apply to the HPA for full affiliation, within 3 years of being provisionally affiliated. The application must reach the HPA by 31 August for Outdoor clubs and 31st December for Arena only clubs.
- Step 5 – Second Inspection.
If required, a second inspection will be carried out before the end of the polo season by an HPA official and the report, along with confirmation from the HPA office that the club has fulfilled its duties correctly and on time, will be put to Stewards.
An affiliated club should aim to have an HPA Qualified Coach or Instructor available for its members.
- Step 6 – HPA Approval.
Entry fees for provisional affiliation are as follows:
Outdoor: £1000 Arena: £500 Combined: £1000
Annual affiliation fees are graded for fully affiliated clubs. The current fees and an example of clubs within each grade are as follows:
Outdoor: Grade One: £5000 Guards and Cowdray Grade Two: £3000 RCBPC and Cirencester Grade Three: £2000 Coworth and Beaufort Grade Four: £1000 Hurtwood, Kirtlington, Ham and Cheshire Grade Five: £500 Ascot, Binfield, Burningfold, Fifield, Knepp, Lacey Green,
Grade Six: £300 The remainder Arena: £150