What are some of the new programs for USPA Clubs and Members
New for 2013 - UMP and PUMP.
In our last two surveys, umpiring has always been an important issue for USPA Clubs and members. You have said good umpiring is what makes polo fun and safe to play.
Well we have listened and budgeted even more money this year for umpire services reimbursement.
Basically, the USPA will now reimburse clubs for hiring USPA certified umpires. And cover a lot more expenses then we did under the 2012 CLUERP program. Now we cover transportation, food, lodging, as well as umpiring services. Of course there are some requirements like having at least three teams and keeping track of expense receipts or checks written to cover umpiring services.
But we have also made is much more user friendly to get your reimbursements.
Don't have umpires in your area? Look into the new CU umpire rating that makes it easier for players in your area to be certified and to receive training and to qualify for USPA reimbursement.
for up to date information. There is a list of umpires there as well. All of our Team USPA players are required to be certified umpires so there may be new umpires in your area that you don't even know about.
If you don't use your allocated funds, you just simply miss out.
Remember way back when you filled out a survey to tell us what you most wanted the USPA to do for you?
Well in answer to one of the survey responses regarding increasing the availability and reducing the expenses of using certified umpires for our USPA tournaments, the USPA Board of Governor's created two new programs to help offset or completely reduce the cost of hiring umpires for USPA Tournaments.
The following information was just released to encourage clubs to provide professional umpires. There are two new umpire reimbursement programs that will be in effect this year. Information along with a frequently asked section will give you an idea of how these programs work within our circuit.
2012 Circuit and Club Level Umpire Expense Reimbursement Programs
In an effort to promote and provide umpires at more USPA sanctioned events, a program was initiated in 2010 entitled the USPA Circuit Umpire Expense Reimbursement Program (CUERP). Under this program, the USPA circuit governors, within their respective circuits, were empowered to select two USPA sanctioned events, hosted at USPA member clubs to be entitled for expense reimbursement for two “B” rated, certified umpires (or higher) – based on a first come-first served basis and based on umpire availability.
The USPA reimbursement expenses include umpire travel to and from the club, housing or per diem expenses and umpire fees based on the official certified umpire rates for professional umpires. The umpires need only to be currently USPA certified, and not necessarily professional umpires. A list of USPA Certified Umpires can be found on the USPA website at: www.us-polo.orgThe request for the CUERP funding is forwarded to the circuit governor, and then based upon his selection, will be forwarded on to the Head Umpire Instructor (HUI), Steve Lane, for his approval and for administrative processing.
In 2011 each USPA circuit was allocated funds for two USPA events per circuit. The HUI and club manager, or host tournament committee of the circuit governors designated club will review and mutually agree on the umpire expense reimbursement prior to the event. HUI will then verify all club submitted requests for reimbursement from the CUERP. All expense requests such as airfare and lodging must be at the "most economical" level, and be pre-approved by the HUI.
This past year a strategic planning on-line survey was conducted by the USPA to help identify high priority issues of USPA membership. One of the high-priority, 2012 strategic planning resolutions that came out of the survey was to improve the quality and availability of umpires for members at the club level, as well as on the circuit level. In addition to the above listed umpires programs and services, USPA Umpires, LLC will offer and manage two umpire expense and reimbursement programs:
USPA Circuit Umpire Expense Reimbursement Program (CUERP):
As in the past two years, the 2012 edition of the CUERP, the USPA circuit governors will be empowered to select two USPA sanctioned events, hosted by USPA Member Clubs within their respective circuits, that will be eligible for umpire expense reimbursement for two “B” rated, certified umpires (or higher) – based on a first come-first served basis and based on umpire availability. All USPA sanctioned events and its umpires must agree to adhere to all USPA Rules, Rules Interpretations, Tournament Conditions and By-Laws.
Frequently Asked Questions for CUERP:
1. How can my club get funding?
Your club must be a USPA Member Club. Have your club manager, owner or Club Delegate to contact your circuit governor and request the reimbursement funding.
2. Who approves my reimbursement?
Your circuit governor will pre-approve a club request for reimbursement on a first-come-first served basis and Steve Lane will review and approve payment of the reimbursement to the club or club representative.
3. How much can my club expect to receive?
Your club representative will have to provide receipts for umpire expenses that will be reimbursed after a review and approval of those receipts by Steve Lane, up to and not exceeding $2700.00.
4. Who finds me the certified umpires?
You do or request umpires from Steve Lane at: firstname.lastname@example.org - remember, certified umpires are on a first-come, first served basis and based on availability.
5. Who do I contact for more detailed information?
USPA Club Level Umpire Expense Reimbursement Program (CLUERP):
Each USPA circuit governor will be allocated CLUERP funds, based on numbers of Members Clubs and numbers of Registered Players and Affiliate Members with his or her circuit that can be used for club level events at USPA Member Clubs. Clubs can request funds by using an CLUERP official funding request form that can be downloaded from the website. Club level umpires expenses can be reimbursed up to the official rates for certified umpires listed on the official request form. All club events and its umpires must agree to adhere to all USPA Rules, Rules Interpretations, Tournament Conditions and By-Laws. The CLUERP is focused on paying local, certified umpires at your club or in your circuit and an updated list of currently certified umpires can be reviewed on the USPA website at: www.us-polo.org.
Frequently Asked Questions for CLUERP:
1. How can my club get funding?
Have your club manager, owner or Club Delegate fill out the CLUERP official funding request form and forward that form to circuit governor approval.
2. Who approves my reimbursement?
Your circuit governor will approve a club request for reimbursement on a first-come-first served basis.
3. How much can my club expect to receive?
Your club representative will have to provide receipts for umpiring fees that will be reimbursed after a review of those forwarded receipts and verification of current umpire certification. The circuit governor has guidelines for funding, based on the number of members within clubs, within his or her circuit.
4. Who finds me the certified umpires?
You do - within your club or within your circuit or you can request assistance from Steve Lane at: email@example.com - please remember, certified umpires are on a first-come, first served basis and based on availability. The CLUERP program does not provide for umpire travel or housing expense reimbursement.
5. Who do I contact for more detailed information?
Contact your circuit governor.
USPA Umpires, LLC
"Honesty - Transparency and Integrity - Respect"
"The mission of the USPA Umpires, LLC is to support all aspects of the umpire services and programs within the United States Polo Association. This includes training and certification, support of the USPA professional umpires, the club and circuit umpire expense reimbursement program along with the umpire exchange program."
Umpire Services and Programs:
USPA Umpire Training and Certification Program
USPA Umpire Training Clinics and Seminars
USPA Umpire Guide
USPA Professional Umpire Program
USPA Member Outdoor and Arena Rules Online Testing
Club Level Umpire Expense Reimbursement Program (CLUERP)
Circuit Umpire Expense Reimbursement Program (CUERP)
International Umpire Exchange Program
Board of Directors:
Britt Baker, Chairman
Peter Rizzo, Secretary/Treasurer
Thomas Biddle, Sr.
Peter Rizzo: Interim Executive Director
Steve Lane: Head Umpire Instructor
Tom Hughes: Umpire Coordinator
Amy Wisehart: Executive Project Manager and Advertising Director
For information concerning umpire training and certification and the Umpire Expense Reimbursement Programs: contact Steve Lane at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For information concerning professional umpire coordination, please contact Tom Hughes at email@example.com
For further information about our umpire services and a list of certified umpires in your area, please go to the USPA website at www.us-polo.org
September 13, 2011
Following a number of discussions regarding the newly proposed 1/2 goal National Handicap System, a committee within the Eastern Circuit was formed to develop and test an alternate plan. That plan can be found under the web page Circuit Handicap System.
My thanks go to Amir Pirasteh for creating and explaining the proposed system, and to Dan Colhoun and Clint Nangle for driving the development of this plan.
Please take some time and read through these pages and give us your comments regarding the feasibility of the Eastern Circuit adopting this handicap system for use along with the new 1/2 goal handicap system. Should this system prove to be better than the National system, we can propose that the USPA adopt this system.
Your comments both negative and positive would be appreciated.
July 22, 2011
Governors at Large Election
After yesterdays email requesting that you vote in the Governor-at-Large election, I received emails and phone calls asking for advice on how to vote.
Many people realize that they do not personally know many of these candidates and feel that although there are bios, it is still not enough to responsibly choose 12 candidates. They have asked me how I intend to vote since I am working with most of these people on a daily basis.
So in response to these requests, I am including information on how I have voted.
There are several traits and actions that I take into consideration for my vote, and they are:
Volunteerism - Have these individuals shown in the past that they are willing and have actually volunteered their time and money to help guide the USPA on a responsible path in representing the USPA members. Despite maybe well intentioned, but factually wrong information recently sent around, this is a volunteer board.
Attendance - There are monthly Governor's teleconferences and two annual Board meetings. Have these candidates shown that they are willing to spend the time required to be an effective board member. Except for Kim Foley (from our circuit) and Mike McCleary, all of the members that I have voted for have almost perfect, and in some cases 100% participation in the Board meetings. Kim and Mike are independent candidates but with verifiable credentials.
Compatibility - Do the candidates have what it takes to work within the committee and Board structure of the USPA to get real programs in place.
Understanding of the Issues - Do these candidates understand what the issues are that face the USPA and its membership and programs within these economic times.
Responsible - Do the candidates have the moral compasses to be leaders as we move into areas of growth that are becoming possible with our windfall income from US Polo Properties. Will they carefully measure all of the request for funding and be sure that they are really in the clubs and members best interests.
I can truthfully answer YES to these questions for the individuals that I have listed. I don't want to dissuade anyone from voting for the independent candidates as they may be as well qualified, however since they have not previously volunteered their efforts, I can't make that judgment.
I am not persuaded by other election campaigning emails that I have read so far as I have been privy to a number of emails that were previously sent to persuade these candidates to come forward. The two most disturbing used the phrases in the emails that I read were "Do not mention our big plan", and "If we all get in you will have 10 receptive friends at the table ". Both of these statements are contrary to how our Board works, and against everything that is democratic process. To get anything approved by this Board, it takes 25 individuals voting, not blocks of friends.
I hope this is of help. Please be sure to vote. This is your Association.
July 20, 2011
Governors at Large Election
You will be receiving or have already received a ballot in the mail as outlined by our USPA Constitution, to vote for up to 12 USPA Governors-at-Large. This is the second election since the voting changes were made a part of the Constitution and as a result, that vote in 2009 was historic. It was the first time that any board member was elected by registered members. The Constitution also allows for an appointment of a nominating committee whose job is to vet potential and current Governors-at-Large candidates and to recommend a slate of qualified candidates to the voting membership. I am asking that you review and evaluate all Governor-at-Large candidates and vote for those who you believe will best serve the sport of polo.
Based on my working knowledge as a USPA Circuit Governor, and talking to USPA members, I found that a large majority of members did not really understand how our Association and especially how the USPA Board really works. In 2008, when I came to my first meeting as a Lt. Governor, I was impressed by two things: first, how intelligent and diligent the Board was; and, secondly, how much time the Board volunteered in an effort to support the USPA, the governing body of the sport of polo. Perhaps you are not aware of all the many programs and services offered by the USPA, and I would ask that you allow me a few minutes of your time to see what I have seen during my time on the Board.
I learned that most Board resolutions for programs and services come directly from the volunteer committees. The USPA is basically committee driven by over 20 committees. These committees cover all aspects of the sport - from governance, umpiring and rules, to handicapping all member players, to a number of innovative club and membership development programs that affect and impact the grassroots, club level of the sport. These committees consist of board members and interested registered players who meet throughout the year. As a requirement of any funding or change to By-laws or Constitution, the Board tracks program and services metrics to be sure that any vote by the Board, especially those that require funding, are returning a value for the investment. Any member may attend any committee or any Board meeting to insure transparency. If you are interested in making a difference in the USPA, you need simply to join the committee process, and then work within our committee framework to make that difference a reality for the sport.
A while back, you may have received and participated in a survey that was conducted by the USPA with the sole intention of steering the USPA board in the direction that the members desired. As chairman of the survey subcommittee, I was thrilled to see that 100% of the top 5 member requested services were already in discussion and programs already developed or in development to assist in meeting your needs. The top 5 survey responses were:
1. New Player Recruitment and Skill Development 2. Public Awareness and Promotion of Polo 3. Interscholastic and Intercollegiate Club Support, 4. Umpire Training and Certification and 5. Equine Welfare
The Board understood better than most that the membership numbers of the USPA was stagnant mainly because - at whatever level you play - polo is an expensive sport and the country’s recent economy is the most challenging ever.
The USPA did an extensive membership exit survey to non-renewals in 2010 and the number one reason stated for leaving the sport was based on economics - not in dissatisfaction with the USPA.
While membership growth has showed some modest gains over the past few years, the USPA Board was not satisfied and instituted:
• The Polo Development Initiative (PDI) Program that grants $300,000 per year in funding that incentivizes clubs to grow membership and create programs to retain current members. For over the past four years the PDI has funded over $1.2 million dollars to USPA member clubs at the grassroots level to support club advertising/promotion and training programs to recruit more new players, retain current players and/or to reinstate old players.
• A new player recruitment program that included entering into entrepreneurial relationships with existing club polo training schools and the development of Regional Polo Centers (RPC). The mission of this program is to introduce new players into the club training system by offering inexpensive ways to start polo. Once hooked on polo, we have hopes of converting them into long-term, registered players.
• A professional Marketing and Public Relations Program that focused on publicizing polo, driving members to high-quality polo training centers, and inviting other equine disciplines to try polo via a series of magazine articles and advertisements. A number of videos promoting polo were made available to clubs to help with their player recruitment.
• A Team USPA program with its goal to raise the skill level of younger American players who will work their way through the system and enter the club polo programs as higher handicapped players. These players at the club level will raise the level of play across the country with an increase in club player handicaps. All Team USPA members are required to be certified umpires - as an added value to local member clubs.
• The USPA Circuit Umpire Reimbursement Program to provide USPA funded umpires for circuit level, club polo events.
• The National Club Development Program (NCD), managed by Kris Bowman to consult with club owners and managers in need of help on any and all topics related to the highest quality polo club management. The NCD program also includes: Instructors and Managers Seminars; RPC Enhancement Funding for player solicitation and training; and an newly forged alliance with the U.S. Pony Club – we are proud to say that polo, for the first time in history will become a recognized Pony Club discipline.
• The Intercollegiate/Interscholastic Start-Up and Enhancement Program that provide incentive funding as well as on site consulting and guidance as to how to start, maintain and flourish I/I school programs.
• USPA Trophy Enhancement Program: To provide higher quality trophies for USPA events.
• The USPA Polo Pony Welfare Committee that: follows up on polo pony abuse allegations via the USPA Polo Pony Welfare Hotline; and, that manages the USPA Equine Drug and Medications Program that funds equine drug testing of our valued mounts competing with us at USPA events - at no cost to the members.
Folks, these are the newer programs that were begun over the past few years, not to mention all the other programs and services that have an ongoing an important part of what the USPA is and does – such as: the Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Program, the Umpire Training and Certification Program; the editing and publishing of the USPA Blue Book and White Rules and Rules Interpretation Book; the funding and supporting of a wide range of International events, including the FIP World Championships; the now twice a year handicapping of over 4000 players; the USPA umpire certifications of all who seek certification– and the list goes on and on - much of which is accomplished by a mix of volunteers and professional staff.
Please note: For years now, the USPA has assigned staff members such as Ed Armstrong, Amy Wisehart, Amanda Hersey, Peter Rizzo and Kris Bowman to travel the country advising and guiding clubs in their club marketing and player training programs. They have been available 24/7. Head Umpire Instructor Steve Lane and USPA Regional Umpire Coordinator Tom Hughes continue with their umpire training, certification and management programs - and umpire webinars that will be available to all members.
Through USPA funding and support and the relentless work by the Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) Committee and Program Director Kim Syme - the number of participating schools rose this year to an unprecedented 115 schools and the numbers of student players grow each and every year. During the summer, not one but two I/I subcommittee meets every other week by teleconference to continually review and improve this valued program.
Around elections, there is always a lot of information and sometimes misinformation that is generated - some valid and some not. As chairman of the Circuit Governors, I feel compelled to correct what I consider erroneous information and state for the record these facts based on the recent history of the USPA. Quite often the term “good old boys club” is used in reference to the USPA Board. That comment usually comes from people who are uninformed or who have an agenda in mind. Please compare the membership of the 2011 Board to the board as listed in the 2007 USPA Blue Book. Three of the original 2007 Circuit Governors are still on the Board while 10 Circuit Governors have changed. In the same time period (4 years), fifty percent of the Governors-at-Large have changed. Do you see that as a “good old boys club”? I can tell you from personal experience that your Board members work independently (remember, we all are polo players) and always with the thought of “what would be best for the USPA.”
Another misconception concerns the funding provided by USPA Properties. The Board of Governors of the USPA, like any board of directors, is charged with a fiduciary responsibility to use funds generated by the Association responsibly. Our first goal provides for the perpetuation of the Association, which is the world recognized governing body of the sport in the United States. In that light, 65% of the royalty from Properties are reinvested in an endowment fund that would allow the Association to continue to exist and fund many of the programs and services listed above in the event that - in the future – USPA Properties is unable to provide income. After all, nothing is ever guaranteed. The other 35% per year is invested in polo programs that directly benefit the playing members. That investment into program and services percentage will go higher as the endowment is goal is reached and hopefully surpassed.
Another erroneous message is that the USPA is only interested in high-goal polo and large clubs. To the contrary, over the last couple of years, the USPA has developed many new programs that are specifically aimed at small clubs and low goal players - as I mentioned earlier – validating the responses to the most recent survey. High goal teams and clubs pay for their own expenses and are not funded by the USPA.
I implore you to take advantage of your right to vote and to do your own due diligence about who are the most qualified candidates. The nominating committee spent considerable time reviewing and selecting the candidates who are willing to spend the time necessary to be a responsible board member. You will note that they are suffixed by an asterisk on the ballot. In their bios you will also be able to judge their willingness to work for the USPA by the number of committees that they volunteer for, or for the programs that they give their time to. Since the committees drive the USPA, the commitment of Governors-at-Large to working within the committee structure is invaluable.
When your ballot arrives, I ask that you fill it out and return it well prior to the August 18th deadline. It is your Association and we are asking you to take the time to vote.
Chairman, Circuit Governors, Eastern Circuit Governor, I/I South Eastern Regional Host Tournament Chairman, 2020 Strategic Planning Committee, Co Chair 2020 Polo Pony Welfare Committee, Chairman, USPA Survey Subcommittee, Marketing Committee member, Nominating Committee member, Board Member, Polo Hall of Fame
October 11, 2009
USPA Board of Governor Meetings in Aiken
The USPA Board of Governor's meeting will take place in Aiken from October 14 thru the 17th. All USPA delegates and members are invited to attend.
There are a lot of items that are discussed and voted on during these meetings, but of most important to members is how the USPA budgets for member services for 2010.
I have sent out a survey for club delegates to fill out that will give me guidance for voting.
The USPA 2010 budget is included here for a review of where and how the money will be spent.
If you have a chance, you can review the budget and take the survey.
CONTACT: Peter Rizzo (859) 219-1000 RE: Equine medical incident in Wellington, Florida
The United States Polo Association is participating in an investigation to determine the cause of death of
over 20 polo ponies that died prior to a polo match on Sunday, April 19 at the International Polo Club-Palm
Beach, located in Wellington Florida. The cause of death for these horses will not be determined until after the Florida State Department of
Agriculture completes necropsies and toxicology testing on the affected animals. There has been much
speculation and rumor concerning the cause of death however, according to Dr. Paul Wollenman, who was on the
scene and led a valiant rescue effort with many local veterinarians and polo players to save the stricken
horses: "Based on initial, overwhelming clinical evidence this medical event was isolated to the Lechuza barn
and horses and the initial evidence shows no infectious element."
Peter Rizzo, Executive Director of the United States Polo Association (USPA) stated:
"The USPA is participating in a formal investigation of the unprecedented equine medical event that occurred
this past Sunday, April 19. We are actively working with the management of the International Polo Club-Palm
Beach, state and local veterinarians and state and county regulatory agencies including the State Department
of Agriculture and Palm Beach County Department of Animal Care and Control to determine what caused these
horses to die. While there is much speculation as to the cause of death, we will have to wait until the
Department of Agriculture completes its tests and releases its findings to the owners of the horses. In the
meantime, we all mourn the loss of these horses. There are no words to describe the grief and sadness shared
by everyone- particularly the devastated owners of those magnificent horses."
July 27, 2008: ECAT at Brandywine
I had the opportunity to visit Brandywine Polo Club in Pennsylvania over the weekend. I had heard a lot about what a great event this was, but never imagined what it really entailed.
First I would like to offer my thanks to Scott Brown and his family for hosting this event. I now know what 'giving back' to a sport really means. From the USPA governor's position, I can also see what value this has for the future of the sport and the USPA. Here are 60 new members for the association as most of these kids will go on to become members, and in turn, give back to the sport as their mentors, the Browns, have done for them.
I asked Scott to send me information on ECAT and what they did during their stay at Brandywine. Listed below is his response. I also asked Scott what the USPA could do to help him. I would like you to read his response at the bottom of this news article. I feel truly humbled by what Scott and the parents gave to these kids.
Some statistics on ECAT:
60 interscholastic players-From 13 different polo programs-from 7 different states.
Local programs include Brandywine Polo Academy, Work to Ride (Phila.) and Valley Forge Military Academy.
80 horses were on site and played over the 3 days.
Players were divided, based on ability, into 5 different divisions and then teams were drawn at random within the division.
Each division played a tournament over 3 days to determine a winner. 22 Chukka’s per day, 66 chukka’s over the 3 day tournament
Each division was assigned a coach who met with the players prior to each game, umpired the game and then reviewed game tapes to reinforce positive aspects of each players game and identify areas for improvement. These coaches included:
Wilbur O’Farrell-PTF Robin Sanchez-PTF Justin Flood/Martha Brown Dr. Cindy Mason Bucanan Holly Holleran
Concurrent with the polo tournament a series of workshops were held for the players on the following topics:
1.Arena Polo Strategies-Dr. Trevor Wells 2.Hitting Fundamentals-Wilbur O'Farrell 3.Lameness Detection in the Equine Athlete-Dr. Ben Martin, Univ. of Penna. New Bolton Center 4.Basics of Equine Care-Dr. Mark Knobbe 5.Care of the Hoof-Brandywine Forge 6.Equine Massage-Charlotte Hersbell
Most players camped out at the Brown’s farm where we held an Argentine Assado and a US barbeque on Friday and Saturday nights.
26 parents were actively involved in running the tournament in jobs from arena crew, announcing/ scoring, stable management, food prep., etc.
The cost of the tournament was $100 per player which was all inclusive. What I want from the USPA: Focus on providing access to polo to a greater cross section of players. Thanks.
April 19, 2008: Message from the USPA Governor's meeting in Wellington
We have finished many of the committee meetings and I have a lot of information to give you on events that will occur around the next governor's meeting that will be held at Great Meadow Polo Club in the Plains, VA. in September, 2008.
The Townsend Cup challenge has been accepted by England, and a game will be played during the fall governor's meetings in September. It is slated to be in the 16-18 goal range.
Several clubs will participate in a week long series of Arena and grass games culminating in the US Arena Open and Hall of Fame cup.
If your club is interested in entering a team, please let me know.
The USPA has been accepted by the Olympic Committee (IOC) as having fulfilled the member requirements. This was the reasons for a lot of the constitutional changes that have taken place. That especially relates to the foreign player registration changes. The USPA can now begin to use the 5 ring emblem on all of it's publications and web site.
One of the more ominious facts that came out during the meeting was that the growth of the USPA last year was a net one (1) member. And that is after the USPA has spent a sizeable amount of Polo Development Initiative money with individual clubs. Therefore, the USPA has changed direction and is no longer making PDI money available to clubs. For those that indicated they were interested in pursuing that development money, we were too late.
I do have some ideas on viral marketing and we discussed those during the meetings. I will give you more information as that develops, but basically I am looking for a way to have every USPA member invite just one person and introduce them to polo. How many friends have we told - "Why don't you come out and let me put you on a horse"? If the 3,000 USPA memebers would do that, and only 10% became interested, we could grow our clubs by 300 members a year, not one. Growth in the USPA needs to be done at the grass roots level as their is virtually no money given to the marketing committee to develop membership. The marketing committee is functioning on volunteer efforts.
I presented a copy of the results of our survey and the board of the USPA was interested enough that they reprinted the survey results (all responders are anonymous) and passed it out to the entire board of governors. So not only were your opinions given to me, but to the entire USPA management as well. I never expected that to happen but am pleased your opinions are being made known.
Some of the comments you made were even discussed by the governors. One of those related to the comment that the game of polo was being ruined by the slow downs created by the dribble rule. The governor's agreed that something needed to be done about that and turning the ball. Expect to see some changes either in the rules or umpire interpretations.
Other discussions centered around the American rule. This is closely related to the Olympic and Pan American games. It will be very difficult for the US to produce a team that will be competitive as there are not a large number of American players rated high enough to field a high goal team. Although we do have some 9 and 10 goal American players, there is not a large growth in high goal since not many American players are advancing beyond the 2 goal level. It is very difficult for the Americans to compete with foreign players as the playing field is not level. American pros must report their income, buy their own trucks and trailers, horses, pay rent and schooling. Many of the players coming from the I/I program are not able to make enough money to continue in polo for the years that it takes to become higher rated. I know from the survey that the circuit is evenly divided about the value and legality of an American rule. The wording that will come out of this spring's meeting will ask that a rule be made that requires for all "USPA sanctioned tornaments that one player, other than the sponsor, must be American for all games 22 goals and below". Your comments will be appreciated and forwarded to the USPA.
The USPA has produced a Polo Pony Welfare Guide. It will be sent to all registered players sometime over the summer. It contains a wealth of information particularly regarding how to handle comments from people that think polo players are abusive to their horses.
I did sit in on the Womens Tournament Committee meeting and was very impressed on how organized Sunny Hale and women are with their tournaments. The role of the Women's Committee is to encourage women to enter and play polo through the USPA.
Women playing in the qualifying tournaments that are played around the country are automatically eligible to play in the WCT finals. There were several women on the phone from international cities.
There was a lot of discussion in the Circuit Governors meeting regarding the fact that several clubs were nearing the point of extinction due to lack of membership. I think it bears mention again that we need grow our sport. It is not enough that polo Properties is making sizable contributions to funding sources for endowment. After all what good will it be to have a national committee if their are fewer and fewer clubs playing the tournaments.
March 3, 2008: USPA Circuit Governor's meeting April 16th thru April 21st in Wellington Florida for more information go to www.uspolo.org April Meeting.
The following video was presented to the USPA Fall meeting as a way for clubs to generate interest and attract new members and sponsors.
Clubs can easily film and create their own videos, or look for professionals to help with any step of the process.
The following link is for high speed connections like cable or dsl. If the video stops and buffers, just let it continue until it has completely downloaded the click then play button again to view the video in its entirity without pause.