A new helmet standard has been introduced in polo in a bid to improve safety in the sport.
Following a comprehensive review the Hurlingham Polo Association’s (HPA) stewards have approved a future amendment to the rules for protective equipment.
From 1 January 2018, all players must wear a helmet that is kitemarked and certified to PAS 015:2011 standard as minimum.
“We have again reviewed again safety standards in polo and this new rule will align with those already in place for all other equestrian disciplines which cannot be ignored,” said David Woodd, HPA chief executive.
“The HPA has a duty to protect the safety of its members and to reduce the risk of even just one head injury.”
The HPA implemented a 2018 start date to allow manufacturers to develop a helmet that meets this standard.
In 2018, the use of helmets that do not meet the standard will not be permitted for any HPA member playing polo in the UK and Ireland.
The HPA will continue to review safety in polo through the HPA Safety Advisory Panel (SAP), which was established in December 2015.
- Test show most polo helmets offer little protection
- Nearly 50% of polo players value looks above safety when choosing a new helmet
The SAP reviews and makes recommendation to improve overall safety in polo, as well as promoting education and research into the effects of injuries and concussion in sport.
Hat manufacturer Charles Owen has welcomed the HPA’s rule change.
“This recent helmet rule update is a step forward in protecting our polo players on the field,” managing director Roy Burek said.
For more information on this rule change, don’t miss next week’s H&H magazine, out 12 May