Frequently Asked Questions


Here are some Frequently Asked Questions, if you are unable find the answer below please do get in touch with our friendly polo office on 01730 813257 and we would be happy to help.


We very much hope that you will enjoy your day at Cowdray Park Polo Club, where accidents are very rare BUT polo is a dangerous sport. Neither CPPC nor the Cowdray Estate can accept any responsibility for injuries to persons or property on our grounds. The following safety rules must be observed:-

  • Please ensure that you watch the movement of the ball during play at all times and keep yourselves, friends and family out of the safety zone area.
  • Please ensure you supervise your children who will not be as diligent as you.
  • Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.
  • All guest access to the pony lines, lorry parking areas and agricultural machinery is strictly forbidden.
  • Alcohol may only be consumed by those over the age of eighteen.
  • Private barbecues are not allowed.
  • Vehicles are admitted on condition that Cowdray Park Polo Club shall not be liable for damage to any vehicle, anything in or on or about any vehicle howsoever such a loss or damage may be caused.
  • Anyone who is judged to be putting themselves or others at risk in any manner may be asked to leave the ground by the officials of the club.

The Rules and Bylaws of the Club are printed separately and are sent to Members. The Rules of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), the Governing Body of Polo, are contained in the Blue Book published annually by the HPA. All members of the HPA will be sent their Blue Book directly from the HPA.

Terms & Conditions

  1. The Organisers reserve the right to refuse admission and may on occasion conduct security searches to ensure the safety of patrons.
  2. The Organiser reserves the right to refuse entry to the grounds and remove persons and/or vehicles from the grounds as deemed necessary by the Organisers.
  3. Tickets are valid only for the event on the date shown.
  4. Presentation of the ticket constitutes acceptance of the terms and conditions upon which the Organiser is prepared to grant entry.
  5. All tickets, discounts and promotions are subject to availability.
  6. Tickets, badges and passes must be available for checking by Club Officials at any time.
  7. Vehicles are admitted on condition that Cowdray Park Polo Club shall not be liable for loss or damage to any vehicle, anything in or on or about any vehicle howsoever such a loss or damage may be caused.

General Safety Rules

  1. Please ensure that you follow the play at all times and keep yourselves, friends, family and guests out of the safety zones.
  2. Please ensure that you supervise children who may not be as diligent as you.
  3. Dogs, in public areas, must be kept on their leads or controlled at all times.
  4. All access, other than by those so authorised, to the pony lines, lorry parking areas and agricultural machinery, is strictly forbidden.

Public are welcome to watch all matches at Cowdray Park. Tickets can be pre-booked via our website. You are welcome to bring your own picnic and folding chairs or a rug to sit on, and there are ample viewing areas. Please follow the signs to the public car park or park as directed by our staff.

Where is Cowdray Park Polo Club?

We are located near Midhurst in West Sussex. The Polo Club has two sets of grounds. The Lawns and River grounds are very near to Midhurst and the Ambersham pitches are located halfway between Petworth and Midhurst. The daily schedule will show which grounds are being used. Please note that these are subject to last minute change so please check Today/Tomorrow before setting off to the grounds.

Sat Nav References – The polo grounds do not have their own postcodes, but the following are reasonably close:

Lawns – GU29 0AJ
Ambersham – GU28 0PR

The nearest train stations are Haslemere on the Waterloo line (10 miles) or Pulborough on the Victoria Line (10 miles).

High goal matches (20-22 goal) will be played over six chukkas (lasting approx 90 minutes). Medium goal matches (15-18 goal) will be played over five chukkas (approx 75 minutes), and low goal is played over four chukkas (approx one hour).
Generally we recommend smart/casual clothes, with comfortable shoes for ‘treading-in’. However if the weather is inclement please dress accordingly. No shorts are permitted in our Members’ Enclosure.

Basic Rules


The maximum permitted pitch is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide.

The goal posts are 8 yards apart.

Duration of Play
The match is divided into chukkas, each lasting 7 minutes.
The interval between each chukka is 3 minutes to permit change of ponies.
At half time the interval is extended to 5 minutes.
The bell is rung at the end of each 7 minute period. Play continues after the bell until the ball goes out of play, or the umpire stops play for a foul, or the bell is rung for a second time 30 seconds after the first bell. In the final chukka play stops with the first stroke of the bell.

Changing Ends
Ends are changed after EACH GOAL scored, or at half time if no score by then.

Field Rules
Right of Way – During play there is an imaginary “line of ball”, which is generally the direction in which the ball is travelling at any one moment. When a player has established the right of way along that line, it may not be crossed by an opposing player if there is the slightest risk of collision.

Crossing – Any player who crosses the player in the right of way close enough to be dangerous or cause a player to slow up, commits a foul.

Riding Off – Riding off is the term used to described the action of one player trying to take control of the ball by pushing a member of the opposing team off his chosen course, whether the other man is playing the ball or not. But it must not be done by charging in at a dangerous angle, nor must the man in possession of the ball be crossed.

Hooking sticks – A player may hook an opponent’s stick provided he is in the same side of the opponent as the ball, or directly behind him, and provided the stick is below the level of the opponents shoulder. Players must not attempt to hook an opponent in front of the pony’s legs.

Players Handicap
Each player is given a handicap level from -2 to 10 goals depending on his ability. The lowest handicap is -2, with 10 being the highest possible.

A team’s rating is calculated by adding together the 4 players’ handicaps.

The Team
Positions are No1 and No 2 who are the forwards, No 3 the pivot position, usually the best player in the team, and No 4, or Back, the goal defender.

There are two mounted umpires and a third man or referee in the stands acts as an arbitrator if the umpires disagree.

The goal judges behind each goal wave a flag when a goal is scored.

The time keeper and scorer keep track of the timings of the match and sound the bell or hooter at the end of each chukka.

Different types of penalties are awarded depending of the nature of the foul.

30 and 40 Yard – Shot at an open goal, the attackers have to be level with the ball when hit or hit at. Defenders have to be behind the back line.

60 yard – None of the defending team to be nearer than 30 yards.

Free hit : – From the spot where the foul occurred, with none of the defending team to be nearer than 30 yards. From the centre of the ground, none of the defending side can be nearer than 30 yards. This is awarded at the discretion of the umpires. If the ball has gone over the back line, but not through the goal, then the defending team hit it back into play at the point where it crossed the line. The attacking team must be 30 yards away.

A mobile unit offering light snacks and drinks will be available on the grounds on most days. The Cowdray Farm Shop Café and Cowdray Farm Shop are both located at the entrance to Lawns 1 and Lawns 2. The Clubhouse at Ambersham is open Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday for all ticketholders to enjoy. You are also very welcome to bring your own picnic, folding chairs and/or a rug to sit on. You can also pre-order picnics from the Cowdray Farm Shop by clicking here.

You are very welcome to bring your own picnic, folding chairs and/or a rug to sit on. You can also pre-order picnics from the Cowdray Farm Shop by clicking herePicnics cannot be taken into the Members’ Enclosure.

Barbecues are not allowed.

Tickets can be prebooked via our website.

We cannot arrange accommodation for you, but there are a number of hotels, guest houses and B&Bs in the local area. The following sites may assist you in your search:-

Cowdray Park Polo Club is pleased to welcome all disabled visitors to attend all events. Disabled forward parking is available to blue badge holders. If you have any special needs or would like some assistance, please contact the Cowdray Park Polo Club on 01730 813257.

Dogs are welcome but they must be kept on a lead at all times when outside the vehicle for their safety as well as that of players and ponies. Please clear up after your dog.

Cancellations will only take place if extreme circumstances make it unsafe to play. Match start times may be delayed due to adverse weather conditions. All changes to the schedule of play will be announced on our website and social media channels. We advise you to check before travelling to any of our scheduled events or call the polo office on 01730 813 257 for clarification if needed.

All tickets are sold as non-refundable. Should an event be cancelled in full we will offer a refund to all ticketholders. Unfortunately, we cannot offer a refund for matches which are delayed but take place on the same day for which the purchased ticket is held. To view our ticket purchase terms and conditions in full please click here.