Polo Players Edition

NOV 2018

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

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8 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N one-time expense of $2 million outside the budget was tabled, pending a report by the Finance Committee on how to handle the dividends in order to create a fund. National Handicap The committee met on Wednesday, Sept. 19. Handicap changes can be found on uspolo.org. As a component to the new- ly restated and amended governing docu- ments, the board approved an Updated Handicap Policy, which can be viewed on uspolo.org. Additionally, Stephen Orth- wein Jr. will step down as chair of the com- mittee and Chris Stratemann will take over the position. Tom Goodspeed will be named as the Arena Handicap Committee chair and Maureen Brennan as the Women's Outdoor and Arena Handicap Committee chair. Nominating Pursuant to the restated and amended constitution, the board elected the new seven-member Nominating Committee (Paul Jornayvaz, Denny Geiler, Erica Gan- domcar-Sachs, Bill Kirton, Bob McMurtry, David Wenning, Liz Brayboy). The next obligation of the Nominating Committee is to propose officers and governors-at- large by May 2019. The Audit Committee will select a member of its committee as the non-voting chair of the new Nominat- ing Committee. Rules As recommended by the Rules Commit- tee, the board of governors approved vari- ous changes to the USPA Outdoor and Arena Rules and Tournament Conditions for 2019. A summary of the changes is located on uspolo.org. Safety The committee is commissioning Dr. Stephen Duma to analyze current eques- trian helmet standards, including NOC- SAE to ensure the association is utilizing the best standard available. The commit- tee also plans to work with both the Hurlingham Polo Association and the Argentine Polo Association to move towards requiring the same standard uni- versally. USPA Chairman Chip Campbell has tasked the committee with reaching out to other organizations, such as the United States Equestrian Federation, the Profes- sional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Professional Bull Riders, Inc., to analyze their helmet requirements and enforce- ability. Findings will be presented to the board at the April meeting. The committee has created a statement encouraging players to wear helmets whenever mounted and will work with legal council to finalize it. It was suggested that the committee look into the cost and benefit of clubs having defibrillators on the field and the possibility of the USPA providing this equipment to clubs. Strategic Planning The board approved the Strategic Plan- ning Committee goals meant to improve the sport and the association. The four goals include applying fiscal management at all levels while creating and preserving an endowment to ensure financial stabili- ty for the long term; improving polo through better administration of rules, tournaments and handicaps; utilizing the network of clubs to produce better tourna- ments, in collaboration with Global Licensing, to increase spectator interest in the sport while attracting potential new playing members and new customers for the brand; and providing programs that will facilitate entry into the sport for uninitiated, enhance the skills of young professionals and ultimately produce the best high-goal professional polo players in the world. Tournament The committee is working to create a template to help evaluate national tourna- ments and use this as a tool when award- ing tournaments to clubs. The committee discussed awarding national tournaments for two to three years, which would give clubs the continuity to market the events. Women's Polo The committee reported that the num- ber of women's tournaments have increased already for the year. Nearly 40 percent of the total USPA membership is female, with women representing the majority of the student member category. The inaugural East Coast Women's Open was held at Westchester Polo Club (Newport, Rhode Island) and Myopia Polo Club (South Hamilton, Massachusetts) over the summer. Subsequently, the Pacif- ic Coast circuit has proposed a Pacific Coast Women's Open, with the same for- mat, to be hosted in the summer of 2019. The 2018 U.S. Open Women's Polo Championship will take place at the Hous- ton Polo Club (Houston, Texas) in Novem- ber and then will be moved to the Interna- tional Polo Club Palm Beach (Wellington, Florida) for 2019. Communications Department In its second year, The USPA Polo Net- work has livestreamed 124 games and will finish out 2018 with approximately 140 total games. Total unique viewership is at 803,289 across four platforms: uspolo.org, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The aver- age number of unique viewers per game is 6,478 and the network reached a peak live viewership of 21,136 for the U.S. Open Polo Championship final. It was a historic day for the network on Sunday, Sept. 2, with five games livestreamed from three different states all in different time zones. Polo fans were able to watch the East Coast open (Green- wich, Connecticut), NYTS Championship (Columbine, Colorado), and Pacific Coast Open final (Carpinteria, California). ChukkerTV and the USPA communica- tions team have worked diligently over the past two years to elevate the fan experi- ence on the USPA Polo Network through improved graphics, statistics, interviews, horse information, tournament and club

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