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What about free shots?

I was thinking about reffing today, and it seems like refs are reluctant to hand out penalties. Being shorthanded in a 3v3 game is pretty devastating, so I can see why they are hesitant. I like the idea of conceding possession, and I would love to see penalty shots become a thing... but what about awarding direct or indirect shots like soccer? It's not nearly as punishing as sending a player to the box, and it is more beneficial to the attacking team than just getting possession and halfcourt. Would refs be more likely to make calls? Would players like gaining possession at the spot of the foul and being able to quickly set up an attack?

Just looking for opinions here, so spare the hate.

I believe there were a few penalty shots at Worlds last year, the first being the Iron Ponies against Chacals.


Yeah, that is the only tournament that I'm aware of. It's not surprising to see Euros implementing it, and I think that it serves polo pretty well

Yeah, a couple at the Worlds last year, also the London Open, London League, and one in a golden goal losers bracket final game at the Bristol Open last weekend.

I think penalty shots (hockey style, not soccer style), are a great addition to a refs options, and in addition are great for spectators. I'm not a fan of creating rules for spectators alone, but in this case it helps the game too.

I could be into free shots.

As a referee, they are an easy call to make. It gives an advantage to the fouled team without disadvantaging the offending team as much as a 3v2 situation. Coming from a soccer reffing background, spot kicks are a generally uncontentious call (with the exception being when they directly result in a goal).

The biggest problem I see with these calls for polo is that people on bikes just aren't as mobile as people on foot; setting up these shots would require a ref on the court to set the ball.

Another question worth pondering is whether there be should a direct/indirect distinction for penalties similar to soccer (can a player take a direct shot on goal from the spot shot)?

Dependent on situation during the infraction. Mid-shot? First touch can count as a goal. During positioning/attack? First touch cannot result in a goal.

Would the penalty shots be shooter v. goalie only? Could you set up the "wall"? Maybe this has been covered before, but I've never heard of a penalty shot actually occuring, so I'm trying to figure out exactly what that looks like.

Penalty shots would be like hockey... If an attacker is taken down from behind on a break, they get a one on one. Free shots would work like soccer. A foul is called, direct/indirect is indicated, ball is placed, and the ref signals that play is live.

Definitely support the idea of a penalty shot if someone is egregiously fouled during a scoring opportunity. I hate them for deciding Hockey (or Polo) games tho. Not into the soccer style penalty shot for Polo, but I like that this is being brought up, and will consider implementing this for BM4.

I'm not sure how I actually would feel about set pieces, but I like the idea of restarting play at the spot of the foul.

Penalty shots need to happen, IMO. If you're dirty enough, there is a lot to gain by not letting a dangerous shooter come in alone on goal. Taking a 30 second penalty or conceding possession is a small price to pay if it works out in the end... Better odds than letting someone in one on one, in some cases

So far the implementation in polo, has been as follows, like in ice hockey

It's the "fouled" player, taking on the "fouler" in goal.

Ball starts in the middle
You can drive the ball until you cross the goal line
You can't ride back
You have one shot
Goalkeeper stays in net until the player touches the ball
All other players stay in the other half of the court
Once over, if it's not a goal, it's a reset to the fouled team. If it's a goal, it's a reset to the team scored on, as normal.

Also, there is an option to add a time penalty to the fouling team, if the penalty isn't scored.

I think penalty shots give the keeper too much of an advantage, but as an addition to sending a player off for a timed penalty I think they can work.

If it's about giving the fouled team the same advantage as a player footing down in goal (or similar) then I think shooting on an open net at a few different increments would be more comparable (top of the D if it was a guaranteed goal, or halfway line if they were robbed of a less obvious chance on goal for example).