Tennis Polo Rules
GUIDELINES OF THE SPORT OF TENNIS POLO (2007 EDITION)
Tennis polo (or Toccer) is a unique field sport played with racquets and a ball similar to those used in tennis – hence how it acquired its name. The sport can best be described as an amalgamation of racquet sports (e.g. tennis) and team sports such as soccer, field hockey and hurling. A team consists of seven field players and a goalkeeper. The object of the game is for teams to score more goals than the opposing team to win the match.
Section 1 – The Playing Area
1. The field shall generally be 75 yards long by 55 yards wide; it is comprised of two possession areas and a field of play. Field size is dictated by tournament and/or league specific guidelines.
2. The long sides are known as boundary lines and the short sides are known as back lines. The part of the back line in front of the goal is called the back line. The playing area is divided into two halves by a median line called the midline.
3. The possession area is a 15 yards semi-circle measured out from each goalpost.
4. The field lines should be clearly visible and be 2 inches in width.
5. All lines are part of the area they delimit: The boundary lines and back lines are part of the field of play, as are the possession lines.
Section 2 – Equipment
1 The goal size is dictated largely by equipment constraints. Conversely, the goal size is usually the same size as a soccer goal. Tournaments and leagues can enforce their own goal size as well as a “possession area (or crease)” in which players are not allowed to score in front of.
2 The maximum head size on a tennis polo racket is 100 sq. in (645 sq. cm). This rule is only enforceable in tournament play.
3 A regulation tennis polo ball has a diameter of 2.79 inches or similar to an oversize tennis ball.
Section 3 – Players
1 The number of players shall be limited to eight on each side in all games and matches. Teams may carry unlimited substitutes.
2 Substitution will take place in front of the scorekeeper’s area on the left boundary line and occurs without stopping the match.
3 An injured player may be replaced as soon as he leaves the field of play.
4 Players should be dressed uniformly and have a clearly visible number.
5 Teams will switch sides of the field at the beginning of each new period.
Section 4a – Officials
1 Each tournament match shall have at least two field officials, one to monitor scorekeeping and an umpire to monitor infractions and time.
2 The field officials control the game according to the rules.
3 The umpire notes infractions, substitutions and foul play during the match. He also maintains the official game clock.
4 The referee shall monitor all scoring and keep the official match score. He shall also monitor other infractions as they occur on the field.
5 The field official uniform shall be called the “bouncer” and is distinct from the player uniform. They shall have a whistle at their disposal.
Section 4b – Officiating (Non-Tournaments/Friendlies/Exhibitions)
1 In matches where there are no officials available, teams will appoint a captain. Prior to the match, the captains will discuss lineups, time of play and other “house rules” applicable to their match.
2 Infractions shall be determined by the players, always maintaining The Code™ and ensuring fairness and continuity of play. In the event of a dispute, the captains shall determine the course of action and play will resume.
Section 5a. – Duration of Matches
1 The tennis polo match is 40 minutes, divided into four periods of 10 minutes each. The number of minutes played in a match or periods played in a match may be reduced by the committee conducting the tournament or match.
2 There will be a 3-minute intermission between each period, with a 5 minute intermission between the first and 2nd halves of the match.
3 Teams are awarded three full timeouts (1 minute) per half and timeouts do not carryover between halves.
Section 5b. Overtime/Penalty Phase
1 If at the end of the match, the teams are tied, they play a 3-minute overtime periods, with the winner at the end of the overtime, being declared the winner. If the game remains tied, the teams will continue to play overtime periods until there is a winner.
Section 5c. Stoppage of Play
1 The game clock will continue to run even if the ball is hit or passed out of the field of play.
2 The game clock will be stopped if a penalty occurs and/or a penalty shot needs to be taken.
Section 5d. Starting and Restarting of the Game
1 The game will begin with a coin toss, with the team designated as the “visiting” team making the call. The team that wins the toss may opt to receive or send the ball in the first half, with the team that receives in the 1st half, sending it in the 2nd half.
1b To “send” (or touchoff) the ball to start the match, one player stands inside the crease and hits the ball to the other side of the field. The sending team may not touch the ball or gain possession until a player from the receiving team has made contact with the ball.
2 After a goal has been scored, the defensive team receives the ball via touchoff from the team that scored.
Section 6 – Scoring
A goal is scored when the ball is hit (or kicked) past the goal line. The team with the most goals at the end of the game, wins.
Section 7 – Penalties & Shots
Infractions are called by field officials for various miscues on the field. The results of infractions depend on the severity as adjudged by the field officials. Each infraction is called a “foul” and fouls are recorded by the referees. When a player has committed 3 fouls or more, the player must spend 3 minutes out of the game. If a player commits a double-foul (two infractions on one play, e.g. inappropriate use and misconduct are the most common), the player is cited for a 6 minute penalty. A player is inserted into the game to replace the fouling player.
When a play commits more than 5 fouls in a game, the player “fouls out” and may no longer play for the duration of that game.
Crosschecking – When a player uses his racquet against another player to
stop the player from moving or otherwise using the racquet to touch any part of the player’s body.
Personal Foul – is called when a player makes illegal contact with an opponent
using their body. The fouled player receives a foul shot from the spot of the foul. If the player is shooting when the foul is committed, the player will receive a penalty shot.
Hand Contact – When a player makes illegal contact with the ball using their hands.
Misconduct – When determined by an official for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Holding – When a player uses bodily contact to obstruct an opponent (such as holding onto the opponent’s racquet or jersey).
Pass Interference – When a player has hand-control of the ball after a pickup,
the defending player interferes with a legal pass with his racquet or hands before the pass is made.
Carrying – When a player runs with the ball or places it on their racquet and runs without dribbling.
Inappropriate Use – Inappropriate use is called when a player misuses their
racquet, hands, feet or other appendage during the game.
Offside – When a player from the opposing team crosses the midline during
Touch off prior to contact by the receiving team.
Ripping – When a player takes forcibly removes the ball from the hand of a possessing player, who clearly has control of the ball.
Stalling – When a player intentionally hits a ball out of bounds to kill the clock.
Section 8a. Positions
Tennis Polo teams are comprised of eight players on the field at one time. 1 player includes the goalkeeper and seven field players.
3 of the players are designated as Defensive backs and generally play defense.
The MidWing (or Halfback), is a hybrid offensive player who may play between the defensive and offense ends, depending on the scheme the team is running.
The three primary offensive players are the wing players (left wing & right wing) and the attacker (or center).
Section 8b. Position Rules
• All players are eligible to receive passes or to pass the ball to a teammate anywhere on the field, so long as the pass is within the boundaries of the field of play.
• Any player may intercept a pass or pick up a loose ball from the ground. They may only “recover” (pick the ball off the ground onto their racquet and dribble) when in their own zone.
• Players may not carry (run with) the ball, but may catch an airborne pass and place it on their racquet on any part of the field.
Section 9. The Code of Play
Tennis polo is conducted under a code that governs all players of the game. Taking from tennis, the sport is governed by a series of etiquette rules that players follow. The most vigorous is that tennis polo, is not a contact sport. Intentional contact may occur, but intentional physical play or use of “brute” force will result in immediate expulsion.