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Handicap Havoc Inside Polo by Ron Allen


By Ron Allen




With the announcement of the new handicap changes in Argentina for 2014 there is good news in that there are now seven 10-goal players in the world. Both David Sterling and Miguel Astrada have returned to 10. They were dropped to 9 in 2012.



Astrada & Sterling – 10 again


The change also means that the defending champion, La Dolfina, is back at 40 goals for the third time. Alegria, this years runner up, will be a 36 goal team next year with both Fred Mannix and Pablo Pieres moving up to 9 goals. If Mariano Aguerre stays with Ellerstina that team will be rated at 38 since Aguerre has been dropped back to nine again.




The havoc comes into play when you look at the disparity with Mannix rated at 9 playing 40-goal polo but he’s still only 6 in the United States. He’s been at six goals for over three years as the American association has been blind to the fact that he’s on the verge of becoming one of the world’s best players.



Mannix – 9 or 6?


To make matters worse the Federation of International Polo made it one of their publically stated goals, over 30 years ago, to bring a uniform handicap system to the sport. Egos and politics have gotten in the way of the FIP making any real progress toward achieving that goal along with their failure to get polo in the Olympics or even a standard set of rules that all countries should play under. Let’s see how they do over the next 30 years.