26 Mar 2020

On 20 March 2020 we advised members that all tournaments were suspended, but that Clubs could continue to run chukkas and games within their local zone/community provided they were carried out in accordance with the Commonwealth Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines.

However, things have moved rapidly and as outlined by the Prime Minister on Tuesday night, in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, new strict directives have been issued by the National Cabinet re social distancing. As a result, from midnight last night all social sporting based activities are prohibited. In light of these developments, APF has reassessed its position and regrettably requests that State Associations advise their Clubs that all polo activities should be suspended immediately until further notice. The decision to suspend these activities is unfortunate, but considered necessary in the best interests of our sport and the Australian community.

We will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds and keep you up to date as new information comes to hand.


Stephen Philip

COVID-19 Important Information
The Australian Government has announced new community sport guidelines to combat the spread of COVID-19, these are effective immediately. All polo must be run in accordance with the AHPPC COVID-19 Community Sport Guidelines. In addition to the community sport guidelines being implemented, the APF advises that any polo that is played at clubs is under these additional conditions until further notice:

  • All tournaments are to be suspended from Monday 23rd March (those run this weekend 20-22 March must comply with the Australian Government Community Sport Guidelines)
  • Clubs can run chukkas and games within their local zone/community only, there is to be no inter-district travel. Players are restricted to play within their local region only (no interstate or inter region travel needed for the player to get from where they are residing to where they are playing).
  • Clubs must maintain a participant/attendance register for each event they hold, teams must submit full attendance details (names) for their players/grooms/coaches/other attendees PRIOR to the event VIA EMAIL (and any changes from this list post event). The name of everyone present on the day must be recorded.

AHPPC COVID-19 Community Sport Guidelines:

All community sport participants must play a role to help reduce the transmission of COVID 19, including those organising, attending or supporting attendance at these activities.

Participants should not attend and participate in Community Sport if they:

  • have travelled internationally or been exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the preceding 14 days; or
  • are at a high risk including the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

Attendance at Community Sport activities

Only essential participants should attend activities, i.e. players, coaches, match officials, staff and volunteers involved in operations and parents/guardians of participants.

All players, visitors should practise the following social distancing measures at Community Sporting activities:

  • Players, visitors and officials should minimise physical contact as much as is practicable, for example no shaking hands, no walking out with player mascots, no pre- or post-match celebrations and no celebrating between players during the match.
  • When spectating or attending a game or training session, ensure a distance of 1.5 metres is kept between yourself and others.
  • Access to change rooms should be restricted solely to players, officials and essential staff.
  • If spectating, try to maintain 1.5 metres between yourself and others.
  • It is recommended that sporting teams, including school sporting teams, maintain local competitions only, with no inter-district, or inter-club travel. As with all gatherings, basic protective measures should be observed, such as regular hand hygiene practices before, during and after the match, do not share drink bottles, and avoid touching your face.

It is acknowledged that contact sports have a greater risk of transmission than other sports, and as such, should be considered on a case-by-case basis. However, other mitigation strategies for match socialisation and contact must be employed to reduce the risk to players, visitors, and officials more broadly.

General hygiene measures at facilities

Facilities should ensure that:

  • spaces at each facility, surfaces and objects are regularly cleaned with disinfectant
  • provide hand washing guidance
  • promote regular and thorough hand washing by staff and participants
  • provide sanitising hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the event (particularly entry or high use areas such as a registration desk, change rooms, toilets or kiosk)
  • make sure dispensers are regularly refilled
  • promote exclusion of ill persons

Gyms, indoor fitness centres and swimming pools

Settings like gyms, indoor fitness centres and swimming pools are not required to close at this time providing they meet these requirements for social distancing and hand hygiene. Such venues should take actions to ensure regular high standards of environmental cleaning take place.

The Prime Minister’s media statement can be found at

The most recent advice released by the AHPPC can be found at

Additional information relating to the Government’s response to COVID-19 can be found at

The Australian Institute of Sport is maintaining an information page on COVID-19 and Sporting Activity

Sport Australia has also Suspended public activity on the AIS Campus in Canberra


Stephen Philip

Chairman, Australian Polo Federation

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