Cowdray and Cirencester to Host 2015 Ladies Tournaments at 12 – 18 Goal Ladies Handicap level
The Hurlingham Polo Association have today published the UK Ladies Handicaps list, which will come into effect for the 2015 season, beginning in April. Under the new system, women will retain their current handicap but will also hold a women’s specific handicap; for use when playing in women’s only tournaments.
Cirencester Park Polo Club and Cowdray Park Polo Club can also confirm that their renowned ladies tournaments will be played at 12 – 18 Goal level for 2015.
The two tournaments will run consecutively, Cowdray's from 13th – 18th July and Cirencester from 21st – 26th July to allow international teams to play both in one trip. Players can also enjoy watching the Gold Cup Final for The British Open on 19th July and The International at Guards on Saturday 25th.
The new system brings the English players into line with the Ladies Handicap system already in place in America, Canada, Italy, France, Singapore and Argentina.
One of the key players in promoting the benefits of this new system is Cirencester Member and highest rated lady player Nina Clarkin:
"I am really excited that we are hosting this year's tournament with the new women's handicaps. This is a very exciting era for women's polo and Cirencester is right at the forefront of promoting and developing Ladies polo and I am much looking forward to playing more ladies polo under this new system".
Players who have previously played Ladies Tournaments in these countries will already hold an international ladies’ rating which will carry across. Those who have not will have their rating calculated using their regular handicap for the first tournament (using the table below). This will then be reassessed following the first ladies tournament they play.The idea behind introducing the system is to reduce the issue of compression. Of the 765 female polo members registered with the HPA in the UK only 20 have a handicap of 1 or above, which leads to huge variations between players rated the same.
Implementing a ladies handicap system will allow for much more evenly matched and more competitive women’s polo, allowing this side of the sport to continue to develop whilst not affecting women who also play competitively alongside men.
Cirencester, Cowdray and Ascot polo clubs have all committed their 2015 season ladies tournaments to be played using ladies handicaps.
Nina Clarkin thinks that “with the introduction of women's handicaps, the sport is going to continue to flourish and enjoy greater exposure and coverage, allowing it to continue to develop and grow.”
Cirencester Polo Manager Tim Keyte has been working hard alongside Cowdray Manager Chris Bethel, players Nina and Tamara Fox and the HPA office to ensure that the transition to ladies handicaps is smooth and successful.