The rules are similar to those of horse polo; however, there are some key differences, which should be noted. All elephants carry a player and a mahout, ladies are allowed to use both hands and mallets of around two metres in length are used. Some players train in swimming pools by swinging a golf club one-headedly through the water to strengthen their wrists!
Additionally there are some elephant specific rules :
- Any team with 3 elephants in one half of the pitch is judged to have committed a foul.
- No more than 2 elephants may be in the D at one time – one from the attacking team and one from the defending team.
- There are no restrictions as to the height, weight or sex of the elephants.
Handicaps are assigned by the Handicapping Committee and handicapped players may come under one of two categories
- Professional horse polo players. The handicap awarded to any registered professional horse polo player shall total half of their horse polo handicap.
- Professional and seasoned elephant polo players. A half goal handicap will be assigned to any player who has played in three or more World Series elephant polo championships anywhere in the world and does not have a horse polo handicap.
- Players’ handicaps are decided before the tournament commences. Player handicaps may not be changed during the tournament. Should a team’s total handicap when summed result in a half goal, the handicap will be rounded down.