The polo handicap system was set up in 1888 by Henry L. Herbert who in 1890 would become the first President of the United States Polo Association, a post he held to 1921 when he died. At that time, the maximum was 5-goals.
In 1891, the association increased the maximum handicap to 10. Since that time only 55 players worldwide have been rated 9-goal by the USPA and they did not advance to 10 in the United States.
The first two American born players to remain at 9 and rated in the same year (1894) were C. C. Baldwin and Gould Shaw. Some of the players rated 9-goal that were not advanced include – Earle W. Hopping (1920), Eric Pedley (1923), Robert Strawbridge (1923), Winston Guest (1928), Elbridge Gerry (1934), George Oliver Jr. (1940), Alan Corey (1942), Lewis Smith (1947), Harold L. Barry (1948), William Linfoot (1952), William Mayer (1955), Roy Barry (1963), Joe Barry (1972), Lester Armour III (1975), Stuart Mackenzie (1977), Julian Hipwood (1981), Howard Hipwood (1982), Hector Galindo (1999), Julio Arellano (2003), Nicolas Roldan (2009). Currently rated 9 are Fred H. Mannix (2018) and soon to be Nicolas ‘Nico’ Pieres (January 1, 2019).