Techniques and tools for hybrid motion vector prediction for interlaced forward-predicted fields are described. For example, a video decoder determines an initial motion vector predictor for a motion vector of an interlaced forward-predicted field. The decoder then checks a variation condition based at least in part on a predictor polarity selection (e.g., same or opposite), the initial motion vector predictor, and neighbor motion vectors. If the variation condition is satisfied, the decoder uses one of the neighbor motion vectors as a final motion vector predictor. Otherwise, the decoder uses the initial motion vector predictor as the final motion vector predictor. A video encoder performs corresponding processing.