Polo

Polo

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Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goal
Goal (sport)
Goal refers to a method of scoring in many sports. It can also refer to the physical structure or area of the playing surface where scoring occurs....

s against an opposing team. Sometimes called, "The Sport of Kings", it was highly popularized by the British. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball
Ball game
In American English, ball game refers specifically to either a game of basketball, baseball or American football. In British English ball game refers to any sport played with a ball....

 into the opposing team's goal using a long-handled mallet. The traditional sport of polo is played at speed on a large grass field up to 300 yards in length, and each polo team consists of four riders and their mounts. In arena polo, only three players are required per team and the game usually involves more maneuvering and shorter plays at lower speeds due to space limitations of the arena. The modern game is played on horses. Polo is played professionally in 16 countries and is not an Olympic sport.

Origins


The game first played in Persia (Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

) at dates given from the 5th century BC, or much earlier, to the 1st century AD and originated there, polo was at first a training game for cavalry units, usually the king's guard or other elite troops. To the warlike tribesmen, who played it with as many as 100 to a side, it was a miniature battle. In time polo became an Iranian national sport played normally by the nobility. Women as well as men played the game, as indicated by references to the queen and her ladies engaging King Khosrow II Parviz
Khosrau II
250px|thumb|Khosrau II 250px|thumb|Khosrau II 250px|thumb|Khosrau II (Khosrow II, Chosroes II, or Xosrov II in classical sources, sometimes called Parvez, "the Ever Victorious" – (in Persian: خسرو پرویز), was the twenty-second Sassanid King of Persia, reigning from 590 to 628...

 and his courtiers in the 6th century AD. Certainly Persian
Persian literature
Persian literature spans two-and-a-half millennia, though much of the pre-Islamic material has been lost. Its sources have been within historical Persia including present-day Iran as well as regions of Central Asia where the Persian language has historically been the national language...

 literature and art give us the richest accounts of polo in antiquity. Ferdowsi
Ferdowsi
Ferdowsi was a highly revered Persian poet. He was the author of the Shahnameh, the national epic of Iran and related societies.The Shahnameh was originally composed by Ferdowsi for the princes of the Samanid dynasty, who were responsible for a revival of Persian cultural traditions after the...

, the famed Iranian poet-historian, gives a number of accounts of royal polo tournaments in his 9th century epic, Shahnameh
Shahnameh
The Shahnameh or Shah-nama is a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c.977 and 1010 AD and is the national epic of Iran and related societies...

 (the Epic of Kings). In the earliest account, Ferdowsi romanticizes an international match between Turanian force and the followers of Siyâvash
Siyâvash
Siavash or Siyāvush, from Avestan Syāvaršan, is a major figure in Ferdowsi's epic, the Shahnameh. He was a legendary Persian prince from the earliest days of the Persian Empire...

, a legendary Iranian prince from the earliest centuries of the Empire; the poet is eloquent in his praise of Siyâvash's skills on the polo field. Ferdowsi also tells of Emperor Shapur II
Shapur II
Shapur II the Great was the ninth King of the Persian Sassanid Empire from 309 to 379 and son of Hormizd II. During his long reign, the Sassanid Empire saw its first golden era since the reign of Shapur I...

 of the Sassanid dynasty of the 4th century who learned to play polo when he was only seven years old. Naqsh-i Jahan Square in Isfahan is in fact a polo field which was built by king Abbas I in 17th century.

Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the Turkic Emperor of North India, ruled as an emperor for only four years, from 1206 to 1210 but died accidentally in 1210 playing polo. While he was playing a game of polo on horseback (also called chougan in Persia), his horse fell and Aibak was impaled on the pommel of his saddle. He was buried near the Anarkali bazaar in Lahore (which is now in Pakistan). Aibak's son Aram, died in 1211 CE [2], so Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, another ex-slave of Turkic ancestry who was married to Aibak's daughter, succeeded him as Sultan of Delhi.

From Persia, in medieval times polo spread to the Byzantines (who called it tzykanion), and after the Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

 to the Ayyubid and Mameluke
Mameluke
Mameluke was an American Thoroughbred race horse. Bred and raced by Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, he was out of the mare, Schwester, and was sired by the 1936 Epsom Derby winner, Mahmoud who became the Leading sire in North America in 1946 and the Leading broodmare sire in North America in...

 dynasties of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

, whose elites favored it above all other sports. Notable sultans such as Saladin
Saladin
Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb , better known in the Western world as Saladin, was an Arabized Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founded the Ayyubid dynasty. He led Muslim and Arab opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant...

 and Baybars were known to play it and encourage it in their court. Polo sticks were features on the Mameluke precursor to modern day playing cards.
Later on Polo was passed from Persia to other parts of Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 including the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

 and China, where it was very popular during the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 and frequently depicted in paintings and statues. Valuable for training cavalry, the game was played from Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 to Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 by the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. Known in the East as the Game of Kings. The name polo is said to have been derived from the Tibetan
Tibetan language
The Tibetan languages are a cluster of mutually-unintelligible Tibeto-Burman languages spoken primarily by Tibetan peoples who live across a wide area of eastern Central Asia bordering the Indian subcontinent, including the Tibetan Plateau and the northern Indian subcontinent in Baltistan, Ladakh,...

 word "pulu", meaning ball.

India and Britain


The modern game of polo, though formalized and popularized by the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, is derived from Manipur
Manipur
Manipur is a state in northeastern India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. Manipur is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south and Assam to the west; it also borders Burma to the east. It covers an area of...

 (now a state in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

) where the game was known as 'Sagol Kangjei', 'Kanjai-bazee', or 'Pulu'. It was the anglicised form of the last, referring to the wooden ball which was used, that was adopted by the sport in its slow spread to the west. The first polo club was established in the town of Silchar
Silchar
Silchar is the headquarters of Cachar district in the state of Assam in India. It is the economic gateway to the state of Mizoram and part of Manipur. It is south east of Guwahati. The city of Silchar has tremendous commercial importance and is the second largest city in the state of Assam...

 in Assam
Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

, India, in 1834.There is also a polo ground in chooto jalanga (irongmara/dwarbond).

The origins of the game in Manipur
Manipur
Manipur is a state in northeastern India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. Manipur is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south and Assam to the west; it also borders Burma to the east. It covers an area of...

 are traced to early precursors of Sagol Kangjei. This was one of three forms of hockey in Manipur, the other ones being field hockey (called Khong Kangjei) and wrestling-hockey (called Mukna Kangjei). Local rituals such as those connected to the Marjing, the Winged-Pony God of Polo and the creation-ritual episodes of the Lai Haraoba festival enacting the life of his son, Khori-Phaba, the polo-playing god of sports. These may indicate an origin earlier than the historical records of Manipur, which go back to the 1st Century A.D.

In Manipur
Manipur
Manipur is a state in northeastern India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. Manipur is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south and Assam to the west; it also borders Burma to the east. It covers an area of...

, polo is traditionally played with seven players to a side. The players are mounted on the indigenous Manipuri pony, which stands less than . There are no goal posts and a player score simply by hitting the ball out of either end of the field. Players are also permitted to carry the ball, though that allows opponents to physically tackle players when they do so. The sticks are made of cane and the balls are made from the roots of bamboo. Colorful cloth pom-poms dangle at sensitive and vulnerable spots around the anatomy of the ponies to protect them. Players protected their legs by attaching leather shields to their saddles and girths.

In Manipur, the game was not merely a "rich" game but was played even by commoners who owned a pony. The kings of Manipur had a royal polo ground within the ramparts of their Kangla Fort. Here they played Manung Kangjei Bung (literally, "Inner Polo Ground"). Public games were held, as they are still today, at the Mapan Kangjei Bung (literally "Outer Polo Ground"), a polo ground just outside the Kangla. Weekly games called Hapta Kangjei (Weekly Polo) were also played in a polo ground outside the current Palace.

The oldest polo ground in the world is the Imphal Polo Ground in Manipur State. The history of this pologround is contained in the royal chronicle "Cheitharol Kumbaba" starting from AD 33. Lieutenant Sherer, the father of modern polo visited the state and played on this polo ground in the 1850s. Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India visited the state in 1901 and measured the pologround as 225 yards long and 110 yards wide. The oldest royal polo square is the 16th century Gilgit
Gilgit
Gilgit is a city in northern PakistanGilgit may refer to other terms related with the area of the city:* Gilgit River* Gilgit Valley* Gilgit District* Gilgit Agency * Gilgit Airport...

 Polo Field, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, while the highest polo ground in the world, Shandur
Shandur
Shandur Top located in District Ghizer of Gilgit-Baltistan.Shandur-Top in Ghizer is often called the 'Roof of the World' where the Hindukush in Gilgit-Baltistan, Between Afghanistan and Gilgit-Baltistan and Karakorum mountainous ranges of Gilgit-Baltistan meet. The top is flat, a plateau and can...

, located in district Chitral
Chitral
Chitral or Chetrar , translated as field in the native language Khowar, is the capital of the Chitral District, situated on the western bank of the Kunar River , in Pakistan. The town is at the foot of Tirich Mir, the highest peak of the Hindu Kush, high...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 at 4307 meters (14,000 ft).A traditional polo tournament between the teams of Chitral and Gilgit takes place every year in July. Maj Cobb from British Raj was a polo fan and he used to come to Shandur for playing polo on the invitation of Mehtar Chitral in moon light.
The oldest polo club in the world still in existence is the Calcutta Polo Club (1862).

In 1862 the first polo club, Calcutta Polo Club
Calcutta Polo Club
Calcutta Polo Club is a polo club located in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. It was established in 1862 and is considered as the oldest polo club of the world which is still in existence.- History :...

, was established by two British soldiers, Captain Robert Stewart and Major General Joe Shearer. Later they spread the game to their peers in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. The British are credited with spreading polo worldwide in the late 19th century and the early 20th century. Military officers imported the game to Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 in the 1860s. The establishment of polo clubs throughout England and western Europe followed after the formal codification of rules. The 10th Hussars at Aldershot
Aldershot
Aldershot is a town in the English county of Hampshire, located on heathland about southwest of London. The town is administered by Rushmoor Borough Council...

, Hants, introduced polo to England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 in 1834. The game's governing body in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 is the Hurlingham Polo Association
Hurlingham Polo Association
The Hurlingham Polo Association is the governing body for polo in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. The Federation of International Polo produces the International Rules of Polo through a cooperative agreement with the Hurlingham Polo Association, the Asociación Argentina de Polo , plus...

, which drew up the first set of formal British rules in 1874, many of which are still in existence.

Argentina


Meanwhile, British settlers in the Argentine pampas started practising it during their free time. Among them, David Shennan is credited with having organized the first formal polo game of the country in 1875. The sport spread fast between the skillful gauchos and several clubs opened in the following years in the towns of Venado Tuerto, Cañada de Gómez, Quilmes, Flores and later (1888) Hurlingham. In 1892 The River Plate Polo Association was founded and constituted the basis for the current Asociación Argentina de Polo. In the Olympic Games held in Paris in 1924 a team composed by Juan Miles, Enrique Padilla, Juan Nelson, Arturo Kenny, G. Brooke Naylor and A. Peña obtained the gold medal; this also occurred in Berlín 1936 with players Manuel Andrada, Andrés Gazzotti, Roberto Cavanagh, Luis Duggan, Juan Nelson, Diego Cavanagh and Enrique Alberdi. From then on, the game spread powerfully across the country and Argentina is credited globally as the mecca of polo.

This version of polo played in the 19th century was different from the faster form that was played in Manipur. The game was slow and methodical, with little passing between players and few set plays that required specific movements by participants without the ball. Neither players nor horses were trained to play a fast, nonstop game. This form of polo lacked the aggressive
Aggressive
“Aggressive” is a New York-based Grammy award-winning music video and commercial directing team of Alex Topaller and Daniel Shapiro.Aggressive has been described by Movie Creation Mag as “having a fascination with the wonderful, in the likes of the surrealist Rafal Olbinski” and “tenacious about...

 methods and equestrian
Equestrianism
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 skills to play. From the 1800s to the 1910s, a host of teams representing Indian principalities dominated the international polo scene.

Polo found popularity in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 and the United States of America.

United States of America


James Gordon Bennett, Jr.
James Gordon Bennett, Jr.
James Gordon Bennett, Jr. was publisher of the New York Herald, founded by his father, James Gordon Bennett, Sr., who emigrated from Scotland. He was generally known as Gordon Bennett to distinguish him from his father....

 on May, 6th 1876 organized what was billed as the first polo match in the United States at Dickel's Riding Academy at 39th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. The historical record states that James Gordon Bennett established the Westchester Polo Club on May 6, 1876 and on May 13, 1876 the Jerome Park Racetrack in Westchester County was the site of the "first" American outdoor polo match.

The founding fathers of American polo were instrumental in establishing and nurturing the sport of polo in the United States. H.L. Herbert, along with James Gordon Bennett and August Belmont financed the original New York Polo Grounds.. H.L. stated in this 1913 article that they formed the Westchester Club AFTER the "first" outdoor game was played on May 13, 1876. This contradicts the historical record of the club being established before the Jerome Park game..

There is, however, ample evidence that the first to play polo in America was actually the English Texans. The Galveston News said on May 2nd 1876 that Denison Texas had a Polo Club which was before James Gordon Bennett established his Westchester Club or attempted to play the "first" game. The Denison team sent a letter to James Gordon Bennett Challenging him to a match game. The Challenge was published June 2nd 1876 in The Galveston Daily News. By the time the article came out on June 2nd the Denison Club had already received a letter from Bennett indicating the challenge was offered before the "first" games in New York.

There is also an urban legend
Urban legend
An urban legend, urban myth, urban tale, or contemporary legend, is a form of modern folklore consisting of stories that may or may not have been believed by their tellers to be true...

 that the first game of polo in America was played in Boerne, Texas at retired British officer Captain Glynn Turquand's famous Balcones Ranch. The Boerne, Texas legend also has plenty of evidence pointing to the fact that polo was played in Boerne before James Gordon Bennett Jr. ever picked up a polo mallet. See The Texas Polo Club for all of the details and old newspaper articles backing up the Texas origin of American Polo.

During the early part of the 20th century, under the leadership of Harry Payne Whitney
Harry Payne Whitney
Harry Payne Whitney was an American businessman, thoroughbred horsebreeder, and member of the prominent Whitney family.- Early years :...

, polo changed to become a high-speed sport in the United States, differing from the game in England, where it involved short passes to move the ball toward the opposition's goal. Whitney and his teammates used the fast break, sending long passes downfield to riders who had broken away from the pack at a full gallop.

Rules


The rules of polo are written and used to provide for the safety of both players and horses. The rules are enforced in the game by the umpires who blow whistles when a penalty occurs. Strategic plays in polo are based on the "line of the ball", an imaginary line created by the ball as it travels down the field. This line traces the ball's path and extends past the ball along that trajectory. The line of the ball defines rules for players to approach the ball safely. These rules are created and enforced to ensure the welfare of players and their horses. The "line of the ball" changes each time the ball changes direction. The player who hit the ball generally has the right of way, and other players cannot cross the line of the ball in front of that player. As players approach the ball, they ride on either side of the line of the ball giving each access to the ball. A player can cross the line of the ball when it does not create a dangerous situation. Most fouls and penalty shots are related to players improperly crossing the line of the ball or the right of way. When a player has the line of the ball on his right, he has the right of way. A "ride-off" is when a player moves another player off the line of the ball by making shoulder-to-shoulder contact with the other players’ horses.

The defending player has a variety of opportunities for his or her team to gain possession of the ball. He/she can push the opponent off the line or steal the ball from the opponent. Another common defensive play is called "hooking." While a player is taking a swing at the ball, his/her opponent can block the swing by using his/her mallet to hook the mallet of the player swinging at the ball. A player may hook only if is he/she is on the side where the swing is being made or directly in front or behind an opponent. A player may not purposely touch another player, his/her tack or pony with his/her mallet. Unsafe hooking is a foul that will result in a penalty shot being awarded. For example, it is a foul for a player to reach over an opponent's mount in an attempt to hook.

The other basic defensive play is called the bump or ride-off. It's similar to a body check in hockey. In a ride-off, a player rides his pony alongside an opponent's mount in order to move an opponent away from the ball or to take him out of a play. It must be executed properly so that it does not endanger the horses or the players. The angle of contact must be safe and can not knock the horses off balance, or harm the horses in any way.Two players following the line of the ball and riding one another off have the right of way over a single man coming from any direction.

Like in hockey or basketball, fouls are potentially dangerous plays that infringe on the rules of the game. To the novice spectator, fouls may be difficult to discern. There are degrees of dangerous and unfair play and penalty shots are awarded depending based on the severity of the foul and where the foul was committed on the polo field. White lines on the polo field indicate where the mid-field, sixty, forty and thirty yard penalties are taken.

The official set of rules and rules interpretations are reviewed and published each year by the U. S. Polo Association, the national governing body of the sport of polo in the United States.

Polo ponies


The mounts used are called 'polo ponies', although the term pony
Pony
A pony is a small horse . Depending on context, a pony may be a horse that is under an approximate or exact height at the withers, or a small horse with a specific conformation and temperament. There are many different breeds...

 is purely traditional and the mount is actually a full-sized horse
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

. They range from 14.2 to 16 hands
Hand (unit)
The hand is a non-SI unit of measurement of length, now used only for the measurement of the height of horses in some English-speaking countries, including Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA. With origins in ancient Egypt, it was originally based on the breadth of a human hand...

 high at the withers
Withers
The withers is the ridge between the shoulder blades of a four-legged animal. In many species it is the tallest point of the body, and in horses and dogs it is the standard place to measure the animal's height .-Horses:The withers in horses are formed by the dorsal spinal processes of roughly the...

, and weigh 900–1100 lbs. The polo pony is selected carefully for quick bursts of speed, stamina, agility and maneuverability. Temperament is critical; the horse must remain responsive under pressure and not become excited or difficult to control. Many are Thoroughbreds or Thoroughbred crosses. They are trained to be handled with one hand on the rein
Rein
Reins are items of horse tack, used to direct a horse or other animal used for riding or driving. Reins can be made of leather, nylon, metal, or other materials, and attach to a bridle via either its bit or its noseband.-Use for riding:...

s, and to respond to the rider's leg and weight cues for moving forward, turning and stopping. A well trained horse will carry its rider smoothly and swiftly to the ball and can account for 60 to 75 percent of the player's skill and net worth to his team.

Polo training generally begins at age three and lasts from about six months to two years. Most horses reach full physical maturity at about age five, and ponies are at their peak of athleticism and training at around age 6 or 7. However, without any accidents, polo ponies may have the ability to play until they are 18 to 20 years of age.

Each player must have more than one pony, so tired mounts can be exchanged for fresh mounts between or even during chukkas. A player's "string" of polo ponies may number 2 or 3 in Low Goal matches (with ponies being rested for at least a chukka before reuse), 4 or more for Medium Goal matches (at least one per chukka), and even more for the highest levels of competition.

Players




Each team consists of four mounted players, which can be mixed teams of both men and women.

Each position assigned to a player has certain responsibilities:
  • Number One is the most offense-oriented position on the field. The Number One position generally covers the opposing team's Number Four.
  • Number Two has an important role in offense, either running through and scoring themselves, or passing to the Number One and getting in behind them. Defensively, they will cover the opposing team's Number Three, generally the other team's best player. Given the difficulty of this position, it is not uncommon for the best player on the team to play Number Two so long as another strong player is available to play Three.
  • Number Three is the tactical leader and must be a long powerful hitter to feed balls to Number Two and Number One as well as maintaining a solid defense. The best player on the team is usually the Number Three player, usually wielding the highest handicap.
  • Number Four is the primary defense player. They can move anywhere on the field, but they usually try to prevent scoring. The emphasis on defense by the Number Four allows the Number Three to attempt more offensive plays, since they know that they will be covered if they lose the ball.


Polo must be played right-handed.

Equipment



The basic dress of a player is a protective equestrian helmet (usually of a distinctive color, to be distinguished at the considerable distance from which onlookers are watching the game), riding boots to just below the knees, white trousers (often ordinary denim jeans), and a colored shirt bearing the number of the player's position. Optional equipment includes one or two gloves, wristbands, kneepads (mandatory in some clubs), spurs, face mask, and a whip
Whip
A whip is a tool traditionally used by humans to exert control over animals or other people, through pain compliance or fear of pain, although in some activities whips can be used without use of pain, such as an additional pressure aid in dressage...

. The only piece of equipment required by the United States Polo Association (USPA) rules is the helmet or cap with a chin strap.

The outdoor polo ball is made of a high-impact plastic, but was formerly made of either bamboo or willow root. The indoor polo ball is leather-covered and inflated, and is about 4½ inches (11.4 cm) in diameter. The outdoor ball is about 3¼ inches (8.3 cm) in diameter and weighs about four ounces (113.4 g). The polo mallet has a rubber-wrapped grip and a webbed thong, called a sling, for wrapping around the thumb. The shaft is made of manau-cane (not bamboo because it is hollowed) although a small number of mallets today are made from Composite materials. Composite materials are not preferred by top players, because the shaft of composite mallets can't absorb vibrations as well as traditional cane mallets. The heads of the mallet are generally a cigar shape made from a hardwood called tipa, approximately 9 1/4" inches in length. The mallet head weighs from 160 grams to 240 grams, depending on player preference and the type of wood used, and the shaft can vary in weight and flexibility depending on the player's preference. The weight of the mallet head is of important consideration for the more seasoned players. Female players often use lighter mallets than male players. For some polo players, the length of the polo mallet depends on the size of the horse: the taller the horse, the longer the mallet. However, some players prefer to use a single length of mallet regardless of the height of the horse. Either way, playing horses of differing heights requires some adjustment by the rider. Variable sizes of the mallet typically range from 50 inches to 53 inches. The ball is struck with the longer sides of the mallet head rather than its round and flat tips.

Polo saddle
Saddle
A saddle is a supportive structure for a rider or other load, fastened to an animal's back by a girth. The most common type is the equestrian saddle designed for a horse, but specialized saddles have been created for camels and other creatures...

s are English-style, close contact, similar to jumping saddle
English saddle
English saddles are used to ride horses in English riding disciplines throughout the world. The discipline is not limited to England or English-speaking countries. This style of saddle is used in all of the Olympic and FEI equestrian disciplines, except for the newly-approved FEI events of...

s although most polo saddles lack a flap under the billets, having instead a saddle blanket. Some players omit the saddle blanket. A breastplate
Breastplate
A breastplate is a device worn over the torso to protect it from injury, as an item of religious significance, or as an item of status. A breastplate is sometimes worn by mythological beings as a distinctive item of clothing.- Armour :...

 is added, usually attached to the front billet. A tie-down (standing Martingale
Martingale (tack)
A martingale is any of several designs of tack that are used on horses to control head carriage. Martingales may be seen in a wide variety of equestrian disciplines, both riding and driving...

) may be used: if so, for safety a breastplate is a necessity. Usually the tie-down is supported by a neck strap. An overgirth may be used. The stirrup
Stirrup
A stirrup is a light frame or ring that holds the foot of a rider, attached to the saddle by a strap, often called a stirrup leather. Stirrups are usually paired and are used to aid in mounting and as a support while using a riding animal...

 irons are heavier than most, and the stirrup leathers are wider and thicker, for added safety when the player stands in the stirrups. The legs of the pony are wrapped with polo wraps
Polo wraps
Polo wraps are bandage materials, usually made of fleece, for a horse's legs. They can be quite stretchy compared to other bandaging materials, and are used mainly for protection during ridden work, longeing, and turnout.-Uses of polo wraps:...

 from below the knee to the fetlock to prevent injury. Jumping (open front) or gallop boots are sometimes used along with the polo wraps for added protection. Often, these wraps match the team colors. The pony's mane is roached (hogged)
Mane (horse)
The mane is the hair that grows from the top of the neck of a horse or other equine, reaching from the poll to the withers, and includes the forelock or foretop. It is thicker and coarser than the rest of the horse's coat, and naturally grows to roughly cover the neck...

, and its tail is braided so that it will not snag the rider's mallet.

The bit
Bit (horse)
A bit is a type of horse tack used in equestrian activities, usually made of metal or a synthetic material, and is placed in the mouth of a horse or other equid and assists a rider in communicating with the animal. It rests on the bars of the mouth in an interdental region where there are no teeth...

 frequently is a gag bit
Gag bit
The gag bit is a type of bit for a horse. With two sets of reins, the gag bit gives a rider the ability to use either a standard direct action or a gag action. In this, the gag bit is related to a Pelham bit and a double bridle...

 or Pelham bit
Pelham bit
A pelham bit is a type of bit used when riding a horse. It has elements of both a curb bit and a snaffle bit. In this respect a pelham bit functions similar to a double bridle, and like a double bridle it normally has "double" reins: a set of curb reins and a set of snaffle reins. Because it has...

. If a gag bit, there will be a drop noseband in addition to the cavesson supporting the tie-down. There frequently will be two sets of reins, and one set of reins frequently will be a draw rein.

The field


The playing field is 300 yards long by 160 yards wide, the approximate area of nine American football fields. The playing field is carefully maintained with closely mowed turf providing a safe, fast playing surface. Goals are posts which are set eight yards apart, centered at each end of the field. The surface of a polo field requires careful and constant grounds maintenance to keep the surface in good playing condition. During half-time of a match, spectators are invited to go onto the field to participate in a polo tradition called "divot stamping", which has developed to not only help replace the mounds of earth (divots) that are torn up by the horses' hooves, but to afford spectators the opportunity to walk about and socialize.

Outdoor polo


The game consists of six 7 minute chukkas, between or during which players change mounts. At the end of each 7 minute chukka, play continues for an additional 30 seconds or until a stoppage in play, whichever comes first. There is a four minute interval between chukkas and a ten minute halftime. Play is continuous and is only stopped for penalties, broken tack (equipment) or injury to horse or player. The object is to score goals by hitting the ball between the goal posts, no matter how high in the air. If the ball goes wide of the goal, the defending team is allowed a free 'knock-in' from the place where the ball crossed the goal line, thus getting the ball back into play.

County polo


With most clubs in the UK, players need to become members, and invest in at least two ponies to be able to play "standard" club chukkas. It is usual to play four back-to-back chukkas using each pony for two chukkas alternately, so that they each play, then rest and then play again.

For many people, this requires a very large financial investment, which can be too costly for some. County Polo creates more affordable parameters for newcomers to the sport. Players are only required to use one pony, which may be hired, or owned. This form of polo is usually played with three players per side—as opposed to the standard four-player polo—and therefore allows each player to get more involved and develop.

The County Polo chukkas are usually overseen by a qualified mounted Hurlingham Polo Association
Hurlingham Polo Association
The Hurlingham Polo Association is the governing body for polo in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. The Federation of International Polo produces the International Rules of Polo through a cooperative agreement with the Hurlingham Polo Association, the Asociación Argentina de Polo , plus...

 (HPA) instructor / umpire, who will coach and explain throughout the chukka.

With this format, including shorter chukkas, with breaks in between, the ponies are not getting over tired, so there is no need for such a large "string". Players may well continue to play polo at this level for many happy years, or players with more ambition will benefit from the tuition as they move onto more competitive polo.

County Polo is best complimented with regular stick-and-ball sessions, and regular wooden horse practice.

County Polo has had a resurgence in recent years, although the original County Polo Association was formed in 1898* to look after the interests of the country clubs and to run the County Cup Tournaments), the three London polo clubs—Hurlingham, Ranelagh and Roehampton—and from all associations within the Empire where polo was being played.

Contemporary sport


Polo is now an active sport in 77 countries, and although its tenure as an Olympic
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 sport was limited to 1900–1939, in 1998 the International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

 recognised it as a sport with a bona fide international governing body, the Federation of International Polo
Federation of International Polo
Federation of International Polo was founded in 1983 with headquarters in Beverly Hills, USA, and currently represents the national polo associations of more than 80 countries. It was the brain child of Marcos Uranga, then President of the Argentine Polo Association. The first World Polo...

. The World Polo Championship
World Polo Championship
The World Polo Championship is a polo competition between countries. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the Federation of International Polo , and is contested by the men's national teams. The inaugural tournament was held in 1987, hosted by Argentina, and is now contested every...

 is held every three years by the Federation of International Polo
Federation of International Polo
Federation of International Polo was founded in 1983 with headquarters in Beverly Hills, USA, and currently represents the national polo associations of more than 80 countries. It was the brain child of Marcos Uranga, then President of the Argentine Polo Association. The first World Polo...

.

Polo is, however, played professionally in only a few countries, notably Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Polo is unique among team sports in that amateur players, often the team patrons, routinely hire and play alongside the sport's top professionals.

The most importants tournaments of the world, in a clubs level, are Abierto de Tortugas, Abierto de Hurlingham and Abierto Argentino de Polo
Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo
The Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo is the most important international polo championship at club level, that has taken place every year since 1893 at the Catedral del Polo in Palermo barrio in Buenos Aires, Argentina.It was known as the River Plate Polo Championship between 1893-1923, and as...

, all of them in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 (la Triple Corona).

The United States Polo Association
United States Polo Association
The United States Polo Association is the national governing body for the sport of polo in the United States since 1890. The USPA provides resources to approximately 3600 individual members and 250 polo clubs across the U.S. and Canada, including coordinating and supervising professional polo...

 (USPA) is the governing body for polo in the U.S. The U.S. is the only country that has separate women's polo, run by the United States Women's Polo Federation
United States Women's Polo Federation
The United States Women's Polo Federation coordinates the activities of its United States member teams, arranging and supervising women's professional polo matches and tournaments...

.

The modern sport has had difficulty grappling with the traditional social and economic exclusivity associated with a game that is inevitably expensive when played at a serious level. Many polo players genuinely desire to broaden public participation in the sport, both as an end in itself and to increase the standard of play, while others value and seek to preserve the social and economic exclusivity of the sport. The popularity of polo has grown steadily since the 1980s.

Arena (or indoor) polo is an affordable option for many who wish to play the sport, and the rules are similar. The sport is played in a 300 feet by 150 feet enclosed arena, much like those used for other equestrian sports; the minimum size is 150 feet by 75 feet. There are many arena clubs in the United States, and most major polo clubs, including the Santa Barbara Polo & Raquet Club, have active arena programs. The major differences between the outdoor and indoor games are: speed (outdoor being faster), physicality/roughness (indoor/arena is more physical), ball size (indoor is larger), goal size (because the arena is smaller the goal is smaller), and some penalties. In the United States and Canada, collegiate polo is arena polo; in the UK, collegiate polo is both.

East Asia



Polo was played at the 2007 Southeast Asian Games
Polo at the 2007 Southeast Asian Games
Polo at the 2007 Southeast Asian Games was held in the VR Sport Club, Samut Prakan, Thailand.-Medal winners:-Thailand:*Raksriaksorn, Apichet*Raksriaksorn, Aiyawatt*Songvanich, Chanotai*Tangcharoensathien, Thanasorn*chuawangkham, Thanasin...

. Nations that competed in the tournament were Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines. The tournament's gold medal was won by the Malaysian team, followed by Singapore with silver and Thailand with bronze.

The recent surge of excitement in south-east Asia around the game has resulted in its popularity in cities such as Pattaya
Pattaya
Pattaya is a city in Thailand, located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 165 km southeast of Bangkok located within but not part of Amphoe Bang Lamung in the province of Chonburi....

, Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the second largest city in Malaysia by population. The city proper, making up an area of , has a population of 1.4 million as of 2010. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.2 million...

 and Jakarta
Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

. In Pattaya alone, there are 3 active polo clubs: Polo Escape, Siam Polo Park and Thai Polo and Equestrian Club. Indonesia, a country without royal ruling, has a polo club (Nusantara Polo Club). More recently, Janek Gazecki and Ruki Baillieu have organised polo matches in parks "around metropolitan Australia, backed by wealthy sponsors."

A new Chinese Equestrian Association has been formed and two new clubs have been formed in China itself: the Beijing Sunny Time Polo Club, founded by Xia Yang in 2004 and the Nine Dragons Hill Polo Club in Shanghai, founded in 2005.

Polo Ireland


Polo first began in 1870 with the first official game played on Gormanstown Strand, Co. Meath. Three years later the All Ireland Polo Club was founded by Mr. Horace Rochford in the Phoenix Park. Since then the sport has continued to grow with a further seven clubs opening around the country. The sport has also been made more accessible by these clubs by the creation of more affordable training programs such as from beginner to pro programme at Polo Wicklow.

Variants


A modern variant is called arena polo
Arena polo
Arena polo is a variant of polo, and it is played either outdoor on an enclosed all-weather surface or on an indoor arena. Hurlingham Polo Association and US Polo Association have established their own rules for arena polo, and these rules are often used also in other countries.Arena polo is...

 which is played indoors or more commonly outdoors on an enclosed all-weather surface (the field of play is much smaller, rarely exceeding 100 yards in length). In arena polo there are only three players on each team and a small inflatable leather ball is used instead. Arena polo matches usually consist of four 6 minute periods (called chukkas or chukkers), as opposed to outdoor, where there are 7 minutes chukkas. In arena polo, there can be between four and eight 7 minute chukkas (depending on the level being played). A form of arena polo seen almost exclusively in the western United States is cowboy polo
Cowboy polo
Cowboy polo is a variation of polo played mostly in the western United States. Like regular polo, it is played in chukkars with two teams on horses who use mallets to hit a ball through a goal...

.

Sagol Kangjei is a version of polo popular in the north eastern India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n state of Manipur
Manipur
Manipur is a state in northeastern India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. Manipur is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south and Assam to the west; it also borders Burma to the east. It covers an area of...

.

Another modern variant is snow polo, which is played on compacted snow on flat ground or a frozen lake. The format of snow polo varies depending on the space available. Each team generally consists of three players and a bright colored light plastic ball is preferred.

A popular combination of the sports of polo and lacrosse is the game of polocrosse
Polocrosse
Polocrosse it is a team sport that is played all over the world. It is a combination of polo and lacrosse. It is played outside, on a field , on horseback. Each rider uses a cane stick to which is attached a racquet head with a loose, thread net, in which the ball is carried. The ball is made of...

, which was developed in Australia in the late 1930s.

These sports are considered as separate sports because of the differences in the composition of teams, equipment, rules, game facilities etc.

Polo is not played exclusively on horseback. Such polo variants are mostly played for recreational or touristic purposes; they include canoe polo
Canoe polo
Canoe Polo is a competitive ball sport played on water, in a defined "field", between two teams of 5 players, each in a kayak...

, cycle polo
Cycle polo
Cycle polo is a team sport, invented in County Wicklow, Ireland, in 1891 by retired cyclist, Richard J. Mecredy. The sport is similar to traditional polo, except that bicycles are used instead of horses. The hardcourt game has seen a sharp spike in interest as of 2007 and new teams are sprouting up...

, camel polo, elephant polo
Elephant polo
Elephant polo is a variant of polo played whilst riding elephants. It is played in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Rajasthan , and Thailand. Equipment consists of a standard polo ball and six to nine foot cane sticks with a polo mallet head on the end. The pitch is three-quarters of the length of a standard...

, golfcart polo, Segway polo
Segway Polo
Segway polo is a team sport which started to gain some measure of popularity after being played by members of the Bay Area Segway Enthusiasts Group in 2004. The Bay Area SEG was not the first to play polo on a Segway HT; a team sponsored by Mobile Entertainment played in the Hubert H...

 and yak polo
Yak polo
Yak polo is a Mongolian variant of the sport polo. It is played on yaks instead of on horseback.Originally invented in the early 2000s as a tourist attraction, the sport is as of 2006 reported to have attracted a modest following in Mongolia...

.

Related sports

  • Buzkashi
    Buzkashi
    Buzkashi or Kok-boru or Oglak Tartis or Ulak Tartysh is a traditional Central Asian...

     involves two teams of horse riders, a dead goat and few rules. It is played in Central Asia
    Central Asia
    Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

    , and has a variant known as kokpar which is quite similar.
  • Cycle polo
    Cycle polo
    Cycle polo is a team sport, invented in County Wicklow, Ireland, in 1891 by retired cyclist, Richard J. Mecredy. The sport is similar to traditional polo, except that bicycles are used instead of horses. The hardcourt game has seen a sharp spike in interest as of 2007 and new teams are sprouting up...

     is a similar game played on bicycles instead of horses.
  • Cowboy polo
    Cowboy polo
    Cowboy polo is a variation of polo played mostly in the western United States. Like regular polo, it is played in chukkars with two teams on horses who use mallets to hit a ball through a goal...

     uses rules similar to regular polo, but riders compete with western saddle
    Western saddle
    Western saddles are used for western riding and are the saddles used on working horses on cattle ranches throughout the United States, particularly in the west. They are the "cowboy" saddles familiar to movie viewers, rodeo fans, and those who have gone on trail rides at guest ranches...

    s, usually in a smaller arena, using an inflatable rubber medicine ball
    Medicine ball
    A medicine ball is a weighted ball roughly the diameter of the shoulders . Often used for rehabilitation and strength training, it serves an important role in the field of sports medicine...

    .
  • Horseball
    Horseball
    Horseball is a game played on horseback where a ball is handled and points are scored by shooting it through a high net . The sport is like a combination of polo, rugby, and basketball. It is one of the ten disciplines officially recognized by the International Federation for Equestrian...

     is a game played on horseback where a ball is handled and points are scored by shooting it through a high net. The sport is a combination of polo, rugby, and basketball.
  • Pato
    Pato
    Pato is a game played on horseback that combine elements from polo and basketball. It is the national sport of Argentina.Pato is Spanish for "duck", as early games used a live duck inside a basket instead of a ball. Accounts of early versions of pato have been written since 1610. The playing field...

     was played in Argentina
    Argentina
    Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

     for centuries, but is much different than modern polo. No mallets are used, and it is not played on grass.
  • Polocrosse
    Polocrosse
    Polocrosse it is a team sport that is played all over the world. It is a combination of polo and lacrosse. It is played outside, on a field , on horseback. Each rider uses a cane stick to which is attached a racquet head with a loose, thread net, in which the ball is carried. The ball is made of...

     is another game played on horseback, a cross between polo and lacrosse
    Lacrosse
    Lacrosse is a team sport of Native American origin played using a small rubber ball and a long-handled stick called a crosse or lacrosse stick, mainly played in the United States and Canada. It is a contact sport which requires padding. The head of the lacrosse stick is strung with loose mesh...

    .
  • Water polo
    Water polo
    Water polo is a team water sport. The playing team consists of six field players and one goalkeeper. The winner of the game is the team that scores more goals. Game play involves swimming, treading water , players passing the ball while being defended by opponents, and scoring by throwing into a...

     shares a name with polo, but more closely resembles team handball
    Team handball
    Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

    .

External links