claims by players for a foul generally expressed
by the raising of mallets above the head
or by a helicoptering motion. Over demonstrative
appealing is considered very bad form.
situated off the side of the field and is
rung by the timekeeper to inform umpires
when seven minutes of play in a chukka have
when the umpire starts or resumes a polo
match by rolling the ball down the center
of a lineup of players, same as throw.
or Ride Off:
a player is permitted to ride off another
to spoil his shot or to remove him from
the play. The angle of contact must be no
more than 45 degrees. The faster the pony
travels the smaller the angle must be. A
good bump can shake discs and dentures loose.
to slow the pony and turn safely
there are six chukkers (periods) in high
handicap matches, each lasting seven minutes
plus up to 30 seconds of overtime. Chukker
comes from the Indian word for a circle
turf kicked up by ponies' hooves.
the back lines of a polo pitch. Teams change
ends, i.e. switch the halves they defend,
each time a goal is scored in order to equalize
wind and turf conditions.
hard helmets and knee-pads for players are
compulsory. Whips and spurs are optional.
an unofficial goal observer appointed to
signal by waving a flag over the head if
a goal is scored, or under the waist if
a full size polo field is 300 yards by 160
yards, or the area of three soccer pitches.
The goal posts, which collapse on severe
impact, are set eight yards (24 feet) apart
and a minimum of 10 feet high. Penalty lines
are marked at 30 yards from the goal, 40
yards, 60 yards, and at midfield.
any time the ball crosses, at any height,
the line between the goal posts, it is considered
a goal regardless of who knocks it through,
including the pony.
all players are rated on a scale of -2 to
10 (the higher the better). Although the
word 'goal' is often used after the rating,
it bears no relation to the number of goals
a player scores in a match, but to his overall
provided the player is on the same side
of the opponent's pony as the ball, he may
spoil the opponent's shot by putting his
stick in the way of the striking player's.
A cross hook occurs when the player reaches
over his opponent's mount in an attempt
to hook; this is considered a foul.
three- minutes long rest periods between
chukkas. Half time is five minutes.
goal judges are positioned behind each goal
to signal whether a goal has been scored.
Hard hats and high visibility vests are
worn for protection.
if a team hit the ball across the opponent's
backline during an attack, the defending
team resumes the game with a free hit from
the backline where the ball went over. It
is equivalent to a goal kick in soccer.
No time-out is allowed for knock-ins.
to ride past the ball so that the teammate
behind can hit it.
Line of the Ball:
crossing the line' is the most frequent
foul in polo. The line of the ball, namely
the imaginary line along which the ball
travels, represents a right of way for the
player following nearest that line. There
are strict rules governing opponents entry
in to the right of way.
a polo pony that is well trained for polo
and has been played for some time.
the left hand side of the pony.
two mounted umpires do most of the officiating,
with a referee at midfield having the final
say in any dispute between the umpires
when a ball goes over the sideboards, it
is considered out-of- bounds. The umpire
throws the ball in between the two teams
lined up at the point at which it left the
field of play. It is equivalent to a throw-in
in soccer. No time-out is allowed for an
two riders may make contact and push each
other off the line to prevent the other
from striking the ball. It is primarily
intended for the ponies to do the pushing,
but a player is allowed to use his body,
but not his elbows.
also known as a Penalty 6, a safety is awarded
when a defending player hits the ball over
his own backline, the shot is taken 60 yards
out from the backline, opposite the point
at which the ball went over. It is equivalent
to a corner in soccer and no defender can
be nearer than 30 yards from the ball when
it is played.
these are nine to eleven inch high vertical
boards along the sidelines only. Such sideboards
Stick and ball:
personal practice time
overtime play when the score is tied at
the end of the last regular chukker, the
first team to score wins.
hitting at the ball with the mallet using
one of four basic shots: forehander, backhander,
all the equipment used on a pony.
the referee sitting at the sidelines who
will arbitrate if the two mounted umpires
on the field are unable to agree a foul.
called by an umpire when a foul is committed,
an accident occurs or at his discretion.
A player may call time-out if he has broken
a key piece of tack or is injured. Time-out
is not permitted for changing ponies or
for replacing a broken mallet, although
a player may do so at any time.
the replacement at half time of divots of
turf. This is the duty of all spectators.