31/4 inches in diameter, often made of willow,
weighs about 41/2 ounces. Is no longer made
of bamboo except in certain parts of India.
with a heel, to help keep the player's foot
in the stirrup. Often held together with duct
have a face guard, some now resemble football
the hands from friction and improve grip.
from bumps and checks.
shaft is usually made from bamboo cane and
the head from a hard wood. The wide face of
the mallet head is used to strike the ball
and not the ends as in croquet. Polo mallets
range in length according, principally, to
the height of the pony played, and extend
from 48 to 54 inches.
quarter inch or half inch blunt spurs
, varying lengths
a gag snaffle, pelham or double bridle, leverage
based for quick stops and turns.
or roached to stay out of the way of mallet
the pony from raising its head too high and
cracking the player in the face.
the saddle from sliding back.
brown leather, well padded for comfort of
pony and players.
padded wraps and/or boots to protects the
pony´s legs from accidental knocks with
the mallet, which are inevitable.
up in a polo bang to keep it out of the way
of the mallet
two ridges to increase traction, the outside
polo team consists of four players. Each
player is handicapped from -2 to 10 (the
A player's horsemanship, range of strokes,
speed of play, team and game sense are the
factors considered in determining his handicap.
The team handicap is the sum of its players'
handicap matches of six chukkas, the team
with the lower handicap is awarded the difference
in goals at the start of the game. For example,
a 26-goal team would give two goals start
to a 24-goal team.
For matches other
than six chukkas, the side with the lower
handicap starts with a number of goals start
according to the following formula: the
difference in the teams' handicaps is multiplied
by the number of chukkas to be played and
then divided by six. Fractions count as
half a goal. For example, a 26 goal team
would give a 24 goal team 1 1/2 goals start
in a four chukka match.
game is played on a field that
measures 300 by 160 yards (as
big as nine football fields) with
goalposts at either end.
used to be a height restriction which
is why they are still called ponies;
however the average height is between
15 and 16 hands.
ponies are bred throughout the world
although many still prefer the Argentine
- Criollo's breeds qualities are excellent
for speed, stamina, and agility.
good polo pony must be able to stop
and turn 'on a sixpence'' and most players
consider their success is greatly due
to the ability of their ponies.
Play starts with the umpire throwing
in the ball between the two teams
lined up in front of him. In the
same way, play is restarted after
a goal is scored or if the ball
goes out over the side boards.
the ball goes over the back line
there is a hit-in by the defenders.
There is no offside in polo, nor
is there a corner- instead a 60
yd hit from the back line is taken
by the attacking side opposite
where the ball went out of play.
object is to move a ball downfield and through
the goal in six periods of play known as "chukkers."
is seven minutes long. There are no time-outs
except for injuries, penalties, or unsafe
situations. And no replacement of players
is allowed except for injuries.
Each of the
four players is given an area of responsibility
designated by a jersey number that indicates
that area. The forward is designated Number
1; the most defensive player is called Number
4, or the Back. (There is no goalie.) The
mid-action players are designated Number 2
and Number 3, with the latter controlling
the attack and coordinating the defense. He's
usually the highest-rated player on the team
and the de facto captain. This alignment is
designed to be fluid, however, and to change
quickly under game situations.
Most of the
rules of polo are for the safety of the players
and their ponies. The umpires' primary concerns
are right of way and the line of the ball.
The line of
the ball is an imaginary line that is formed
each time the ball is struck. This line traces
the ball's path and extends past the ball
along that trajectory. The player who last
struck the ball is considered to have right
of way, and no other player may cross the
line of the ball in front of that player,
or push that player off the line.
to block or hook is allowed, as long as the
player with right of way is not impeded. Bumping
or riding off is allowed as long as the angle
of attack is less than forty five degrees,
and any contact must be made between the pony's
hip and shoulder.
A player may
hook or block another player's mallet with
his mallet, but no deliberate contact between
players is allowed.
A player may
not purposely touch another player, his tack
or pony with his mallet. The mallet may only
be held in the right hand.
players are often thought to hit with less
accuracy, but guide their ponies better than
their right handed peers.
Ponies play for a maximum
of two chukkers per match.
is probably the only game in which
the teams change ends when a goal
is scored, thus equaling out any
ground or weather advantage.
A free hit towards goal is set
from distance by the umpire following
a foul. These penalties are as
yd hit to an open goal.
yd hit to an open goal.
yd hit to a defended goal.
hit from the spot where the foul
hit from the centre of the ground.
hit the ball forward or laterally
to a teammate.
the flow of play by sending the
ball in the opposite direction.