Polo

By: Mallory Schuh

What is Polo?

Polo is a luxury sport, also a very expensive sport. Polo is a team sport usually consisting of 4 to 8 people on one side. Polo came from Iran. It is not an Olympic sport. The nickname for polo is "the sport of the kings". Polo is played on a polo felid usually on grass. The goal is to score against the other team. A normal felid is 300 yards long by 160 yards wide. Players score by driving a small white wooden or plastic ball. The ball could travel up to 110 miles per hour. Polo is played professionally in 16 countries around the world. Polo is one of the oldest games dating back from the 6 century. A polo match is one or one a half hours. Most players have 2-3 horses if one gets hurt or if one gets tried.

What type of horse do you need?

A polo pony is a saying you don't need a pony. A polo horse needs to be in the range of 14.2 hands to 16 hands. They could also be 900 to 1,000 pounds. Polo ponies have to have lots of energy and lots of speed. They have to lessen and stay controlled. Most are Thoroughbreds or a thoroughbred cross. They are trained to be handled with one rein and one leg. Polo ponies start training begins at age three and last for six months to 2 years. they could stop at the age of 6. But if they have no injures they could play polo till they are 18 to 20.

Rules

When the umpires blow whistle it means a penalty occurs. White lines on polo field indicate mid-field, sixty, forty, and thirty yards. The bump or ride- off is when a player rides right along side and the person with the ball has to leave. "line of the ball" when the ball is hit it creates an invisible line. This line can not be crossed in a dangerous way or it will be a foul.

A player can hook and opponent's mallet, push him off the line, bump him with his horse, steal the ball from him. The player who last hit the ball has the right away. The mallet may only be held in the right hand. A pony could only be in one period. If a goal is scored before the half way line it is 2 points. Games stops for fouls, fallen horses or riders, players or horses injured, broken tack, loss of helmet, ball goes out of bounce.

Position

Number 1: The most offense oriented position on the field.

Number 2: Offence, They usually score or pass to number 1 then they score. This is probably is one of the better players.

Number 3: is the tactical person must be a powerful hitter and a good at defense. Best player on the field.

Number 4: is primary defense player. They could move anywhere but they prevent scoring.

Tack

A helmet- A polo helmet has a face guard. Polo mallets- They are made off Tipa and weigh about 160 grams, with a rubber grip. Ball- weighs about 4 ounces and is wooden or plastic but is always white. Knee Pads- so in a bump or ride off the knees don't get hurt. Polo Saddle- is an English saddle that is like a jumping saddle with no knee support. Polo Wraps- They are used to percent hurting the fetlock. Stirrup irons- are heaver than most to give most support. Stirrup leathers- wider and thicker for safety when players stand in the stirrups. Reins- Polo teams usually have double reins because it improves accuracy. Mane- is cut or shaved so it does not get caught in the mallet. Breastplate- so the saddle does not move and rub the horses back. Draw reins- it is like a single movable pulley. This rein goes thought the bit.

Also: Whip, Spurs, One or two gloves, wristbands, white riding pants, and boots.

Fun Facts

  • There are usually 3 umpires
  • If one team gets 6 foals the other team gets a goal
  • A normal period is 30 minutes and 30 seconds to finish a play
  • It was in the Olympics from 1900 to1939
  • Lefties are not welcomed
  • Polo is not just horse in India they ride elephants and camels. In Europe they ride bicycles on asphalt.