Polo


Polo
Polo players

Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals 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 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.

Contents

History

Origins

The game first played in Persia (Iran) at dates given from the 5th century BC, or much earlier,[1] to the 1st century AD and originated there,[2] 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.[3] 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 and his courtiers in the 6th century AD.[4] Certainly Persian literature and art give us the richest accounts of polo in antiquity. Ferdowsi, the famed Iranian poet-historian, gives a number of accounts of royal polo tournaments in his 9th century epic, Shahnameh (the Epic of Kings). In the earliest account, Ferdowsi romanticizes an international match between Turanian force and the followers of Siyâvash, 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 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.

Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan is the site of a medieval royal polo field.[5]

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 to the Ayyubid and Mameluke dynasties of Egypt and the Levant, whose elites favored it above all other sports. Notable sultans such as Saladin and Baybars were known to play it and encourage it in their court.[6] Polo sticks were features on the Mameluke precursor to modern day playing cards.

A Persian miniature from the poem Guy-o Chawgân ("the Ball and the Polo-mallet") during Safavid dynasty of Persia, which shows Persian courtiers on horseback playing a game of polo, 1546 AD

Later on Polo was passed from Persia to other parts of Asia including the Indian subcontinent[7] and China, where it was very popular during the Tang Dynasty and frequently depicted in paintings and statues. Valuable for training cavalry, the game was played from Constantinople to Japan by the Middle Ages. Known in the East as the Game of Kings.[4] The name polo is said to have been derived from the Tibetan word "pulu", meaning ball.[8]

The modern game

India and Britain

The modern game of polo, though formalized and popularized by the British, is derived from Manipur (now a state in India) where the game was known as 'Sagol Kangjei', 'Kanjai-bazee', or 'Pulu'.[9] 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 in Assam, India, in 1834.There is also a polo ground in chooto jalanga (irongmara/dwarbond).

The origins of the game in Manipur are traced to early precursors of Sagol Kangjei.[10] 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.

Old polo field in Imphal, Manipur

In Manipur, polo is traditionally played with seven players to a side. The players are mounted on the indigenous Manipuri pony, which stands less than 13 hands (52 inches, 132 cm). 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.[11]

In Manipur, the game was not merely a "rich" game but was played even by commoners who owned a pony.[8] 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 Polo Field, Pakistan, while the highest polo ground in the world, Shandur, located in district Chitral, Pakistan 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, was established by two British soldiers, Captain Robert Stewart and Major General Joe Shearer.[12] Later they spread the game to their peers in England. 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 in the 1860s. The establishment of polo clubs throughout England and western Europe followed after the formal codification of rules.[11] The 10th Hussars at Aldershot, Hants, introduced polo to England in 1834. The game's governing body in the United Kingdom is the Hurlingham Polo Association, 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.[citation needed]

Tang Dynasty Chinese courtiers on horseback playing a game of polo, 706 AD

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 methods and equestrian skills to play. From the 1800s to the 1910s, a host of teams representing Indian principalities dominated the international polo scene.[11]

A terracotta female polo player, Tang Dynasty, early 8th century, Musée Guimet, Paris

Polo found popularity in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Pakistan and the United States of America.[13][14][15]

United States of America

James Gordon Bennett, Jr. 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. 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.[16]

There is also an urban legend 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, 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

Polo ponies waiting for the game to begin

The mounts used are called 'polo ponies', although the term pony is purely traditional and the mount is actually a full-sized horse. They range from 14.2 to 16 hands high at the withers, 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 reins, 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

A girls' polo team, United States

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

Iranian girl polo player
Polo player wearing kneepads, "riding off" an opponent

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. It is common for players to shave or wax their upper thighs and buttocks in order to avoid chafing, although many novice players prefer to wear tights or cycling shorts. [17] The only piece of equipment required by the United States Polo Association (USPA) rules is the helmet or cap with a chin strap.[18]

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 saddles are English-style, close contact, similar to jumping saddles although most polo saddles lack a flap under the billets, having instead a saddle blanket. Some players omit the saddle blanket. A breastplate is added, usually attached to the front billet. A tie-down (standing Martingale) 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 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 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), and its tail is braided so that it will not snag the rider's mallet.

The bit frequently is a gag bit or Pelham bit. 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 (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[citation needed], 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.[19]

Contemporary sport

Polo played as a part of the Olympic games (1900)

Polo is now an active sport in 77 countries, and although its tenure as an Olympic sport was limited to 1900–1939, in 1998 the International Olympic Committee recognised it as a sport with a bona fide international governing body, the Federation of International Polo. The World Polo Championship is held every three years by the Federation of International Polo.

Polo is, however, played professionally in only a few countries, notably Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Iran, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.[20] 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, all of them in Argentina (la Triple Corona).

The United States Polo Association (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.

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[citation needed].

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

Indonesia plays against Thailand in SEA Games Polo 2007

Polo was played at the 2007 Southeast Asian Games. 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, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. 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."[21]

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 [22] and the Nine Dragons Hill Polo Club in Shanghai, founded in 2005.[23]

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.[24] 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.[25]

Variants

An old Polocart displayed at City Palace, Jaipur

A modern variant is called arena polo 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.

Sagol Kangjei is a version of polo popular in the north eastern Indian state of Manipur.[26]

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.[27]

A popular combination of the sports of polo and lacrosse is the game of polocrosse, 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, cycle polo, camel polo, elephant polo, golfcart polo, Segway polo and yak polo.

Notable players

Related sports

  • Buzkashi involves two teams of horse riders, a dead goat and few rules. It is played in Central Asia, and has a variant known as kokpar which is quite similar.
  • Cycle polo is a similar game played on bicycles instead of horses.
  • Cowboy polo uses rules similar to regular polo, but riders compete with western saddles, usually in a smaller arena, using an inflatable rubber medicine ball.
  • 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 a combination of polo, rugby, and basketball.
  • Pato was played in Argentina for centuries, but is much different than modern polo. No mallets are used, and it is not played on grass.
  • Polocrosse is another game played on horseback, a cross between polo and lacrosse.
  • Water polo shares a name with polo, but more closely resembles team handball.

References

  1. ^ R. G. Goel, Veena Goel, Encyclopaedia of sports and games, Published by Vikas Pub. House, 1988, Excerpt from page 318: Persian Polo. Its birth place was Asia and authorities credit Persia with having devised it about 2000 BC..
  2. ^ Steve Craig, Sports and games of the ancients, Published by Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, ISBN 0313316007, p. 157.
  3. ^ "polo. (2007). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved April 26, 2007, from Encyclopaedia Britannica Online". http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-5832/polo. 
  4. ^ a b "Polo History". http://www.scottishpolo.com/history_game.html. 
  5. ^ Playing Polo in Historic Naqsh-e Jahan Square?
  6. ^ Touregypt.net
  7. ^ Malcolm D. Whitman, Tennis: Origins and Mysteries, Published by Courier Dover Publications, 2004, ISBN 0486433579, p. 98.
  8. ^ a b Sports and Games of the 18th and 19th Centuries by Robert Crego. page 25. Published 2003. Greenwood Press. Sports & Recreation. 296 pages ISBN 0313316104
  9. ^ "Polo History". http://www.indiapolo.com/Polopedia/History/history.html. 
  10. ^ The Guinness Book of Records. 1991 edition (page 288)
  11. ^ a b c Sports and Games of the 18th and 19th Centuries by Robert Crego. Page 26. Published 2003. Greenwood Press. Sports & Recreation. 296 pages. ISBN 0313316104
  12. ^ "150 years Celebration-UNLOCKING A POWER BRAND". Calcutta Polo Club. http://www.calcuttapolo.com/corner.html. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  13. ^ Sports and Games of the 18th and 19th Centuries by Robert Crego. Page 26 - 27. Published 2003. Greenwood Press. Sports & Recreation. 296 pages ISBN 0313316104
  14. ^ FIP World Cup VIII - 2007
  15. ^ Tourismesouthasia.com
  16. ^ June 2nd, 1876 The Galveston News: At Denison Monday evening while Messers Harold Gooch and Will Lowe were practicing at the game of polo, quite a serious accident happened to former. Mr. Gooch’s saddle turned throwing him into the ground when his horse gave him a severe kick, cutting a gash about five inches in length across his head over the right ear. Dr. Berry rendered the necessary medical attention, and Mr. Gooch is doing well. Will Lowe, Secretary of the Denison Polo Club, wrote James Gordon Bennett asking him if arrangements could be made for a match game between the Denison and New York Clubs. Mr. Lowe received a letter from Mr. Bennett Monday, in which he says he will lay the matter before the club at the next meeting. There is little doubt the New York club will invite our boys to play them. The Denison club will go into training at once, as they are confident the game will come off.
  17. ^ Http://deboradamato.blogspot.com/2009/05/entrevista-exclusive-con-adolfito.HTML
  18. ^ United States Polo Association Rule Book 2009
  19. ^ HPA - Hurlingham Polo Association
  20. ^ 8o Campeonato Mundial de Polo: México 2008
  21. ^ David, Ceri (2008-11-23). "Going Polo". Sunday Herald Sun: pp. Sunday magazine supplement (pp. 20–21). 
  22. ^ The Daily Telegraph
  23. ^ NDPpolo.com
  24. ^ [1].
  25. ^ [2].
  26. ^ Manipur Polo - Indianpolo.com, polo, polo in india
  27. ^ Aspen World Snow Polo Official Website

Further reading

  • Penina Meisels and Michael Cronan (1992). Polo. San Francisco: Collins Publishers. ISBN 0-00-637796-3. 

External links


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