May 18, 2020 2:17 PM
The 2020 Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) season came to an abrupt halt this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Northeastern Intercollegiate Regionals were canceled, and both the Interscholastic and Intercollegiate National Championships were postponed indefinitely. While the United States Polo Association (USPA) is optimistic about rescheduling the 2020 National Championships in the fall, the I/I National Host Tournament Committee has decided to award each venue their respective national championship for an additional year. The National Interscholastic Championships will be hosted by the Houston Polo Club in Houston, Texas, March 22-28, 2021, and the National Intercollegiate Championships will be hosted by the Virginia Polo Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, April 5-11, 2021. “We were devastated when we had to make the decision to postpone the 2020 Nationals knowing that there was a chance it may not get played,” said I/I Director Amy Fraser. “Understanding the time and dedication that all the players, teams, coaches and parents put into the season and then to have it be cut short was heartbreaking. We are motivated at the possibility of being able to host a healthy and safe Nationals in the fall, and we are very much looking forward to 2021.”
Since 1922, Intercollegiate and Interscholastic teams have squared off in national tournaments around the country. Intercollegiate men began competing in 1922, with Princeton University Polo Club (Frenchtown, New Jersey) bringing home the win in the inaugural tournament. Yale University (Bethany, Connecticut) claims the most titles, with nineteen. The Texas A&M University Polo Club (College Station, Texas) bested all teams in 2018 and 2019 for their tenth and eleventh championships. Intercollegiate women took to the stage in 1976 with Yale University claiming the first title. The women of Cornell Polo Club (Ithaca, New York) hold the race for titles at fifteen, but Texas A&M University Polo Club took the trophies home in 2018, quenching a 22-year drought and repeated in 2019. Texas A&M University Polo Club made history in the intercollegiate division for the first Texas team to capture both the Men’s and Women’s divisions in the same year. Texas A&M University Polo Club joins the University of California, Davis (‘78, ’81, ’82, ’83) and University of Virginia (’93, '09, ‘12) with those honors.
The Interscholastic division, now referred to as the “Open Division," came to the national stage in 1928, where Manlius School (Manilus, New York) raised the trophy. Culver Military Academy (Culver, Indiana) holds claim to twelve championships. In 2019 Prestonwood Polo & Country Club (Oak Point, Texas) topped all teams. An all-girls tournament, the "Girls’ Division," was sanctioned in 1991, when the ladies of Santa Ynez Valley Polo Club (Buellton, California) bested the competition. Garrison Forest School Polo Club (Owings Mills, Maryland) has thirteen titles to their name. For 2019, Maryland Polo Club (Jarrettsville, Maryland) took home the prize again.
The mission of the Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) Committee of the United States Polo Association (USPA) is to promote and grow the sport of polo by providing maximum exposure to the sport; recruiting collegiate and scholastic institutions; coordinating activities of member schools and players; providing for organized competition including sponsoring and administering regional and national tournaments with an emphasis on sportsmanship, fairness, and safety; and by effectively utilizing funding for the benefit of I/I activities.
Effective Date: Saturday, May 16, 2020
The suspension of USPA Tournaments and Events will be lifted for USPA Member Clubs in locales where hosting polo matches and tournaments is permitted under applicable state and local laws, executive orders and similar decrees. The USPA Member Clubs in these locales are encouraged to follow all such requirements of their state and local authorities with respect to polo operations. In addition, we also encourage all USPA Member Clubs to take the precautions recommended by the CDC. We are preparing a detailed list of best practices for USPA Member Clubs as they return to hosting USPA Tournaments and Events and plan to circulate these guidelines within the next week. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and will notify you if we determine a different course of action is necessary.Read More