Open National Interscholastic Championship - sf
Open National Interscholastic Championship - sf
Open National Interscholastic Championship - f
1:00 PM ET
XI FIP World Polo Championship Zone "A" Playoffs
3:00 PM ET
SPORT OF POLO
The rules of polo are designed to allow both the players and their equine partners the opportunity to maximize their athletic skills in a safe and fair environment. The main objective is to defeat your opponent by scoring the highest number of goals in the game.
Most outdoor polo games consist of 6 chukkers (periods) of 7 minutes and 30 seconds each, with a 10-minute halftime. Arena polo games consist of 4 chukkers.
It’s customary at polo matches to invite the public onto the field at halftime for the traditional "Divot Stomp." Fans are encouraged to mend the divots kicked up by the horses.
Players must carry the mallet in their right hand. Playing left-handed was banned from polo in the mid-1930s for safety reasons.
Men and women of all ages are allowed to compete with each other since both sexes are rated on the same handicap scale.
Players are rated on a scale of -2 to 10, which is determined by a player's horsemanship, hitting ability, quality of horses, team play and game sense. The team handicap is the sum of its players' handicaps.
USPA recommends the arena be 100 yards long and 50 yards wide with walls approximately 5 feet high. Goals shall be 10 feet in width and 15 feet in height.
The polo field is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide with boards and 200 yards wide if unboarded. Boarded fields have 12-inch upright boards extending along the sides of the field, which helps keep the ball in play. The goal posts positioned at each end are 8 yards apart.
Polo ponies' main qualities are intelligence, willingness, speed and stamina, with the ability to accelerate, stop and turn quickly. Many polo players describe their best mounts as having big hearts and a feel for the game. Horse manes are shaved and tails are tied up to stay out of the way of the mallet and reins.
All horse breeds are allowed to play polo with no restriction to height. But a majority range from 15-16 hands (a hand is equal to 4 inches) tall. Which is measured from the ground to the top of the withers (base of the neck).
For outdoor polo the ball is typically about the size of a baseball and made of hard plastic. It will weigh between 3.5 and 4.5 ounces. For arena play, the ball is a larger inflated ball similar to a mini soccer ball.
The mallet is 48 to 54 inches depending on the height of the pony and the reach of the player. The shaft is made of bamboo, the grip is similar to a tennis racquet with a cloth safety strap and the head is typically made of ashwood or maple.
Players are required to wear a protective helmet secured by a chin strap and or a harness that meets industry standards.
Players wear leather boots that extend up to the knee to protect the foot, ankle and lower leg.
For the horses, there are a variety of protective boots, which may be used with leg wraps for additional protection.The colored material wrapped around the horses’ lower legs. Leg wraps are typically made of a synthetic felt-like material and have some stretch to them. They serve two purposes: protecting the horses’ legs from injury and providing support.
Protective equipment worn by players on their knees. They are generally padded, made of leather, and are fastened with leather straps.
Refers to the equipment which goes on the horse, including bridles, saddles, saddle pads, and miscellaneous pieces.
“A polo handicap is a passport to the world.” - Winston Churchill
A handicap is a comparative rating of polo playing skills bestowed by the USPA and expressed as goals that ranges on a scale from -2 to 10. A -2 handicap would be given to a beginner player, whereas a 10 handicap is reserved for the most skillful player. These ratings have nothing to do with the number of goals a player scores, rather, a variety of factors such as skill, horsemanship, strategy, knowledge of polo, team play and sportsmanship. The team handicap is the sum of the players' handicaps. The team with the lower handicap is granted the difference in goals at the beginning of the match. Each tournament has a handicap range and each participating team's handicap must fall within that range.
For example, in an 8-10 goal tournament, no team may have a combined handicap of less than eight or more than ten. If two teams have different handicaps–for instance, the Blue team is eight goals and the Red team is nine–the lower rated team is awarded the difference in goals to begin the game. In this case, the Blue team would begin the game with one goal on the scoreboard.
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