Brief Information About The Game Polo

What makes polo such a special spectator sport is that you don't have to be familiar with the rules, allowing you to take in the thrill and excitement of one of the oldest and fastest team sports in the world. Polo’s fundamental rules are meant to ensure the safety of the riders and their mounts. Nonetheless, it remains one of the most dangerous sports in the world. Often described as “hockey on horseback” polo is a sport that requires a great deal of skill, strength and courage. While the success of a polo team depends on the skill of the riders, the horses are a critical part of any game.

Team Positions

Each player on a polo squad has a significant role to play, although the responsibilities assigned to individual positions are interchangeable. Unlike many other team sports, polo allows both men and women to compete together in the same team, as well as a mix of professionals and amateurs.

Number 1  Score goals and neutralize opponent team Number 4 (defense) player.
Number 2  To get hold of the ball to pass to team mates.
Number 3  Tactical leader, powerful hitter to pass ball to No. 1 & 2, maintain defense.
Number 4  Primary defense player to prevent opponent from scoring.

However, two underlying concepts govern the game of polo.

The first is that polo is a tactical team sport with 4 players a side. Like all tactical team sports, each player fills a specific role and supporting the team effort on both offence and defense. The objective of the game is for a team to score the most goals by hitting the ball through their goal posts at the end of the ground.

The second is "the line of the ball". This is the imaginary line the ball creates as it travels from point A to point B. This "line" determines the strict rules about how players can approach and attack the ball and each other, ensuring that the players and horses, traveling at 35mph when at top speed, do not collide resulting in serious injury to either horse or rider. The line remains set until the ball is struck by a player, changes direction, and a new line is formed.

Know The Game

The origin of polo, its exotic ancestry and storied past have contributed to a heritage rich in colorful expression.Understanding that language adds yet another dimension to a fascinating sport.

Chukka : This is the term used to describe the basic period of play. In polo, each chukka is seven and a half minutes long and there are four chukkas in each match.

Foul : This continues an infraction of the rules as laid down by the polo association. Most fouls govern safe riding and the concept of the line of the ball.

Goal : This continues an infraction of the rules as laid down by the polo association. Most fouls govern safe riding and the concept of the line of the ball.

Handicap : The comparative rating of polo players awarded by the polo association, handicaps are expressed in goals but do not describe the number of goals the player is expected to score, but rather the player's value to the team.

Hook : One of the two defensive maneuvers allowed in the rules. In this case the mallet is used to block or interfere with another player's swing at the ball.

Mallet : The stick used to hit the ball.

Near-side : Is the left side of the horse.

Off-side : Is the right side of the horse.

Out of bounds : When the ball is hit out of bounds the clock continues to run and the ball is thrown in by the umpires at that spot.

Penalties : Fouls result in the umpires awarding a shot at a goal (a penalty) to the offended team (the more severe the infringement, the closer to the goalmouth the penalty is awarded).

Puttees : The leg wraps applied to the horse's lower legs for support and protection.

Referee : The referee is off-field and has the final word in the case of a dispute between the two mounted umpires.

Ride-off : A ride -off is used to break an opposing players concentration, move him off the line of the ball or spoil his shot.

Throw-in : The game is started with a throw-in where the ball is literally thrown in between the line-up teams by the umpires.

Umpires : These are on-field officials. mounted on horses, umpires are usually active players responsible for enforcing the rules.

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