Play begins with a throw in of the ball by the umpire at the opening of each chukker and after each goal.
Players must change horses after each chukker due to the extreme demands placed on the polo pony.
During half time, spectators go onto the field to participate in a tradition called divot stomping to help replace the divots created by the horses hooves.
Polo players are ranked yearly by their peers and the USPA on a scale of 2 to 10 goals. Team play is handicapped on the basis of ability.
Most of the rules of polo are for the safety of the polo players and their ponies. The basic concept is the line of the ball, a right of way established by the path of a traveling ball.
Two mounted Umpires do most of the officiating, with a Referee at midfield having the final say in any dispute between the umpires. .....
Polo pony 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 players 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. .....
High profile competitors must recognise how influential their example can be for
others, and accept their responsibilities as role models. This applies to their actions
both on and off the horse, and in the warm up area as well as the competitive arena.
Coaches and trainers can also help to promote fair play by setting a good example
and by discouraging disrespect for the rules or acts of discourtesy by competitors
under their supervision. Older advisers clearly exert as important an influence by
their example as by their instruction.
Though it is easy to more or less ignore the spectators and let them fend for
themselves, it is important for them to be provided with program material and
commentaries that help them not only to understand what is going on, but also to
appreciate the skill and sportsmanship of all the competitors, and to applaud even if
their hero or favourite team is not winning. Every time the spectators are neglected, a
precious opportunity to invest in the future of the sport has been lost, no matter how
well everything else has been handled. .....
Modern plastic polo balls do not produce a whistling sound but they very rarely split apart. Bernard Cohen invented the modern day plastic polo ball in the 1970s. After testing was completed at Palm Beach Polo Club in Wellington, Florida, Bill Ylvisaker was so pleased with Bernies new plastic ball that he switched the club from wooden polo balls to plastic and never looked back. The new ball had an historic impact on the level of play and changed the game dramatically. Bernie named his new company TEC an acronym for his lovely wife Trudy Elizabeth Cohen and began manufacturing and selling the new polo ball with Tony Coppola.
A polo ball becomes misshapen every time it is struck by a polo mallet. Umpires and flagmen replace polo balls as necessary during a game. Each polo match requires approximately two dozen polo balls. The mounted umpires carry a pick up stick to retrieve a polo ball from the field without having to dismount. This saves time during the game. .....
Equestrian riding boots come in a variety of styles and quality. When buying polo boots, try them on first and select a pair that is comfortable, particularly around the ankle area. It takes a couple of days of riding and a little saddle soap to break in a new set of polo boots. .....
Neumann Tackified Polo Gloves Equestrian riding gloves come in a variety of styles and quality. Find a pair that is comfortable, particularly when holding and swinging a polo mallet. It takes a couple of chukkers of polo and a little dirt to break in a new set of polo gloves. .....
Polo mallets range in size from 49 to 54 inches in length. The specific mallet length is usually on the head of the polo mallet.
Polo mallet heads are available in a variety of weights and shapes. Polo mallet heads are generally made of ash wood or maple. The striking head is 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 inches long. Different polo mallet head shapes enable a player to hit the ball in different ways. A polo mallet that is too heavy can eventually lead to muscle fatigue, wrist strain or even an injury.
The whippiness of a mallet refers to the flexibility of its shaft. Varying degrees of shaft flexibility provide increased control. Polo players have individual preferences for the amount of whippiness they need to properly time the hitting of a polo ball. A more flexible shaft allows better hitting distance but less control when in close. .....