Polo Basics: Quick facts about Polo

This weekend is the Palermo Polo Open, one of the most important polo tournaments in the world. In this article, learn more about this great sport. Discover some polo basics and be fully armed to see you first polo match.

Main polo Rules

A polo game divides into 7-minute periods, called chukkas or chukkers. One game consists of 4 to 8 chukkers. There is a 4-minute interval between chukkers and a 10-minute halftime. Usually, players ride a different pony for each chukker, as the activity is physically highly demanding for the animal.

The polo field is about twice as large as a soccer field: about 420 feet large and 820 feet long.

Polo is played by two opponent teams of 4 players: one striker (number 1), one midfielder (number 2) and two defenders (number 3 and 4). There are 3 referees: two on the field and one (thirdman) out of the field. This last referee only settles occasional impasses.

Polo ponies

Polo ponies are in fact rather small horses but not ponies. The Polo Argentino race is highly appreciated for is maneuverability, agility and stamina. Ponies are usually trained from the age of three and reach their peak around age 6. Many remain able to play polo until they reach 18 years of age.

Tournaments

The three major polo tournaments in Argentina, known as “Triple Corona” are Hurlingham Polo Open, Tortugas Polo Open, Palermo Polo Open. Polo season usually last from October to December.

For more information, see Wikipedia article about polo:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polo