Teams from England and the United States played the first international
polo series at Newport, in 1886.
England successfully defended the Westchester Cup in 1902, but the
United States won it in 1909. The Cup was contested nine additional times,
with the Americans winning each time except in 1914.
the 1920’s and '30’s, polo gained popularity in Argentina to such an
extent that it became the country's national game. In 1928, the first Copa
de las Americas was contested between the United States and Argentina.
Since then, Argentina has been the indisputable champion of international
A regulation polo field is a grass-covered strip 300 yards long and
200 yards wide. The field is only 160 yards wide if the sidelines are
boarded. These sideboards are 11 inches high. Centered at each end are
lightweight goalposts that are eight yards apart.
balls weighing 99-128 grams and measuring three inches in diameter are
used. Players use cane or rattan mallets,
which vary in length from 48 to 54 inches. The
mallet has a rubber-wrapped grip with a webbed thong for wrapping
around the hand and a flexible bamboo cane shaft with a bamboo head.
player’s equipment consists of boots, white breeches, knee guards, whip,
spurs, mallet, protective helmet and a jersey bearing the number of his
horses are not of any special breed or size. Thoroughbreds and
three-quarter thoroughbreds are generally used. The mount is a full-sized
horse and should have docility, speed, endurance and intelligence. Most
importantly, the horse must have the courage to bump into another horse at
angles up to forty-five degrees, at the command of its rider.
the start of the game, the two teams of four are lined up facing each
other at the centre of the field. One of the umpires bowls the ball
between the teams. There are two such mounted umpires on the field while a
referee stands at the sidelines. Each team is stationed to defend its
respective goal. That is to say, the first two riders play
while the other two play "back" (defensively). With passes to
team-mates, maneuvering and skill, each team tries to score a goal by
hitting the ball through its opponent’s goalpost.
game consists of six periods of 7 ½ minutes each, called
intervals are allowed between chukkers, to enable the players to change
horses. The half-time intermission is of ten-minute duration.
or arena polo:
polo is played on an indoor field of sand, clay or dirt. Major arenas
measure 100 yards long and 50 yards wide. The ball is made of inflatable
leather. It measures four and a half inches in diameter and weighs at
least 6 ounces. Each team consists of three instead of four players.
Except for some minor changes, basic rules of the game apply.