Part 2 of 3
Believe it or not the Polo ground itself is 300 yards long and 200 yards wide, that’s over twice the size of the pitch at Wembley! The goal posts at each end are open topped and remind us somewhat of the world famous Quidditch posts from the Harry Potter series, and we have a feeling that J.K Rowling’s Quidditch may have been inspired somewhat from Polo!
A game consists of multiple seven and a half minute periods called chukkas, the number of chukkas varies on factors such as the height of the goals (high medium or low) and the handicap of the team – the equation used to work out the handicap is way too complicated to explain quickly! In Argentina eight chukkas are usually played, where as in England and across Europe to play 4 chukkas is much more common. A bell rings at the seven minute point in each chukka but play continues for another half a minute, if the ball goes out of play during this 30 seconds the chukka ends there and is not restarted, provoking a skirmish of swift activity for any high time goals!
No1: attacker or striker
No2: prepares the attack and passes to No1
No3: Team captain – responsible for both attack and defence
No4: main defender
No Polo pony is made to play more than two chukkas as players change at least once per game, at the two chukka point when players change ponies, spectators are invited to participate in the age-old stomping of the divots! In an attempt to flatten the pitch ready for chukka 3…
A goal is scored when the ball passes between the goal posts, if the ball is hit above the top of the goal posts but the umpire decides the ball has still passed between them it also counts as a goal, and after each goal the team changes ends. If the scores are tied at full-time the game continues with double width goals until one team scores…
Now we understand the rules, be sure to check out part 3 of 3 to learn more about Barbour’s Household Cavalry Team and their journey to the semi-finals of one of the oldest and most prestigious Polo tournaments in the world…