Today is the national day of Argentina, home of the glorious game polo and sumptuous steaks– two of my favourite things.
To someone who is not familiar with polo it can seem a bit confusing, but I have composed a list of horse polo rules to help.
Here are some basic rules for the sport of kings;
- Each team consists of four players on horseback.
- The game is spilt into periods called chukkas, which in turn are seven minutes long. Full games have eight chukkas but smaller games can have four or six.
- There are four minutes between each chukka.
- Players have handicaps based on past performances and these handicaps are added together to form the handicap for the team.
- The aim is to score as many goals as possible within the time limit to earn points. Goals are scored when a player hits the ball between the goal posts using a mallet or the ball is knocked between the posts by a horse.
- An important rule of polo is the ‘line of ball’ rule. Players must not interrupt the trajectory of the ball at the expense of another player. This is mainly for the players safety and helps to avoid collisions.
- As with most sports there can be incidents of fouls which will result in a goal being declared invalid and no point awarded. Crossing the line of the ball can result in a foul.