THE PLAYING FIELD

17 11 2007

medidas-cancha.jpg

These are the official dimensions of a polo field including safety zones, which, according to the Hurlingham Polo Association Rules (the Bible of polo, as it were), are here depicted as the minimum size.

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EQUIPMENT

23 08 2007
A basic set of polo equipment includes: (for the horse) one saddle, bridles, blankets, wraps, or bandages; (for the player) helmet, boots, kneeguards, mallets.
The mallet is made of a bamboo handle, about 51 inches long, with a wooden head. As each player’s grip varies, there are handles available in a variety of diameters. The head is put on at a 77.5º angle so that it will lie flat on the ground when hiting the ball. The head can be regular, oversize or extra oversize. The ball is struck by the circular side of the mallet head.
The saddle is an English-type saddle. There is a regular girth and also an overgirth in order to prevent the saddle from slipping. Side reins are sometimes used to give the player extra control. These extend from the girth through the bridle rings to the player’s hands. Bandages or tendon boots are used to protect the lower legs of the pony and the tail is bandaged in order to stop it from tangling up in the mallet strokes. As well as equipment for the horse and rider in competition, there are other equipment considerations such as bedding and feed, cleaning material for tack and boxes, facemasks and gloves, sweatshirts, caps, coats and jackets, fleeces, sunshades, trophies, goggles, whips, stable equipment, fencing, saddle pads, horseshoes. (From http://www.everythingpolo.com)
The list is almost endless…




TAKING CARE OF HORSES

23 08 2007


Probably the horse’s most vulnerable parts during a game are the legs and hooves. Bandages are an absolute must, even for stick-and-ball. Many teams use crowns on the hooves for further protection, though there is some argument about their value.

After a match it is a very good idea to use ‘white mud’ to reduce any swelling that might have arisen.




Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

23 08 2007

Q: Polo is often called an elitist sport. Why?

A: Possibly because it is not exactly an inexpensive sport, which limits the opportunities for those with limited resources. However, many of the world’s top players do not come from wealthy families. And there is nothing to stop anyone watching this exciting sport, nor any reason why one shouldn’t learn by helping out at a yard; there are plenty of people willing to help someone with promise.





WHAT’S INSIDE A BALL?

22 08 2007
NOT A LOT
A polo ball must be within the limits of 3 to 3-1/2 inches in diameter and 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 ounces in weight. A polo ball is usually made of a solid hard plastic, though they used to be made of willow wood, which made a whistling sound as they moved through the air. Players could actually hear a ball coming and thus avoid being hit. However, they too often split apart when hit. Plastic balls, on the other hand, do not whistle but they very rarely split apart. A polo ball becomes misshapen every time it is struck by a 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, which saves time during the game.