How to watch
We will supply you with rules and a glossary of terms once you get to the match, so don’t worry about
memorizing everything... Arena Polo is extremely exciting, with many changes in direction, fast action and
a great spectator sport.
Move the ball downfield and through the goal in 4 periods of play, known as “chukkers.”
Each chukker is 7 ½ minutes long. Most polo rules are for safety of the player and their horses. Primary
concerns are the “right of way” and “line of the ball,” which is an imaginary line formed each time the ball
is struck. The player who last struck the ball has the right of way and no other player may cross the line
of the ball in front of that player. Crossing the line is the most common foul in polo. A penalty shot is a
free hit from a predetermined distance into a guarded or unguarded goal. A dramatic pause in action
often provides some of the most suspenseful moments in the game.
Arena Polo is played with three players on a side, positions designated by jersey number.
The number three player stops attacks, and begins the attack for his team. The numbers one and two
players continue to press an attack once it's started.
Each player has a given handicap awarded by the Unites States Polo Association (USPA) between -1 and
10 goals (ten is best). Players’ handicaps are added together to form a team that is equal to its competition.
The difference in goals between two teams is awarded to the lower rated team before play begins.
Memo Gracida, perhaps one of the best polo players in the world, checks on his ponies before
he goes to sleep. They are the heart and soul of the game. Gracida once said, “There are two athletes
that play this game: the player and the horse.” In no other sport does a player depend so much on an
animal partner for his success. Thoroughbred lines come from Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.
Like any good athlete, the pony has to be built for the game. A horse must accelerate to full speed,
change direction or slow down to zero in a short distance. Just like the players, the ponies thrive on the
action and excitement of the game.
Fall in Love with Polo!
“So Polo, so Passionate…”