Polo is an exciting and energetic game comprised of two teams on horseback. The objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team’s goal using a long-handled mallet.
While not required, we encourage all attendees to dress as you would for a typical polo game. Think of the scene from the movie ‘Pretty Woman’ when they are at the polo match. Recommendations and ideas are as follows:
Ladies – Stylish sundresses, hats, and gloves. Dress comfy, yet classy and chic.
Men – Chino pants / shorts or nice jeans with a polo or button up shirt. Sometimes men will also wear a nice sport coat or a dress hat / fedora.
Chukker – A period of play that lasts seven minutes. Thirty seconds of overtime is allowed per chukker, except during the final chukker where no overtime is allowed. Overtime is ended by any stop of play.
Appealing – Claims for fouls can be made by players on the field by the raising of mallets above their heads.
Back – The fourth player on a polo team is referred to as the “Back.”
Ball – A four and one half ounce, white, plastic ball. The ball is driven down the field by players.
Bell or hooter – A bell or horn that informs the umpire when seven minutes of play has elapsed during a chukker.
Bowl-in – At the start of play the umpire rolls a ball between a line of players.
Check and turn – Slowing down to turn safely.
Divots – Turf kicked up by ponies’ hooves.
Goal – A goal is scored when the ball passes the line between the goal posts in the air or on the ground. A goal is scored regardless of who drives it past the line, even the ponies.
Hook – A technique where a player catches an opponent’s mallet near the ground to hold the ball in place or turn it towards a teammate.
Knock in – When a ball passes the back line (where the goal posts are placed) the defending team drives the ball back into play from the back line.
Mallet Head – The area of the mallet opposite the handle. The wide face of the mallet head is to hit the ball.
Nearside – The left hand side of the pony.
Offside – The right hand side of the polo pony.
Neck shot – Hitting the ball while it is underneath the horse’s neck.
Officials – The match is officiated by two mounted umpires and a third referee at midfield. The midfield referee has final say in disputes.
Penalty – Free hits are awarded to the fouled player from a distance determined by the severity of the foul.
Pony Goal – Goals scored when the pony drives the ball through the goal line.
Ride off – A ride off occurs when two riders make contact and attempt to push each other off the line to prevent the other from striking the ball.
Safety – When a defending player strikes the ball over their own back line.
Sideboards – Short boards along the sidelines of the field to help keep the ball in play.
Stick – The polo mallet.
Stick and ball – Individual practice time.
Tack – Equipment used on a pony.
Tail shot – Hitting the ball behind and underneath the horse’s tail.
Third Man – The referee sitting at the sidelines, if the two umpires on the field are in disagreement, the third man makes the final decision.