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The Polo Itself

Polo has been termed the "sport of kings" and the "king of sports". However, today one does not have to be royalty to enjoy polo, with the game having grown rapidly in recent years worldwide.

Polo, the oldest team sport in the world, has changed very little in its combative sport character over the past 2600 years. The play, the rules, the participants and their training have, however, continued to develop.

The Game

Polo is a ball sport played by players on horseback with the objective of scoring as many goals as possible while, at the same time, preventing the other team from scoring. Whoever scores most goals wins the game. A game of polo is made up of several periods called chukkers or chukkas lasting 7 or, when the ball is still in play, maximum 7 minutes. In Europe usually 4 chukkers are played, in High Goal in Argentina or in the USA usual 8 chukkers are played with the possibility of deciding, "sudden death" chukker. Between each chukker, a break is taken in order for horses to be changed. Each horse may only be used for a maximum of two periods of play which may not be succesive.

Similar to ice hockey, the actual playing time is noted. The clock is stopped at each whistle (foul, ball out of game, injury to a horse) by the referee who is also on horseback. Ends are changed after each goal, after a break, play is restarted at the point where it was stopped.

Each game is refereed by two mounted umpires and a referee. In cases of doubt the "Third man , the referee on sidelines, has the last word. The umpires run the game according to clearly laid down rules, in Europe theese are usually those of the Hurlingham Polo Association.When playing on grass, a white ball with a diameter of 7.5 cm and weighting approximately 130 gr (usually made of pressed plastic, earlier of wood and originally willow root, "PULU", in Tibetan) is used.