All beginner spectators that head out to watch thir first game of polo need a basic guide to understand what’s happening on the polo field.
The objective of this post is to spell out the various questions to have in mind when you watch the game, and to understand beforehand that the system of polo rules is designed to guarantee the safety of both players and horses, and best avoid risks and accidents.
1: The objective of the game is to score goals, or rather, to use the mallet to shoot the ball through the posts at the end of the field.
Each time a team gets a goal, they switch sides. The team that scores the most goals wins the game.
2: The game is divided into periods called chukkers that last 7 minutes. A polo match has a mínimum of 4 and a máximum of 8 chukkers.
Each polo horse can play a máximum of 2 chukkers per game.
3: If the game ends in a tie, there is an additional chukker. The first team to score a goal wins.
4: On the field each polo player has a specific role, number 1 is always the forward, number 2 and 3 play in the center of the field, and number 4 is defense.
5: The most important concept to have in mind is the “line of the ball,” or a right of way marked by the trajectory of the ball, which changes every time the ball is hit. No player can cross this line unless it’s at a distance at which there is no possibility of a collision or accident with other players.
6: A player can “take” the imaginary line of the ball by coming in from the side and pushingthe player in posession of the line. He or she can push with their arm, from the elbow up, as long as their elbow remains at their side. Anything that involves grabbing with theirhands or hitting another player, as well as pushing with their head, hand, forearm, orelbow is not allowed.
7: A player can hook or block the mallet of another player with their own mallet, but they cannot deliberately touch another player or polo horse.
8: Players must always have their mallet in their right hand, and use their mallet in an appropriate way so as not to disrupt other players or horses.
Anyone that wants to become a polo spectator and live the adrenaline of the game has the option of joining the Polo Day Program, designed by Argentina Polo Day.
This experience offers the possibility to enjoy a profesional polo game with 4 full chukkers and over 30 horses. This unique experience is offered everyday of the year and only 50 minutes outside the city of Buenos Aires.