All about Polo: Rules & Team

Rules_and_team-_OLO4357_600x451pxEven newcomers will soon come to grips with the game of polo. Here’s a first overview of the rules and the team:


A game has four chukkas, each of which lasts 7.5 minutes. It is the ‘actual time’ of play that counts. A polo field spans approximately seven times the size of a football field, although the exact size of a polo field may vary. Wicker goal posts which can collapse for safety reasons signify the 7.32 meter wide open top goals. The teams change sides after each goal, a rule which harks back to the hot and very bright sunny days when it was a considerable disadvantage to play against the sun. The rule also ensures that the turf at the goalmouth of the weaker team does not get permanently damaged in one-sided matches where one team is dominating the game.


Each person in the team has a specific responsibility: The Number One position generally covers the opposing team’s Number Four. It’s the most offence-oriented position on the field. Number Two has an important role in offence, either running through and scoring themselves, or passing to the Number One and getting in behind them. Defensively, they will cover the opposing team’s Number Three, generally the other team’s best player. Given the difficulty of this position, it is not uncommon for the best player on the team to play Number Two so long as another strong player is available to play Three. Number Three is the tactical leader and must be a long powerful hitter to feed balls to Number Two and Number One as well as maintaining a solid defense. Often, the most talented player on the team is usually the Number Three. Number Four is the primary defense player. They can move anywhere on the field, but they usually try to prevent scoring. The emphasis on defense by the Number Four allows the Number Three to attempt more offensive plays, since they know that they will be covered if they lose the ball.


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