The Game of Polo
Polo is perhaps the most ancient and fastest contact sport. All our best games are derived from it, and cricket, golf, hockey, and the national Irish game of hurling are all descendants of Polo.
Originating in Persia around 600 B.C., polo began as part sport and part war training, with games played with up to 100 players per side. Modern polo grew from Manipur, India when British military officers and tea planters founded the Silchar Polo Club in 1859.
Today, the "king of sports, sport of kings" is played on horseback, and the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Players score by driving a small white ball through the goal poles of the opposing team's goal using a long-handled mallet.
The sport of polo is played on a large grass field up to 300 yards (274 meters) long by 160 yards (146 meters) wide (the size of nine football fields). Outdoor polo is played with a solid plastic ball on a grass field; in arena polo, only three players are required per team for a beach venue or sand arena, and the game is played with a small air-filled ball, similar to a small soccer ball. The modern game is divided into periods called chukkas (also "chukkers"), and consists of 4 chukkas in lower-goal matches, and 6-8 chukkas in higher-level play.
POLO GAME DETAILS
Polo matches are divided into "chukkers", 7 minute periods of play
Riders switch horses between chukkers to give horses time to rest, and may switch during a chukker if needed
Most games are played for 4 chukkers, with higher-goal matches lasting 6 chukkers
The rules are designed to protect the safety of horse and rider, preventing riders from crossing the line of the ball
A player's "handicap" is their rating level, which ranges from -2 to 10, and tournaments are set at a certain number of "goals", meaning the total of the four players' handicaps must not exceed that number (i.e. a team with a 0 goal, 4 goal, 6, goal, and 10 goal player would be a '20 goal' team).
A Polo handicap is a person's ticket to the world."