Rules of Polo


Polo games are divided into six 'chukkers' or periods. Each chukker last seven minutes, with a 10-minute half time after the third chukker. Eight players, four for each team, are on the field at a time. Players wear numbered jerseys: 1 and 2 are for forwards, 3 is the quarterback, and 4 is the defense (also called the Back). Players use a mallet, also called a 'stick,' made of bamboo and tipa wood, to hit a plastic ball. Every time the ball crosses between the goal posts, a point is scored, whether a player hits the ball with a mallet or a horse causes the ball to go through the posts. Teams change sides after each goal. The team with the most points at the end of six chukkers wins the game.

Polo Factoids

  • Each player has a minimum of six horses per game, which allows them to come out on a 'fresh' horse every chukker.
  • Men and women play on the same team.
  • Polo fields measure 300 yards by 160 yards, which is necessary for eight polo horses to have space to safely gallop, stop and turn.

Basic Rules

  • Matches are monitored by two mounted umpires and one referee, who is seated on the sidelines at mid-field. In instances where the two umpires do not agree, the referee is consulted.
  • The game begins with the two teams lining up in the center of the field. The umpire then bowls the ball in underhanded between the two teams. This also occurs when the ball goes out of bounds during play.
  • Dangerous riding is forbidden, which includes bumping at a dangerous angle, zig-zagging in front of a player at a gallop, pulling across another player's horse, riding in an intimidating manner.
  • Riding-off or bumping an opponent is allowed when the player pushes with his shoulder close to his side, elbowing is not allowed. The angle of the bump should never exceed 45 degrees.
  • A hook is a defensive technique in which a player uses his/her mallet to interfere with his/her opponent's swing. This must be completed from the same side as the ball or from immediately behind. A cross hook, when a player reaches over the mount of his/her opponent, is a foul. This is for the safety of players and their horses.
about |The trophy|Video |Photo gallery|Features|Contact

Copyright ©2012 - 2015 Triple Crown of Polo. All rights reserved.