Rules to play Equestrianism
Equestrianism or horse riding referring to the skill of riding, driving, steeplechasing .
1. A Polo Game
The object of the game is to move the polo ball down field, hitting the ball through the goal posts for a score. Polo teams then change direction after each goal in order to compensate for field and wind conditions. A team is made up of four polo players.
A polo match is usually played outdoors. A polo field is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide, the largest field in organized sport.
A polo match lasts about one and one half hours and is divided into timed periods called chukkers. Each chukker is seven minutes long.
Play begins with a throw in of the ball by the umpire at the opening of each chukker and after each goal.
Players must change horses after each chukker due to the extreme demands placed on the polo pony.
During half time, spectators go onto the field to participate in a tradition called divot stomping to help replace the divots created by the horses hooves.
Polo players are ranked yearly by their peers and the USPA on a scale of 2 to 10 goals. Team play is handicapped on the basis of ability.
Most of the rules of polo are for the safety of the polo players and their ponies. The basic concept is the line of the ball, a right of way established by the path of a traveling ball.
Two mounted Umpires do most of the officiating, with a Referee at midfield having the final say in any dispute between the umpires.
A player may hook or block another players mallet with his mallet, but no deliberate contact between players is allowed. A player may not purposely touch another player, his tack or pony with his mallet.
The mallet may only be held in the right hand. Left handed players are often thought to hit with less accuracy, but guide their ponies better than their right handed peers.Ponies play for a maximum of two chukkers per match.
4. Polo ponies
The mounts used are called polo ponies, although the term pony is purely traditional and the mount is actually a full sized horse. They range from 14.2 to 16 hands 58 to 64 inches, 147 to 163 cm high at the withers, and weigh 9001,100 pounds 410500 kg. The polo pony is selected carefully for quick bursts of speed, stamina, agility and manoeuvrability. Temperament is critical; the horse must remain responsive under pressure and not become excited or difficult to control. Many are Thoroughbreds or Thoroughbred crosses. They are trained to be handled with one hand on the reins, and to respond to the riders leg and weight cues for moving forward, turning and stopping. A well trained horse will carry its rider smoothly and swiftly to the ball and can account for 60 to 75 percent of the players skill and net worth to his team.
Polo pony training generally begins at age three and lasts from about six months to two years. Most horses reach full physical maturity at about age five, and ponies are at their peak of athleticism and training at around age 6 or 7. However, without any accidents, polo ponies may have the ability to play until they are 18 to 20 years of age.Each player must have more than one pony, so tired mounts can be exchanged for fresh mounts between or even during chukkas. A players string of polo ponies may number 2 or 3 in Low Goal matches with ponies being rested for at least a chukka before reuse, 4 or more for Medium Goal matches at least one per chukka, and even more for the highest levels of competition.
Each team consists of four mounted players, which can be mixed teams of both men and women.Each position assigned to a player has certain responsibilities
Number One is the most offence oriented position on the field. The Number One position generally covers the opposing teams Number Four.
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 teams Number Three, generally the other teams 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 defence. The best player on the team is usually the Number Three player, usually wielding the highest handicap.
Number Four is the primary defence player. They can move anywhere on the field, but they usually try to prevent scoring. The emphasis on defence 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.
Polo must be played right handed.
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