these are the teams and players for today. 1pm start.
The 2500 year-old game of polo is an exhilarating experience! It’s gaining in popularity because it is good exercise, helps you develop riding skills, and the teamwork aspect is very enjoyable. Anyone who tries it is immediately hooked!
Imagine the excitement of playing hockey, but on horseback, racing down the field while striking a small ball with the precision of an experienced golfer, while watching where your teammates are, to score a goal together.
- Polo is played on a ten acre grass field, 300 yards in length by 160 yards, the approximate area of ten football fields.
- The throw-in of the ball signals the start of play. Teams are trying to capture the ball, cross the path of the other team, and head to the other team’s goal to hit the ball between two posts 24 feet apart.
- A team is made up of four players, each wearing a jersey with numbers 1 to 4, which corresponds to their expected position on the field and their primary role.
- Number 1 is the most offensive player, concentrating on scoring, and tries to stay up the field where other players pass the ball to them.
- Number 4 is the defensive player, primarily responsible for defending against the other team’s Number 1. They try to capture the ball and pass it upfield to their teammates.
- Players also try to match up with a player of opposite team so they alternate between defense and offense, depending on which team has the ball.
- You will often see the team who has the ball have several players all going down the field in a line. This is in case the up-front player misses a shot, the next player can continue the breakaway.
- Polo rules are established to help avoid collisions and prevent people and horses from being hit by the ball. For example, an imaginary line always exists in the direction the ball is rolling.Players are not supposed to cross the imaginary line unless they are far away, even if they are behind the ball. The direction of the ball changes often, and this is part of the challenge of the game! It’d be like playing golf where the ball moves and other players have to get out of your way while you’re hitting – very challenging!
In our club , we like to joke that our two teams follow a Star Wars theme.
Pick your Favourite and cheer them on!
Most of the players you see today are amateurs with varying level of experience. Those who own more horses play more chukkers. Some of players have lots of experience, and some are new this year. By watching the play, can you tell which ones?
Due to the heat and the strenuous nature of the play, each chukker is 7.5 minutes long. There’s a warning beep 30 seconds prior to it ending. There’ll a pause between each chukker and a longer pause mid-way. During this rest period, spectators are invited to go onto the field to participate in a polo tradition called “divot stomping”, which has developed to not only help replace the mounds of earth (divots) that are torn up by the horse’s hooves, but to also afford spectators the opportunity to walk about and socialize.
ABOUT THE CLUB
Manotick Polo Club (MPC) was incorporated this year after an un-official start last year. Annual fees are $700. A horse lease is about $300 a month. If you own a horse, boarding a horse here costs $375/month. MPC members often trailer their horses here to play polo from other barns.
We play recreationally on Wednesday nights, Friday nights, and Sunday afternoons. The Friday nights are skill-building nights, perfect for beginner players. Visit www.manotickpolo.com for information how to try it out.