Jul 302008
 
Terms used in Polo

Terms used in Polo

Here is a brief summary of the main terms and expressions used in Polo Play.

Appealing, Claims by players for a foul, expressed by a raising of mallets above the head

Backshot backhand swing, changing the flow of play by sending the ball in the opposite direction

Bowl In,  When the umpire starts or resumes a polo match by rolling the ball down the center of a lineup of players, same as a throw in

Bump when a player directs his pony into the side of an opponent’s pony

Check and turn, Done to slow the pony and turn safely

Chukker, This is a term used for period of play in polo, seven and a half minutes long. There are six chukkers in a polo match

Flagman an unofficial goal observer appointed to signal by waving a flag over the head if a goal is scored, or under the waist if no goal

Field usually 300 yards long by 160 yards wide and outlined by sideboards

Handicap. A team’s handicap is the total of its players’ goal ratings. Tournaments are held in handicap categories. High goal polo is considered to be for teams rated nineteen goals or over, and medium goal play is fifteen to eighteen goals. There are many ways to build a team that meets the tournament’s goal limit. Quite often a strong team will want a ringer, a new or under rated player, to balance the team’s higher ranked players. The team with the lower handicap is awarded the difference in goals at the start of the match

Hook, Catching an opponent’s mallet in swing below the level of the horse’s back, to leave or turn the ball for a teammate

Knock In, after the ball crosses the backline, the defending team knocks the ball back into play from their own backline

Leave to ride, past the ball so that the teammate behind can hit it

Line of the ball, the imaginary line produced by the ball when it is hit or deflected

Made pony, A polo pony that is well trained for polo and has been played for some time

Mallet head, The part of the mallet used to strike the ball, the wide face of the head is used to strike the ball

Nearside, The left hand side of the horse

Neck shot, Hitting the ball under the horse’s neck

Officials, Two mounted umpires do most of the officiating, with a referee at midfield having the final say in any dispute between the umpires

Offside, The right hand side of the horse

Pass to hit the ball forward or laterally to a teammate

Player rating players are rated every year by their peers on a scale of -2 to 10 goals. Ratings are based on ability to ride, hit the ball, and perform effective team play

Penalty numbered from 1 to 10, a free hit is awarded to the fouled, from a set distance determined by the severity of the foul committed

Pony goal when a pony causes the ball to go through the goal posts

Positions there are four players on a team, the forwards are numbered one and two, and are mainly concerned with scoring, number three, the center half, assists the scorers and aids in defense, often the most experienced member of the team, defense and fast break opportunities are the responsibilities of the back, number four

Ride off two riders may make contact and attempt to push each other off the line to prevent an opponent from striking the ball

Safety also known as Penalty 6, a defending player hits the ball over his own backline

Sideboards short boards along the sidelines of the field to help keep the ball in play

Standings polo players are ranked yearly by their peers and their federation on a scale of -2 to 10 goals.

Stick the polo mallet

Stick and ball personal practice time

Sudden Death overtime play when the score is tied at the end of the last regular chukker, the first team to score wins

Swing hitting at the ball with the mallet using one of four basic shots: forehander, backhander, neckshot, tailshot

Tack all the equipment used on a pony

Tail shot hitting the ball behind and under the horse’s rump

Third man the referee sitting at the sidelines, if the two umpires on the field are in disagreement, the third man makes the final decision

Throw in when the umpire starts or resumes the match, he rolls the ball down the center of a lineup of players and mounts

Time out an umpire may call a time out when a foul is committed, an accident occurs, or at his or her discretion, a player may only call a time out if he has broken tack or is injured

Turn to backhand hit the ball away from the goal being defended

Umpires two mounted officials, one for each side of the field

Wraps the protective bandages the ponies wear on their legs

 7:00 pm  Polo

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