polo

(redirected from Polos)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

polo,

indoor or outdoor ball and goal game played on horseback.

Rules and Equipment

Two teams of four compete on a level, rectangular grass field that measures 200 by 300 yd (182.88 by 274.32 m). Safety zones surround the playing field, and at either end goal posts stand 10 ft (3.05 m) high and 24 ft (7.32 m) apart. An indoor version is tailored to the dimensions of the various arenas in which it is played. The outdoor ball, weighing about 4 1-2 oz (.13 kg) and measuring not more than 3 1-4 in. (8.26 cm) in diameter, is made of wood, often willow root. Standard polo equipment includes a specially made brimmed helmet, a flexible-stemmed mallet some 4 ft (1.22 m) long, and the usual equestrian equipment.

An outdoor match is made up of eight periods (called chukkers), usually of 7 1-2 min each, though in some matches either the length or number of chukkers may be reduced. Play is directed toward hitting the ball through the opponents' goal. A mounted umpire metes out penalties—e.g., automatic goals, free shots on goal, and disqualification—for dangerous riding, carrying the ball, or illegal use of the mallet. The umpire starts each period and begins play after each goal by throwing the ball into a marked-off midfield area between the two lines of opposing players. A system of handicapping players promotes parity.

Polo ponies, actually standard-size horses of no particular breed, undergo a long, rigorous period of training to prepare them for the bruising requirements of the game. Because a typical polo match involves virtually nonstop action and many high-speed collisions of the horses, each player must maintain a "string" of expensive ponies so as to be able to change mounts several times during the course of a match. Thus, polo is a sport for the wealthy.

History

Some historians claim that polo originated in Persia in the 6th cent.; it spread to Turkey, India, and Tibet and, with some modifications, to China and Japan. According to this view, it was revived in India during the 19th cent., where it became popular with British army officers stationed there, and spread to other countries. Others contend that the British officers themselves created the game (1862) after seeing a horsemanship exhibition in Manipur, India. The sport was introduced into England in 1869, and seven years later sportsman James Gordon Bennett imported it to the United States. After 1886, English and American teams occasionally met for the International Polo Challenge Cup. Polo was on several Olympic games schedules, but was last an Olympic sport in 1936. Polo is also now popular in Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand, but the relative number of polo players remains small.

Bibliography

See S. D. Price, The Polo Primer (1989).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

polo

1. a game similar to hockey played on horseback using long-handled mallets (polo sticks) and a wooden ball
2. any of several similar games, such as one played on bicycles
3. short for water polo
www.fippolo.com

Polo

Marco . 1254--1324, Venetian merchant, famous for his account of his travels in Asia. After travelling overland to China (1271--75), he spent 17 years serving Kublai Khan before returning to Venice by sea (1292--95)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
'I would like to inform you the DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] had already agreed to put up these six new Polos,' Bello said in a recent news conference.
Bello said they opted to put the Polos in the said countries in anticipation of an increasing number of Filipinos in those countries in the coming years.
The origin of the polo shirt seems lost in the mists of time.
What we do know for sure is that the inventor of the modern polo shirt was the French tennis legend Rene Lacoste.
Lacoste is offering 30 per cent off the price on selected polo shirts for men and women.
At Armani Jeans, this turquoise jersey polo is among the 2012 menswear on sale at 40 per cent off the price.
GET the allAmerican college look with this heather grey vintage polo from Abercrombie & Fitch.
FOR a polo that thinks it's a rugby shirt, see the Falcon polo, from Tommy Hilfiger.
Confectionery giants Nestle Rowntree came up with the idea after a huge public response to an animated TV advert last year showing Polos being made and asking: "What happens to the holes?"
The bored-out bits - which fit snugly into the middle of traditional Polos - will be stamped with Ps, Os and Ls and sold in plastic tubes for a limited time at a price of 25p.
Played over five days, four talented polo teams, featuring both professional and amateur players from the UK, Europe, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Argentina, produced both competitive and entertaining polo, much to the delight of Maserati's guests.
"While we are very familiar with thoroughbred horsepower from our cars, the game of polo adds a different level of excitement to the Maserati experience.