Principle of the game

Polo is a game in which two teams of four riders are trying to send a plastic ball 130 grams and 8.5 cm in diameter, into the goal using mallets. Polo is played on a grass field cut very ras, 275 m long and 145 m wide, which must be added the deceleration zones.

At each end of the field, the goals are represented by two poles apart 7.3 m wicker.

Conduct of Parties

A match is divided into 4-8 periods or chukkas of 7 minutes 30, interspersed with 3 minutes breaks to change horses.

If the referees whistles have to intervene, the pace of periods is given by a bell or a horn.

After each goal scored – or “goal” – camp the teams change on the ground and play is restarted with a throw of ball in the middle. The mallets are made of a hardwood hammer placed at the end of a bamboo handle and carbon fiber with a length of about 130 cm.


Players protections

The mistakes, or “foul”, are sanctioned by free kicks on site or at distances from midfield, 60 or 30 yards of the opposing goals.

Players often wear a helmet fitted with a protective grille, and thick leather kneepads. The horses’ legs are protected by strips of falnelle or knee pads. Their mane is shaved and the tail is braided to prevent the hands of the rider or the mallet becoming entangled in the bristles.

The indoor polo and polo-pony Rules polo game carousel, or “Indoor” or polo-pony, retain the spirit of the above rules.

They vary only on the number of players and game periods, the duration thereof, and the nature and size of ball used.

Disability players

Players are classed and receive a “handicap” that materializes their game Beginners start with disability -. 4 and the world’s best players culminate disability 10.

The handicap of a team is the algebraic sum of the handicaps of its players.

The level of a tournament is determined by the range of handicaps of teams admitted to participate (eg, the annual tournament Deauville is level 18/22 goals).

The rules they essentially aim to preserve the safety of players and horses.

If authorized to interfere (put) a player by pushing shoulder against shoulder, attempting to hook his mallet to prevent a shot, it is forbidden to cut the line materialized by the trajectory of a bullet moving ahead of the hitter, zigzagging in front of an opponent or to approach at an angle too open trajectories.


Two referees officiate field on horseback, as close to the action. In case of disagreement, they rely on the decision of a third arbitrator or “referred” after the game from the sidelines.