Polo | sport | Britannica
Polo, sport performed on horseback between two groups of 4 gamers every who use mallets with lengthy, versatile handles to drive a picket ball down a grass discipline and between two objective posts. It’s the oldest of equestrian sports activities.
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A sport of Central Asian origin, polo was first performed in Persia (Iran) at dates given from the sixth century bc to the first century advert. Polo was at first a coaching sport for cavalry models, often the king’s guard or different elite troops. To the warlike tribesmen, who performed it with as many as 100 to a aspect, it was a miniature battle.
In time polo turned a Persian nationwide sport performed extensively by the the Aristocracy. Ladies in addition to males performed the sport, as indicated by references to the queen and her girls partaking King Khosrow II Parvīz and his courtiers within the sixth century advert.
From Persia the sport unfold to Arabia, then to Tibet (the English phrase polo is the Balti phrase which means “ball”), to China, and to Japan. In China (910) the demise of a favoured relative in a sport prompted Emperor A-pao-chi to order the beheading of all surviving gamers.
Polo was launched into India by the Muslim conquerors within the thirteenth century; however, though the sport had been described in Sir Anthony Sherley’s Travels to Persia (1613), the primary Europeans to play the sport have been British tea planters in Assam, who fashioned the primary European polo membership in 1859 at Silchar. The Calcutta Polo Membership was fashioned within the early 1860s. Polo unfold quickly after a captain within the tenth Hussars stationed in India noticed a match early in 1866 and instantly fashioned a workforce from amongst his fellow officers. Earlier than the 12 months ended, casual matches have been held between British cavalry models stationed in India. In 1869 a problem spherical was held between the tenth Hussars and the ninth Lancers in England. Right now there have been eight males to a aspect and nearly no guidelines. Polo grew quickly in England, with matches at Richmond Park and Hurlingham attracting greater than 10,000 spectators by 1875. After it had been launched by the army, the game of polo remained standard with them but additionally unfold to the schools and was standard with the the Aristocracy and royalty.
In 1876, the sportsman and newspaper writer James Gordon Bennett noticed his first polo sport and launched it within the United States. Later that 12 months casual video games have been being performed in New York Metropolis and by 1877 at Jerome Park racetrack in Westchester County, N.Y., the place the Westchester Polo Membership was based on this latter 12 months. In 1881 the Meadow Brook Membership was fashioned in Lengthy Island, N.Y., by such early excellent gamers as Thomas Hitchcock, Sr., August Belmont, and Benjamin Nicoll. The scale of the workforce was lowered to 5 after which, in 1881 in the USA and in 1883 in England, to 4, the current quantity. Although the foundations of the Hurlingham Membership of England (which was based in 1886) have been at first utilized in the USA, in 1888 a system of handicapping gamers was devised to equalize match play. The Polo Affiliation (later the USA Polo Affiliation) was based in 1890 and standardized the foundations. Polo unfold all through the nation, though the sport lengthy remained one for the wealthy due to the expense of buying and sustaining a secure of polo ponies. Outdoors the USA, the sport’s governing physique is the Hurlingham Polo Affiliation, which maintains relations with many nationwide our bodies.
The primary worldwide competitors befell in 1886 when the USA unsuccessfully challenged the English, then the undisputed world leaders in polo, for the Westchester Cup. England defended the Cup efficiently in 1902, however the USA gained in 1909. The Cup was contested 9 further occasions (the final in 1939), with the People profitable every time besides in 1914. The subsequent worldwide assembly was in 1971, when the USA defeated England for the Coronation Cup, a single-game reasonably than a three-game match, thereafter held yearly.
After 1909 the model of the sport modified from the comparatively sluggish English type of play characterised by quick, managed hitting. American polo gamers used a long-hitting, fast-moving, wide-open model that revolutionized the game. The foundations of the 2 nations have been finally assimilated, the USA adopting the English rule allowing a participant to hook an opponent’s stick together with his mallet, whereas the English deserted their offside rule that forbade gamers previous the ball.
From 1909 to 1950 the USA was supreme in polo. By means of the Twenties and ’30s polo turned more and more standard in Argentina, and in 1928 the primary Copa de las Americas (Cup of the Americas) was contested between the USA and Argentina. Since then Argentina has develop into the uncontested grasp of worldwide polo. Polo turned the Argentine nationwide sport, and crowds exceeded 60,000. Worldwide matches commercially sponsored (primarily at Boca Raton, Fla.) have been held within the Seventies, and European championships have been inaugurated in 1980.
Though within the twentieth century it’s removed from frequent, British and American ladies additionally play polo. In the USA, ladies compete in opposition to ladies on the collegiate degree, and there’s a ladies’s Nationwide Handicap competitors. Sometimes a girl additionally acts because the fourth member of an in any other case all-male workforce.