DO'S AND DONT'S OF WATCHING POLO
The barn area is closed to the public other than with a scheduled barn tour. To find out more about barn tours please contact polo club manager, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheering is appropriate and encouraged after a goal is scored, at the end of a chukker and the end of the game. Full body painting in your team colors is appreciated but not required.
Kids often make the best polo fans and are always welcome. However, polo can be a dangerous business even for spectators. Never take your eye off the ball or your children.
Dogs also tend to love the fast-paced sport of polo; however, their enthusiasm is not always well received by the horses (and the riders trying to stay on those horses). Therefore, dogs are not allowed on the property.
Polo horses can be spooked (cool horsey word for ‘scared’) by unusual activities outside the arena. We want spectators and their children to have a great time, but we ask that you remain cautious while watching a game or approaching a player on horseback.
Smoking is NOT allowed on the property. The possibility for fire is always high in Silverado (just read the sign at the fire station) and we want to do our part to prevent fires in this beautiful region.
Twenty minutes is typically ample time to arrive before a game to be able to park and secure your seating.
YES, PLEASE DO BRING
Cameras (We love photos of our ponies!)
PLEASE DON'T BRING
Loud noise makers
WHAT TO EXPECT
- Food and entertainment
- Barns tours
- You may bring your own tailgate for most events. Many events will have food available for purchase.
WHAT TO WEAR
Dress for the weather. In the summer, it can be very warm and there is not always shade available. At night, it can be chilly in the Canyons, so bring an extra layer or even a blanket.
Heels can be a challenge. If you want to gussy up, consider upgrading your seats to a VIP section.
At most games, casual attire is completely appropriate. Event page will provide more info. COMING SOON
ARENA POLO RULES
The ideal playing area is an arena that is 100X50 yards with solid sides (AKA boards). Goals are centered at opposite ends (10 feet wide by 15 feet high). Unlike in grass polo or football, if you hit the above the 15 feet, the point does not count.
THE BALL - An inflated ball is approximately 13 inches circumference and very similar to a small soccer ball.
THE MALLET - The handle is wrapped with rubber material for added grip and has a strap designed to go around the thumb. The shaft is made from manau cane (not bamboo because it is hollow). The head of the mallet is made from tipa wood and the ends are often painted in the player’s “colors”.
THE TACK - Bridle and saddle worn by the horse are made from quality English or Argentine leather. Tack is designed for the comfort, speed and agility of polo ponies. Bandages and/or boots are used to support and protect the horses’ legs.
THE POLO PONY
Polo ponies rarely qualify as “ponies”. They can be any breed or size. The important thing is the ability to be fast, agile, robust and brave! Average size of a polo pony ranges from 14.2–16 hands tall.
- Fun Fact -It's a lady’s game. It’s not uncommon to see more girl horses (mares) than boys (geldings). The mares tend to be braver, more competitive and focused. Geldings are usually more consistent and level headed - they make great learning partners!
- Fun Fact - SIZE MATTERS. The average polo mallet is 52 inches long. The taller the horse, the longer the mallet. Here at OC Polo we have a few horses over 16 hands, most of which require a 54 or 55 size mallet.
THE PLAYERS Arena polo is played with three players on each team. They are assigned positions, designated with numbers from one to three, and worn on the team jerseys. Number 1 is the most offensive player, like a forward in soccer. Number 2 is responsible for pushing the play both on offense and defense. Number 3 is often called the “back” and is responsible for defense. Number 2 and 3 are usually the highest rated and most experienced players; with number 3 often being the quarterback or field captain. Just like golf, players have handicaps according to their skill level. Handicaps start at -2 goals and go to 10 goals. The term “goal” in this context refers to a player’s skill level, not the number of goals expected from the player.
- Fun Fact - Why white pants? The tradition of wearing white pants dates back to the nineteenth century when Indian royals played in the heat, hence the preference for fabrics that were light in color and weight.
- Fun Fact - Polo is played with amateurs and professionals on the same team. The majority of amateurs are rated -2 to 2 goals, while the professionals are typically 4 – 10 goals. There are very few 10 goal players in the world, and a majority of them are Argentine.
There are two mounted Umpires in the arena and a ‘third man’ seated on the sidelines at the middle of the arena. The role of the third man is to be consulted by the mounted officials in the event they disagree on a foul/penalty. This third man also serves as time and score keeper.
LENGTH OF GAME
A polo match has four 7 ½ minute periods called chukkers. Chukkers may be shortened if it is considered to be in the best interest of the ponies. Time is stopped when the umpire blows the whistle. The clock starts again when the ball is back in play.