Polocrosse - Riding Styles & Disciplines
Polocrosse Article and Photos Copyrighted - see credits below
A variation of polo known as polocrosse, was played in Japan a thousand years ago and is now popular in Australia. Seeming to be derived from polo and lacrosse, Polocrose began before World War II as an indoor game in England, sponsored by the national school of Equitation in Kingston Vale, London. In 1939 it was introduced to Australia as an outdoor game. Before long it swept Australia as one of the most popular sports period, let alone an equestrian sport. In Australia, the standard Polocrosse field is 160 yard long and 60 yard wide. Goal posts are 14 feet high, 8 feet apart, and stand at each end with a semicircle of 11 yard diameter drawn in front of them, beyond which goals must be thrown in. Thirty yards from each end is a penalty lie over which no ball my be carried; it must be grounded and picked up again which calls for good timing and wrist work. A soft ball is used, carried in a net on a stick similar to a polo stick. The net is the size of a squash racket and not unlike a lacrosse stick. The horses do not exceed 15 hands.
A score is made by throwing the ball through the opposing team's goal posts. Everyone of course tries to protect their own goal posts. Only the player at the number one position is allowed to score, although all players can carry, catch or throw the ball with their racquets.
Polocrosse teams, are made up of six players, three taking the field for each side at a time, playing alternate chukkars of eight minutes each. This means there is a rest for everyone in between chukkars they are playing. Also each player uses one horse only, so strings of ponies are not needed. Furthermore the game can be played by a person of any age. Safety for rider and horse are paramount and anything creating danger is illegal and strongly penalized.
Australia has been a strong advocate of Polocrosse and efforts to grow the sport have succeeded. Several countries now support teams and there are competitions within countries as well as between countries. The sport is called the king of one horse sports because all you need is one good horse and the skill to ride and play.
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