Travel Blog of Tangol Argentina

Polo—the sport chosen by tourists in Argentina

Posted by JULIETA on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 02 @ 11:00 AM in Sports    

The payers’ skills, the hits to the ball, the horses’ gallop, and the elegance of its environment make up a postcard that no one has wanted to miss in the last seasons, when traveling to Buenos Aires. 

For several years, the positioning of Argentine polo in the world has generated a significant flow of tourists, who visit the country to connect with the essence of this sport through tournaments, the quality of its horses and the best players in the world.
Polo was taken with enthusiasm by Argentinians from its origins at the end of the 19th century. Its popularity began to grow and the game developed to become more “creole”. So an attempt to find the best horse began by crossbreeding the native Argentine horse, known for its resistance, with the English purebred, known to be fast and stylish.

While in other countries, this sport is only for an elite group, in Argentina its scope is getting more and more popular. The main games may be attended by 30,000 people and they are broadcast live by several television networks. Today, Argentina holds the most important interclub contest in the world, from September to December, which features: Hurlingham and Tortugas Open Tournaments, and the historic Argentine Open Polo Tournament, which takes place in Palermo. Tickets can be taken at the offices of Tangol or on the website www.tangol.com.

Rules of the Game
A polo game is played outdoors in a field of 275 meters long by 160 meters wide.
The game is divided into periods of seven minutes, called chukkers. Each chukker represents how much effort the horse can resist. The games can consist of four, five, and six chukkers depending on the total level of a team or tournament in handicaps.
A player’s handicap is measured between -2 and 10, being 10 the best position.
   Each team has four players with numbers 1 and 2 as attacking offensive positions, number 3 in the middle of the field and number 4 as a defensive position.
  Two mounted umpires oversee the game together with the match referee (third man), who is located on the sidelines of the field.

Equipment 
-Mallet: The mallet measures about 1.30 meters, it is flexible and made of bamboo and wood. It must be held in the right hand only. 
-Ball: The ball must weigh between 120 and 130 grams. It can be made of wood or plastic. 
-Helmet: The helmet has a rigid case outside and padding inside to protect the rider’s head.
-Riding Boots: The boots are made of leather and have a small heel to provide the rider with the necessary grip.
-Kneepads: The kneepads are used to protect the rider’s legs.
-Gloves: The gloves are made of leather and they are used to protect and provide a better grip.
-Elbow Pads: The elbow pads are designed to protect against falls and hits during the game.
-Whip: The whip is flexible and light, and it is used to steer and control the horse. 
-Stirrups: The stirrups are fixed to the saddle and allow the rider to place his feet, providing him safety and stability.
-Safety Glasses: The safety glasses offer protection against falls and mallet hits.
-Bridle: The bridles are straps that control the horse.
-Pelham Bit: The Pleham bit is the part of the bridle that goes into the animal’s mouth and is used to steer the horse.
-Reins: Double reins are used to control the horse.
-Martingale: The martingale serves to keep the horse’s head in the right position.


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Source: Revista Buenos Aires Day&Night



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