Alternative ways to play Polo

Different types of games are played across the world. Certain games, such as football, rugby and cricket, are extremely popular around the world whereas others, such as baseball and equestrian, are played in a few parts of the world only. Polo is an extremely popular field or outdoor game in Canada and the United States. It is a game that the residents of these two countries enjoy to play and watch. Polo is commonly played on grass, snow, sand and in arenas. There are even more variations on polo in addition to these. This article gives an overview of the variations on polo as well as the various animals that are used for polo.

Beach, snow and arena polo differ from the classic grass polo in a number of ways. The teams and playing field are comparatively smaller, the ball bigger and the chukkas smaller. The rules also value from one variant to another. However, polo is an interesting game in which players hit the ball with a unique stick. The most exciting part of the polo game is that players are expected to ride horses when playing the game. The horses that are used for playing the game of polo are normally referred to as polo ponies. Besides horses, other animals that are used for the sport of polo include elephants, yaks, camels and even donkeys. The players of this sport are extremely talented and take major risks during the game.

On Horseback

A modern variant of the game is known as arena polo. This game is usually played on an enclosed area, which makes the field of play smaller than the usual field. Beach polo is a recent variant that is commonly played on sandy beaches in Miami and Dubai and more recently, in the United Kingdom. Another recent variant is called snow polo simply because it is played on snow on a frozen surface. The set-up of snow polo will vary based on the space available.

Other Variations

Playing polo on other animals besides horses is also common. Other polo variants are mainly played for touristic or recreational purposes. These variants include elephant polo, camel polo, yak polo and even donkey polo.

Elephant polo is similar to the standard sport, except that the animal used is the elephant. Elephant polo is popular in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, but the UK has also fielded teams. The field is three-quarters of the size of the average polo pitch because of the slower pace of the elephants. Usually, two players ride one elephant whilst the player controls the direction of the mahout in order to strike the ball.

Camel polo is also popular and is played on camels. Similarly, there can be two riders with one person steering camel and the other playing the game. Yak polo is the Mongolian variant. Instead of horses, this version is played on yaks. This version acts as a tourist attraction in areas where it is played and has become extremely popular nowadays. Yak polo has also become popular in Pakistan and is an integral part of the renewed Broghil Festival in Chitral.


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