What is Polocrosse?
Although polocrosse resembles the American Indian game of lacrosse, its origins date back hundreds of years to Persia and its sister sport of polo. In England, polocrosse was an indoor exercise to teach people how to ride a horse. The modern game took shape in Australia in the 1930’s. Today, there are over 6,000 players in the world. After participating in the 2003 Polocrosse World Cup tournament, the United States has developed “exchange programs” with several other countries.
In Australia, polocrosse is called the “King of the One Horse Sports” because a player can use only one horse throughout a tournament. This permits someone who may own only one or two horses to compete at the same level as someone with several. All types of horses play polocrosse: every breed, size and age. Speed, agility, and stamina are desirable, but the only requirement is that a horse be in sound physical condition. Every player should have a polocrosse racket and ball of their own. Helmets must be worn during play. For the horses’s protection, bell boots and leg wraps must be used. Other equipment requirements are listed in the 2016 APA Standards of Play1, Feb 19, 2016 (Rulebook).
The polocrosse field can be grass or dirt and is 160 yards long and 60 yards wide. Teams score points by throwing the ball through their opponents goal posts. At the same time, they protect their goal from the other team. All players can catch, carry and throw the ball with their rackets. However, only the player at the number 1 position is allowed to score. The rules are designed with one primary concern, safety — for player and horse. Anything creating a dangerous situation is ruled illegal and is penalized.
Teams and Tournaments
A polocrosse club is a group of people who share an enthusiasm for this thrilling game. A club consists of one more teams playing at various levels of skill, including special teams for those under the age of 21. Teams are comprised of two sections with three players in each. The player who wears number 1 is the primary offensive player and scores the goals. The number 2 is the “swing” player, playing both offense and defense in the middle of the field. The number 3’s job is to defend the goal. The two sections alternate players in six or eight-minute periods or “chukkas.” A typical match consists of four or six chukkas. Players look forward to the weekend tournaments where they compete against teams at their level of play. Tournaments are a time of fellowship, learning and good old-fashioned fun. Join the hundreds of riders across the country taking up this international sport. Polocrosse is for the entire family — boys and girls, moms and dads, everyone from five to 75.