Hey Kids it’s Officially Polo Season, Opening Day in San Diego June 5, Kicks off the Polo season and runs through October 2. Polo has been a tradition in San Diego for 110 Years, today marks the 30th Anniversary of Polo at the Del Mar/ Rancho Santa Fe Polo Fields. Just a few quick things before you go.
What is Polo?
Polo is a game played on horseback with two teams whose objective is to score points on the opposing team. The Players use a mallet to hit the ball, points scored are called goals. A goal is any time the ball crosses, the line between the goal posts. There is no goalie and after each goal the teams switch goals.
There are 4 players on each team called a quartet. The Players are designated offense or defense players. Player No. 1: is essentially a goal striker. No. 2: is also a forward No. 3: is the pivotal player between offence and defense who tries to turn all plays to offence. No. 4: known as the back, is the most defensive player whose primary responsibility is to protect the goal area. Each player is on horseback, the horse is called a Pony.
To start the game, called a Match, the two teams line up parallel to each other and the umpire tosses the ball in between the two teams. It is called a Throw-In.
The Match is divided into six, seven minute time periods called Chukkers. Chukka comes from the Indian word for a circle or round.
The most basic concept in the sport of polo is the line of the ball, its an imaginary line that is formed each time the ball is hit. The player that hit the ball last is considered to have the right of way. This can be taken away by moving the player off the line of the ball by making shoulder-to-shoulder contact.
Some Cool Polo Facts.
- The Size of a Polo Field is equivalent to 9 football fields
- Men and Women can play on the same team- How cool is that?
- There are no Left Handed players- in the mid- 1930’s left hand players were banned from the sport, this is designed for player safety.
- Polo is one of the oldest and fastest sports but it is also known as one of the most fashionable sports. Did you know that Brooks Brothers, in the late 1800’s designed the button down collar specifically for polo players to prevent the collars from flapping in the wind. Pretty Cool.
- Polo Players wear white pants, this dates back to the traditions beginning in India, players wore white to help in the heat of the hot sun.
Opening Day Facts:
Ladies and Gentlemen put on your Sunday Best and head to the Field. Ladies don’t wear Stilettos you will be walking in grass and dirt. So I recommend Flats, Flops or Wedges. You will thank me later.
Don’t forget sunglasses, sunscreen and hats, it’s hot out on the field.
There will be a Divot Stomp where all spectators grab champagne glasses and hit the field to replace all the divots kicked up from the pony hooves. I think this tradition is brilliant- creates a cheap grounds crew.
Each San Diego Polo Match benefits a local non-profit, opening day Polo benefits San Diego Film Foundation.
Opening Day has a 7th Chukker – which is the After Party with DJ Beatnick, time to dance.
Don’t forget to jump in the Camera Camper and say cheese for your polo photos of the day.
The gates open at 12:30pm, the first match starts at 1:00pm. Grab your Hat, Sunscreen, Sunglasses and see you for Sunday Funday out on the Fields.
Jrock Jen Blake