By: C. Oldfield
Polo was invented 2,500 years ago as a cavalry training exercise, as opposed to a spectator sport, and remarkably little has changed over the years. Polo was invented by the Achaemenid Empire in Iran, then known as Persia, and was first played in the 6th century AD.
The main factor that differentiates polo from other sports is the fact that both men and women play in the same league. However, statistics have shown that many more men are involved in the sport than women.
The outfit which polo players don consists of a helmet, mallets, a team shirt, white jeans, gloves, knee pads and boots (wearing a belt is optional though recommended). Most of these items are practical and the reasons for them are self explanatory. However many of you may be wondering why white jeans are a part of the outfit, as they presumably become stained easily; wearing white pants for polo dates back to the nineteenth century when Indian royals played in the harsh sunlight, hence the preference for lighter colours and weight.
Polo is played on a 275 by 183-meter field and many horses are required for each player as the horses are worn down easily by the speed of the game.
The game is one of the fastest sports and the objective is to hit a little plastic ball into a goal consisting of two poles with no cross bars. In polo is that you are not allowed to gallop horizontally across the field, as it is very difficult to slow down safely, resulting in accidents. Furthermore, every time you score a goal the side you are attacking on changes.
The best National polo team is Argentina and, because of this, the language most spoken in polo is Spanish. The best players in the world, according to both ranking and my personal opinion, are Adolfo Cambiaso and the Pieres brothers, Argentinian players who all belong to the same team.