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polo

polo, indoor or outdoor ball and goal game played on horseback.

Rules and Equipment

Two teams of four compete on a level, rectangular grass field that measures 200 by 300 yd (182.88 by 274.32 m). Safety zones surround the playing field, and at either end goal posts stand 10 ft (3.05 m) high and 24 ft (7.32 m) apart. An indoor version is tailored to the dimensions of the various arenas in which it is played. The outdoor ball, weighing about 41/2 oz (.13 kg) and measuring not more than 31/4 in. (8.26 cm) in diameter, is made of wood, often willow root. Standard polo equipment includes a specially made brimmed helmet, a flexible-stemmed mallet some 4 ft (1.22 m) long, and the usual equestrian equipment.

An outdoor match is made up of eight periods (called chukkers), usually of 71/2 min each, though in some matches either the length or number of chukkers may be reduced. Play is directed toward hitting the ball through the opponents' goal. A mounted umpire metes out penalties—e.g., automatic goals, free shots on goal, and disqualification—for dangerous riding, carrying the ball, or illegal use of the mallet. The umpire starts each period and begins play after each goal by throwing the ball into a marked-off midfield area between the two lines of opposing players. A system of handicapping players promotes parity.

Polo ponies, actually standard-size horses of no particular breed, undergo a long, rigorous period of training to prepare them for the bruising requirements of the game. Because a typical polo match involves virtually nonstop action and many high-speed collisions of the horses, each player must maintain a "string" of expensive ponies so as to be able to change mounts several times during the course of a match. Thus, polo is a sport for the wealthy.

History

Some historians claim that polo originated in Persia in the 6th cent.; it spread to Turkey, India, and Tibet and, with some modifications, to China and Japan. According to this view, it was revived in India during the 19th cent., where it became popular with British army officers stationed there, and spread to other countries. Others contend that the British officers themselves created the game (1862) after seeing a horsemanship exhibition in Manipur, India. The sport was introduced into England in 1869, and seven years later sportsman James Gordon Bennett imported it to the United States. After 1886, English and American teams occasionally met for the International Polo Challenge Cup. Polo was on several Olympic games schedules, but was last an Olympic sport in 1936. Polo is also now popular in Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand, but the relative number of polo players remains small.

Bibliography

See S. D. Price, The Polo Primer (1989).

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"polo." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"polo." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/polo

"polo." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/polo

polo

polo is derived from the Tibetan word for a willow stick and originated in the East, probably among the horsemen of central Asia. It was very popular in Persia and variants were played in India, Japan, and China. British tea-planters and cavalry officers adopted it in India and inter-regimental competitions were organized. The first game in Britain was held in London in 1871 and the Hurlingham Club, at Fulham, founded in 1875, established itself as the governing body of the sport. It was included in the Olympic Games between 1908 and 1936. Since it involves the ownership or hire of several ponies for each player, it is unlikely to sweep the country, but it still has a considerable following in Argentina and in Britain is played mainly by army officers.

J. A. Cannon

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"polo." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"polo." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/polo

"polo." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/polo

polo

polo Field game played on horseback. Two teams of four players, on a field up to 182m (600ft) by 273m (900ft), each try to hit a small ball into a goal using flexible mallets. A game consists of four, six, or eight chukkas (periods), each 7.5 minutes long; additional chukkas may be played to decide a game if the scores are tied. Polo originated in Persia in ancient times and spread throughout Asia. It was revived in India in the 19th century and was taken up by British army officers there. It was first played in Britain in 1868, and is also played in the USA.

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"polo." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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polo

polo. Andalusian folk-song (and dance) in moderate 3/8 with syncopations and vocal coloraturas on words such as ‘Ole’ and ‘Ay’. Example comp. by M. García in his opera El criado fingido was quoted by Bizet in prelude to Act IV of Carmen. No.7 of Falla's 7 Spanish Popular Songs is a polo.

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"polo." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"polo." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/polo

"polo." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/polo

polo

po·lo / ˈpōlō/ • n. a game of Eastern origin resembling field hockey, played on horseback with a long-handled mallet.

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"polo." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"polo." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/polo-1

"polo." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/polo-1

Polo

Po·lo , Marco, see Marco Polo.

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"Polo." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/polo-0

polo

polo XIX. — Balti polo ball.

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"polo." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"polo." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/polo-2

polo

poloaloe, callow, fallow, hallow, mallow, marshmallow, sallow, shallow, tallow •Pablo, tableau •cashflow • Anglo • matelot •Carlo, Harlow, Marlowe •Bargello, bellow, bordello, cello, Donatello, fellow, jello, martello, mellow, morello, niello, Novello, Pirandello, Portobello, Punchinello, Uccello, violoncello, yellow •pueblo • bedfellow • playfellow •Oddfellow • Longfellow •schoolfellow • Robin Goodfellow •airflow • halo • Day-Glo •filo, kilo •armadillo, billow, cigarillo, Murillo, Negrillo, peccadillo, pillow, tamarillo, Utrillo, willow •inflow • Wicklow • furbelow • Angelo •pomelo • uniflow •kyloe, lilo, milo, silo •Apollo, follow, hollow, Rollo, swallow, wallow •Oslo • São Paulo • outflow •bolo, criollo, polo, solo, tombolo •rouleau • regulo • modulo • mudflow •diabolo • bibelot • pedalo • underflow •buffalo •brigalow, gigolo •bungalow •Michelangelo, tangelo •piccolo • tremolo • alpenglow • tupelo •contraflow • afterglow • overflow •furlough • workflow

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"polo." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"polo." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/polo