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