Photos by Robbin Cresswell
Story by Marilyn Short
trot your horse please. Lope; lope your horse please. Reverse at a walk and
line up facing the Ring Seward. Are you tired of going round and round in
an arena? Why not try playing a fast-paced team sport on horseback? Polocrosse
enthusiasts swear the sport is the most fun you can have on a horse.
Unfortunately many people confuse Polocrosse with Polo. Unlike Polo, each player must use the same horse for the entire game, so a player doesn’t have to bring a string of horses to play. The only time a player is allowed to change horses mid-game is if heir original horse is injured.
It doesn’t matter what breed or age of horse used, as long as the animal has sight in both eyes. The only restriction is that stallions are not allowed. It is desirable to have a horse with speed, agility and stamina, although the rules state no horse is allowed to play more than 54 minutes per day in competition.
A Polocrosse team consists of six players, divided into two sections of three. The first section plays a 6-8 minute period or “chukka,” then will rest and cool off their horses while the second section plays the second chukka. The game consists of four or six chukkas.
The three players in each section consist of the No. 1 player in the offensive/attack position. The No. 1 player is the only player allowed to score a goal. The No. 2 player is the center or swing player. The No. 2 player can play offense or defense. The No. 3 player’s job is to defend their goal.
Polocrosse is played on an arena 160 yards long by 60 yards wide. The goal posts are located at each end of the field and are 8 ft. apart. Located 30 yards from each goal is a penalty line, which defines the goal scoring area. Only the No. 1 and No. 3 players are allowed in the goal scoring area. Directly in front of the goal posts is an 11 yard semi-circle. A No. 1 player must throw the ball through the goal posts from outside of this semi-circle. The No. 3 players may be anywhere in the goal scoring area in order to defend the goal.
There is 100 yards between each penalty line, which is the center field. The No. 2 player or pivot or swing player can play offense or defense but must stay in the center field.
Polocrosse is played with a cane racquet 36 inches in length with an 8-inch diameter net at the end. The ball is four inches in diameter. Players pick up or throw the ball down the field towards their goal. The No. 1 player cannot carry the ball across the penalty line. The player must either bounce it across the line, or it must be thrown to him – he cannot have possession of the ball while crossing the penalty line.
A player must carry the ball on the stick side – right-handed players carry it on the offside of the horse. A player cannot carry the stick across he horse, but a player can catch or pick up the ball on the non-stick side, provided they immediately get the stick back to the stick side of the horse.
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