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handicap, as in “How many goals are you?” (See next entry)

Handicap: Every player is assigned a handicap

from C (-2) to 10 goals. This handicap reflects the player’s theoretical worth to his team and has nothing whatever to do with how many goals he might score during a match. On each team, the four players’ handicaps are added together to arrive at a team handicap. Team handicaps are used to classify tournaments: in an 8-goal tournament, the teams have a maximum of eight goals, for instance. If a 7-goal team plays against an 8-goal team, the 7-goal team will start the game with one goal, “on handicap.”

to hook an opponent, he will yell “Mallet!” Other times, when a player breaks his mallet, he may yell “mallet!” to his groom. With luck, someone will come to the endline to bring him a new one. The play never stops just because one of the players has broken or dropped a mallet.

Near Side:

The left side of the horse. One normally handles the horse on his near side. A near side shot is one taken on the left side of the horse. All players carry their mallets in their right hands, so to execute a near side shot, they must lean across the horse. Near side shots are more difficult than off side (right side) shots.

Hook: A defensive play. A player may hook or strike at his opponent’s mallet when the opponent is in the act of hitting at the ball. He may not reach over, under or across his opponent’s horse: this is a “cross hook” and a foul. A “high hook” (above the level of the player’s shoulder) is also a foul. Sometimes a player commits a foul hook accidentally. An “inadvertent foul hook” merits a free hit from the spot.

Neck Shot: a shot made under the horse’s neck,

“Leave it!” A player may call for his teammate to “leave it” (meaning don’t try to hit the ball) if the player behind the one “on the ball” thinks he has a better shot. Generally speaking, the player behind has a better view of the game and knows if it would be better for the player in front to leave it or not.

Open: (a) A shot that travels at an angle away from

Line of the Ball: The imaginary line that the ball creates from where a player hits it to where it is going. The line extends indefinitely across the field. Many of the right-of-way rules in polo are based on the concept of the line of the ball. Generally, one tries not to cross the line of the ball, especially in front of someone who is “on the line.” Knock-in: When the ball goes over the endline

but not through the goal posts, the team defending that goal gets a free hit or “knock-in” from the point where the ball went out. Attacking players must stay 30 yards away from the hitter until the ball is in play.

Mallet: The polo stick. Mallet canes are made

of malacca, a type of palm that grows in the Asian rainforest. The mallet head is typically made of tipa wood from Argentina or Brazil. Since polo is not croquet, players do not have to hit the ball with the pointed end of the mallet. Instead, they hit it with the side of the head, at the juncture of the head and the cane. Sometimes when a player yells for his teammate

causing the ball to travel at an angle in front of the horse. Players must lean forward and hit the ball well in front of them to execute a neck shot properly. Otherwise, the ball will bounce into the pony’s galloping legs.

Off Side: The right side of the horse. The most common shot in polo is an off side forehand.

the horse, either backwards or forwards. Also called a cut shot or and away shot. (b) A polo game that is played without consideration of handicaps – in other words, a lower handicapped team would not receive any goals to start with.

Penalty One: a dangerous foul that takes place near the goal, created when a defending player attempts to stop an attacker from scoring. In a Penalty One, the team fouled gets an automatic goal. The teams do not change ends, and the ball is thrown in at the 10 yard line. A Penalty One often results in two goals for the team that was fouled. Pick-up stick: A necessary piece of equipment

for the umpire, it is a stick with a special end that allows the umpire to pick up a polo ball from the ground.

Pony: Although they are full-sized, full-grown horses, polo mounts are called ponies. This term comes from the early modern history of polo. When British tea planters learned the game from Manipuri Indians in the mid-19th century, they did indeed play on ponies — they also played eight to a side. As the sport developed, players used larger and larger mounts and had fewer and fewer teammates. By the end of the World War I, height limits for polo mounts Aiken Polo Club 2015


Aiken Polo Club Magazine 2015  

Aiken Polo Club 's annual magazine.