Learn to speak fluent polo

2011-08-05 09:06

Mokgadi Seabi checks with the SA Polo Association on the lingo you need to master to understand the game.

Chukka: (pronounced chaka) This is the basic period of play. There are generally six chukkas, which last seven and a half minutes. Horses are changed in between. A rider needs between five and seven horses to play.

Line of the ball: The imaginary line created by the ball as it travels across the field. The line of the ball may not be crossed or infringed except in exceptional circumstances.

Foul: Most fouls are determined by the concept of the line of the ball.

Goal: A point is added to the score every time the ball travels between the goalposts – whether hit in by attacker, defender or pony. A team’s direction of play changes after each goal is scored.

Mallet: The stick thingy used to hit the ball.

Hook: This is one of the two defensive manoeuvres allowed. In this case, the mallet is used to block or interfere with another player’s swing at the ball.

Divot stomp:
When spectators stomp on the loose chunks of grass between plays to replace them.

Nearside:
This is the left side of the horse.

Offside:
The right side.

Puttees:
The leg wraps applied to the horse’s lower legs for support and protection.

Referee:
The referee is the guy who chills on the side in case the two mounted umpires don’t agree. The referee is some sort
of linesman.

Ride-off:
A ride-off is used to break an opposing player’s concentration, moving them off the line of the ball or spoiling their shot.

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