A polo match lasts about one and one-half hours and is divided into six 7 minute
periods or chukkers. Since a horse in fast polo can cover two and one-half to
three miles per period, he’ll be too tired to play a second one right away.
After resting for two or three periods, some horses can return to the game.
Still, in championship polo, a player will come to the field with at least six
horses. The mounts are horses, mostly thoroughbreds, not ponies. The object of
the game is to score as many goals as possible. There are four players on a team
and each assumes a specific position either offensive or defensive. However,
given the enormous size of the playing fields, the momentum of the galloping
horses and the ball’s unexpected changes of direction, the game is very fluid,
and the positions continuously change.
There are few set plays in polo, and good
anticipation is almost a sixth sense. With thousand pound animals running at
speed there is a pre-eminent necessity for a right of way rule. The central
concept in the rules of polo is the line of the ball, a right-of-way established
by the path of the traveling ball. Like the rules of the road, there are dos
and don’ts governing access to this right-of-way and crossing it. Within these
limitations, a player can hook an opponent’s mallet, push him off the line, bump
him with his horse or steal the ball from him. Penalties are awarded as free
The more severe, the shorter the distance to the goal. The closer hits are
almost certain goals. After every goal is scored, the teams change sides in
order to compensate for field and wind conditions. A typical score would be
10-7. Polo games are played on the flat or the handicap. Every registered player
is awarded a skill rating from C (-2, the lowest) to 10 (the highest). When a
match is played on the handicap basis, the sum total rating of the players on
the team is subtracted from that of the opposition.
Any difference is then
awarded to the lower rated side in goals on the scoreboard. Polo – The history
Possibly the oldest team sport, polo’s genesis is lost to the eye of history. An
Asiatic game, polo was first played on a barren campground by nomadic warriors
over two thousand years ago Valuable for training Cavalry, the game was played
from Constantinople to Japan by the Middle Ages. Known in the East as the Game
of Kings, Tamer lane’s polo grounds can still be seen in Samarkand. British tea
planters in India witnessed the game in the early 1800’s but it was not until
the 1850’s that the British Cavalry drew up the earliest rules and by the 1869’s
the game was well established in England.
James Gordon Bennett, a noted American
publisher, balloonist, and adventurer, was captivated by the sport and brought
it to New York in 1876 where it caught on immediately. Within ten years, there
were major clubs all over the east, including Newport and Long Island. Over the
next 50 years, polo achieved extraordinary popularity in the United States. By
the 1930’s polo was in the midst of a Golden Age it was an Olympic sport and
crowds in excess of 30,000 regularly attended international matches at Meadow
Brook Polo Club on Long Island.
The galloping game produced athletes who would
doubtless have achieved greatness in any sport. Cecil Smith, the Texas cowboy
who held a perfect 10-goal rating for a still-record 25 years. Devereux
Melbourne, instrumental in formulating modern styles of play and Tommy Hitch
cock, war hero and the best of the best in international competition for two
decades. In the past 20 years, polo in the United States has undergone an
unprecedented and remarkable expansion. At present, there are more than 225
clubs with over 3,000 players. Cricket – The rules There are 2 teams which have
11 players each.
They play on a large circular or oval field batting area pitch
at the center. At each end of the pitch is a 28inch-high wicket consisting of
three vertical poles called stumps and two small horizontal sticks called bales.
Wicket is an old word for a small gate. One team bats and the other team fields
or bowls. All eleven members of the fielding team are on the field at the same
time in various positions.
Two members of the batting team are on the field at a
time, one batsman standing near each wicket. One member of the fielding team,
called the bowler, the bowler throws the ball overran from one wicket towards
the other with the aim of hitting the target wicket. The batsman at that end
tries to hit the ball with his bat. The aim of the batsmen is to score runs for
his team. There are 2 ways a batsman can get these runs: 1. By hitting the ball
out of the field. If the ball does not bounce before it crosses the boundary he
scores 6 runs and if it does bounce he scores 4 runs. 2. By hitting the ball
within the field and running from one end of the pitch to the other. The other
batsman runs in the opposite direction.
One run is scored for each length of the
pitch they run. The aim of the fielding team is to get each batsman out. There
are 3 main ways a batsman can be out: 1. If he is caught 2. If the batsman is
run out 3. If a ball delivered by the bowler hits any part of the batsman and it
is judged by the umpire that the ball would have hit the wicket if the batsman
had not been in the way. The part of the body usually hit is the leg and so this
type of out is called LBW. When a batsman is out he is replaced by another
member of his team.
Once the fielding team gets 10 of the 11 batsmen out, or the
over limit is reached, the fielding team becomes the batting team and vice
versa. The new batting team then has to try to beat the other team’s score. The
game may last for one or two innings for each team. The team with the highest
number of runs at the end of the game wins. Cricket – equipment Bat For a young
boy to learn the art of batting, the choice of a bat, of suitable size and
weight, is of the most importance.
It is best for the young batsmen to use a bat
which feels light rather than one which fells heavy. There is little benefit to
be had from using a heavy bat too early, especially when one is just beginning.
Don’t get t aken in by the talk of heavy bats in modern cricket. You can use it
but only when you are sufficiently strong to be able to handle it. Pads Careful
instruction should be give by the coach on the importance of selecting batting
pads that will be suitable to young players. Pads should provide adequate
protection from injury, fit comfortably on the legs, should not be cumbersome or
too heavy and must not impede or restrict quick and easy movement. Player Code
Players should always be neatly and correctly dressed.
All boots should be clean
and properly sprigged, either with spikes on the soles and heels or with spikes
in the soles and hardened ribbed rubber on the heels. Bad sprigging may easily
be the cause of a spilled catch or a run out. A bowler will not be able to get a
good foothold on a hard or wet surface. No player should wear a wrist-watch or
ring on the field or should one carry a cap in a pocket. A protector should be
worn at all times by the batsmen and the wicket-keeper and the fielders right
near the bat. Comfortable well fitting socks should be worn.
In the case of fast
bowler, it is quite often good policy to wear two pairs of socks. It is
recommended that batsmen and keepers wear only short socks. Not only do they
give a smarter appearance but are also more comfortable. Fold the trousers in
front of the legs and strap the pads tight to them. Batting gloves should be
worn at all times in all grades of the game. This gives the player protection as
well as comfort in gripping the bat. Bad equipment or lack of equipment in a
match or at the nets can often be very damaging to a player’s confidence. Often,
players who are hurt in the nets would have been spared the agony had they been
wearing proper equipment.
Such shortage of equipment can also lead a player into
gaining the bad habit of not getting behind the line of the ball. No Bowler can
do justice to himself and his team if his boots are ill-fitting, if his toes are
being pinched, if the sprigs are piercing the material and keep getting at his
feet, if blisters are being caused by chafing and if toenails are being
compressed. A proper grip of the ground is also vital. Pay a lot of attention
when you are buying your first pair of cricket boots. Boots must be laced tight
to give support to the ankles. Blisters must be avoided. An additional innersole
is often helpful.
A little talcum power sprinkled into the socks or a little
Vaseline applied between the toes may help avoid friction and stop the blisters.
Aids to foot comfort are not sufficient in themselves. Boots must fit well.
Helmets may become necessary at a later stage when young batsmen come across
bowlers who are really pacy. It would be much better to learn to play the game
without them. It is not too difficult to adjust to the helmet once you go up the
ladder and you need the protection of this modern headgear. Rugby – Introduction
Rugby is a popular game played by men and women of every race, from under age
five to well over fifty, in over 100 countries of the world. In a few of those
countries it is the national sport – some say religion. The basic game involves
The object of the game is to score as many points as possible by
carrying, passing, kicking and grounding an oval ball in the scoring zone at the
far end of the field called the in-goal area. Grounding the ball, which must be
done with downward pressure, results in a try, worth 5 points. After a try a
conversion may be attempted by place kick or drop kick. If the ball passes over
the bar and between the goal posts the conversion is successful and results in a
further 2 points. Points may also be scored from a drop kick in general play,
worth 3 points and a penalty kick worth 3 points.
The ball may not be passed
forward (though it may be kicked forward) and players may not receive the ball
in an offside position, nor may they wait in such a position. Players may not be
tackled without the ball. Play only stops when a try is scored, or the ball goes
out of play, or an infringement occurs. When the ball goes out it is thrown back
in at a line-out where the opposing forwards line up and jump for the ball.
Infringements result in a penalty, or free kick, or scrum. In a scrum the
opposing forwards bind together in a unit and push against the other forwards,
trying to win the ball with their feet. Substitutions are only allowed in case
of injury and there is no separate offensive and defensive unit.