SundayStills (Sport) – The Sport of Kings
It was called the ‘Sport of Kings’ originated in Persia. The modern game of polo, though formalised and popularised by the British, is derived from Manipur (now a state in India) where the game was known as ‘Sagol Kangjei’, ‘Kanjai-bazee’, or ‘Pulu’. It was the anglicised form of the last, referring to the wooden ball which was used, that was adopted by the sport in its slow spread to the west.
The first polo club was established in the town of Silchar in Assam, India, in 1834.There is also a polo ground in chooto jalanga
The oldest polo ground in the world is the Imphal Polo Ground in Manipur State.
The first polo club, Calcutta Polo Club, was established by two British soldiers, Captain Robert Stewart and Major General Joe Shearer in 1862. Later they spread the game to their peers in England.
Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team’s goal using a long-handled mallet.
Strategic plays in polo are based on the “line of the ball”, an imaginary line created by the ball as it travels down the field. The line of the ball defines rules for players to approach the ball safely. The “line of the ball” changes each time the ball changes direction. The player who hit the ball generally has the right of way, and other players cannot cross the line of the ball in front of that player. As players approach the ball, they ride on either side of the line of the ball giving each access to the ball. The defending player has a variety of opportunities for his or her team to gain possession of the ball like ‘Ride-Off’ (A “ride-off” is when a player moves another player off the line of the ball by making shoulder-to-shoulder contact with the other players’ horses) or ‘Hooking’ (While a player is taking a swing at the ball, his/her opponent can block the swing by using his/her mallet to hook the mallet of the player swinging at the ball. A player may hook only if is he/she is on the side where the swing is being made or directly in front or behind an opponent).