What is Polo?
One of the oldest team sports, polo has a relatively small team of just 4 players on each side. The aim of the game is quite simply to score goals by putting the ball between the posts. Players ride specially trained Polo Ponies who are completely used to the swinging Polo Mallets (Long canes with cigar-like heads) and flying Polo Balls (Small white balls a little larger than hockey balls).
A Polo Match consists of periods of play called Chukkas - Each Chukka is 7 minutes long and for all but the final chukka there are 30 seconds of overtime. In low-goal polo a standard match consists of 4 Chukkas. After each Chukka the players change ponies to give them a rest and there are strict pony-welfare rules to ensure that they are not over played and exhausted.
Polo is a sociable, fast, adrenaline team sport that not only has the interation of players with each other but also the interaction of the player with the horse. It makes for great entertainment for spectators andfantastic fun for the players.
How can I get involved?
UEA Polo is offering two different options:
1) Playing membership - £45/year - With this membership you can attend training sessions at your leisure (there is no pressure to do lots of training) and your travel to and from these sessions will be provided. You will be taught from wherever your current level of playing is and always be in a friendly group with other members so that there is a little healthy competition. Dont worry if you are concerned that you have absolutely no experience as we aim to ensure that abilities are matched in groups! With this membership there also comes the option to take part in any tournaments or matches that are organised with other universities and by joining in on these you can get a real flavour of the sport.
2) Social membership - £4/year - This is the perfect membership if you are either a little unsure about whether you want to get involved in playing or are simply happy to join in on the parties and support the club by cheering the players on (a very important role). Social members are invited to all social events and are invited on any trips that the club runs such as to see professional games or potential trips abroad in the future. With a social membership you are welcome to one lesson as a taste of the sport from a players perspective - If you get the bug and wish to continue with lessons there is the option to upgrade to a playing membership.
What training can I get?
UEA Polo trains with the Alec Banner-Eve at Silver Leys Polo for the Summer season (when Polo is played on a large grass pitch) and then with Alec at MHF Polo school (Moor Hall Farm) during the winter (when Polo is played in a sand arena). These are both approximately 1:30 hrs/ 1:40 hrs from the UEA campus and transport will be provided by the society.
1 Hour Group Lessson - £35
Alec is a qualified HPA (Hurlingham Polo Association) Club Instructor and carries a handicap of 2 goals.