All About Polo
Similar to soccer, the objective of polo is to drive the ball (which is made of white plastic and weighs 4.5 ounces with a 3.5-inch diameter) downfield and between the opponent's goalposts. The game is divided into six seven-and-a-half-minute play periods called "chukkers." The "line of the ball" is the imaginary path the ball travels on, and it represents a right-of-way for the last player striking the ball. (Crossing "the line" is the most frequent foul in the game.) When the ball is hit between the goalposts, a point is scored and the teams switch ends of the field.
Both the players and the ponies are outfitted with the tools they need to win the game.
All players are rated on a scale of -2 to 10, with 10 being the best. This rating is based on the player's ability and has nothing to do with the number of goals scored. There are many factors that determine a player's handicap, including his or her horsemanship, hitting, quality of horse, team play, game sense and sportsmanship. The team handicap is the sum of the players' handicaps. In handicap matches, the team with the lower handicap is awarded the difference in goals at the beginning of the match.
1 to 3: Good
4 to 8: Very good
9 to 10: Elite