If you are tired of making endless circles in an arena or frustrated at the expense and hassle of cattle, try polocrosse! Polocrosse is a team sport that anyone, on any horse, can play. The game promotes good sportsmanship but most of all, its a lot of fun. Come join us and you’ll see just what we mean when we say that polocrosse is the most fun that you can have on a horse.
Polocrosse is a ball sport played on horseback. Spectators are entertained by the fast paced game that combines the speed of polo, the strategy of chess with the tough ball handling skills of lacrosse.
Polocrosse can be played by the whole family. Players of all ages participate at their own skill level. Women compete with men on an equal basis and there are divisions for junior players.
A full team consists of six players divided into two sections. The first section plays a six to eight minute chukka, while the second section sits out. At the end of the first chukka, the second section takes the field while the first section sits out. The sections alternate play for the entire game which may be four to eight chukkas long.
Each rider uses a cane racquet that is around 36 inches in length with an eight inch diameter head. The loose string net is used to catch, carry, pick up or throw the soft four inch foam ball.
The #1 is the only player who can score a goal for the team and the #1 can only do so while in the "goal scoring area". The #2 is usually the pivot of the team who can only play in the mid-field; the #3 is the only player who can defend the goal.
The excitement begins as soon as the players move to the "T" situated mid-field. They line up side by side, one behind the other in numerical order with the #1 in front. The game commences with the call of "Time on!" and the ball is thrown into play above the players heads by one of the two umpires.
The two teams then explode out of the line-up - all hunting for the ball. It is quickly captured - either caught in the line-up or by players picking the ball up off the ground. It is strategically moved down the field towards the goal scoring area, where it can be passed to the #1. All three players on a team work together on the advancement of the ball, setting blocks and passing the ball to one another. All the while, they are pursued by opposing players urgently trying to gain possession of the ball.
A player cannot carry the ball over the penalty line, so the player does not have possession of it while actually crossing the line. However, a player may throw the ball to another player across the line. In the goal scoring area, the battle heats up with the defender and his mount working as one to deny the attempt at goal. Whenever an attempt at goal fails, the #3 throws the ball back into play from just behind the penalty line. If the goal is good, the game begins again with another line-up in mid-field.
The field of play Polocrosse is played on a field which is 146.5m (160 yards) long by 55m (60 yards) wide. Goal posts which are 2.5m (8 feet) apart, are located at each end of the field. The in-field has a line that extends the width of the field, 27.5m (30 yards) from each goal, called the ‘goal scoring area,’ in which only the # 1 player of the attacking team and the #3 player of the defending team can enter. The ball may not be carried across the penalty line by a player. If the #1 already has possession of the ball mid-field they must bounce the ball in front of their horse into the goal scoring area and pick it up. If the #2 or the #3 has the ball, they will throw it to the #1 inside the goal scoring area.
Directly in front of the goal posts is a 10 m (11 yard) semi-circle. The ball must be thrown through the goal posts from outside this semi circle and from the within the goal scoring area. The #3 (defender) may be anywhere in the goal scoring area in order to defend the goal.
Polocrosse originated as an indoor exercise used during the 1930’s in England to teach people how to ride. Mr. and Mrs. Edward Hirst of Sydney, Australia hearing about the intriguing exercise while on vacation, researched it further and returned home with sticks, balls and rule books. After many hours of discussion, practice and trial and error, the sport of polocrosse was created. After a setback caused by World War II, the first club was formed in 1945 and the sport spread like wildfire throughout Australia. Currently in Australia there are around 400 active clubs.
Polocrosse is now an international sport. In addition to its founding country, clubs recognized by the International Polocrosse Council can be found in Canada, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, United States of America, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Resources are available for any 4-H or pony clubs interested in introducing the sport to their members. 4-H Alberta has developed a Polocrosse Project and the Canadian Pony Club has recently added polocrosse as a recognized club activity.
Polocrosse Saskatoon Clinic & Mini Tournament
Hosted by Polocrosse Saskatoon
September 8 & 9, 2018
Anyone interested in polocrosse can contact any of the groups listed below about current and future polocrosse events in Saskatchewan:
North West Saskatchewan
NorthWestEquest - Debden, SK.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (306) 469-5655
South East Saskatchewan
Moose Mountain Polocrosse Club - Carlyle, SK.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (306) 515-0383
Ready to read the rules?