Polocrosse is a fast paced, thrilling game where teamwork is key. Each rider uses a stick which is attached to a racquet head with a net (similar to a Lacrosse stick), in which the ball is carried. It requires a mixture of stick and ball skills, horsemanship and tactical knowledge, and some players are stronger in some areas than others, making it a suitable sport where anyone can have a go. Some Polocrosse players have only learnt to ride in order to play the game!
A team consists of six players, divided into two sections of three who play alternate chukkas. A full match can consist of six or eight chukkas in total. The three players in each section play the positions of Number 1 ‘attack’, Number 2 ‘midfield’ and Number 3 ‘defence’. Players can pick the ball up off the floor and pass it between themselves, with the ultimate aim to score goals by throwing the ball between the opponent’s goal posts.
The field is roughly the same area as a full sized rugby pitch, and is split in to three sections. Different players are allowed in different areas of the field, with everyone allowed in midfield and the attacking player (Number 1) for a team allowed in their goal scoring area, and the defensive player (Number 3) allowed in their opponents goal scoring area. There are white lines on the pitch to separate the areas and players cannot ‘carry’ the ball over these lines, so must either pass it to another player already on the other side of the line, or bounce it over the line as they cross it.
Horses and ponies of all shapes and sizes can play Polocrosse, and most new players learn on the horse that they already ride, with no need to go out and buy a brand new horse. Polocrosse is commonly known as “the King of One Horse Sports” as players can only use one horse throughout a tournament.
To get involved with Polocrosse, most people will either start through a local club or through The Pony Club. The UKPA (UK Polocrosse Association) and The Pony Club can put people in contact polocrosse coaches or with local clubs and Branches/Centres who are already established with Polocrosse.
Current player Becky Davies said “I had a go at Polocrosse for the first time in the 2014 season with my local club, Arden, because some of my friends already played. I have ridden for a number of years but have previously only ever jumped and done dressage. I wasn’t really sure if I would enjoy Polocrosse as it is so different from anything I have done before, but it makes use of the schooling and balance I previously learnt in other disciplines. It is highly addictive and when you and your horse play well in a match it is such a buzz! I don’t play to a high level, but there is a level to suit everyone’s ability. It is a very friendly and sociable sport, and I have quickly made friends in lots of different clubs. We have great fun playing with and against each other and then catching up and chatting off the pitch.”
Fancy having a go?
More details on National Polocrosse can be found via the UKPA