Do you know the Rules of Polo?

Do you know the Rules of Polo?

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If there is a sport that characterizes Sotogrande, it is polo, which is the oldest equestrian sport and that today is very fashionable. Many are tourists who come to the Polo Club Sotogrande to enjoy the spectacle offered by this sport.

If you do not know the rules of polo and would like to understand a little more this sport, we here provide you with the basic rules that will help you appreciate and enjoy a polo match much more.


The aim is to score as many goals or chukkers as possible. To do this, players must have a small ball of wood or plastic, called noggin and try and shoot it into the opponent’s goal; at the same time, they must prevent the opposing team from doing the same.

-The Polo teams:

There are two teams of four players each, divided between "supporters" and "attackers". Both teams line up facing each other in numerical order.

The numbers marked on the shirts of the players, indicate the area where the player plays. The number 3 always corresponds to the captain, the best player from each team.

-The Polo Game times:

A polo match lasts an hour and a half. This time is divided into six "chukkers" or periods of seven minutes each.

Rest time is 15 minutes to halftime and the intervals between a "chukka" and another is three minutes.

-Polo Ponies:

In the traditionally polo horses are called ponies, but nowadays both terms are accepted.

Each player uses a different pony in each of the "chukka" so that the ponies don’t get too tired. The players can only change at the end of each Chukka waiting for a pause to do so. After the change their return to the field.

Most polo ponies are Thoroughbreds or Thoroughbred crosses and none of them can play more than two "chukka" non-consecutive in one game.

-The Polo players:

All polo players have a handicap ranking from two to ten goals. The handicap is always determined by the competition committee.

-The Judges of the pole:

Each polo match has two kind of judges, a referee and several banderilleros. The judges on horseback are responsible for checking that all players follow correctly the rules. The referee is in the middle of the field and only intervenes when the judges did not agree. The banderilleros are behind each goal and are responsible for determining when a shot is scored.

- Defence Techniques Polo:

One technique of the defence is to use the cue pole to block or interfere with the movement of the opponent. This technique is only permitted if the player is located on the movement side or directly in front or behind the opponent.

Another technique is to use a "bump" or "ride off" to decentralize the opponent. This occurs when a player runs side by side and make physical contact with the opponent get the other player away from the ball. this technique is only permitted at an angle of 30 degrees and never above the horse's shoulders.


If you are planning your holiday in Sotogrande you should not miss the opportunity to witness the Polo Matches at the Polo Club Sotogrande

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