Polocrosse: The 101 on this majestic horse sport

Local polocrosse player, Christopher Thornhill aims for goal.
Local polocrosse player, Christopher Thornhill aims for goal.

Polocrosse is a combination of polo and lacrosse, where teams of three riders each attempt to throw balls via their netted stick racquets through the opposition’s goalposts.
Two umpires officiate the game that starts when the umpire throws the ball from the sideline. Players form a line-up (it almost looks like a rugby line out) in order to gain first possession of the ball.
The riders carry the sponge rubber ball towards goal in lacrosse-like nets, passing the ball to one another in order to gain territory and possession for their team.
The three positions on the field are attack (No.1), midfield (No. 2) and defence (No. 3) with each rider crucial to the team’s success. A match is divided into chukkas (periods) of six minutes each and, depending on the tournament rules, can consist of four to eight chukkas.

The players can gain possession when picking the ball up from the ground with their racquets, catching it in mid-air or riding with it. A line separating the goal-scoring and centre areas is called the penalty-line. Only the attacker (No.1) can score a goal and cannot carry the ball over the penalty line. The attacker must bounce the ball before crossing the line or pass it to a teammate. When the attacker is in possession of the ball in the goal-scoring area, they can attempt a throw between the goal posts. Points are determined via a handicap system that allows players of various ages and skill levels to play in the same team. Points are then allocated if a goal is scored, depending on the handicap of the players.

See a short video here:



Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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