About K.S.A. POLO
Welcome to the web site of the Riyadh Polo Club in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The purpose of this site is to increase awareness of the sport of polo, and to increase participation in the sport by residents of the Kingdom. There is a very active polo club in Jeddah, K.S.A. and we have included photos and information about Jeddah Polo throughout this site. During the 2008/2009 season, Jeddah Polo traveled to play our Club in Riyadh as well as outside the Kingdom to play teams in South Africa, Pakistan, Egypt, and Jordan.
What is Polo ?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Riders score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team's goal using a long-handled mallet. The traditional sport of polo is played at speed on a large grass field up to 300 yards in length, and each polo team consists of four riders and their mounts. A modern variant is called arena polo which is played indoors or more commonly outdoors on an enclosed all-weather surface in which the field of play is much smaller, rarely exceeding 100 yards in length. In arena polo there are only 3 players on each team. Arena polo matches usually consist of four 6 minute periods called chukkas or chukkers, as opposed to field polo matches which consist of between four and eight 7 minutes chukkas depending on the level being played.
A game of unclear origins, polo was first played in ancient Persia (Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan) from the 6th century BC to the 1st century AD. Polo was at first a training game for cavalry units, usually the king's guard or other elite troops. To the warlike tribesmen, who played it with as many as 100 to a side, it was a miniature battle. In time polo became an Iranian national sport played extensively by the nobility. Women as well as men played the game, as indicated by references to the queen and her ladies engaging King Khosrow II Parviz and his courtiers in the 6th century AD. Certainly Persian literature and art give us the richest accounts of polo in antiquity. Valuable for training cavalry, the game was played from Constantinople to Japan by the Middle Ages, and was known in the East as the Game of Kings.