2012 -As of now we are not playing polo. The closest Polo club is in Lexington, KY and some members will be traveling there to compete.
Sassafras travels all over the southeast competing with many different teams. There are normally three matches hosted throughout the year such as The Sassafras Farm Cup, The Beaver Ridge Cup, and of course the most famous tournament in the Southeast, The Land Rover Cup. We welcome people to come watch every Sunday afternoon during our practice games. Please stay tuned for tournament dates, and be sure to mark your calendar to come watch one of the most exhilarating team sports in the world.
The Sport of Polo. The basic concept behind polo is much like soccer or ice hockey. Two teams of players attempt to move a ball through a goal. However, The speed and scale at which polo is played makes it unlike any other game in the world. Polo is played on a ten acre field, at speeds up to 40 miles per hour. A well hit ball may travel toward the goal at over 100 miles per hour. There are four players on a team, mounted on horses that have been carefully selected and specially trained to play the game. The horses are athletes as well, and their abilities have tremendous impact on the outcome of the game. Each player carries a mallet about four feet in length and uses it to strike the 3 1/2 " ball. Riders play both offense and defense, and teamwork between players and between the rider and their horse is essential to success. Play begins when an umpire bowls a ball between the two teams. Teams play six periods, or chukkers per game. Each lasts seven minutes, plus a possible 30 seconds of overtime. If the score is tied at the end of the game, a seventh chukker is played. Because of the speed and intensity of the game, players change horses at the end of each chukker. A goal is scored any time the ball passes over the line between the goal posts, no matter if it was hit by a mallet of kicked by a horse. The inherent danger of 1,000 pound animals traveling at high speeds makes safety a key consideration in the game. Therefore, players must abide by rules based on the "line of the ball." If players were permitted to approach the ball from any and all directions, it would be much like cars trying to pass through an unmarked intersection. So players must respect the line of the ball and approach the ball only in directions that can be anticipated by other players and responded to safely. The line of the ball is the imaginary line the ball creates as is travels from point B to point C, but it is extended to a prior point, A, and it extends to a farther point, D. Points A and D are determined by the speed and distance of the horses in a given play. The line of ball remains set until the ball changes direction. The line of the ball may not be crossed by another player unless there is no safety consideration involved. If two players ride toward the ball hoping to hit it, they must ride on either side of line so both have access to the ball. If the players are coming from opposite directions, they can only hit the ball off their right (off) side. Thay way, they remain on opposite sides of the line of the ball. If a player crosses the line of the ball, the umpires can award the opposing team a free hit toward the goal. Depending in the severity of the infraction and the danger involved, a free hit may be awarded as close as thirty yards from the goal or as far away as midfield or even farther. A player is permitted to bump, or ride into another player to spoil a shot. The angle of collision cannot exceed 45 degrees, and the faster the horses are traveling, the smaller the angle must be.