A Beginner's Guide on How to Play Polocrosse

Polocrosse is an exciting and fast-paced equestrian sport that combines elements of polo, lacrosse, and netball. It is played on horseback and requires teamwork, agility, and accurate ball handling skills. If you're new to polocrosse and eager to learn how to play, this beginner's guide will provide you with the essential information to get started on your polocrosse journey.

Overview of Polocrosse

Polocrosse is played between two teams, each consisting of six players. The objective of the game is to score goals by throwing the ball into the opposing team's goal using a specially designed racquet called a polocrosse stick. The game is played on a large field with defined goal areas at each end.

Equipment Needed

To play polocrosse, you'll need the following equipment:

  1. Polocrosse Stick: A polocrosse stick is a racquet with a long handle and a net at the end. It is used to catch, carry, and throw the ball during the game.

  2. Polocrosse Ball: The polocrosse ball is made of rubber and is slightly larger than a lacrosse ball. It is used to score goals and is passed between players during gameplay.

  3. Helmet: Safety is paramount in polocrosse, so wearing a properly fitted helmet is essential to protect your head during gameplay.

  4. Safety Glasses: It is recommended to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from potential impacts.

  5. Protective Boots: Specialized polocrosse boots provide support and protection to the player's feet and lower legs.

  6. Horse and Tack: Polocrosse is played on horseback, so you'll need a well-trained horse suitable for the sport. Additionally, you'll need appropriate tack, such as a saddle and bridle, for your horse.

Basic Rules of the Game

Here are the basic rules of polocrosse:

  1. Objective: The objective of polocrosse is to score goals by throwing the ball into the opposing team's goal.

  2. Teams: Two teams, each consisting of six players, compete against each other. The teams are distinguished by different-colored jerseys or arm bands.

  3. Positions: Each player has a specific position on the field, including three attackers, three defenders, and a designated goal scorer.

  4. Stick Handling: Players use their polocrosse sticks to catch, carry, and throw the ball. They can only carry the ball in the net of their own stick for a maximum of 10 seconds.

  5. Passing: Players can pass the ball to their teammates by throwing or hitting it with their polocrosse stick. The ball must be caught and thrown with the same side of the stick to maintain possession.

  6. Marking Opponents: Defensive players can use their sticks to block or "hook" the opposing player's stick when they are attempting to catch or throw the ball.

  7. Right of Way: The player who has possession of the ball has the right of way and cannot be hindered or bumped by opponents. However, there are rules to prevent dangerous riding and ensure fair play.

  8. Goal Scoring: To score a goal, a player must throw the ball into the opposing team's goal. The ball must be thrown from outside the goal area.

  9. Penalties: Penalties are awarded for rule violations, such as dangerous riding or improper stick handling. Penalties can result in a free throw or penalty shot for the opposing team.

Getting Started

Here are some steps to get started with polocrosse:

  1. Find a Polocrosse Club: Locate a polocrosse club or facility near you that offers lessons and opportunities to practice and play polocrosse.

  2. Take Riding Lessons: If you're new to horseback riding, start by taking riding lessons to become comfortable and confident on a horse.

  3. Learn Stick Handling: Enroll in polocrosse lessons to learn the basics of stick handling, including catching, carrying, and throwing the ball.

  4. Practice Riding Skills: Spend time riding and practicing your riding skills. Develop balance, control, and coordination to navigate the field effectively.

  5. Participate in Training Sessions: Join training sessions organized by the polocrosse club to improve your skills, learn game strategies, and gain experience playing with other players.

  6. Attend Polocrosse Matches: Attend polocrosse matches or tournaments to observe experienced players in action and learn from their techniques and tactics.

  7. Build a Bond with Your Horse: Spend time bonding with your horse and develop a strong partnership. Learn to trust and communicate effectively with your horse.

Safety Considerations

Safety is paramount in polocrosse. Here are some safety considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Wear Protective Gear: Always wear a properly fitted helmet and safety glasses during gameplay.

  2. Follow Safety Guidelines: Follow the safety guidelines and instructions provided by your instructor or the polocrosse club. This includes rules regarding horsemanship, stick handling, and player conduct.

  3. Ride Well-Trained Horses: Ride well-trained and suitable horses that are experienced in polocrosse. Ensure that your horse is properly trained and familiar with the game.

  4. Communicate with Teammates: Maintain clear communication with your teammates to avoid collisions and coordinate game strategies.

  5. Practice Good Sportsmanship: Show respect towards your opponents and practice good sportsmanship on and off the field.