The Spatiotemporal Characteristics of 0–24-Goal Polo
Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance, Wintec, Hamilton 3288, New Zealand
School of Health and Social Care, Teesside University, Middlesbrough TS1 3BX, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 10 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
Polo is an equestrian sport that requires two teams of four players to score goals at opposing ends of a 150 m × 275 m pitch. Each player is rated on a handicap system (−2 to +10) that quantifies their abilities and permits their inclusion in different levels of Polo play; the cumulative handicap of the four players sets the level of play. Using GPS technology, we investigated how levels of Polo differ regarding distance covered, speeds achieved and high-intensity activities performed. As cumulative Polo handicap increased, so too did the distances and average speeds attained, decelerations performed and impacts encountered during each period of play. These findings suggest that as each player improves and increases their handicap, they will need to ensure the ponies they play have sufficient aerobic, anaerobic and speed capacities to perform effectively at that level. This information provides valuable insights to Polo players, grooms and equine vets, as to how they can best prepare their ponies for game-day and how they may be able to maintain pony longevity in the sport.