An exciting, fast-paced sport that's best described as lacrosse on horseback, polocrosse is suitable for riders of all ages and all abilities. The players require racquet skills and reflexes similar to sports such as lacrosse and tennis, along with highly skilled horsesmanship because the horses need to turn, accelerate and stop in a split second as their rider attempts to score goals.
Teams of six riders are divided into groups of three and play alternative chukkas (sections of the game). There are six chukkas to a game and each game lasts for six minutes. Alternating the sections allows players to use only one horse. Unlike polo, it's a one-horse sport.
Riders use a stick with a racquet head, which has a loose thread net, to catch or pick up the soft rubber ball, from the ground. The objective is to shoot the ball into the goal. There are additional rules around tackling, passing and carrying the ball.
The field is divided into three areas, with players not allowed to carry the ball from one area to the next. Goals tend to come thick and fast, with international matches normally seeing between 30 and 40 goals in a game.
Polocrosse is known for being friendly and approachable combined with the team aspect of the game, make it a very sociable. The competition season runs from May to September, with a host of tournaments taking place throughout the UK most weekends.
The UK Polocrosse Association is the governing body for the sport and polocrosse is widely played in the Pony Club. Children and young people enjoy this exciting team sport as it teaches them riding skills, while improving confidence, balance and reflexes.