Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/25

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11
POLO

storehouse of Polo learning in existence, embodying the flab ours of all the best students of the subject, and giving the essence of such works as those of Major P. Molesworth Sykes (Ten Thousand Miles in Persia, &c.) so far as these touch Marco Polo; the Archimandrite Palladius Katharov's “ Elucidations of Marco Polo ” (from vol. x. of the Journal of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (1836), pp. I-54; F. von Richthofen, Letters to Shangai Chamber of ommerce; E. C. Baber, Travels. .in Western China; G. Phillips, Identity of. Zaitun with Changchau in T 'oung Pao (Oct. 1890), and other studies in T 'oung-Pao (Dec. 1895 and July 1896). There are in all IO French editions of Polo as well as 4 Latin editions, 27 Italian, 9 German, 4 Spanish, I Portuguese, 12 English, 2 Russian, 1 Dutch, I Bohemian (Chekh), I Danish and 1 Swedish. See also E. Bretschneider, Mediaeval Researches from Eastern Asiatic Sources, i. 239, 167; ii. 8, 71, 81-84, 184; Léon Cahun, Introduction ri l'histoire de l'Asie, 339, 386; C. Raymond Beazley, Dawn of Modern Geography, iii. I5-160, 545'547» 554, 556-56s (H- Y.; C- R- B-)


POLO (Tibetan pulu, ball), the most ancient of games with stick and ball. Hockey, the Irish national game of hurling "mo (and possibly golf and cricket) are derived from polo. W' The latter was called hockey or hurling on horseback in England and Ireland respectively, but historically hockey and hurling are polo on foot.

The earliest records of polo are Persian. From Persia the game spread westward to Constantinople, eastwards through Turkestan to Tibet, China and ]apan. From Tibet polo travelled to Gilgit and Chitral, possibly also to Manipur. Polo also flourished in India in the 16th century. Then for zoo years its records in India cease, till in 18 54 polo came into Bengal from Manipur by way of Cachar and in 1862 the game was played in the Punjab. There have been twelve varieties of the game during its existence of at least 2000 years. (1) A primitive form consisting of feats of horsemanship and of skill with stick and ball. (2) Early Persian, described in Sha/mama, a highly organized game with rules, played four a side. (3) Later Persian, 16th century, the grounds 300 by 170 yds. Sir Anthony Shirley says the game resembled the rough football of the same period in England. (4)'The game in the 17th century in Persia. A more highly organized game than No. 3, as described by Chardin. (5) The Byzantine form played at Constantinople in the 12th century. A leathern ball the size of an apple and a racquet were used. (6) 'The Chinese game, about A.D. 600 played with a light wooden ball. The goal was formed by two posts with a boarding between, in the latter a hole being cut and a net attached to it in the form of a bag. The side which hit the ball into the bag were the winners. Another Chinese form was two teams ranged on opposite sides of the ground, each defending its own goal. The object of the game was to drive the ball through the enemy's goal. (7) The Japanese game, popular in feudal times, still survives under the name of Dakiu, or ball match. The Japanese game has a boarded goal; 5 ft. from the ground is a circular hole 1 ft. 2 in. in diameter with a bag behind. The balls are of paper with a cover of pebbles or bamboo hbre, diameter 1-7 in., weight Ié oz. The sticks are racket shaped. The object is to lift over or carry the ball with the racket and place it in the bag. (8) Called r5l, played with a long stick with which the ball was dribbled along the ground. (9) Another ancient Indian form in which the sides ranged up on opposite sides of the ground and the ball was thrown in. This is probably the form of the game which reached India from Persia and is represented at the present day by Manipur and Gilgit polo, though these forms are probably rougher than the old Indian game. (ro) Modem English with heavy ball and sticks, played in England and the colonies and wherever polo is played in Europe. Its characteristics are: odside; severe penalties for breach of the rules; close combination; rather short passing; low scoring, and a strong defence. (rr) Indian polo has a lighter ball, no boards to the grounds, which are usually full-sized; a modified offside-rule, but the same system of penalties. 'It is a quicker game than the English. (12) The American game has no oliside and no penalties, in the English sense. The attack is stronger, the passing longer, the pace greater and more sustained. American players are more certain goal-hitters and their scoring is higher. They defeated the English players in 1909 with ease.

Polo was first played in England by the 10th Hussars in 1869. The game spread rapidly and some good play was seen at Lillie Bridge. But the organization of polo in England dates from its adoption by the Hurlingham Club in 1873. The ground was boarded along the sides, and this device, which was employed as a remedy for the irregular shape of the Hurlingham ground has become almost universal and has greatly affected the development of the game. The club committee, ip 1874, drew up the first code of rules, which reduced the number of players to hve a side and included offside. The next step was the foundation of the Champion'Cup, in 1877. Then came the rule dividing the game into periods of ten minutes, with intervals of two minutes for changing ponies after each period, and ive minutes at halftime. The height of ponies was fixed at I4'2, and a little later an official measurer was appointed, no pony being allowed to play unless registered at Hurlingham. The next change was the present scale of penalties for offside, foul riding or dangerous play. A short time after, the crooking of the adversary's stick, unless in the act of hitting the ball, was forbidden. The game grew faster, partly as the result of these rules. Then the ten minutes' rule was revised. The period did not close until the ball went over the boundary. Thus the period might be extended to twelve or thirteen minutes, and although this time was deducted from the next period the strain of the extra minutes was too great on men and ponies. It was therefore laid down that the ball should go out of play on going out of bounds or striking the board, whichever happened first. In IQIO a polo handicap was established, based on the American system of estimating the number of goals a player was worth to his side. This was modified in the English handicap by assigning to each player a handicap number as at golf. The highest number is ten, the lowest one. The Hurlingham handicap is revised during the winter, again in May, June and July, each handicap coming into force one month after the date of issue. In tournaments under handicap the individual handicap numbers are added together, and the team with the higher aggregate concedes goals to that with the lower, according to the conditions of the tournament. The handicap serves to divide second from first class tournaments, for the former teams must not have an aggregate over 25.

The size of the polo ground is 300 yds. in length and from 160 to zoo yds. in width. The larger size is only found now where boards are not used. The ball is made of willow root, is 3} in. in diameter, weight not over 5% oz. The polo stick has no standard size or weight, and square or cigar-shaped heads are used at the discretion of the player. On soft grounds, the former, on hard grounds the latter are the better, but Indian and American players nearly always prefer the cigar shape. The goal posts, now generally made of papier maché, are 8 yds. apart. This is the goal line. Thirty yards from the goal line a line is marked out, nearer than which to the goal no one of a fouled side may be when the side fouling has to hit out, as a penalty from behind the back line, which is the goal line produced. At 50 yds. from each goal there is generally a mark to guide the man who takes a free hit as a penalty. Penalties are awarded by the umpires, who should be two in number; well mounted, and with a good knowledge of the rules of the game. The Hurlingham and Ranelagh clubs appoint official umpires. There should also be a referee in case of disagreement between the umpires, and it is usual to have a man with a flag behind each goal to signal when a goal is scored. The Hurlingham club makes and revises the rules of the game, and its code is, with some local modifications, in force in the United Kingdom, English-speaking colonies, the Argentine Republic, California, and throughout Europe. America and India are governed by their own polo associations. The American rules have no oliside, and their penalties consist of subtracting a goal or the fraction of a goal, according to the offence, from the side which has incurred a penalty for fouling. The differences between the Hurlingham and Indian rules