Sunday, April 5, 2009

Rules of Engagement

Okay, I know the last few times I tried to explain the rules to arena polo (Note From a Natural Athlete, Pollo Polo)*, I was a bit vague. I still don't have a good grasp on the finer points, but the following guide might help if you are new to the game.

Rule #1:
The only thing you're allowed to hit with the mallet is the ball. Tempting as it may be to mete out a little instantaneous justice when fouled by your own teammate for the fifth time in five minutes, it's not actually legal to haul off and whack said player with your mallet. At least not on purpose. If anyone else is watching.

Rule #2: Your goal is always the one on the opposite side of the arena from where you start. So if you line up on the left side of the line, your goal is on the right side. And it will stay on the right side the entire time. It doesn't actually change during the chukker. Hint: if people are yelling that you're going the wrong way, it's time to re-evaluate your strategy.

Rule #3: You're not allowed to swear. Really. It's in the rules. I actually saw someone penalized for this in a game.

Rule #4: You're not allowed to violate the right of way. This rule would be better if it didn't take the next three pages of the rulebook to describe who has the right of way. However, if five of the six people in the arena are heading towards the ball from one direction, and you're heading towards it at a ninety degree angle, it's fairly safe to assume that you do not have the right of way. If you continue on your course, your teammates may be tempted to violate rules one and three.

Rule #5: If you wear spurs, they must have rowels. No, I don't know why. I don't usually wear spurs, which contributed to Midge running backwards away from the ball during my last chukker. I may have to rethink the not-wearing-spurs plan.

Okay, so yeah, I need to work on my grasp of the rules a little bit. I'll keep you updated.

* Hah, did you see what I did there? I put in links, just like a real blogger!


Eric said...

Not allowed to swear? What the hell kinda game is that?

What's a rowel? Is that the little wheel?

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

Eric, obviously it is the kind of game that you would have a problem with...

And yes, the rowel is the little wheel on the back of the spurs.