Polo Players Edition

JAN 2019

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

Issue link: https://polo.epubxp.com/i/1064372

Contents of this Issue


Page 13 of 67

12 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N I N S T R U C T O R S F O R U M BY CINDY HALLE POLO RESOLUTIONS Y ou have finally renewed your USPA membership for 2019 (or intend to do so ASAP) and are looking forward to this year's polo. As you think back to all of the good and not so good times you had last year, consider what you can do to improve your experiences this year. How about making a list of New Year's Polo Resolutions? Here are some ideas to contemplate: I will (really) read the rules I know you've "read" the rule book a million times, skimming it when you need a cure for insomnia or looking up that rule about something when there is an issue during a game. But I mean, real- ly read it! No, it's not John Steinbeck but it will help you understand the game bet- ter, play better and know about things like substitutions, executions of penal- ties, what to do if your equipment is bro- ken or you have a lame horse ... the list is a long one. Some rules are changed to better the game and you need to keep up with the changes. You will understand what the umpires are seeing much better if you have actually read the rules, especially the interpretations that go along with them. You could go wild and even take the rules tests to see if you fully under- stand the rules! Maybe even go out on a limb and take an umpire clinic so you can umpire games or at least understand the concepts better. Umpires LLC's Robert Lyn Kee Chow noted that an NFL game has seven offi- cials on a field plus a zillion camera angles for instant replay—that's on a field 100 yards by 50 yards. Extrapolate that to a polo field and we would have 42 officials. That should give you a sense of the challenge it is to umpire polo. If you understand the rules, what the umpires are seeing and the chal- lenges they face in such a fast, constant- ly changing game then you will under- stand the game better. I will always respect officials We all want to win games and our blood is up but there is no room for ver- bal abuse of officials (and for that matter opponents and teammates). They are try- ing to do the best job they can and it is a very difficult job. Your opponent this week may be your teammate a few months from now so keep things positive. Your good attitude will be contagious (hopefully) and improve the experience for everyone. Also, in taking energy and focus from the game to berating an offi- cial or getting flustered because of a teammate's ill-advised shot, you lose focus on the play at hand (or the next play at hand). I will be as fit as possible Just like the usual New Year's resolu- tions around fitness and diet, get in bet- ter shape this season. Find a professional who can design a program to target mus- cles needed for polo while working on your flexibility and cardiovascular fit- ness. (Think core muscles, which will help your back not take the strain). Make time to stretch before and after games when you can. I know it's tough—we want to get on the field and get our horses back home after the game but five minutes will make a difference. If you are over a healthy weight, see what you can do to lose weight. This will be easier on your body as well as your horses. If you are in good shape keep up the good work and stay that way. Make sure you hydrate all day before you play, especially in hot, humid condi- tions, and eat properly. Those games in which you became fatigued or weren't reacting as quickly can be a thing of the past with some work and focus. I will give back/pay it forward I bet we can all think of someone who helped us along the way in learning or Take steps to improve your polo experiences this year Read the rule book so you understand the rules better. And always respect game officials.

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