Almost all sports are considered for men due to it’s physical characteristics; however, in recent years Womens polo has had a sizable growth both in the number of women beginning to play the sport and in the amount of national and international associations, clubs, and tournaments built around them.
Specific rules for women’s polo and a unique handicap system exclusively for women’s tournaments were created a few years back in Argentina which has helped eliminate direct comparisons with men’s handicap score. In mixed competitions, a general handicap will be implemented. This represents a big step for the global respect for women’s polo at an international level.
A brief history
Polo’s origins began in Persia around the 5th century AD as a training game then became the national sport in Iran. The game was linked with nobility and their acquaintances like kings, queens and maidens. In ancient literature, Princess Shirin, daughter of Emperor Mauricio is extremely famous for her abilities in this sport which was the foundation of feminine polo. Since then, polo was extended to new territories such as India and China, where women also practiced the sport.
Women’s polo in the world
Although Argentina is undeniably synonymous around the world with polo, as much for the quality of the horses as for the skill of the players, England and the US are also strong forces in this sport. Both countries have created associations and organizations that group women players together and organize tournaments. In England, the UK National Women Polo Tournament is the most important event which attract 30 teams compete annually.
Statistics also show that women’s polo is growing at a faster rate than the men’s game. In 2018 the British Ladies Polo Championships at Cowdray Park will be played for the first time at two handicap levels, 6-12 goals and 12-18 goals.