A History of Polo
Polo is probably the oldest recorded game in the world, and is renowned as the oldest team sport. The Persian poet, Firdausi, described a match between the Persians and the Turkomans circa 600 B.C. At lsphan are the ruins of a very ancient polo ground with stone goal posts 8 yards apart and the ground 300 yards long, the correct measurements for the ground today. The name “Polo” came from “Pulu” the willow root from which polo balls were made in Tibet.
Slowly the game spread over Asia, even to China, Japan and India. It was played in the Nineteenth Century in the northern mountain regions of India.
Soldiers and tea planters formed the first Club, the Silchar Polo Club, in Cachar, in 1859. They had been playing a game with the Manipuris, who had played for hundreds of years. By 1862 the Calcutta Polo Club was formed and the game spread rapidly all over India and throughout the British Army, and so to England.
In England the first match was played at Hounslow in 1871, between the 9th Lancers and the l0th Hussars in 1874. The Hurlingam Club was formed and in the following year the Hurlingam Polo Association drew up English Rules.
Though the game had spread from England to America, and then to the Argentine, more polo was played in India than in any other country. The game was first played in Australia in August 1874 when a match took place in Warrnambool in the Western Districts of Victoria, many of the players that participated went on to form Carumut and then Hexham Polo Clubs.
Polo is now played in all States of Australia.