As the name implies, Polocrosse is a combination of Polo and Lacrosse. It is played on horseback and the team that scores the most goals wins the game.
Each rider is equipped with a racket that has a loose twisted thread net in which the ball is carried. The racket may be of any length usually from three to four feet overall. The ball is made of a thick-skinned sponge rubber, 4 inches in diameter and weighs approximately 6 ounces.
Each player is allowed only one horse in a tournament except in the case of injury when a substitute may be played. Any size or breed of horse may be played. No stallions are allowed.
A team may consist of six players divided into two sections of three players each that play alternating time periods called “chukkas” of 6-8 minutes each, with 2 minute breaks in between.
The three players in each section consist of a #1 (the only player that can shoot the goal) a #2 (the player that plays only in mid field) and the #3 (the player that defends the goal). The total number of goals scored by the two sections determines the winning score. A team may also consist of only one section of three players in situations where six players are not required. The 3-player team will play in alternating sections with another 3-player team.
The field is 160 yards long by 60 yards wide with goal posts 8 feet apart at each end. There is a line that extends the width of the field, 30 yards in from each goal that is called the “30-yard line”. This line encloses what is called the “goal scoring area” into which only the #1 of the offensive team and the #3 of the defending team are allowed. Directly in front of the goal there is a semi-circle with a radius of 11 yards that is called the “D”. The #1 is the only player who can score a goal for his team and the ball must be thrown at the goal from within the “goal scoring area” and behind the “D”. The #2 can only play in the center of the field and the #3 is the only player who can defend the goal for his team.
The game starts in centerfield with a “line-up”. The 3 players of each section line up in a row, facing the umpire, side by side in numerical order. The mounted umpire throws the ball in between the ranks of players within reach of the rackets. The game continues in the same way after each goal is scored. In case of a missed goal, the #3 takes the ball out of the “goal scoring area” with a 10-yard throw.
Players pick the ball up from the ground or catch it in their nets and carry it or pass it from player to player until the #1 has possession of it in the “goal scoring area” enabling him to attempt a shot on goal. A player cannot carry the ball over the 30-yard line. It must be passed to the #1 over the line by his #2 or #3 or the #1 must bounce or throw the ball over the line. Carrying the ball over the 30-yard line is a foul.
A player carrying the ball in his racket must carry it on the racket side, i.e. right-handed player carries it on the right side of his horse and left-handed on the left side. A player can pick up the ball or catch it on the off-racket side provided that he brings it back to the racket side immediately. Left-handed players are allowed to play but must inform the umpire and the opposing team before the game starts. A player may not change hands during a game.
Hitting an opponent’s racket is allowed to either dislodge the ball or prevent him from gaining possession of it, as long as it is done in an upward motion. Hitting down is a foul.
Horse safety and player safety are top priority. Crossing another player, stopping in front of other players, elbowing and wedging a player between two players all constitute a foul.
To view the full STANDARDS OF PLAY and RULE BOOK, please visit the American Polocrosse Association’s website: APA Standards of Play