Balladeer’s Blog continues its coverage of the world’s OLDEST team sport. FOR MY PRIMER ON POLO CLICK HERE
U.S. OPEN: CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – DAILY RACING FORM VERSUS VALIENTE
Valiente – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Valiants – were the defending champions of the U.S. Open and had taken last year’s Triple Crown of Polo. Daily Racing Form – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Stat-Hounds – defied the odds and derailed the seemingly unstoppable Valiente juggernaut.
FIRST CHUKKER – Valiente grabbed an early lead by way of a pair of Goals from Facundo Pieres. Daily Racing Form responded with a Goal of their own as the opening Chukker ended with the defending champs on top 2-1.
SECOND CHUKKER – This time around it was the Stat-Hounds who swatted a pair of Goals between the Uprights while limiting their opponents to just 1. The score was now knotted up at 3-3.
THIRD CHUKKER – DRF seized their first lead of the Match, once again outscoring the Valiants 2 Goals to 1. Going into Halftime the Stat-Hounds led Valiente by a count of 5-4. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog continues its coverage of the world’s OLDEST team sport. FOR MY PRIMER ON POLO CLICK HERE The 115th U.S. Open rolled along with its Semifinal clashes now in the books.
FIRST SEMIFINAL – DAILY RACING FORM VERSUS THE U.S. POLO ASSOCIATION: “Complacency” was the byword of one of the oddest Semifinal matches in U.S. Open history. First up Daily Racing Form – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Stat-Hounds – faced the United States Polo Association – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Association (Thank you to Jim Rome).
The Stat-Hounds’ biggest problem through Chukkers One and Two was staying awake. They confounded and kicked around the hapless, outclassed Association so thoroughly that the two opening Chukkers ended with Daily Racing Form on top 3-0 and 6-0 respectively.
In Chukker Number Three USPA showed signs of emerging from their collective coma by actually swatting in a Goal for themselves. Going into Halftime the Stat-Hounds led the Match by a count of EIGHT Goals to ONE!
Chukker Number Four saw the Association trying to capitalize on a seemingly complacent DRF team. USPA put 3 Goals between the Uprights compared to just 1 from the Stat-Hounds, whose lead had now been cut to 9-4. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog continues its coverage of the world’s OLDEST team sport. FOR MY PRIMER ON POLO CLICK HERE The 115th U.S. Open rolled along with the final two teams for the Semifinals being determined.
GAME ONE: FLEXJET VERSUS AUDI – Two Ganzis, one of the First Families of Polo, were in action in this opening Match while a third played in the second one. Melissa Ganzi led the quartet from Flexjet – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Aviators – against Marc Ganzi and his foursome from Audi – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Bavarians.
FIRST CHUKKER – Things got off to a slow start on the offensive side. Both teams’ defenses were on top of their game and limited their opponents to just 1 Goal. The First Chukker ended in a 1-1 tie.
SECOND CHUKKER – The Bavarians managed to outdo the Aviators this time around. Audi swatted in 3 Goals compared to the 2 scored by Flexjet. The score now stood at 4-3 with the Bavarians on top.
THIRD CHUKKER – Audi dominated this Chukker on both sides of the ball, shutting out the Aviators while thwacking 2 more Goals between the Uprights. Going into Halftime the Bavarians led Flexjet by a tally of 6-3.
FOURTH CHUKKER – To start the 2nd Half the Aviators acted like they had just been playing possum the first three Chukkers. Flexjet notched FIVE Goals while limiting Audi to just 1! The Aviators had gone on top 8-7. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog continues its coverage of the world’s OLDEST team sport. FOR MY PRIMER ON POLO CLICK HERE 2018 U.S. Open action continues with two more games in Bracket Play:
AUDI VERSUS THE U.S. POLO ASSOCIATION – Marc Ganzi led Audi – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: the Bavarians – against his son Grant, who was playing for the United States Polo Association – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Association (Thank you to Jim Rome.)
FIRST CHUKKER: Audi and the USPA matched each other shot for shot and Goal for Goal to start things off. This opening Chukker ended with the score knotted up at 2-2.
SECOND CHUKKER: The Bavarians shone in this second sextant, dominating the Association on both sides of the ball. Audi thwacked in a pair of Goals for themselves while completely shutting out USPA. The Bavarians now held a 4-2 lead.
THIRD CHUKKER: Audi exploded on the Association this time around, absolutely OWNING them. The Bavarians got 4 more Goals between the Uprights compared to the lone Goal mustered by the struggling and baffled Association. Headed into Halftime Audi was on top by a score of 8-3. Yes … EIGHT to THREE! Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog’s coverage of the world’s OLDEST team sport continues with this look at the first two clashes in this year’s 115th U.S. Open.
GAME ONE: FLEXJET VS COLORADO – Part of the fun of Polo is the way that men and women often play on the same team. In this instance, Melissa Ganzi led Flexjet – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Aviators – against Colorado – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Red Sleeves.
FIRST CHUKKER – This opening Chukker was VERY defense-oriented, with only one Goal being scored. That lone Goal was knocked between the Uprights by Flexjet, as the Aviators grabbed a 1-0 lead.
SECOND CHUKKER – Defense was still the watchword in this Chukker, but as a sign that both offenses were beginning to find their rhythm, each team swatted in a Goal this time around. The Flexjet lead over Colorado now stood at 2-1.
THIRD CHUKKER – The Red Sleeves made some major noise now, outscoring the Aviators 3 Goals to 1 in what was still a low-scoring affair overall. Colorado’s stunning play this Chukker gave them a 4-3 edge going into Halftime. Continue reading
POLO IS THE OLDEST TEAM SPORT IN THE WORLD. When Alexander the Great’s men played Polo it was already centuries old.
We are at the time of year when BALLADEER’S BLOG covers Polo’s U.S. Open.
For Polo newcomers here is a brief look at how the sport works:
A QUICK POLO PRIMER:
Instead of “Innings” or “Quarters” or “Periods” a Polo Match is made up of “Chukkers”.
There are six Chukkers to a Match. After three Chukkers comes Halftime.
Each Chukker lasts 7 minutes plus up to a maximum of 30 additional seconds to complete a play in progress when the Chukker ends.
There are four riders on each Polo team, wearing numbers 1-4 depending on the position they play.
The field in a Polo Match is 300 yards long by 160 yards wide.
The object of the game is for the Polo players to score goals by moving the ball around the field by hitting it with their long mallets while remaining mounted at all times.
A goal is scored by hitting the ball so that it passes between the two 10 feet tall uprights in the opposing team’s End Line (End Zone).
As with field goals and extra points in football the uprights theoretically extend far above their actual height. The ball may pass high above the uprights but still counts as a goal as long as the official in the End Line judges it to have passed within the uprights.
For some penalties a free shot is awarded to the opposing team. Depending on the severity the shots can be taken from the 60, 40, 0r 30 yard lines. The player rides up to the ball to strike it but their horse cannot pass whichever yard line applies to that particular penalty shot.
A mounted Referee tosses the ball onto the T at the center of the Polo turf to begin play, similar to “dropping the puck” in Hockey. After each goal is scored both teams return to the center of the field for another “Toss In” or “Throw In”. Continue reading
HALL OF FAME CUP: AUDI VS COCA COLA – Audi – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Bavarians – did battle for the 2017 Hall of Fame Cup against Coca Cola – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Red Colossus.
FIRST CHUKKER – Coca Cola – which has the female player Gillian Johnston on its team – seized a 3-0 lead off of 1 Goal from the field and 2 scores on Penalty Shots. Audi squeezed in 2 answering Goals of its own before the Chukker ended with the Red Colossus on top 3-2.
SECOND CHUKKER – The Bavarians took the opening Toss-In of this Chukker and tied things up at 3 Goals apiece. From there Audi and Coca Cola played each other move for counter-move and score for score. The count was now 5-5.
THIRD CHUKKER – Compared to the virtual orgy of scoring to start the Match, this time around the defenses dominated. Neither team was able to sneak the ball between the Uprights and they rode into Halftime with the score still knotted up at 5 Goals apiece. Continue reading