New to Polo
Learn to play polo
Find a local club that offers lessons. Clubs offer a wide range of coaching facilities through out the year, for complete beginners through to experienced players so it is best to speak to the polo manager to see if they can offer what you are looking for. You can search for clubs in your area via the HPA website.
How do I know if my instructor is any good? The HPA hold a list of accredited instructors. They have all attended training courses and passed assessment by the Official HPA Team Coaches.
Haven’t ridden previously? – don’t panic! Many people come into the sport having never ridden before so the polo ponies that are used for coaching should be experienced in handling nervous and/or inexperienced passengers!
Equipment. If you are new to riding then at some suitable stage you will need to purchase either a pair of polo boots or a pair of short jodhpur boots to wear with half chaps to protect your legs and a riding hat or polo hat; it is also advisable to wear a pair of gloves to help prevent blisters. Your instructor can advice you on what to get and specifically the regulations concerning the HPA approved hats. www.hpa-polo.co.uk/2018-helmet-regulations/
Having had a few lessons your instructor is likely to introduce you to instructional chukkas; the time scale for this or the number of lessons to reach this stage depends a lot on your previous riding experience, confidence and fitness and can vary a lot between riders so it is best to listen to his or her advice. Now is the time to consider investing in your own stick/s and some knee pads to protect you against knocks from other players and ponies.
Ready to take up polo on a more regular basis? The first step is to select a club. Which one you choose may be down to a clubs locality and its facilities. It is possible that you will decide to join the club where you have been having lessons but the most important thing is that they can provide what you are looking for. If they are not known to you, then it is advisable to go and meet the polo manager and/or coach and find out as much as you can.
If you have already started playing Instructional Chukkas you will need to join the HPA. You do this directly through our website where you will find a range of options. HPA Instructional membership is free, and from this you will see a range of options that will become more relevant as your polo journey continues.
The next step will be to join an HPA affiliated club, more than likely you will have a number of membership options. Amongst these there will be ‘Chukka’ and ‘Full’ membership. As a chukka member you are only allowed to play in ‘practice’ chukkas at your own club. You will also need to upgrade your HPA membership from ‘Instructional’ to ‘Chukka’. There is an additional fee to pay.
The ‘Chukka’ membership at both club and HPA is your best option until your coach/instructor thinks you are ready to play in proper matches. Once you have been given the go ahead to play in full matches, passed your rules test and been given a handicap by your club (almost always -2) the HPA will upgrade you to a ‘Full’ playing membership for the remainder of your first year. Clubs may require you to pay an additional fee in upgrading your Club membership from Chukka to a Full playing membership.
You will need to pay both Club and HPA before you become a ‘Full’ or ‘Chukka’ member. Until this is done you are not entitled to play as you will not be covered by the HPA’s Public Liability insurance cover.
The A to Z of Polo.
Download the A to Z of Polo here.