Polo in Australia
If media reports are to be believed, the game of polo has been enjoying a definite hike in popularity in Australia recently, particularly with the upwardly mobile set, who have the funds to indulge in what is a fairly expensive sport and traditionally, the provenance of the well-heeled. Like yachting, polo has connotations of privilege and the smack of exclusiveness. It is, after all, known as the "sport of kings". Perhaps that's a big part of the appeal.

Or it could be that it's a rollicking good game. So, for the uninitiated...what's it all about? Well, although the game was seriously popularised by the English, polo originated in Persia (Iran) several hundred years ago and became a national sport, played by the noblemen and...apparently, women. However, the  modern British version is based on a particular version from Manipur in northeastern India. From Persia polo had spread to other parts of the Arab world in the medieval era and to parts of Asia. The oldest polo ground in the world is in Manipur State.

Everything you ever wanted to know about polo
The first anglicised polo club was formed by British tea planters at Silchar, west of Manipur but the oldest existing club was established in Calcutta - The Calcutta Polo Club in 1862 by British soldiers. From India the game was exported home, thus the British are credited with popularising the game in the West in the late 19th and early 20th century. There are now around 50 polo clubs in Australia, each affiliated with their State associations. The game is played in every State except Tasmania.

The Basics of Polo
What you need - 2 trained polo ponies, a mallet, a swish polo shirt and expensive protective  gear for you and the horse. You also need good horsemanship, a competitive drive and team spirit.

Polo is played on a green or indoors in an arena. As in many team sports, there is a goal at each end of the field and the object is for your team to score as many goals as possible. Polo is not bogged down by too many rules but the main one is the line of the running ball. This is an imaginary line formed every time the ball is hit and means that the player who has the  line of the ball on his right has the right of way. Players can attempt to remove another players right of way through shoulder to shoulder contact.

Polo Moves
Hit the ball (duh)
Manoeuvre another player off the line of the ball
Hit the stick of another player to prevent them form hitting the ball
Bump an opponent with your horse

A more comprehensive look at the rules can be found via the following links:

Australian Polo Council
Hurlingham Polo Association