While the sport of polo was in its peak in the 1920s, it remains a popular spectator sport that draws crowds of all types to enjoy sunny weather, fresh air, and fast-moving action on the field. If you have never attended a polo match, here is a look at what you need to know to fit in with a crowd of seasoned spectators.
There is no specific dress code for polo spectators, but you should be sure to dress appropriately for the weather. You might choose to wear summer-friendly high-fashion attire to enjoy the sport in the old style. Closed-toed shoes, sunglasses, and large-brimmed hats are recommended for any spectator.
Viewing the match
A typical polo match lasts about 90 minutes long, and it is divided into periods called chukkers, each of which are seven minutes long. The object of the game is to score goals by moving the ball down the field to the goal posts. Teams consist of four players mounted on horses, and you can easily follow the action by watching players moving in clusters around the field. The ball does move fast, so it may be hard to see it from across the field without binoculars. There is no stadium seating along the polo field, so spectators may bring along a picnic blanket or lawn chairs to enjoy the match.
Many polo spectators enjoy the half-time tradition of divot stomping. During half-time, spectators are welcomed onto the field to walk around and stomp down the turf. As you and fellow polo enthusiasts stomp the turf, you can mingle with athletes as they rest and walk the turf alongside fans and spectators.
The Oak Brook Polo Club is continuing its long tradition of this popular sport with the 2013 season that kicked off on August 25. To start planning for late September matches at the historic club, call the Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce at 630-472-9377.