Polocrosse is a team sport that is played all over the world. It is a combination of polo and lacrosse, played on an outdoor field, known as the pitch. Each rider uses a cane stick to which is attached a racquet head with a loose, thread net, in which the ball is carried. The ball is made of sponge rubber and is approximately four inches across. The objective is to score goals by throwing the ball between the opposing team’s goal posts.
This unique sport originated in Australia in 1939. Since its arrival in Ireland, polocrosse has been compared to many things but perhaps the most fitting comparison is one that incorporates our own native sport; “Hurling on Horse Back”.
Goals are scored in a game by the designated ‘attack’ player on each team. The player must shoot the ball between the goalposts which are 2.5 meters apart and located at each end of the playing field. The attack player must be inside the designated goal scoring area before shooting and the designated defence player from the opposition is the only player allowed to tackle.
Polocrosse is governed by the International Polocrosse Council (IPC), is currently played in 18 countries and boasts over 10,000 players worldwide. Anyone who can ride a horse can play polocrosse. All ages and abilities are encouraged to play.
Polocrosse in Ireland is governed by the Irish Polocrosse Association (IPA) and is responsible for the coordination of all polocrosse activities in this country. For updates on upcoming competitions and how to get involved please visit the Irish Polocrosse Association website.
There are a series of tournaments run during the year with clubs from around the country hosting an event at their local venue. The highlight of the competition season is the Nationals, held at the end of August each year and rotated amongst clubs so that everyone gets the “home field advantage” on a round robin basis.
For each tournament, players and teams are graded according to their ability, which ensures everyone gets to compete against players of similar skill levels, adding to the safety and enjoyment of all competitors.