What is Polocrosse?

To put it briefly, polocrosse is a mix of lacrosse and polo. The game originated in Australia. Probably no one of you knows polocrosse, right? Because we felt the same way at first when someone said polocrosse, we have summarized some data and facts about polocrosse for you.

Polocrosse - What is this?


Polocrosse is originally from Australia or England. In 1938, even before the Second World War, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Hirst from Sydney read an article in an english magazine about horses. Theay read something about a practice like polocrosse. Both were very fond of horse breeding and also the equestrian sport. They both visited the National School of Equitation in Kingston Vale near London. Two teachers developed a practice to help young riders to take more responsibility for their horse. This excercise took place in a hall. There were two players per team and marks on the wall from which the ball bounced back into the field. Basketball hoops were used as goals at each end of the field. It was played with an old polo stick. So a polo mallet, in which the head was removed and was replaced by an old squash racket head. So they were able to pick the ball up of the ground.
After this practice Mr. and Mrs. Edward Hirst had the idea for an outdoor equestrian. So they returned with ideas for sticks, balls, rules and rulebooks back to Australia. Here they got help from Alf Pitty, a renowned horseman and polo player. After many discussions they came up with the idea of a new game for people of all ages. They called it polocrosse.
The first records of polocrosse came from the Ingleburn Sports Ground near Sydney in 1939. The new sport was so well received, that after a short time the first club was founded there. During the first club meeting, the first rule book was set. The second polocrosse club was in Burradoo, which still exists and therefore is the longest running club in Australia.
Polocrosse clubs are also in the UK, France, Germany, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Norway, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Polocrosse came to Germany in 2004.

Here we have the polocrosse story for you: You will learn something about polocrosse in Australia and how it all came together.


Like every game polocrosse needs rules, otherwise there would be a huge mess on the field. We have summarized a part of the rules for you.

The rules of polocrosse


What is difference to Polo, which is a may play with more than one horse, although this is prohibited during polocrosse. A spare horse may be associated only with the consent of the judge in case of a injury. It is no size restriction for the horses, but the ideal height is 1,50 m and it can also play any race of horses. In Australia, the Australian Stock Horses are popular. Stallions are not allowed at the game.

Team and Time

Each team consists of 6 players who are divided into two sections. Each section of three players playing 2, 3 or 4 chukkas (play times) from 6 to 8 minutes, which is set before each tournament will start. A game consists of 4, 6 or 8 chukkas. After each chukka each team enters the sections. In each section is player number 1 the attack, player number 2 the midfield and player number 3 the defense.


The field is 60 m to 160 m (Germany: 146,5 m to 55 m ) large and subdivided in three areas. There is a target range of 30 m on both ends (Germany: 27,5 m). The line that separates the respective target area from the middle section is called the thirty-yard line. Between the goal posts are 2,5 meters. When a goal is achieved, then it must be taken in the goal, with the proviso that the player was outside of the 11-yard semicircle (Germany: 10-meter semicircle). The player can pick the ball off the ground with their sticks and can than ride with them. They play the ball within the team until he has arrived at the number one in the target area.


Each player has a stick with a net at the top, in which the ball is supported. The stick is between 1 an 1,2 meters long. The stick must always be on the side of the throwing arm. The stick must not be taken to the other side to protect the ball from opposing players.


Fouls at polocrosseIt is therefore a challenge to ride through the goalposts, if any player’s horse steps all 4 legs through the posts, it is an automatic free goal to the opposing team. It is only allowed to attack a player, when both horses riding parallel. The ride directions must not be crossed. Of course there are more fouls, but we can not present all for you, everything else would be too long.


Penalties for a foul may be for example a 10-yard throw. It always depends on where the foul was committed. Particularly serious fouls result in a free goals being awarded. The referee has the force to send a player after repeated violation, after intentional fouls and so on out of the field of course .


Players go up with their team and their horses behind the other in the middle of the field. Number 1 is always next to the number 1 of the opposing team and the number 2 is always next to the number 2 of the opposing team, as well as in the two number three. When the players are lined up the ball is thrown from the front towards the players. After each goal the game goes on like this. Players are allowed to carry the ball and to play the ball or hit the ball with their stick out of the stick of the opposing player. They must get the ball into the goal. After an unsuccessful goal chance the ball is picked up by the defender and is thrown from the penalty line back into the field.

We hope, that you understand polocrosse a little better now. We looked for a video that helps you get an idea of the way polocrosse should look.

We hope we were able to tell you something new and interesting, and if you are now excited you can look polocrosse up on the internet. There is a determined polocrosse club near you as well, where you can stop by.

Leave a Reply