Join in the Fun, Polo, Ponies and People!
Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club is the premier destination for summer polo. Players and Patrons from all across the globe call Santa Barbara their home for the summer, bringing world class polo to the Southern California coast. Spectators gather for matches on Friday and Sunday afternoons from mid-April to October. Polo matches are open to the public with a wide range of hospitality and guest seating. All are welcome to join for an exciting afternoon of heart pumping action. Please visit the Spectator Information page for more information.
FIELD & TIME
The field is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide, making it the size of nine football fields. Teams switch goals after every goal scored. There are six periods of play called "chukkers" with a 10 minute break after the 3rd chukker. Each Chukker is 7 minutes and 30 seconds long. The clock is only stopped if there is a foul, a broken piece of tack, or an injured player. The clock is not stopped if the ball goes over the sideboards, a player falls off and is not injured or a goal is scored.
PLAYER, MOUNTS & TEAMS
Each team consists of 4 players. Each player is rated by the United States Polo Association and receives a handicap which ranges from 10 (being the best) to -1 (being a beginner). The handicaps of all the players on the team are added up. For example, in a 12 goal tournament, the cumulative total of the team's handicaps cannot exceed 12 goals.
There are two mounted umpires and one referee in the grandstands. The rules in polo are written to ensure the safety of both horse and player. The most common foul in polo is a "right of way" infraction. Penalty shots are awarded depending on the severity of the foul and the field positioning of the teams.
Players can hit the ball with their mallet from either side of their horse, but must hold their mallet in their right hand. Players may hook another player's mallet with their mallet to prevent them from hitting the ball.