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Polo is a 2-team sport played on horseback. Equipment required are a mallet and a small ball. The outdoor playing field is 300 yards long by 160 yards wide. Playing time is 2 hours divided into 4 chukkers or chukkas.
Each team consists of 4 men and their horses. Protective gear is worn for man and horse. The object of the game is to score points by sending the ball between the opposing team's 2 goal posts.
The game originated in the ancient Middle East as a military training exercise for elite cavalry troops. In time, polo became an a national sport in Iran played by the nobility. The game spread to other parts of Asia, including China. The word polo is derived from the Tibetan word "pulu", meaning ball.
In the middle 19th century, the British in India took the game to Great Britain, and from there to other parts of the world, notably Argentina and the United States. In the early 20th century, polo became a high-speed game in the United States.
Polo is an active sport in 70+ countries, and was an Olympic sport between 1900–1939. The World Polo Championship is held every three years by the Federation of International Polo. There are related sports and variants such as arena polo.
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