Le Polo sur Eléphant
Elephant polo was first played
in India around the turn of the 20th century by members of the British
The World Elephant Polo
Association for its part was formed in 1982 at Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge in
the Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. It is the first and paramount
organization in modern times to host the sport.
The World Elephant Polo
championships take place every year in Thailand –the King’s Cup Tournament-,
Nepal –Tiger Tops Tournament- and Sri Lanka –The Taprobane Trophy Elephant
The first games were played
with a soccer ball, but after finding that the elephants like to smash the
balls, the soccer ball was replaced with a standard polo ball. The sticks
are made of bamboo and have a standard polo mallet on the end. The length of
the stick depends on the size of the elephant - anywhere from 6 to 9 feet.
The rules of the game are
similar to horse polo, but the pitch is 3/4 length (because of the slower
speed of the elephants) and there are some necessary additions - for
instance, it is a penalty for an elephant to lie down in front of the goal
line. Players are secured in rope harnesses, with a rope across their thighs
and rope stirrups. The game will stop if a player's harness becomes too
loose and there is a danger of the player falling off. Players have fallen
off elephants only a few times in WEPA's 20 year history.
The primary difference between horse and elephant polo, besides the
substitution of an elephant for a horse, is that the elephants are "driven"
by their trainers, called "mahouts." The mahouts have generally worked with
the elephant for many years and the elephants respond quickly to the mahouts
signals and commands. The mahouts communicates with the elephant with verbal
commands and by applying pressure to the back of the elephant's ears with
their feet. The player's responsibility is to let the mahout know where to
go, how fast, when to stop, etc
Les Règles du Jeux
1. The Game
will be played by four players on each team on a marked pitch of 120 metres
by 70 metres using standard size polo ball.
2. The game
will consist of two 10 minutes chukkers of playing time, with an interval of
15 minutes. The whistle blown by the referee stops and starts play
3. The pitch
will be marked with a centre line, a circle with a radius of 10 metres in
the centre of the field, and a semi-circle, in front of the goals, with a
radius of 20 metres, measured from the centre of the goal line at either end
of the pitch will form the D.
and ends are changed at half time.
complete ball must travel over the sideline or backline, to be out, and
completely across the goal line to be a goal.
6. Men must
play with the right hand only and ladies may play with both hands if desired.
However, if ladies play with one hand then must be with right only.
savoir plus : Les Règles Complètes...