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Le Polo sur Eléphant

Elephant polo was first played in India around the turn of the 20th century by members of the British aristocracy.

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 Polo Tournament.

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.

4. Elephants and ends are changed at half time.

5. The 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.

Pour en savoir plus : Les Règles Complètes...


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