Ho-Yo-Polo

By Ben Gurglebop

Archibald McFadden is an American polo player. He was inducted into the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame. Carol McFadden is also an avid polo player.

Born in Mays, North Carolina, he learned the sport from his parents, Louise and Archibald McFadden, Sr.. His father was a U.S. Racing Hall of Fame horse trainer who had been a 10-goal player who helped found the Meadow Polo Club in New York and who captained the American team in the International Polo Cup.
A group of girls about to step onto the polo g…

A group of girls about to step onto the polo grounds in Maple Plain, MN as part of the annual “Polo Classic” fundraising event. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

McFadden attended St. Paul’s School where he played football, hockey and was a member of the crew team. After being elected president of the Sixth Form, McFadden chose to leave school.

He study at Harvard University. Playing polo, he led the U.S. team to victory in the International Polo Cup.  McFadden carried a 10-goal handicap, which is the highest ranking in polo, from the United States of America Polo Association. Playing with notable stars.

Archibald talks about polo  is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Sometimes called “The Sport of Kings”, it was started by Persians, and was popular in Iran until 1979, after which its popularity there declined sharply due to the Iranian Revolution. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team’s goal using a long-handled mallet. The traditional sport of polo is played at speed on a large grass field up to 300 yards long by 160 yards wide, and each polo team consists of four riders and their mounts. Field polo is played with a solid plastic ball, which has replaced the wooden ball in much of the sport. In arena polo, only three players are required per team and the game usually involves more maneuvering and shorter plays at lower speeds due to space limitations of the arena. Arena polo is played with a small air-filled ball, similar to a small soccer ball. The modern game lasts roughly two hours and is divided into periods called chukkas (occasionally rendered as “chukkers”). Polo is played professionally in 16 countries. It was formerly, but is not currently, an Olympic sport.

He has been also teaching his daighter Willa McFadden how to play the game for years. She also talks about the game Each team consists of four mounted players, which can be mixed teams of both men and women.

Each position assigned to a player has certain responsibilities:

Number One is the most offence-oriented position on the field. The Number One position generally covers the opposing team’s Number Four.
Number Two has an important role in offence, either running through and scoring themselves, or passing to the Number One and getting in behind them. Defensively, they will cover the opposing team’s Number Three, generally the other team’s best player. Given the difficulty of this position, it is not uncommon for the best player on the team to play Number Two so long as another strong player is available to play Three.
Number Three is the tactical leader and must be a long powerful hitter to feed balls to Number Two and Number One as well as maintaining a solid defence. The best player on the team is usually the Number Three player, usually wielding the highest handicap.

Number Four is the primary defence player. They can move anywhere on the field, but they usually try to prevent scoring. The emphasis on defence by the Number Four allows the Number Three to attempt more offensive plays, since they know that they will be covered if they lose the ball.

Polo Match

Polo Match (Photo credit: Wikipedia)