Wizarding World of Horse Ball -“Rugby or Basketball on Horseback”.
France 1st started Horse Ball in the 1970’s, game originating from “Pato”, Argentina’s national game since 1953. Pato is an ancient game similar to Polo. World Equestrian Games of 2014 the 2 demonstration disciplines are Polo and Horse Ball. Each discipline will be showcased as a separate event to the other 8 competing events.
Team Sport for all Ages and Size
Horse Ball is a team event of 6 players and 4 horses – Teams are Mixed, Men or Women only and also played by children. Riders are both attacking and defensive players. The game is played in 2 x 10 minute 1/2’s, and each “chef d’équipe” may request a time-out. At half-time the game takes a 3 minute break or interval. Unlike Polo, horses are not substituted each period. Gear is not expensive, and as long as you are comfortable on horseback and of adequate skill you can compete in Horse Ball. Like other “ball” sports you play as a team to score the points. Dressage, Show Jumping teams, is more reliant on individuals to score the team points. Before a score can be allowed each team must make a minimum 3 of passes between 3 different players.
Horse Ball is played on a Rug.
A “Rug” is referred to the playing area of Horse Ball. An area measures to 65-87 yards (60 to 80m) in length x 21-32yards (20 to 30m) width.
Riders pick the ball up from the ground, and then attempts to pass the ball into a hoop-shaped vertical goal at a height of 3.8yards (3.5 m). Riders’ feet must not, all without their feet touch the ground. The ball has 6 x leather handles making it easy to grip.
Important Rules for Teams
1 – Before a score can be allowed each team team must make a minimum 3 of passes between 3 different players.
2 – Ball must be passed to another rider within 10 seconds
Team competing at the highest level can score up to 20 goals per game.
Acrobatics and Signature Moves
Players are permitted to tackle the opposition. A feature of the game is when a rider swoops down low to pick up the ball off the ground, without dismounting. This move requires the horse to be fitted with a “pick up strap” which ties the riders stirrups together. Without the pick up strap the rider would mostly likely fall off when leaning down to pick up the ball from the ground.
Horse Ball Terms
Pulling: the defending team can “pull” the ball from their opponent’s hands
Picking up: picking the ball up from the “rug” whilst mounted
Marking: a defending player following their opponent
Olympic Sport and World Games event within the next 10 years.
Up to 18 countries play Horse Ball including Australia. Horse events will naturally always attract horse people, however due to the intensity of Horse Ball, the event has opened up to a wider audience, and those who are not necessarily horse people. People love the game and are becoming fans just like other ball sports. Horse Ball has held 2 World Cups and countries participating countries holding National Champs and leagues. It is hoped being included as a demonstration event at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, Horse Ball will officially become the 9th event of future Games.
2014 World Equestrian Games Schedule
Good luck to all competing at 2014 World Equestrian Games Abler Equine Pharmaceuticals