Essay PreviewMore ↓
Dangerous, thrilling, addictive—however you choose to describe the modern game of polo, you can be sure that someone used those same words thousands of years ago for the same purpose. Polo, as it is played today, is merely a refinement of games played as early as the sixth century B.C. It has been said, in many languages and in many time periods, “He who plays polo once will sacrifice his money and body to play again.” Polo has survived for over two thousand years; its addiction must be as powerful as players claim.
The “sport of kings” is one of the oldest sports still in existence today. In fact, versions of the game were played so long ago that a definite origin of the game cannot be determined. Due to the expense of owning and training the best horses, it was primarily nobles who played the game. Because of this, polo was spread as nations conquered others, and it disappeared in areas as noble classes died. Thus, the game was often born and reborn in so many versions that the term polo (translated from several ancient and modern languages) grew to encompass a wide variety of games involving a stick, ball and players on horseback.
Many historians will trace polo’s roots back to Persia (modern day Iran), where the game developed from its most raw and dangerous form. The Persians, who were among the first to domesticate horses and use them in warfare, began playing games on horseback in order to refine their equestrian skills. The game of choice involved any number of players on horseback all attempting to hit a round object with mallets past the other team’s final players. Sometimes hundreds of players were on each team, and the object they were fighting over ranged from balls, to goats, to decapitated human heads. With so many players and no regulation, polo quickly became a sport in which collisions, ill-trained horses, and human error could easily cause injury and even death.
Despite the obvious dangers one encounters while playing polo, it was a popular activity for armies and nobles. For cavalry, polo provided a venue for displaying one’s athleticism, poise, quick thinking, and boldness. In fact, kings from many nations used polo as an easy way to determine appointments for political and army positions. Often, the best polo players were the only ones who could surpass their natural born social class.
How to Cite this Page
"The Lure of Polo Through the Years." 123HelpMe.com. 13 Nov 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Marco Polo began his travels in 1271 with his father and uncle from Venice on a journey east. What was it that made Polo such a known and remembered traveler. Was it because he worked alongside Kublai Klan for 17 years, or because the stories that he brought back after his years of travel. He traveled for 24 years throughout Asia, beginning alongside his father and sometimes traveling alone. Polo had a tough early childhood but the rest of his travels made up for his loss of his mother at an early age.... [tags: Mongol Empire, Marco Polo, Genghis Khan]
1417 words (4 pages)
- One of the world’s greatest explorers was Marco Polo. Known for his travels to China, the book he wrote about his expeditions, The Travels of Marco Polo, and his sharing of Asian spices, marked him as a great influence in the 13th century and beyond. Italy was not tranquil in the 13th century. Famine spread across Europe because of poor harvests. Crops failed because of seasonal floods. In the winter of 1315-1316, the peasants ate the seeds before they could sell them because they were so hungry.... [tags: marco polo, crop failure, 13th century]
1471 words (4.2 pages)
- Less dressy than a button-up, but more formal than a graphic tee, polo shirts are possibly the most versatile clothing option for women. Because of the high demand, many different retailers produce polo shirts. A retailer’s aspiration is to create a polo with appealing characteristics to make their polo shirt look better than their competition’s. Creating an appealing, simple color scheme, as well as a colorful tag containing all the great features their polo has makes a good impression on their target audience.... [tags: graphic tees, polo shirts, clothing brand]
1130 words (3.2 pages)
- Job/Team: I play for the Marist College water polo team. I practice five days a week, for about four hours a day (6:45 am to 11:00 am). We are a spring sport and dedicate the entire fall semester to getting ready for spring season. We even cut our winter break down two weeks shorter to get in extra practice. Winter break practice is a lot harder because there are no rules and regulations on the amount of time we are allowed to practice. If the coaches so please, they can keep us in the water the entire time without a break.... [tags: Game, Play, Goalkeeper, Water polo]
2250 words (6.4 pages)
- Human history is filled with the names of bold explorers who ventured into the great unknown, only to come out basked in glory as some of the great heroes of their day. Among the grandest are Marco Polo, who provided little known information about the Far East to Europeans, and Hernan Cortes, the great Spanish conquistador who is given credit for the defeat of the Mexica Empire. These two famous explorers are also ideal case studies to analyze the influence of expectations, interests, and of reality on the accounts of the places and people that these men encountered during their voyages.... [tags: Hernan Cortes, Marco Polo]
2074 words (5.9 pages)
- How good of a book could be written in prison. Of course it’s possible, but would it be good enough to become famous and be a huge inspiration to people. Well this is exactly what Marco Polo did. He wrote a book in prison, and it was great enough to become famous. Marco had a very adventurous life and has an amazing story to tell. He did everybody a huge favor and put it pen to paper. He had his substantial times and heavy times, but the substantial times reign over the heavy tremendously. Marco Polo didn’t have both parents around when he was growing up.... [tags: biography, prison, venice italy, ]
1123 words (3.2 pages)
- One of the most successful clothing brands in the world, Polo Ralph Lauren has built its success around more than just its line of luxurious designer clothes, but the company is one of the top marketing designers also. It was awarded “ Luxury Brand of the Year” in 2010 by the Luxury Daily. A company that was founded by a man named Ralph Lifchitz, better known as Ralph Lauren of the Bronx, New York in 1968. Since the age of 12, Lauren’s had a strong appeal and taste for looking classy. He would spend the money he earned working with his father after school, purchasing expensive suites.... [tags: Marketing ]
1947 words (5.6 pages)
- ... He was then the governor of a Chinese city, an official of the Privy Council, and a tax inspector. He inquired great knowledge on his trip. He was astonished by their economy and form of currency. The group of men stayed in China for seventeen years before deciding to come home. Khan only allowed the men to leave if they brought a Mongol princess back home with them. She was to marry a Persian prince. They agreed. Marco, Marco’s father, and Marco’s uncle travelled home by sea. They travelled on a caravan filled with hundreds of people, although many died due to storms and disease.... [tags: trip, exploration, merchants, father]
781 words (2.2 pages)
- Marco Polo Marco Polo was born in c.1254 in Venice. He was a Venetian explorer and merchant whose account of his travels in Asia was the primary source for the European image of the Far East until the late 19th century. Marco’s father, Niccolo, and his uncle Maffeo had traveled to China in 1260 - 1269 as merchants. Despite Marco’s enduring fame very little was known about the personal life of Marco Polo. It is known that he was born into a leading Venetian family of merchants. He also lived during a propitious time in world history, when the height of Venice’s as a city-state coincided with the greatest extent of Mongol conquest of Asia.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
1030 words (2.9 pages)
- Marco Polo is one of the most well-known heroic travelers and traders around the world. In my paper I will discuss with you Marco Polo's life, his travels, and his visit to China to see the great Khan. Marco Polo was born in c.1254 in Venice. He was a Venetian explorer and merchant whose account of his travels in Asia was the primary source for the European image of the Far East until the late 19th century. Marco's father, Niccolù, and his uncle Maffeo had traveled to China (1260-69) as merchants.... [tags: Biographies Biographical Essays]
1846 words (5.3 pages)
Polo would not have spread or endured for hundred of years if it were not for armies’ dependence on it. The Persian army played polo in the areas it occupied, and they taught the natural inhabitants of those lands to play. Then those societies, once free of Persian rule, spread the game farther through use of their own army. Areas in which polo was extremely popular before or by the middle ages include Iran, Turkey, the Byzantine Empire (especially Constantinople), India, Japan and China.
Polo originated in Asia, but it would not be confined to one continent for long. Upon occupation of India, the British witnessed the game of polo and quickly decided to adapt it for their own enjoyment. The British, at the time, considered themselves civilized compared to the Indians. Consistent with their love of order and regulation, they instituted boundaries and goal posts to the field and the first set of documented rules for the game in India. The rules, in many adapted forms, caught on slowly throughout Asia. When the British army took the game back to England, it quickly became popular among the upper class.
After the game was introduced in England, it became more of a social sport than a method of practicing warfare. The game spread throughout Europe mostly through social interactions of the noble class. In the late eighteen hundreds, polo debuted in the New World, where it was an almost instant success. By the mid-nineteen thirties, polo was an Olympic sport with modern rules.
With modern technology, nations no longer use polo to train their armies, yet polo is nearly as popular as ever, with over eighty countries having active polo clubs. Argentina, England, and the United States currently have the largest and most competitive polo programs in the world. In any size polo program on any side of the globe, you will find players who live and die with the sport for two main reasons: polo is an expensive activity that requires much of a person’s finances, and more importantly, polo is addictive. While rules and perceptions of the game have changed over the years, the lure of the sport remains as strong as ever.
"About the Sport of Polo: The History of Polo." PoloNews.com. March 2004. PoloNews.com. April 2, 2004. www.polonews.com
Chehabi, H.E., and Allen Guttman. "From Iran to All of Asia." International Journal of the History of Sport. 19(2/3) (2002): 384-400.
"History of Polo." Federation of International Polo. April 2004. Federation of International Polo. April 2, 2004.
"The History of Polo." Polo Scotland -- Dundee and Perth Polo Club. March 2004. Dundee and Perth Polo Club. April 2, 2004. www.scottishpolo.com