Unlike outdoor polo, which is played on a 10-acre field, arena polo is played on 300 feet by 150 feetfield, enclosed by walls of four or more feet in height.
The normal game consists of four chukkas, or periods, of seven and one-half minutes each. A polo ball is similar to a mini soccer ball, larger than the hard plastic ball used outdoors.
Arena polo can be played year-round, which is attractive to many players because it makes progress in the sport easier and quicker. The most popular season for arena polo is winter.
While they don’t go high speeds over long distances, horses need to utilize acceleration, strength, maneuverability and heart to play arena polo. It is especially important in arena polo for horses to be comfortable with other horses and riders, as they often run into one another in the smaller area.
There are three players per team in arena polo as opposed to four in the outdoor version. Games can be very physical, and because of the smaller size of the playing field, opponents are almost always in close proximity. Players that enjoy arena polo are typically those who do not shy away from physical contact. Arena polo is often very fan friendly because the action is contained in a smaller area and very close to the spectators.