Arena polo is a fast-paced version of polo played outdoors on an enclosed all-weather surface, or in an indoor arena. Unlike outdoor polo, which is played on a 10-acre field, arena polo is played on 300 feet by 150 feet field, 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. The arena game is played on a dirt surface with the ball bouncing on the uneven surface and off the arena wall.
Arena polo can be played year-round, which is attractive to many players because it makes progress in the sport easier and quicker.
While they don’t go high speeds over long distances, horses need to utilize acceleration, strength, maneuverability and heart to play arena polo. They usually take a year or two to train to become polo horses, and 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 fanfriendly because the action is contained in a smaller area.