Polo was first played in Persia (Iran) and is the world’s oldest team sport, dating back to 600 BC. Polo is derived from the Tibetan word “pulu”, which means ball. It was played by nomadic warriors and Persian Kings, Princes and Queens. Westerners were introduced to this noble sport when tea planters and British soldiers brought the game back to England from India.
The first match played in the UK took place in 1869 between the 10th Hussars and the 9th Lancers. The official written rules (on which the present international rules are based) were created by an Irishman, Captain John Watson of the British 13th Hussars. These rules were revised in 1874 to create the so-called Hurlingham Rules. Today, The Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) remains the official governing body for polo in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and many other countries worldwide.