Polo can be traced back to ancient Persia (700 – 330 B.C.). It started as training technique for the elite troops of the king's cavalry. The teams often consisted of up to 100 riders on each
side, giving the impression of a battle. Polo was played by both men and women.
In the ancient times the sport spread from the Byzantine Empire as far as to the Egypt. However, it was the Mongols who bore the responsibility for importing it from Persia to the East. The “game of kings“ gained popularity during the Tang-dynasty in China; numerous statues and paintings of the game were created already then.
The name of the sport is likely to have come from the Balti word ”pulu“, meaning ball. Polo was created in India in the 16th century by the Great Mogul Babur. The oldest polo field in the world is the Imphal polo field in Manipur, India. Polo was not only a sport for the rich of the state, but was played by nearly everyone who owned a horse.
Around 1800 polo was discovered by the British owners of tea plantations. In 1862 the Calcutta Polo Club was founded by two British soldiers. It is the oldest still existing polo Club in the world. The first rules were established by British cavalry officers who finally brought the sport to England. It soon started to spread across the globe. The first tournament took place in Argentina in 1875 and then a year later it was introduced to Australia and the US, where it immediately gained popularity.
Nowadays, polo can be found in 84 countries. Moreover, from 1900 to 1936 it was an Olympic discipline. The activity has recently attracted the attention of the Olympic 'Committee one more time, although it has not yet been authorized for future games.