How to play
No elephants may lie down in front of the goal mouth. To do so will constitute a foul. A free hit is awarded to the opposing side from the semi-circle in front of the goal.
- Teams are made up from the pool of elephants and balanced out as fairly as possible bearing in mind size and speed of the elephant. Once the pool of elephants has been selected, each elephant is categorized and marked as A,B,C,D, E and F.
- Any team with 3 elephants in one half of the pitch is judged to have committed a foul.
- An elephant may not pick up the ball in its trunk during play. To do so constitutes a foul and a free hit is awarded to the opposing team from the spot where the ball was picked up.
The defending players must be 15 metres from the spot.
- No more than 2 elephants may be in the D at one time – one from the attacking team and one from the defending team.
- There are no restrictions as to the height, weight or sex of the elephants.
- Sugar cane or rice balls packed with vitamins (molasses and rock salt) shall be given to the elephants at the end of each match and a cold beer, or soft drink, to the elephant drivers and not vice versa.
The health and welfare of the elephants used in elephant polo tournaments is of prime concern. Abuse of the elephant is considered to be the most serious offence.
- Mallets of around 2 metres are used. Ladies are allowed to use both hands.
- The first elephant polo games were played with a soccer ball. These were quickly changed to standard polo balls after it was realized the elephants liked to stamp and pop the soccer balls!
- Some players train by sitting on top of a slow-moving jeep and swinging at a ball using the actual Elephant Polo stick. Others train in swimming pools by swinging a golf club one-handed through the water to strengthen their wrists!