Learn the equestrian sport of polo

Polo Chukkers

Timed Periods

A polo match lasts about one and one-half hours and is divided into timed periods called chukkers.

  • There are six chukkers in a polo match.
  • Each chukker is seven minutes long.
  • A bell is rung to indicate thirty seconds remain in the chukker.
  • A horn sounds to terminate the chukker.
  • Breaks between chukkers are three minutes long, with a five minute halftime.


The ball is rolled in by an official to start the polo match or resume play after a time out. Each team lines up in numerical order, directly behind the other. The opposing team lines up the same way. The umpire rolls the ball between the two teams, and play begins.

Game Clock

The game clock is stopped:

  • in case of a foul,
  • fallen pony or rider,
  • pony or player injured,
  • broken tack,
  • loss of helmet,
  • or if the ball rolls out of bounds.

Time Outs

A player may leave the field to change ponies without a time out being called if the pony is not playing well but isn't visibly injured.

A lost or broken mallet does not stop play, and the player may leave the field for a replacement before returning to play, or simply reverse the mallet and strike the ball with the handle.