Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Polo: An Iranian Sport on UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

 While the sport of polo is older than recorded history, we know that its origins are in the inspirational relationship between humans and horses. The art of polo is distinctly Persian and it is thought to have originated in Persia over 2000 years ago. The special bond and the unique blending of athletic talents between horse and rider have helped polo evolve into The Sport of Kings. Game played on horseback between two teams of four players each who use mallets with long, flexible handle to drive a wooden ball down a grass field and between two goal posts. The match is divided into chukkas, each lasting 7 minutes, with an interval of 3 minutes between each one. The object of Polo is for a team to score more points than its opposition, thus winning the game. Each team attempts to move the ball into the opposition's half of the pitch with the aim of eventually hitting it through the goal to score. Each team of four is made up of attackers and defenders, but realistically all members of a polo team are expected to be flexible and make any play whether offensive or defensive and change position as necessary to benefit the team. Today, the oldest of equestrian sports is finding a shiny, new vitality among the young people in the whole world. We are so thrilled to announce that, Polo has been officially registered as an Iranian sport on UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage in December 2017. 

Two polo sport teams are competing in Naqshe jahan Square of Isfahan, Iran
Two polo teams are competing with each other in Naqshe jahan Square of Isfahan, Iran

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