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The winner is the team that scores the most goals in a six-period game.
Modern polo is played between two teams of four, on a field 300 yards by 160 yards, with posts at either end delineating a goal that is eight yards wide.
The winner is the team that scores the most goals in a six-period game. Each period, also known as a chukker, is seven minutes long.
Each of the four players is given a zone of responsibility. The numbers worn on the jerseys, (“polo shirts”) indicate the zone – number 1 is the most forward and number 4 the most defensive. By custom, number 3 is the on-field captain and usually the highest-rated player on the team.
Typically, each player uses a different horse in each of the six chukkers. Although the horses are traditionally called ponies, present-day players use both terms interchangeably, much as “game” and “match” are used to mean the same thing. If a horse appears to be tiring before the end of a chukker, the player may switch horses. But, as time-outs are not given on request, the player who wants to change his pony must pick a time when there is a lull in the action, make it to the sidelines, change horse and make it back on to the field before play resumes.
Goals are switched after each score to equalise the conditions of weather, terrain and lighting.