By Steve Crowder
This is a very serious situation if Polo is your life here in the US and I would think Canada as well the biggest problem is it is so expensive and that is true the big guys are spending several million to compete, WHY some of it is because they can and some of it is because we the USPA do not control basically anything to protect our young players and we have some brilliant talent around the Country but the way our system is they will disappear as many have already because it is impossible to make a living for them. For sure never get horses needed to compete and we all know you are less than 1/2 without them and a job is the cash to get them. If you look at the 20 goal now in Fl. you see an amazing number 14 teams 56 players take away patrons 14 means 42 pros less than 1/2 are American citizens and 6 of them are on 2 teams and many will argue they are not as good and that is true , Why ? They never get to compete in this polo and most likely ever will because the US Polo program does help them get started but then drops them off at the graveyard. This is where I think the USPA must help by putting 3 Yanks on all teams under 20 goals and no Players 4 goals and below that is not a citizen, then I think the young players will have a chance and be able to get jobs being sent out to others and start to be able to accumulate horses and credit to buy horses and equipment to compete. An idea from US Team coach Joel Baker is that this will help get Patrons to pick up a young player and teach him much more than Polo as a Employee in business therefore helping both immensely. We seen this in the UK years ago David Jamieson a big time Patron who won as many Gold Cups if not more than any Patron and usually with 2 Patrons did this with Allen Kent, David Morley and I think Stewart Mckenzie to name just a few and that is why you see so many Young English Players in the system now. I think we have like 13 USPA players 6 or above and 1/2 are over 40 coming down not going up, WHY ? Most gave up and went to other places and careers. That is the sad part for our Young Players. Another idea Joel has is creating a USA Team of higher level Players who will compete in events here and abroad for certain events they will be paid by the USPA and will attract Sponsors I am sure and players will have to black out these dated from some tournaments many things would have to be worked out but I think it could be done easily and cost effective and bring in a great deal of new options for the sport .
I also think we have to face the facts that it is time for a change and the main problem is cost the 20 is expensive but some of new ideas will help that very much the 26 goal well anymore that’s just a dream that will probably never come back to John Goodman’s era. HERE ARE SOME VERY SIMPLE IDEAS MOST FROM JAVIER TANORIA AN ARGENTINE PROFESSIONAL WHO WANTS POLO TO SURVIVE .
1) SIX CHUKKARS 6 HORSES 4 CHUKKARS 4 HORSES – WHAT WILL THIS DO? CUT EXPENSES NEARLY IN 1/2 LESS STALLS LESS GROOMS LESS FEED LESS EVERYTHING AND IT WILL MAKE TEAM PLAY MUCH BETTER AND INCLUDE AND IMPROVE PATRONS AS THEY WILL HAVE TO PASS BALL NOT JUST CHANGE HORSES AND KEEP ON RUNNING BY THEM SELVES .
2) SHORTEN CHUKKARS TO 6 MINUTES NO THROW INNS EXCEPT TO START GAME YOU SCORE YOU KNOCK IN BALL GOES OB OTHER TEAM HITS FROM THERE NO CHANGING HORSES UNLESS INJURED AND PENALTIES WILL BE SWIFT AND DONE IN 10 SECONDS TO HIT A LOT OF FOULS WILL BE AVOIDED ANYWAY IN THIS STYLE AS THEY WILL HAVE TO PASS TO SAVE HORSE AND THAT WAY CUTS OUT MUCH OF THE BLOCKING WHERE A LOT OF PROBLEMS COME FROM AS WELL AS THROW INNS.
3) It will speed up game and with drone be very easy to explain to a Televised crowd and most all make it less expensive by a bunch
Down South results were Crab Orchard winning bracket 1 and Valiente 2 Winning bracket 2 and MT Brillant winning in a shoot out and going thru as well as Valiente 1 others playing today check Out Alex Webb report here on POLO ZONE .com