The All Pro Polo League (APPL) finals took place on Friday, March 23 at Outback Polo. The league was founded in order to give professional players the opportunity to play alongside only other professionals. The goal is to produce faster and more open polo games and bring the sport back to it’s true glory. The APPL was founded by Javier Tanoira and utilizes a different set of rules than the normal polo that is played throughout seasons around the world. APPL tournaments take place in Argentina, France, England, and more.
Friday’s final game was played round robin style, while utilizing the APPL’s unique set of rules, with four different teams. Each game was played with three chukkers that lasted four minutes each. During each chukker players were not permitted to switch ponies, in order to keep play continuous and open. Additionally, when the umpire called penalties, play resumed exactly where the infraction occurred, instead of moving to the 60, 40, and 30 yard lines.
During the first game of the day Open Polo (Gonzalito Pieres, Santi Torres, Mariano Gracida, and Wesley Bryan) challenged La Zeta (Facundo Pieres, Kris Kampsen, Juan Monteverde, and Lucas Escobar). At the end of the game it was Open who came out on top with a final score of 4-2. Mariano Gracida showed his skills as a young professional by scoring two goals for his team during the third chukker.
The second game of the day debuted La Hache-Villa del Lago (Hilario Ulloa, Jason Crowder, Jared Zenni, Justin Daniels) against Santa Maria de Lobos (Sapo Caset, Pelon Escapite, Tommy Collingwood, Nico Escobar). The game once again showed fast, open play, which is the ultimate goal of the APPL. At end of the game La Hache-Villa del Lago came out victorious 3-1 thanks to Ulloa’s scoring throughout the first and third chukker. The third game of the day was played by La Zeta and Santa Maria de Lobos.
The fourth, and final, game challenged first round winners Open Polo to play against second round winners La Hache-Villa del Lago. While play throughout the three chukkers was fast and showed skill from all players, scoring was at a standstill for the majority of the game. At the end of the third chukker, the 1-1 score resulted in a shootout in which La Hache-Villa del Lago took the top honors of the day.