25th Zürich International Polo Ladies Cup

Polo Park & Country Club Zurich is celebrating 25 years of Ladies Polo this season, making it the oldest Ladies Cup in the world. Since 2017, the club has implemented ladies‘ handicap in Switzerland, offering one of the largest ladies-only tournaments in Europe, providing polo games from 12 to 0 goals. All levels and ages are welcome to participate in the tournament. Since its start, the club has had the pleasure of welcoming players from over 35 countries, united in their love for the sport and driven by their competitive spirit.

It’s hard to believe that it has already been 25 years since Polo Park Zurich began organizing a dedicated tournament for women’s polo. Even before the rise of female-only competitions, the former owner, Markus Gräff, had the brilliant idea of creating a ladies-only tournament, as the club had always had women players.

Every year, the level of the game fluctuated depending on the number of guests, players, and locals participating. However, there was always a minimum of two teams and a maximum of eight.

In 2016, the tournament organization reached a milestone. Sébastien Le Page invited Sunny Hale to speak and support the players, but little did he know that this would take the tournament to the next level. It was a unique and precious occasion to spend three days with Sunny, who constantly coached the players and encouraged them. She pointed out their weaknesses and gave them advice on how to improve, as well as how to take advantage of their strengths.

Sunny’s vibrant lecture about her journey from starting at a lower level to being chosen by Adolfo Cambiaso and winning the US Open with him, was an unforgettable experience for all attending members.
Her speech inspired many and still resonates in the hearts of many today.

In 2017, Morgan Van Overbroek made a significant change by introducing two different levels for the Ladies Cup – a low goal accessible to all players and a medium goal with a level of 8 to 12 goals. This allowed the Ladies Cup to be included in the Women’s Polo Tour rankings, allowing higher-ranked players to earn more international points. This was also the first season where players could use their ladies’ handicaps to play. Switzerland was one of the pioneering countries in Europe to officially implement this change. On the same weekend, Hazel Jackson, who was playing the 10 goals mixed was also a guest and motivational speaker for the ladies players. Her powerful playing style left a strong impression on all players.

And since 2017, the medium goal was launched and became an almost inevitable stop in the Ladies European circuit.

While at the club, they had the opportunity to witness several players transitioning from low to medium goal, enjoying the game at a different pace. These players had the opportunity to play alongside experienced international players and learned that not only having great polo skills was important, but also fitness and mental strength. It was a significant enhancement for the club to host such players, as it gave the local players the chance to interact with the guest players. The Ladies’ Cup is an incredible weekend where polo friendship transcends all borders, and the polo family grows even larger.

The Ladies Cup provides an opportunity for many players to experience the game of polo with all its challenges. They suddenly have to make decisions such as who will shoot penalties, quickly organize their teams, and adjust to a slower pace and shorter shots compared to mixed polo matches. This can make the game much more demanding for each player. Many players also come to realize the importance of maintaining good fitness levels for all levels of polo as every player’s contributions count at every moment of the game.

Morgan von Overbroek: „The Ladies Cup tournament is typically held on the first weekend of July. If one is available that weekend and enjoys playing with enthusiastic players of all skill levels, they are invited to join. A fun and competitive experience on the field is guaranteed.”

By PPZ  
Photography Guadalupe Aizaga, Evelina Jakovlevskaja, Luca Mortari

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