The handicap is a system created by Henry Lloyd Herbert in 1890 to rate a polo player according to their horsemanship, team play, knowledge of the game, strategy and horses. The score refers to the level of importance that polo player has in their team.
Argentina uses a scale system that goes from 0 to 10, while other countries like the US and the UK use a scale that goes from -2 to 10. The higher a person is rated, the better the player is. By that logic, the lower rates refer to a beginner player while the highest rates are reserved for the best polo players.
Handicaps of 5 goals and above generally belong to professional players. Moreover, becoming a 10 goal handicap player is extremely difficult to achieve and there are only a few polo players that hold that title today. Interestingly enough, most of them are from Argentina! This comes to show the country’s love for this sport and the talent and dedication of our players like Adolfo Cambiaso, Bartolomé Castagnola, Facundo Pieres and Gonzalo Pieres Jr.
When playing a polo match, all the handicaps of each team’s 4 members are totaled and, if that sum is higher than that of the rival team, the difference in handicap is converted into a goal advantage. For example, if the difference equals 3, this would mean that the team with the highest handicap gets a 3-goal-advantage over their rivals.
Keep this useful knowledge about handicaps in mind when you come to enjoy a polo match in our estancia!