World Polo Championship

Last updated
World Polo Championship
Sport Polo
No. of teams8 (Finals)
ContinentInternational (FIP)
Most recent
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina

The World Polo Championship is a polo competition between countries. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the Federation of International Polo (FIP), and is contested by the national teams. There is no restriction on the gender of the players. The inaugural tournament was held in 1987, hosted by Argentina, and is now contested every three or four years.

Polo Equestrian team sport

Polo is a horseback mounted team sport. It is one of the world's oldest known team sports.

The Federation of International Polo is the international federation representing the sport of polo, officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee. It was founded in 1982 by representatives of eleven national polo associations, and currently represents the national polo associations of more than 90 countries. FIPs principal aim is to enhance the image and status of the great game of polo internationally.

Argentina Federal republic in South America

Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, and the largest Spanish-speaking nation. The sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.


The participating teams must have a handicap up to 14 goals. It's for this reason that, unlike other sports, the best players can't play the World Polo Championship. [1]

A polo handicap is a system created by Henry Lloyd Herbert, the first president of the United States Polo Association, at the founding of the USPA in 1890 so teams could be more evenly matched when using players with varying abilities.

Sport Forms of competitive activity, usually physical

Sport includes all forms of competitive physical activity or games which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, from those between single contestants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. In certain sports such as racing, many contestants may compete, simultaneously or consecutively, with one winner; in others, the contest is between two sides, each attempting to exceed the other. Some sports allow a "tie" or "draw", in which there is no single winner; others provide tie-breaking methods to ensure one winner and one loser. A number of contests may be arranged in a tournament producing a champion. Many sports leagues make an annual champion by arranging games in a regular sports season, followed in some cases by playoffs.

The last Championship has been hosted in Sydney in 2017 at the Sydney Polo Club. [2]

Sydney Metropolis in Australia

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

The Sydney Polo Club is a polo club in Richmond, New South Wales, Australia. The Sydney Polo Club won the bid to host the 2017 World Polo Championship.


In the early 1980s, motivated by a desire to broaden the scope of international polo, as well as to restore the sport’s Olympic status, Marcos Uranga, then President of the Argentine Polo Association, proposed that an international organization be formed among the polo playing countries of the world. The initial meetings took place in Buenos Aires, and by April 1982, the Federation of International Polo, quickly known as “FIP,” was created. FIP’s first President was Marcos Uranga.

To that end, Mr. Uranga spearheaded the movement for a World Championship and scheduled the first for April 1987 in the Campo Argentino de Polo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Aware of the relative difficulty of fielding high-goal teams worldwide, the early FIP organizers wisely decided to limit competition to teams rated 10 to 14 goals. And, in an attempt to nullify the factor of the horses, they devised the then-revolutionary idea of split strings of horses – assigning matched strings of 28 horses to each team by the luck of the draw.

Campo Argentino de Polo stadium

The Campo Argentino del Polo, popularly known as The Cathedral of Polo, is a multi-purpose stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is currently used mostly for polo, pato and field hockey matches.

Buenos Aires Place in Argentina

Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the South American continent's southeastern coast. "Buenos Aires" can be translated as "fair winds" or "good airs", but the former was the meaning intended by the founders in the 16th century, by the use of the original name "Real de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre". The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which also includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of around 15.6 million.

In 1989, the second FIP World Championship was played in Berlin, at Maifeld, the very stadium that had been the site of polo’s last appearance in the Olympic Games. The sport had come full-circle, and it underlined the growing influence of FIP in the world polo community. Argentina, Australia, Chile, England, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States advanced to the playoffs. But this time there was a surprise: Argentina failed to make the finals. A talented U.S. team beat England by one goal for a 7–6 final score. The U.S. team players were: Horton Schwarz, Julio Ariano, Charley Bostwick and John Wigdahl who scored the winning goal in the sixth chukker. The resulting publicity raised the visibility of FIP among U.S. polo players.

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with Potsdam, Brandenburg's capital. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

Olympic Games Major international sport event

The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 26 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

World Polo Championship - Argentina 2011 Mundial De Polo San Luis 2011 - Argentina.jpg
World Polo Championship – Argentina 2011

FIP World Championship III was played in Santiago, Chile, in 1992. Argentina made it “back to back” through the regionals, and knocked off team after team until they wound up in the finals. There they outscored the host country 12–7 for their second World Championship. The U.S. had to be content with fourth place behind England.

In 1995, the fourth World Championship was held in Saint Moritz, Switzerland. Brazil fought its way gamely through the early rounds to meet Argentina in the final. Now it was Brazil’s turn for triumph. They pulled out an exciting win 11–10 to assume the mantle of World Polo Champions.

Since 1993 MIchael Schultz-Tholen, then the FIP delegate to the International Olympic Committee, arranged numerous meetings with IOC representatives including the President of the International Olympic Committee Mr.Juan Antonio Samaranch. Finally at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, the General Assembly of the International Olympic Committee granted the status of an IOC Recognized Sport and accepted the Federation of International Polo as the worldwide governing body for the sport of polo. This decision was confirmed ("outright recognition") two years later.

In 1998, the fifth World Championship was held at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Santa Barbara, California. Mr. James Easton, a Member of the International Olympic Committee, presented Argentina, the winning team, with a history-making Olympic trophy. This was the first time in 62 years that the winning team of an international polo tournament was so honored.

The FIP World Championship VI held in Melbourne, Australia in 2001 featured eight national teams that qualified through a demanding and highly competitive zone playoff system, which included 24 country teams participating worldwide. Brazil narrowly defeated Australia by one goal (Brazil 10, Australia 9) in an exciting tournament that any of the eight finalists could have won.

In 2004, the Sixth World Championship was held in Chantilly, France. The tournament included eight teams. The qualifying rounds included 28 countries competing. All the games were very competitive. Brazil was not ready to give the title and defeated England in the final game (10 -9) in sudden death.

The eighth edition of the World Polo Championship took place in Mexico during May 2008 and was won by Chile.

The ninth edition of the World Polo Championship took place in San Luis Province, Argentina during October 2011 and was won by Argentina. Brazil being second, and Italy took the third place after defeating England. It was the first time in World Polo Championship for Italy to achieve a podium.

The tenth edition of the World Polo Championship took place in Santiago, Chile during march and April 2015 and was won by the host, beating the United States in the final.


I 1987 Buenos Aires, Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico Flag of Brazil (1968-1992).svg  Brazil
II 1989 Berlin, Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Flag of the United States.svg  United States Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
III 1992 Santiago, Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Flag of England.svg  England
IV 1995 Sankt Moritz, Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
V 1998 Santa Barbara, Flag of the United States.svg  United States Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil Flag of England.svg  England
VI 2001 Melbourne, Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
VII 2004 Chantilly, Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Chile.svg  Chile
VIII 2008 Mexico City, Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
IX 2011 Estancia Grande, Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
X 2015 Santiago, Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Flag of the United States.svg  United States Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil
XI 2017 Sydney, Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Flag of England.svg  England

Team ranking

1stFlag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 5 (1987, 1992, 1998, 2011, 2017)1 (1995)2 (1989, 2001)
2ndFlag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 3 (1995, 2001, 2004)3 (1998, 2008, 2011)2 (1987, 2015)
3rdFlag of Chile.svg  Chile 2 (2008, 2015)2 (1992, 2017)1 (2004)1 (1989)
4thFlag of the United States.svg  United States 1 (1989)1 (2015)3 (1992, 1998, 2017)
5thFlag of England.svg  England 2 (1989, 2004)3 (1992, 1998, 2017)4 (1995, 2001, 2011, 2015)
6thFlag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 1 (1987)2 (1995, 2008)
7thFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 1 (2001)
8thFlag of Italy.svg  Italy 1 (2011)
9thFlag of Spain.svg  Spain 2 (1987, 2008)
10thFlag of France.svg  France 1 (2004)

By nation

Country 1987 1989 1992 1995 1998 2001 2004 2008 2011 2015 2017
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 1st3rd1st2nd1st3rdP. round1stP. round1st
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 3rd1st2nd1st1st2nd2nd3rd-
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 4th2nd3rd1stP. round1st2nd
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 1st4th4thP. roundP. roundP. round2nd4th
Flag of England.svg  England 2nd3rd4th3rd4th2ndP. round4th4th3rd
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 2ndP. round3rd1st round3rdP. round-
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 5thP. roundP. round2nd1st roundP. roundP. round
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy P. round3rd-
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 4th4thP. round
Flag of France.svg  France P. round4th-
Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland P. roundP. round-
Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala P. roundP. round-
Flag of India.svg  India P. roundP. roundP. roundP. round
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada P. roundP. round-
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany P. round-
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan P. roundP. roundP. round-
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand P. roundP. round
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa P. round-

See also

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  1. Diario el Mercurio, 4 de mayo de 2008 (Spanish)
  2. "Polo World Championship". Retrieved 2016-06-07.