What is a chukka?

IF YOU'VE never seen a game of polocrosse, or you fancy brushing up on your rules of the game, look no further.

Your Daily News roving polocrosse correspondent has been busily soaking up the rules of the game and is bringing that knowledge to you.

Polocrosse was invented by a Sydney couple, Mr and Mrs Edward Hirst, who, while visiting England, picked up on a few exercise techniques from a pair of equestrian instructors.

They then brought that newly acquired knowledge back to Australia, where they hit the drawing board with a professional polo player.

They decided they would combine netball, lacrosse and polo and thus created polocrosse.

So now you know where polocrosse originated, how do you play the game?

The aim: To get the ball through your team's posts as many times as possible, but it must be thrown from outside the semi-circle at each end.

The horse: Players usually ride Australian Stock Horses or thoroughbreds.

The team: A team consists of seven players, one interchangeable. Three players from each side take to the field at one time.

Duration: The game is divided into chukkas of six minutes and there are six chukkas, except in finals, when there are eight.

Positions: No.1, attack, No.2, midfield (combination of attack and defence) and No.3, defence. The field is divided into three sections. The goal-scoring areas, on each end are 30 yards long. Only No.1 on the attacking team and No.3 on the defending team can play in these areas.

The game: Players can pick up the ball off the ground, catch it in their racquet and ride with it. They throw to each other until the No.1 has possession in the goal area, where they will attempt to toss it through the goals. Players can get the ball from the opposition by hitting at an opponent's stick in an upwards direction only.

Byron Davison, of the U16 open junior Queensland side, said a penalty would be awarded if any team members went against the rules.

"You can only keep your racquet on one side, so if you're right handed and your opponent comes at you on the right side, you can't put your arm over to the left side," Mr Davison said.

He said the biggest challenge of polocrosse was ensuring your horse was incredibly fit.

"Your horse has to be pretty good and you have to have good racquet skills too," Mr Davison said.

So now you know the basics, it's time to get down to Morgan Park and have a look for yourself.


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