Feb 172011
 
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

Most Americans see polo as a sport for snooty country club members with too much time and money on their hands.

CSU’s club polo team, on the other hand, seeks not only athletic excellence, but also to spread knowledge and popularity of their sport.

The Rams play Texas Tech at home tonight at Picket Arena, located in the CSU Equine Center at 701 S. Overland Trail. The match is set to start at 7 p.m. and tickets are free for all CSU students with an ID or $5 at the door.

“We have a really incredible stadium that we use,” said Jean Meyer, varsity team member and head of marketing and public relations. “I think it’s probably one of the best collegiate polo stadiums in the United States.”

So far this season, CSU has defeated Texas A&M and Kentucky at home while traveling to a tournament in New York where the team beat Kentucky again, but lost to Cornell.

CSU plays indoor polo, which is a more compact version of the traditional game.

Indoor polo is played in a 300-foot-by-150-foot arena surrounded by four-foot-high walls, as opposed to the traditional 300-yard field used by regular, outdoor polo.

“It’s a bit like hockey on a horse,” Meyer said. “You have a lot more contact among the players. There’s bumping. There’s checking.”

CSU boasts one of the more nationally prominent polo clubs. The club can trace its tradition back to the 1950s, but became an official club sport in 1977.

The Rams have won national championships in 1990, 1991 and 1999, while the women’s team placed second at nationals in 2006.

In order to qualify for national competition, a team must first win its regional tournament to advance.

This season the regional tournament for CSU will be in Dallas, Texas during the second weekend of spring break, while nationals will be hosted by Cornell in New York the weekend after students return from break.

One of the secondary draws of the polo team is its involvement with horses and the CSU Equine Science Department.

“We take really good care of our horses, and it’s just neat the dynamic between man and animal in the sport,” Meyer said.

Club sports Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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