Polo game in Iran

Polo game in Iran

In the article about the Naqsh-e Jahan Square, we talked about the gates of the polo, we thought that many would like to know what the polo game is and how it is held.


Since the Iranians were interested in horseback riding and also in recreation and sports around 600 BC, during the Achaemenes times, the game was formed in Iran. There is evidence that Polo is the oldest sporting game in the world, because the manuscript, which was about 600 years before Christ, has been reported that Polo game held between Iranians and Turonian.

Polo flourished during the Safavid era. Historical documents have shown that Shah Abbas has been played polo and even before he came to Isfahan, he played polo in Qazvin, the capital of Iran. Naqsh-e Jahan Square was built for playing polo.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the game was destroyed in Iran when imperial kings came to work and destroyed Iranian culture. Even after Nasir al-Din Shah, until the beginning of the 1350s that Shah establishing a movement to resume all the riding disciplines, it is no longer be remembered.

After the arrival of Pahlavi, the Polo game regained a relative boom through the relationship with the Europeans.

The game originally had military titles, and Iranian riders displayed their war horses’ talents.

Polo in Iran
Polo in Ira

Why Polo?

In the Iranian Army, they were playing polo to keep their troops and their horses ready. And in history it has been said that the game was done with a special rule and also in the presence of the referee. This game requires riding and horse training together.

The Name of the Polo

The name of the polo is taken from the name of the wood that is used. In meaning of wood +Gan (Chogan). The word was also spoken in the Old Persian as “Chopgan” or “Chobkan”.

Polo in Iranian paintings
Polo in Iranian paintings

Polo in Other Countries

• Polo in the early centuries of the Christian calendar went from west to China and Japan, and from east to Asia and Greece.
• when Darius conquered India, boomed the polo in India. In Calcutta, in 1862, a Polo Club was built.
• When the Persians and Arabs came to the relationship through the advent of Islam, they learned the game from Iranians. And since the Arabs liked the naming and producing of words, they named it Suljan.
• When the Mongols invaded Iran and became familiar with Iranian culture, they also learned the polo game and spread throughout their vast empire. This period is considered the most serious time for the spreading of polo around the World.
• The expansion of the polo in the Mongol Empire is causing the current tendency of the East Asian countries to this sport.
• Europeans became familiar with the game during the Safavid era, during their colonial times in India, and English officers also professionally learned polo at the Club of Calcutta and they take polo to England.
• In 1860 AD, Polo has a great fan in Britain.
• The game goes from England to South America and its fans are enormous. As the polo nowadays is more popular in South America than anywhere else in the world, it has many fans.
• Today, more than 77 countries organize polo competitions and events.

Polo in Iran

Interesting Point

The polo brand with the horse-riding who is playing polo is one of the most famous brands in the United States.

Polo in the World

In 1880, the World Cup, called the West Chester Cup, began in 9 rounds.
Polo is also one of the sports that has been played since 1900 to 1939 as a sport in the World Olympic Championship and is now recognized by the International Olympic Committee as one of the world’s most popular sports. And it should be noted that in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics, due to the lack of global consensus or at least the support of the country of Iran, as the origin of this game, it was eliminated from the Olympic Games.
Hockey and golf are said to have been taken from polo.

Polo World Registration

On December 12, 1962, the Republic of Azerbaijan decided to register polo at UNESCO, but its request was not accepted at the eighth meeting of the UNESCO Intangible Heritage Committee in Baku. Only this country was able to register the local game of Ghare-Bagh as the Azerbaijan’s polo.
World’s fastest game
Polo is the fastest game in the world. In this game, the rider and horse should be tracked at a speed of close to 60 km / h. If the velocity of the ball, the velocity of the stick of Polo, and the speed of the horse are combined, it will be more than 360 kilometers per hour. That’s why Polo is called the world’s fastest game.

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