Polo, game played on horseback between two teams of four players each who use mallets with long, flexible handles to drive a wooden ball down a grass field and between two goal posts. It is the oldest of equestrian sports.
A game of Central Asian origin, polo was first played in Persia (Iran) at dates given from the 6th century BC to the 1st century AD. Polo was at first a training game for cavalry units, usually the king’s guard or other elite troops. To the warlike tribesmen, who played it with as many as 100 to a side, it was a miniature battle.
In time polo became a Persian national sport played extensively by the nobility. Women as well as men played the game, as indicated by references to the queen and her ladies engaging King Khosrow II Parvīz and his courtiers in the 6th century AD.