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Pato

The Argentinian sport of pato is played on horseback. It is a mix of polo and basketball. Pato is Argentina’s national sport.

Pato is the Spanish word for 'duck', and earlier versions of this game required throwing a duck instead of a ball inside a basket. The playing field stretched between neighboring ranches.

The modern version of Pato is played with two teams of four members each. The players compete for the ball which has six handles. The Pato player has to ride with his arm stretched out so that the rivals can get a chance to snatch the Pato. A goal is scored when the ball is thrown through a vertical ring. After regulation time, the team with more goals is declared the winner.

A pato match being played in ArgentinaA pato match being played in Argentina

The game can be extremely violent and for that very reason the game had to be banned many times. Not only injuries but people also lost their lives due to fights during games.

Pato is not only played by professionals but also by amateurs. As 90% of Argentines have not watched a Pato match, the national status of Pato has become quite controversial. Football, however, is clearly the most popular sport in Argentina.



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