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.
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.
- Polo — a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to hit a ball into a goal using a long-handled mallet.
- Basketball — players attempt to shoot the ball through the hoop on the opponent’s court, moving the ball by throwing and dribbling.
- Horseball — The sport is like a combination of Polo, Rugby and Basketball, played on horseback where a ball is carried and shot through a high net to score. Horseball is derived from Pato.
- Polocrosse — an equestrian sport combining the sports of lacrosse and polo.
- Buzkashi — a Central Asian sport like polo in which riders on horses attempt to drag a goat carcass toward the goal. There is a variant known as kokpar which is quite similar.
- Sport in Argentina
- List of all sports involving horses
- Complete list of sports
- The Encyclopedia of Sports