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This sport played on horseback is a mix of polo and basketball. Pato is the Spanish word for 'duck', and earlier versions of this game used a duck instead of a ball inside a basket. Pato is Argentina’s national sport. The playing field usually stretches between neighboring ranches. The team that first reaches casco with the duck is 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 in between the game.

The modern version of Pato is played with two teams of four members each. The players fight 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.

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


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