Elephant polo is a type of polo played while on the back of an elephant. The sport of elephant polo has been around since the British first went to India and Nepal and adapted their horseback game to use elephants. Elephant polo is popular in Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand.
The equipment used in Elephant polo includes a standard polo ball and a 6 to 10 foot cane stick with a polo mallet at the end. Originally a soccer ball was used, but now that has been replaced by a standard polo ball.
The pitch used is around three quarters of the length of a typical polo pitch. It’s this way because of the slower speed of the elephants.
The site of the World Elephant Polo Championships is Tiger Tops in Nepal. In Nepal and Thailand, Elephant Polo is played under the World Elephant Polo Association. They have strict rules for the game play and rules to protect the welfare of the Elephant.
There are other elephant polo matches held around the world, such as in Sri Lanka, there is a yearly elephant polo tournament in Galle.
- Yak Polo — a Mongolian variation of the sport polo played on yaks instead of on horses.
- Polo (Horse Polo) — a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to hit a ball into a goal using a long-handled mallet.
- Tuk Tuk Polo — a variation of polo, in which players are on vehicles called tuk tuk (unusual sport)
- Elephant Soccer — soccer played by elephants, with riders on thier back to direct them (unusual sport)