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How to Play

Technicalities of the Game

No elephants may lie down in front of the goal mouth. To do so will constitute a foul. A free hit is awarded to the opposing side from the semi-circle in front of the goal.

  • An elephant may not pick up the ball in its trunk during play. To do so constitutes a foul and a free hit is awarded to the opposing team from the spot where the ball was picked up. The defending players must be 15 metres from the spot.
  • Teams are made up from the pool of elephants and balanced out as fairly as possible bearing in mind size and speed of the elephant. Once the pool of elephants has been selected, each elephant is categorized and marked as A,B,C,D, E and F.
  • Sugar cane or rice balls packed with vitamins (molasses and rock salt) shall be given to the elephants at the end of each match and a cold beer, or soft drink, to the elephant drivers and not vice versa.

THE HEALTH AND WELFARE OF THE ELEPHANTS USED IN TOURNAMENTS IS OF PRIME CONCERN, ABUSE OF THE ELEPHANT IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE MOST SERIOUS OFFENCE.

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Fun Facts

  • Elephants in this tournament only respond to Thai commands from their mahouts.
  • The first elephant polo games were played with a soccer ball. These were quickly changed to standard polo balls after it was realized the elephants liked to stamp and pop the soccer balls!
  • Some players train by sitting on top of a slow-moving jeep and swinging at ball using the actual Elephant Polo stick!

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