Best, R.; Standing, R. The Spatiotemporal Characteristics of 0–24-Goal Polo. Animals2019, 9, 446.
Best, R.; Standing, R. The Spatiotemporal Characteristics of 0–24-Goal Polo. Animals 2019, 9, 446.
Global positioning systems (GPS) have recently been shown to reliably quantify the spatiotemporal characteristics of Polo, with the physiological demands of Polo play at low and high goal levels also investigated. This study aimed to describe the spatiotemporal demands of Polo across 0 – 24 goal levels. A player worn GPS unit was used to quantify distance, speed and high intensity activities performed. Data was divided into chukkas and five equine-based speed zones, grouped per cumulative player handicap and assessed using standardised mean differences. Average distance and speed per chukka increased in accordance with cumulative player handicap, with the magnitude of differences being Trivial – Large and Trivial – Very Large, respectively. Differences between time spent in speed zones 4 and 5 show a linear increase in magnitude, when comparing 0 goal Polo to all other levels of play (Small – Very Large; 6 – 24 goals, respectively). High intensity activities predominantly shared this trend, displaying Trivial – Large differences between levels. These findings highlight the increasingly demanding cardiovascular, anaerobic and speed-based needs of Polo ponies as playing level increases. Strategies such as high intensity interval training, maximal speed work and aerobic conditioning may be warranted to facilitate this development and improve pony welfare and performance.
polo; GPS; pony welfare; horse
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