When is the polocrosse season?
The dates for each year are finalised at the state AGM at the beginning of the year and published on the website and our facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/308240649189365/?fref=ts). The beginning of the year is (March/April - May) a great time for new players to get started as it is our 'greenhorse' season, which means that the games are not officially scored so people can bring in young or inexperienced horses and it is a great time for new players to get exposed to the game. Our club also usually has a 'polox bootcamp' prior to the beginning of the season (around February) to help get everyone back into the mind set of playing etc. The 'green horse season' generally goes through to May and then the main season starts in July/August through to the end of November. Carnivals are located all across the state typically every other weekened, including several venues around Geraldton, Perth, Muchea, Margaret River, Kojunup, Capel, Northam even as far as Murchison for those who want a road trip!!
What is it like to play with Murray Polocrosse Club?
Polocrosse is a very social sport with a real community and family feel. Players from other clubs socialise together and there is a good sense of community at the carnivals, irrespective of what club you play for. Murray is a small-ish club with from juniors, E grade (lowest) through to B/C grade with a strong focus on playing fair and having fun - we have a good community of players and camp together at carnivals which makes for good banter round the campfire. The PAWA website has a basic outline of the game - http://www.pawa.asn.au .
I have never played polocrosse before, how do I get started?
If possible, it is good for new players to start on a horse that knows the game - it makes the game a lot more enjoyable and gives you a much better chance to work on your racket skills and game play - of course it all depends on how much money you want to spend but it is worth looking around before you jump for the first available horse as there are lots of facets to take into consideration (temperament, speed etc - just because the horse played A grade doesn't mean it is a "good" horse for you...). Facebook, gumtree and cavaletti are a good place to start - or put a call out to the polocrosse community see if anyone has an experienced, older horse to lease or buy. Training a horse up for polocrosse can be relatively straight forward or hard, depending on the horse and your experience in training horses - the horse must not kick, bite or rear under pressure and be comfortable with close contact from other horses. The horse *may* take to the game well if they already have campdraft experience or experience with working stock horse patterns - however, this is not a given, because of the close contact associated polocrosse and presence of the ball and racket. Most horses playing in Australia are Australian stock horses, thoroughbred or a cross between the two, due to the nature, speed and agility required for the game
Beginner players start in the E grade and the progress from there can be fast or slow depending on your skills and horse power. Each player is assigned a number of 'points' between 1 and 10 that reflects your ability and competency in the game. These points determine which grade you play in and are assessed once or twice a year. Junior players will generally start in the Junior E grade (depending on their riding experience etc) which gives them a chance to develop their skills playing against other kids. If you are coming to the club as an experienced player, you will be assessed based on your (and your horse's ability) and placed into an appropriate side. If you have never seen polocrosse before, it is a good idea to come and watch some games at one of the carnivals or request to come to Coolup to watch training to give you an idea of the game.
How much does it cost?
The main cost is associated with affiliation with the state for insurance - The fees for 2015 are outlined below - the $35 club fee only applies to adult players (i.e. > 16 years old on 1st Jan 2015).
Senior ( i.e. > 16 on 1st Jan 2015) - $380 (state affiliation) + $35 (club fee) = $415
Limited (3 carnivals and unlimited trainings) 320 (state affiliation) + 35 (club fee) = $355
Junior (i.e < 16 on 1st Jan 2015) = $285
Sub junior (i.e. < 12 on 1st Jan 2015) = $255
Mini junior casual - 3 tournaments (< 10 on 2st Jan 2015) = $190
Trial (3 trainings over a 6 week period) = $150
This fee covers you for insurance should you injure yourself during the game or at a registered practice. You then pay $10-25 (usually $10 or $15) to play at a carnival and $5 ground fee for training at Coolup. The state offer a 'trial' fee of $150 to attend training for a 6 week period (this again covers your insurance) and you can upgrade from that amount to an option that gives you 3 carnivals plus the club fee. These fees may go up slightly or may stay the same - again we find out at the state agm. Our shirts are $30 each (each player needs 3 shirts - 1 for each position) and saddle blankets are available in club colours for $60.
***Players must have completed the paperwork and paid their fees by the Friday before the tournament (or training) they wish to attend***
Where can I buy equipment?
Rackets and balls can be bought from a few different places - Rags Horse Attire on Facebook are one option (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rags-Horse-Attire/428239540571320?fref=ts). Alternatively, you can buy a Bennets racket (http://www.polocrosse.biz/) or again have a look around second hand on gumtree etc - the nets typically need to be altered for your personal throwing style so don't be disheartened if the racket is not ideal to throw out of straight away. Polocrosse balls can also be bought from the state.
In terms of other equipment, most people play in a stock saddle or halfbreed, which must have a double girth or additional surcingle and be fitted with a breastplate for safety reasons. Horses must wear bell boots and white bandages or boots (again for protection). Their manes are generally hogged and tails must be platted and pulled for games (we can show you how to platt and pull the tail if you are unsure).
The rider must wear white jeans or jodphurs, safe boots (long boots or short boots with gaitors/chaps - optional) have an approved helmet and face guard (optional) - (NB. the New Derby Helmet is the only one with the option for the faceguard - http://goodwoods.com.au/new-derby-polocrosse-helmet.html)
When do we train?
We have members from both North and South of Perth so it can be difficult for us to all get together for training. However, we usually have a training at the Coolup grounds on the weekends before the start of the season and on the weekends in between carnivals. The day (Saturday or Sunday) is dependent on the availability of the grounds and our club members. I typically send an email out to our members requesting names for training during the week prior to training the following weekend.
*** Note - you must be affiliated with the state (i.e. paid your fees) to ride at training or you will invalidate the insurance of the other players ****
How do I find out more?
Email the President/Secretary/Treasurer Sue Maughan email@example.com
Keen to join? Please download and complete the membership form and code of conduct and email to Sue Maughan on firstname.lastname@example.org