The All Pro Polo League (APPL) is set to host a 40-goal match on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, at Pilar Chico polo club in Argentina, featuring all eight 10-goal players: Adolfo Cambiaso, David “Pelon” Stirling, Pablo Mac Donough, Juan Martin Nero, Facundo Pieres, Gonzalo Pieres, Nicolas Pieres, and Hilario Ulloa.
The match will be the culmination of a very important year for the league. The success of its European tour, which saw the debut of two 10-goal players in Spain, was enough to encourage the Argentine Polo Association (AAP) to trial certain APPL rules in the Argentine high goal. The Association further showed their support of the league by organizing official tournaments to be played with the full set of APPL rules, originally proposed by the league’s founder, Javier Tanoira.
The 40-goal match will be hugely significant for the development of the league, not only because it shows support from the best players in the world, but because it will demonstrate that this format of the game suits every level.
“It is a great development, and it comes at the perfect time,” says Tanoira. “All eight 10-goal players have agreed to be a part of the APPL because they see the potential it has, and that is the most important thing. The players have realized that the only way to create a spectacle, or to transform polo into a spectator sport, is to get good players to play among themselves, and that is that we are trying to do. This is a unique opportunity for us and a real privilege, as we will be able to try our rules out on the best players in the world. But the real validation of what we are doing comes from them wanting to be involved and committing to play a serious 40-goal match, which is really going to help us test the rules.”
“My experience with the APPL in Spain was very positive,” says Facundo Pieres. “I think the league has a lot of interesting aspects, and I particularly like the dynamic of the games. There is never a moment of inaction, or ‘dead time’; you have to run for the whole five minutes of the chukka. It is polo that is fun to play. I see a lot of potential in the league, and hopefully polo as a whole will turn towards this direction in a few years.
"I don’t think we will end up playing with all of these rules in the future, because there are many changes, but I think that there are a few rules which could permanently make their way into polo. Players will have to adapt, but as a result polo will be more fun to play, more dynamic, more entertaining for spectators and simpler to understand. I think the 40-goal game will be a great experience and very positive for polo as a whole.”
Cover Photo courtesy All Pro Polo League