Chukkas, Mallets & Pachyderms at The Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament
Originally conceived in 1981 by the legendary Asian adventurers, Jim Edwards and James Manclark. During a quirky conversation the two thought the idea of Elephant Polo would be an amusing way for travellers to pass their time in the jungles of Asia.
In 1982 the Elephant Polo Association, headquartered in the Tiger Tops lodge in the Royal Chitwan Park of Nepal was established. The association also created the governing rules, a fifty two page book.
The Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament forms part of the World Elephant Polo Tournament which is played on a small circuit in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Thailand.
The Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament of Thailand was first launched in Hua Hin by the Anantara Resort in 2001.
The game of elephant polo is quite simple. Played by two teams of three. Each team is made up of three players, each individual player is mounted behind the pachyderm’s mahout or elephant driver. Each game played is made up of two chukkas or halves that last only seven minutes each.
Some of the technicalities for playing elephant Polo are that the elephants themselves are not allowed to pick the ball up with trunks, doing so constitutes as a foul. It is also stated that ‘Sugar cane or rice balls shall be given to the elephants at the end of each match and a cold beer, to the elephant drivers and not vice versa’.
Spread over five days with four days of matches, the Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is as much a sporting event as it is a social event. During the course of the tournament spectators can enjoy as well participate in the various attractions and events that take place within the tournament itself.