World Polo Championship

The World Polo Championship is a polo competition between countries. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the Federation of International Polo (FIP), and is contested by the national teams. There is no restriction on the gender of the players. The inaugural tournament was held in 1987, hosted by Argentina, and is now contested every three or four years.

World Polo Championship
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2017 World Polo Championship
No. of teams8 (Finals)
ContinentInternational (FIP)
Most recent
 Argentina (5th title)
Most titles Argentina (5 titles)

The participating teams must have a handicap up to 14 goals. It's for this reason that, unlike other sports, the best players can't play the World Polo Championship.[1]

The last Championship has been hosted in Sydney in 2017 at the Sydney Polo Club.[2]


In the early 1980s, motivated by a desire to broaden the scope of international polo, as well as to restore the sport's Olympic status, Marcos Uranga, then President of the Argentine Polo Association, proposed that an international organization be formed among the polo playing countries of the world. The initial meetings took place in Buenos Aires, and by April 1982, the Federation of International Polo, quickly known as “FIP,” was created. FIP's first President was Marcos Uranga.

To that end, Mr. Uranga spearheaded the movement for a World Championship and scheduled the first for April 1987 in the Campo Argentino de Polo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Aware of the relative difficulty of fielding high-goal teams worldwide, the early FIP organizers wisely decided to limit competition to teams rated 10 to 14 goals. And, in an attempt to nullify the factor of the horses, they devised the then-revolutionary idea of split strings of horses – assigning matched strings of 28 horses to each team by the luck of the draw.

In 1989, the second FIP World Championship was played in Berlin, at Maifeld, the very stadium that had been the site of polo's last appearance in the Olympic Games. The sport had come full-circle, and it underlined the growing influence of FIP in the world polo community. Argentina, Australia, Chile, England, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States advanced to the playoffs. But this time there was a surprise: Argentina failed to make the finals. A talented U.S. team beat England by one goal for a 7–6 final score. The U.S. team players were: Horton Schwartz, Julio Ariano, Charley Bostwick and John Wigdahl who scored the winning goal in the sixth chukker. The resulting publicity raised the visibility of FIP among U.S. polo players.

World Polo Championship – Argentina 2011

FIP World Championship III was played in Santiago, Chile, in 1992. Argentina made it “back to back” through the regionals, and knocked off team after team until they wound up in the finals. There they outscored the host country 12–7 for their second World Championship. The U.S. had to be content with fourth place behind England.

In 1995, the fourth World Championship was held in Saint Moritz, Switzerland. Brazil fought its way gamely through the early rounds to meet Argentina in the final. Now it was Brazil's turn for triumph. They pulled out an exciting win 11–10 to assume the mantle of World Polo Champions.

Since 1993 Michael Schultz-Tholen, then the FIP delegate to the International Olympic Committee, arranged numerous meetings with IOC representatives including the President of the International Olympic Committee Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch. Finally at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, the General Assembly of the International Olympic Committee granted the status of an IOC Recognized Sport and accepted the Federation of International Polo as the worldwide governing body for the sport of polo. This decision was confirmed ("outright recognition") two years later.

In 1998, the fifth World Championship was held at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Santa Barbara, California. Mr. James Easton, a Member of the International Olympic Committee, presented Argentina, the winning team, with a history-making Olympic trophy. This was the first time in 62 years that the winning team of an international polo tournament was so honored.

The FIP World Championship VI held in Melbourne, Australia in 2001 featured eight national teams that qualified through a demanding and highly competitive zone playoff system, which included 24 country teams participating worldwide. Brazil narrowly defeated Australia by one goal (Brazil 10, Australia 9) in an exciting tournament that any of the eight finalists could have won.

In 2004, the Sixth World Championship was held in Chantilly, France. The tournament included eight teams. The qualifying rounds included 28 countries competing. All the games were very competitive. Brazil was not ready to give the title and defeated England in the final game (10 -9) in sudden death.

The eighth edition of the World Polo Championship took place in Mexico during May 2008 and was won by Chile.

The ninth edition of the World Polo Championship took place in San Luis Province, Argentina during October 2011 and was won by Argentina. Brazil being second, and Italy took the third place after defeating England. It was the first time in World Polo Championship for Italy to achieve a podium.

The tenth edition of the World Polo Championship took place in Santiago, Chile during march and April 2015 and was won by the host, beating the United States in the final.


Host Champion 2nd 3rd
I 1987 Buenos Aires,   Argentina   Argentina   Mexico   Brazil
II 1989 Berlin,   Germany   United States   England   Argentina
III 1992 Santiago,   Chile   Argentina   Chile   England
IV 1995 Sankt Moritz,    Switzerland   Brazil   Argentina   Mexico
V 1998 Santa Barbara,   United States   Argentina   Brazil   England
VI 2001 Melbourne,   Australia   Brazil   Australia   Argentina
VII 2004 Chantilly,   France   Brazil   England   Chile
VIII 2008 Mexico City,   Mexico   Chile   Brazil   Mexico
IX 2011 Estancia Grande,   Argentina   Argentina   Brazil   Italy
X 2015 Santiago,   Chile   Chile   United States   Brazil
XI 2017 Sydney,   Australia   Argentina   Chile   England
XII 2022 Indio,   United States [3]

Team rankingEdit

Pos. Team Champion Runners-up Third Fourth
1st   Argentina 5 (1987, 1992, 1998, 2011, 2017) 1 (1995) 2 (1989, 2001)
2nd   Brazil 3 (1995, 2001, 2004) 3 (1998, 2008, 2011) 2 (1987, 2015)
3rd   Chile 2 (2008, 2015) 2 (1992, 2017) 1 (2004) 1 (1989)
4th   United States 1 (1989) 1 (2015) 3 (1992, 1998, 2017)
5th   England 2 (1989, 2004) 3 (1992, 1998, 2017) 4 (1995, 2001, 2011, 2015)
6th   Mexico 1 (1987) 2 (1995, 2008)
7th   Australia 1 (2001)
8th   Italy 1 (2011)
9th   Spain 2 (1987, 2008)
10th   France 1 (2004)

By nationEdit

Country 1987 1989 1992 1995 1998 2001 2004 2008 2011 2015 2017 2022
  Argentina 1st 3rd 1st 2nd 1st 3rd P. round 1st P. round 1st
  Brazil 3rd 1st 2nd 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 3rd -
  Chile 4th 2nd 3rd 1st P. round 1st 2nd
  United States 1st 4th 4th P. round P. round P. round 2nd 4th
  England 2nd 3rd 4th 3rd 4th 2nd P. round 4th 4th 3rd
  Mexico 2nd P. round 3rd 1st round 3rd P. round -
  Australia 5th P. round P. round 2nd 1st round P. round P. round
  Italy P. round 3rd -
  Spain 4th 4th P. round
  France P. round 4th -
   Switzerland P. round P. round -
  Guatemala P. round P. round -
  India P. round P. round P. round P. round
  Canada P. round P. round -
  Germany P. round -
  Pakistan P. round P. round P. round -
  New Zealand P. round P. round
  South Africa P. round -

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Diario el Mercurio, 4 de mayo de 2008 (Spanish)
  2. ^ "Polo World Championship". Retrieved 2016-06-07.
  3. ^ "FIP World Polo Championship returns to USA after 23 years". Retrieved 2020-03-08.

External linksEdit