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World Polo Championship

World Polo Championship
Sport Polo
Founded 1987
No. of teams 6 (Finals)
Continent International (FIP)
Most recent champion(s) 23x15px Chile
File:Mundial De Polo San Luis 2011 - Argentina.jpg
World Polo Championship - Argentina 2011

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 men's national teams. The inaugural tournament was held in 1987, hosted by Argentina, and is now contested every three or four years.

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]


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.

Buenos Aires 1987

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.

Berlin 1989

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 Schwarz, 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.

Santiago 1992

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.

Saint Moritz 1995

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.

Santa Barbara 1998

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.

Melbourne 2001

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.

Chantilly 2004

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.

Mexico 2008

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

Estancia Grande 2011

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.

Santiago 2015

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.


Year City 1st 2nd 3rd
I 1987 Buenos Aires, 23x15px Argentina 23x15px Argentina 23x15px Mexico 23x15px Brazil
II 1989 Berlin, 23x15px Germany 23x15px United States 23x15px England 23x15px Argentina
III 1992 Santiago, 23x15px Chile 23x15px Argentina 23x15px Chile 23x15px England
IV 1995 Sankt Moritz, 23x16px  Switzerland 23x15px Brazil 23x15px Argentina 23x15px Mexico
V 1998 Santa Barbara, 23x15px United States 23x15px Argentina 23x15px Brazil 23x15px England
VI 2001 Melbourne, 23x15px Australia 23x15px Brazil 23x15px Australia 23x15px Argentina
VII 2004 Chantilly, 23x15px France 23x15px Brazil 23x15px England 23x15px Chile
VIII 2008 Mexico City, 23x15px Mexico 23x15px Chile 23x15px Brazil 23x15px Mexico
IX 2011 Estancia Grande, 23x15px Argentina 23x15px Argentina 23x15px Brazil 23x15px Italy
X 2015 Santiago, 23x15px Chile 23x15px Chile 23x15px United States 23x15px Brazil

Team ranking

Pos. Team Champion Runners-up Third Fourth
1st 23x15px Argentina 4 (1987, 1992, 1998, 2011) 1 (1995) 2 (1989, 2001) -
2nd 23x15px Brazil 3 (1995, 2001, 2004) 3 (1998, 2008, 2011) 2 (1987, 2015) -
3rd 23x15px Chile 2 (2008, 2015) 1 (1992) 1 (2004) 1 (1989)
4th 23x15px United States 1 (1989) 1 (2015) - 2 (1992, 1998)
5th 23x15px England - 2 (1989, 2004) 2 (1992, 1998) 3 (1995, 2001, 2015)
6th 23x15px Mexico - 1 (1987) 2 (1995, 2008) -
7th 23x15px Australia - 1 (2001) - -
8th 23x15px Italy - - 1 (2011) -
9th 23x15px Spain - - - 2 (1987, 2008)
10th 23x15px France - - - 1 (2004)

By Nation

Country 1987 1989 1992 1995 1998 2001 2004 2008 2011 2015
23x15px Argentina 1st 3rd 1st 2nd 1st 3rd P. round - 1st P. round
23x15px Brazil 3rd - - 1st 2nd 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 3rd
23x15px Chile - 4th 2nd - - - 3rd 1st P. round 1st
23x15px United States - 1st 4th - 4th P. round P. round - P. round 2nd
23x15px England - 2nd 3rd 4th 3rd 4th 2nd P. round 4th 4th
23x15px Mexico 2nd - P. round 3rd - - 1st round 3rd P. round -
23x15px Australia 5th P. round - - P. round 2nd 1st round - P. round -
23x15px Italy - - - - - P. round - - 3rd -
23x15px Spain 4th - - - - - - 4th - -
23x15px France - P. round - - - - 4th - - -
23x16px  Switzerland - P. round - P. round - - - - - -
23x15px Guatemala - - P. round - P. round - - - - -
Template:Country data India - - - P. round - P. round - - P. round -
23x15px Canada - - - - - P. round - P. round - -
23x15px Germany - P. round - - - - - - - -
23x15px Pakistan - - - - - - P. round - P. round P. round
23x15px New Zealand - - - - - - - P. round - -
23x15px South Africa - - - - - - - P. round - -

See also

External links