The nomads of Central Asia practiced a form of polo that was both sport and combat training, with up to 100 men on each side. In Persia, polo, practiced by the nobility and the military, became a national sport. The game was formalized and spread from the west to Constantinople, from the east to Tibet, China and Japan, and also from the south to India.
Polo is perhaps the oldest team sport, although its exact origin is an enigma. Nomad warriors probably first played this sport more than two thousand years ago, but the earliest known tournament dates back to 600 BC. The name is supposed to come from the Tibetan “pholo”, which means “ball” or · ball game “. Starting from its origins in Persia, the game has often been associated with the rich and noble of society; kings, princes and queens of Persia played this game. Polo has also been linked to the middle and upper classes in the past, mainly because of its origins in Great Britain. The fact that it was played by wealthy people is perhaps due to the fact that, being a game played on horseback, it requires at least two horses per game, an expensive hobby.