The RSPC Pink Polo was the last official tournament of 2017 in Malaysia. What a year it has been. For me, my personal highlights were winning the Maserati Masters with La Sarita, organising to bring the Hong Kong team to the RSPC Tempawan Cup, the SEA Games, the 13th season of the RMPA International League that incorporated and a really good RSPC Open, played mainly at Taman Ekuestrian Putrajaya.
The Putrajaya field, re-laid with Greenlees Park Couch has been the best addition to Malaysian polo. Having a top class pitch has already made all the difference to play. I noticed that the number of goals scored in matches at Putrajaya were more than in matches played at RSPC. I decided to do some checking. Here is what I found:
- In 10 International League games at Putrajaya, there were 156 goals or an average of 15.6 goals per game.
- By comparison, in the last two International League tournaments played at RSPC, the average was 11.8 goals scored per game.
- Looking at the last two Royal Pahang Classics, the average was 12.1 goals per game.
Therefore, at Taman Ekuestrian Putrajaya, we are seeing an average of 3 goals more per game. This is the quantifiable difference. What is not quantifiable is the huge gain in pleasure it gives players, and probably the horses too.
The field would not have happened, if not for the hosting of the SEA Games, so let’s thank the Ministry of Youth and Sport for their foresight.
Watching the Malaysian team demolish all opposition was satisfying, knowing our polo is the best in the region.
The Sunset Solidarity Ride at the RSPC Pink Polo was poignant. Playing for the Sunny Hale Trophy was special, even though it was a mixed gender event. Sunny stood for women’s polo, but I think she will have been pleased to see this event.
While we did not have an all-ladies polo championship this year, the 3 ladies + 1 male professional format worked well in the RSPC Pink Polo. The pros did not try to affect the outcomes of the game. Other than one goal scored by Tengku Shazril from 80 yards out, the pros distributed the ball and the girls had to make their own plays.
This will go a long way in their development as polo players. We have seen how many players can only hold their handicap if they have professionals behind them to make the plays. This was apparent, even in the SEA Games.
There are a couple of things to do before we wrap up the 2017 season and prepare for 2018. Handicaps have to be reviewed, and the 2018 calendar announced. The 2018 Calendar is still not yet confirmed by the RMPA Committee – it should be finalised at next week’s committee meeting.
As you can see from the above, polo in Malaysia is not only about the high goal. I hear the calls for a reinstatement of a Merdeka League, in some way, shape or form. I’m working on it, and hope to have something to announce soon.