Federation of International Polo
The Federation of International Polo is the international federation representing the sport of polo, officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee. It was founded in 1982 by representatives of eleven national polo associations, and currently represents the national polo associations of more than 90 countries. FIPs principal aim is to enhance the image and status of the great game of polo internationally.
FIPs mission is to promote the practice of the sport of polo worldwide in order to defend and ensure the spirit of fair play and moral fortitude, with the objective of forming the sporting attitude of gentlemanly behaviour during and after the game, on the playing fields and wherever polo players should meet, so as to form one great world polo family.
In addition to organising international tournaments, FIP develops international tournaments for children, conducts umpiring and coaching seminars and encourages participation in the sport of polo at all levels and ages and produces the International Rules of Polo through a cooperative agreement with the Asociación Argentina de Polo, the Hurlingham Polo Association of Great Britain and Ireland, plus the United States Polo Association.
The Federation of International Polo (FIP) was created by Marcos Uranga, on November 25, 1982, in Buenos Aires, Argentina by representatives of the national polo associations of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, El Salvador, France, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Spain and Zimbabwe. The principal aim was to enhance the image and status of the great game of polo at international level and return it to its former Olympic glory.
It is a non-profit organization , registered in the Republic of Uruguay at the Ministry of Education and Culture, under number 945425, governed by Uruguayan laws. It is known as the "Federation of International Polo", "Federación Internacional de Polo" in Spanish, and the abbreviation "FIP".
The Federation of International Polo was accepted as a full member of the GAISF (General Association of International Sports Federations) in October 1992 at the General Assembly in Monaco. (GAISF changed its name to "SportAccord" in April 2009).
Back home in Argentina, in 1978, Uranga organized the first International Polo Tournament for Clubs. It was held in Buenos Aires, with representatives from polo clubs around South America participating.
Inspired by the success of the tournament, Uranga started entertaining the idea of competitions between countries. Thus, the first seeds of the idea of the Federation of International Polo were planted in his mind.
By the early 1980s, motivated by the desire to broaden the scope of international polo, as well as to reinstate its Olympic status, Uranga, who would later become President of the Argentine Polo Association, suggested that an international organization should be set up among the polo playing countries of the world.
Uranga and Holden had become firm friends by then, and Uranga shared with his friend the idea of a polo organization and asked him if he would help get different countries involved to get back in the Olympics and to spread the espirit de corps. "It will never work, but I'll help", was Holden's pessimistic response. But after making initial contact the invincible two-man team had enlisted a dozen countries and got Uranga's dream underway.
The initial meeting took place in Buenos Aires and by Aplril 1982, the Federation of International Polo, quickly known as "FIP" was created with the polo associations of twelve countries. The headquarters were in Argentina because it was considered the country with the most experience in organizing tournaments. It was also ideal for polo practice, had abundant horses and had many foreigners coming each year for the Argentine Open. Uranga was FIP's first president, a position he tirelessly held for 15 years.
In December 1982, the Argentine Polo Association invited all the national associations of the twelve countries to a meeting. This was to set up an international group that would promote international competitions, obtain recognition from the Olympic Committee, unify the rules of the game, develop the game across the globe, and support the breeding of polo ponies. So it was that FIP became official.
At the time of FIP's founding, Uranga said one of his primary objectives was to bring polo players together to enhance polo, a goal he has strived for and achieved time and time again.
The origin of FIP is the international friendship of the great polo family. That has aspects which generate and lead to more things, like when you plant a tree and this tree grows branches and not all the branches are the same. To try and maintain the institution as organized as possible you try and ensure the tree's branches are as tidy as possible. There are always people who come along with reasonable ideas following your own spirit·, says Uranga.
"The original idea of FIP was not just one thing, it was putting together lots of little things in heterogeneous places and vey different people ranging from great players to low handicap players, with a different spirit and different situation", he continues.
The idea is to get more people to play and for the sport to grow. It's a family sport, everyone gets involved. Around the world you meet people, they are all so gracious. It's a lifestyle, that's what we want to communicate.
In 1997, Uranga stood down as FIP President, although he remained extremely active in FIP. The Federation chose its second president, Glen Holden, a former US ambassador and one of FIP's founders.
|Dr. Richard T. Caleel||2012-2014|
World Championships Timeline
|FIP World Polo Championship||Year||Host||Winner|
Other FIP Tournaments
The European Championship is a 6-8 goal tournament for all European FIP member countries. It was introduced in 1993 based on an idea by Reto Gaudenzi, the Swiss Founder Ambassador of FIP who also created the St. Moritz Snow Polo Tournament. The European Championship’s handicap provides an opportunity for European players and patrons to participate in a FIP event and represent their country. Thanks Piero Dillier’s hard work as zone C director this event has grown in popularity each year; it helps the sport to grow and also to increase the number of players. The European Championship is unique in the world thanks to the close proximity of the European countries, which makes it easier for all national federations to send ponies and players to the host country, ensuring the championship is of a very special quality and a unique display of international competition. It is the most valuable tournament after the World Polo Championships because of its history, participants and people involved.
|St. Moritz, Switzerland||England Vs. Italy||England|
|Antwerp, Belgium||England Vs. Germany||England|
|Milan, Italy||England Vs. Italy||England|
|Chantilly, France||England Vs. Ireland||England|
|Rome, Italy||France Vs. Netherlands||France|
|Amsterdam, Netherlands||Italy Vs. England||Italy|
|Gut Aspern, Hamburg, Germany||England Vs. Belgium||England|
|Viena, Austria||France Vs. Spain||France|
|Sotogrande, Spain||Spain Vs. Austria||Spain|
|Chantilly, France||England Vs. Ireland||England|
|Berlin, Germany||Ireland Vs. France||Ireland|
Children are the future and everyone’s hope. In some places, three generations, children, parents and grandparents, are involved in polo, something that is passed on from generation to generation, like a prized family possession. FIP wants to promote, improve and expand youth polo and programs in all member countries, considering these essential to the future of polo. Every year FIP, along with the National Polo Federations of the member countries, organizes events for children under 14 with the principles of developing the sport’s spirit, fair play and friendship between countries.
Players arrive a week before the tournament and stay at the homes of the families of the local players who are responsible for them. During the tournament they meet players from other countries and participate in activities to socialize and make new friends. The impact is very positive because the children interact across cultures and
learn to embrace their differences. The Polo Training Federation of the USA, the Federation of International Polo, and El Dorado member Fred
Mannix sponsored one of the first FIP children’s tournaments in 1991. The local players invited their rivals to stay in their homes and play against them using their horses.
There are now many, many children’s programs giving an opportunity to experience polo and horses to young people who may not have the financial resources to own their own horses or their own equipment. FIP encourages these programs very actively, supporting them and donating money from FIP and IOC funds to subsidize part of the cost for children’s programs around the world.
FIP Snow Polo World Cup Invitational
Although first conceived in 1959, the sport of Snow Polo did not get its official start until 1985 when the first match was played on the frozen surface of Lake St. Moritz in Switzerland. Played on a flat area of compacted snow or a frozen lake, Snow Polo provides the same speed and physicality as traditional field polo, but is considered much quicker due to the smaller playing field. Snow Polo audiences also get to see the game at much closer quarters thanks to the high sideboards right at the edge of the pitch. That first game drew only 1,000 spectators, but since then Snow Polo has rapidly gained in popularity. Today it is played not only in Switzerland but also Italy, Austria, France, the United States, Argentina, Russia, Spain and China.
Today, Snow Polo is gaining ground in Asia, most notably in China where the inaugural Snow Polo World Cup Invitational 2012 took place at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club, as did the following editions. This tournament is played according to FIP snow polo rules.
The Metropolitan Polo Club, the largest polo facility in China, has been chosen as the venue of this prestigious event. The tournament is hosted by the Equestrian Association of China and the Federation of International Polo (FIP), and is organized by the Tianjin Sports Bureau, the Hong Kong Polo Development and Promotion Federation (HKPDPF) and the Tianjin Polo Association, with support from various sponsors. With up to 260 stables, the Metropolitan Polo Club is the leading polo venue in China. The Club is equipped with three full-size polo fields, two training gallops, one indoor riding school and one outdoor arena that meet or exceed international standards. Each of these facilities has an all-weather Martin Collins surface, making the Metropolitan Polo Club the only polo facility with such a surface in China.
FIP Super Nations Cup
Gathering four professional teams from the world’s leading polo nations, this 24 goal tournament, one of the highest-goal international tournaments in the world, is held at Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club, in Tianjin, China.
The Ambassador's Cup
FIP Ambassadors work as a liaison between FIP and the individual countries. The position of Ambassador is to represent FIP, its goals and objectives, to his or her own country, and to work on behalf of the Federation in certain countries. The Ambassador is asked to fulfill specific goals set by the FIP President. Ambassadors are
expected to support all FIP events with time, effort and horses. The rank of FIP Ambassador was created when the Federation was founded, with the objective of promoting the idea within their own Polo Association and thus increase interest in the sport. The Ambassadors have not only been a great success, in that they have helped to form a splendid international family of goodwill, but also because they help to foster good relations within the international polo community. FIP Ambassadors are instrumental in expanding polo across the globe and getting the FIP message across. “The idea of the Ambassadors was to get people in countries that were troublesome or not joining and get them to represent FIP. That’s why they were called ambassadors,” explains Holden. “They are very important people,” he adds.
Within a few years of FIP’s foundation, nineteen countries had signed up, with ten more provisional members. The main vehicle for recruiting new member countries was a series of tournaments that became known as Ambassador’s Cups. These tournaments originated as a competition for FIP members and collaborators to engage them in the sport of polo beyond organizational issues. At the beginning the proposal was to play polo in different parts of the world, getting to know all the FIP friends and collaborators and inviting new people to start playing, to expand polo across the world.
One of the first Ambassador’s Cups was held in Moscow with the idea of reviving the sport, which had been abolished by the Russian Revolution in 1918. The tournament was played as indoor polo in a circus tent since there were no fields. It took a lot of hard work to organize, but since then polo has begun to be played in Russia again and it is still growing.
|1||November 1987||Buenos Aires||Argentina||N/A|
|3||April 1988||Palm Springs||USA||7|
|6||October 1989||Buenos Aires||Argentina||4|
|9||November 1990||Buenos Aires||Argentina||16|
|10||April 1991||Buenos Aires||Argentina||8|
|11||November 1991||Buenos Aires||Argentina||12|
|13||November 1992||Buenos Aires||Argentina||12|
|16||September 1993||Buenos Aires||Argentina||N/A|
|17||November 1993||Buenos Aires||Argentina||19|
|18||April 1994||Buenos Aires||Argentina||8|
|20||November 1994||Buenos Aires||Argentina||16|
|21||November 1994||Buenos Aires||Argentina||16|
|23||February 1995||Costa Careyes||Mexico||6|
|24||April 1995||Buenos Aires||Argentina||8|
|26||September 1995||Buenos Aires||Argentina||8|
|27||November 1995||Buenos Aires||Argentina||16|
|28||January 1996||San Jose||Costa Rica||8|
|29||March 1996||Lake Worth||USA||9|
|31||November 1996||Buenos Aires||Argentina||10|
|33||Information not found||Information not found||Information not found||-|
|34||Information not found||Information not found||Information not found||-|
|35||Information not found||Information not found||Information not found||-|
|36||October 1998||Buenos Aires||Argentina||N/A|
|38||October 1999||Buenos Aires||Argentina||8|
|39||February 2000||Punta del Este||Uruguay||4|
|40||April 2000||Casa de Campo||Dominican Republic||12|
|42||November 2000||Buenos Aires||Argentina||4|
|43||September 2001||Johannesburg||South Africa||N/A|
|44||November 2001||Buenos Aires||Argentina||16|
|46||November 2002||Buenos Aires||Argentina||N/A|
|48||Information not found||Information not found||Information not found||-|
|51||October 2004||Buenos Aires||Argentina||9|
|54||November 2005||Buenos Aires||Argentina||10|
|61||November 2007||Buenos Aires||Argentina||24|
|62||September 2008||New York||USA||8|
|65||November 2008||Mar del Plata||Argentina||8|
|67||April 2009||K. Lumpur||Malaysia||4|
|70||November 2009||Buenos Aires||Argentina||N/A|
|71||September 2010||New York||USA||8|
|73||November 2010||San Luis||Argentina||8|
|74||February 2011||Costa Careyes||Mexico||4|
|77||April 2012||Palm Beach||USA||8|
|78||November 2012||Buenos Aires||Argentina||12|
|79||April 2013||Palm Beach||USA||6|
|81||November 2013||Buenos Aires||Argentina||12|
|82||April 2014||Palm Beach||USA||6|
|85||November 2014||Buenos Aires||Argentina||16|
|88||November 2015||Buenos Aires||Argentina||12|
|92||December 2016||Buenos Aires||Argentina||12|
|93||May 2017||Santa Barbara||USA||6|
|96||November 2017||Buenos Aires||Argentina||N/A|
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- Recent article on polobarn.com
- USPA withdraws from FIP
- HPA withdraws from FIP
- Argentine Polo Assn withdraws from FIP