A review of equestrian polo and a methodology for testing the mechanical properties of the mallet

Ewart, Paul and Louie, Ken and Zhou, Hong (2020) A review of equestrian polo and a methodology for testing the mechanical properties of the mallet. The 13th Conference of the International Sports Engineering Association, Online, 22--26 June, 2020.

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Abstract or Summary

Equestrian polo is struggling to grow and attract young players due to the perception it is a game played by royals and the rich only, and is not a real sport. This study highlights the high level of skill and athletic challenge faced by the players. Literature is scarce for polo despite its global appeal and the high value of the game in terms of historical reach and investment by the polo community. The game is also unique in sports due to the multiplicity of interactions such as player–pony, pony–ground, player–mallet, and mallet–ball. This work introduces the basics of the game with a graphical interpretation of the motion of the mallet during play. The mallet is constructed of natural materials, the shaft from a rattan cane whilst the handle and head are crafted from hardwood. Using a materials analysis approach, a testing methodology is proposed that will enable quantifiable data to be produced based on the properties and performance of the mallet. The purpose of this is to enable benchmarking of the mallet based on the material properties and their assembled response to the testing. Quasi-static load tests using a universal testing instrument are followed by dynamic testing using inertial sensors. All testing is done in planes chosen to replicate the common lines of action of match play. The quasi-static tests enabled a value for stiffness (k), and the dynamic testing enabled a damping coefficient (c) to be calculated. These quantities will enable a quantitative measure for the properties and performance of any mallet and thereby remove the subjective nature of assessment. Subsequent study will then determine how these data correlate with the performance in play, as well as impact, trajectory, and fatigue responses.

Item Type:Paper presented at a conference, workshop or other event, and published in the proceedings
Keywords that describe the item:impact, lateral, longitudinal, mallet, motion, near-side, off-side, polo, swing
Subjects:Q Science > QA Mathematics
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Engineering and Industrial Design
ID Code:7375
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Deposited On:08 Jul 2020 21:20
Last Modified:08 Jul 2020 21:20

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