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Elephant polo in India.

Elephant polo is a variant of polo played whilst riding elephants. It is played in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Rajasthan (India), and Thailand. Equipment consists of a standard polo ball and six to nine foot cane (similar to bamboo) sticks with a polo mallet head on the end. The pitch is three-quarters of the length of a standard polo pitch, due to the slower speed of the elephants. Two people ride each elephant; the elephants are steered by mahouts, while the player tells the mahout which way to go and hits the ball.

Although elephant polo was first played in India at the beginning of the twentieth century, the modern game originated in Meghauli, Nepal, reportedly after a drinking bout. Tiger Tops in Nepal remains the headquarters of elephant polo and the site of the World Elephant Polo Championships. As of December 2008, the world elephant polo champions were England.[1]

Elephant Polo in Nepal and Thailand is played under the auspices of the World Elephant Polo Association. WEPA enforces strict rules regarding elephant welfare and game play. As of December 2008, Air Tusker, England is the reigning champion of the World Elephant Polo Association. Other tournaments, such as those played in India and Sri Lanka, are managed independently of each other and the World Elephant Polo Association.

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