Xtreme Polo League: a new way to experience polo
Something big is coming up. The first edition of the Xtreme Polo League (XPL), a worldwide annual polo event, will kick off in Argentina on September, and will extend afterwards to the United States and Europe, as a form of spreading the sport on an international basis. There are already talks for an event in Dubai, probably in January 2021.
This first edition will feature six professional franchises between 28 and 34 goals. Around USD 500.000 dollars will be distributed in prizes (through a system of points and rewards), and will be televised by Turner and its several subsidiaries.
The XPL will have a strong start on Wednesday September 25 and will come to an end on Saturday October 5. The whole competition will be played on the grounds of the Argentine Polo Association, set in Pilar, in a total of eight matches. The AAP will provide the setup, umpires as well as sporting and institutional support.
It is worth to notice that there will be a new set of rules, in order to make the sport much more dynamic (VIEW NEW RULES); in addition new emerging polo players will be able to play along with those who already play the Triple Crown. That's why lineups are not allowed to have more than two 10-goalers in each lineup, and the minimum individual handicap is 4 goals.
The main sponsorship is a foreign investment group called Tennor, who provides the largest percentage of the money prizes. The man behind the project is Juan Zavalía. In his view, this event bring a brand new concept to Argentine Polo: professionalism, franchises, global expansion, innovation, more competitiveness, inclusion and commercial opportunities.
The XPL will use the franchise system that is currently successful in other sports, such as Formula 1 or NBA
There is a lot of expectation to see Ellerstina in action, a lineup that will include Facundo Pieres and brothers Bartolomé and Camilo Castagnola, who will be joined by other Pieres brother yet to be confirmed (could be any of the other three - Polito, Gonza or Nico).
Las Monjitas will feature 75% of the foursome that will play the Triple Crown, with Tomás Panelo filling in for the back Santiago Toccalino.
Other teams include Pegasus, with Mariano and Martin Aguerre Jr.; La Aguada, with Miguel Novillo Astrada and Alfredo Bigatti; La Albertina Abu Dhabi, with Tincho Merlos and Alfredo Cappelza; and La Ensenada, with Juan Gris Zavaleta.
Field direction won't be changed after a goal is scored. Instead, the change will be set at the start of each chukka, that will start with a midfield thrown-in.
After a goal is scored, the match will re start from 40 yards.
There will be a semi circular line of 80 yards; goals scored at that distance will be worth double.
The tournnament will be played on handicap and the players change will have no limit.
The XPL circuit is already set to be played in 2020 in the United States (april), England (June) and France (August/September).
Each team should play at least two events abroad and the final in Argentina. The idea for 2021 is to add other venues, like Dubai and China.