Article / Research Article

"Swing Mechanics of the Offside Forehand in Professional Female Polo Athletes"

 Gretchen D. Oliver*, Gabrielle G. Gilmer, Jeff W. Barfield, Abby R. Brittian

School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA

*Corresponding author: Gretchen Oliver, School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, 301 Wire Rd, Auburn AL 36849, USA. Tel: +18592004035; Email:

Received Date: 12 February, 2018; Accepted Date: 17 February, 2018; Published Date: 23 February, 2018


1.      Abstract

Equestrian polo has experienced a 44% increase in participation over the last several years; however, there are a lack of data available describing this motion. In order to develop and implement training programs for youth athletes, there is a need to establish normative data for common polo swings, such as the offside forehand shot. The purpose of this study was to (1)describe trunk (flexion, lateral flexion, rotation) and upper extremity (shoulder horizontal abduction, elevation; elbow flexion) kinematics, and segmental speeds (humerus, forearm, hand) while performing the offside forehand polo swing in professional female polo athletes; and (2)examine the relationship of the kinematics variables and participant demographics with hand speed at the event of ball contact. Ten female professional polo players (33.0 ± 10.4 yrs.; 107.4 ± 22.1 cm; 66.9 ± 9.3 kg; 11.5 ± 8.1 yrs. of experience) participated. Kinematic data were collected at 100 Hz using an electromagnetic tracking system synced with The MotionMonitorTM. Each participant performed three trials of the offside forehand swing. All swings were analyzed across three swing events (take away (TA), top of backswing (TOB), ball contact (BC)). Pearson product-moment correlations revealed significant relationships between hand speed and height (R = 0.690, p = 0.027); elbow flexion at TA (R = -0.718, p = 0.019), at TOB (R = -0.635, p = 0.049), and at BC (R = -0.875, p = 0.001). The kinematics observed suggests optimal energy transfer along the kinetic chain. The relationships imply that the more extended the elbow is throughout the course of the swing, the faster the hand willmove thus propelling the mallet faster for ball contact.

2.      Keywords: Equestrian Polo; Polo Developmen;Youth Polo Development


Figure 1: Swing Events of the Polo Offside Forehand.

Figure 2:Segmental Speeds.


Figure 3:Correlation between hand speed at BC and elbow flexion at TA.

                                Figure 4:Correlation between hand speed at BC and elbow flexion at TOB.

Figure 5:Correlation between hand speed at BC and elbow flexion at BC.

                                Figure 6: Correlation between hand speed at BCand elbow flexion and height.


Table 1: Kinematic variables means and standard deviations at the three swing events[MOU1] .

Kinematic Variable (°)




Trunk Flexion




Trunk Lateral Flexion




Trunk Rotation




Shoulder Horizontal Abduction




Shoulder Elevation




Elbow Flexion




TA = Take Away; TOB = Top of Backswing; BC = Ball Contact


1.       Association USP (2017) Offside Forehand. US Polo Association LLC 2017.

2.       Association USP. Annual Report of the United States Polo Association. US Polo Association LLC2017.

3.       Association USP (2016) USPA Intercollegiate Polo Catalog 2016. In: Association USP, ed. Lake Worth, Flordia, USA2016.

4.       Oliver GD, Barfield J, Gilmer G, Brittain A, Washington JK (2018) Horizontal shoulder abduction and elbow kinetics in the offside forehand polo swing. European Journal of Exercise and Sports Science 2018.

5.       Chu SK, Jayabalan P, Kibler WB, Press J (2016) The Kinetic Chain Revisited: New Concepts on Throwing Mechanics and Injury. PM R8:S69-77.

6.       Bunn JW (1972) Scientific principle of coaching. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc 1972.

7.       Keeley DW, Oliver GD, Dougherty CP (2012) A biomechanical model correlating shoulder kinetics to pain in young baseball pitchers. J Hum Kinet34:15-20.

8.       Oliver GD and Keeley DW (2010) Gluteal muscle group activation and its relationship with pelvis and torso kinematics in high-school baseball pitchers. J Strength Cond Res24: 3015-3022.

9.       Oliver GD and Keeley DW (2010) Pelvis and torso kinematics and their relationship to shoulder kinematics in high-school baseball pitchers. J Strength Cond Res24:3241-3246.

10.    Plummer H and Oliver GD (2013)  Quantitative analysis of kinematics and kinetics of catchers throwing to second base. J Sports Sci31:1108-1116.

11.    Wu G, Siegler S, Allard P, Leardini A, Rosenbaum D, et al. (2002) ISB recommendation on definitions of joint coordinate system of various joints for reporting of human joint motion-part I: ankle, hip, and spine. J Biomech35:543-548.

12.    Wu G, van der Helm FCT, Veeger HEJ, Makhsous M, Van Roy P, et al. (2005) ISB recommendation on definitions of joint coordinate systems of various joints for the reporting of human joint motion-Part II: shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand. J Biomech38:981-992.

13.    Wicke J, Keeley DW, Oliver GD (2013) Comparison of pitching kinematics between youth and adult baseball pitchers: a meta-analytic approach. Sports Biomech12:315-323.

14.    Williams T and Underwood J (1986) Science of Hitting: Simon and Schuster 1986.

15.    Tanaka H, Hayashi T, Inui H, Ninomiya H, Muto T, et al. (2016) Influence of Combinations of Shoulder, Elbow and Trunk Orientation on Elbow Joint Loads in Youth Baseball Pitchers. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine 2016.

Citation: Oliver GD, Gilmer GG, Barfield JW, Brittian AR (2018) Swing Mechanics of the Offside Forehand in Professional Female Polo Athletes. J Orthop Ther: JORT-180. DOI: 10.29011/2575-8241. 000080