The Lincoln Memorial Field is located between Independence Avenue and Ohio Drive, just west of the Tidal Basin. Games generally start at 2 p.m., although as the hot weather progresses they're pushed back to 3 p.m. Game times and teams scheduled to play against the Lincoln Mall Polo Club are usually listed in the sports section of the Sunday papers.

Although polo is considered one of the toughest sports to play, it's one of the easiest to enjoy as a spectator. A team consists of four mounted men who try to score points by knocking a ball with a mallet between goalposts at opposite ends of a 300-yard field. To ensure that conditions are equalized (e.g., position of the sun), teams switch goal directions after every point is scored.

A match is usually made up of six chukkers or periods, each one lasting 7 1/2 minutes. Players change horses between periods; midway through the game the intermission is extended and spectators are asked to wander out on the field and stamp down divets -- clumps of earth and grass kicked up by the ponies in the heat of play.

There are penalties, most frequently a free hit from a position whose yardage is determined by the severity of the foul. Fouls are normally called for hooking an opponent's stick or for crossing the line of the ball, a hypothetical line, based on the path of the moving ball but extending clear across the field. Besides being hypothetical, the line of the ball is rather sacred since keeping it uncrossed is the only way to prevent head-on collisions.