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Final of the Argentine Pato Championship
Witness the most important match in Argentina's unique national sport.

Final of the Argentine Pato Championship

Campo Argentino de Polo, Arévalo 3065.

Pato is Argentina's unique official national sport. Originally played with a live duck inside a basket (pato means duck in Spanish), the modern sport, a little like a cross between polo and basketball, is more animal-friendly and is played using a specially made ball with six handles.

After almost 40 years, one team has made history this year, Las Heras-Los Baguales Agropharma having reached the 40 points needed to be considered perfect in the sport as they reach the final of this, the 76th national final.

The team will take on El Relincho, winners of this year's El Recuerdo Cup from Rawson, on pitch N°2 at the Argentine Polo Ground, from 4.00pm on Saturday.

On one side, the perfect team seeking to seal its legacy with a major title; on the other, a team with 35 points hot from a spell of recent triumphs. The clash is guaranteed to be spectacular.

Six pointers to understand the sport

What do you need to know before you watch a match? Here's a review of some of the basics.

  • There are four players on a team.
  • The game is divided into six periods of eight minutes each, separated by five-minute breaks.
  • The grass pitch used should be 180 to 220 metres long and 80 to 90 metres. At each end of the pitch, at a height of 2.4 metres, there's a hoop with a one-metre diametre.
  • The "pato" in question is no longer a real duck; it's a leather ball with six handles.
  • Players can pick up the ball when it's on the ground and whoever gets the ball may pass it to a teammate, but the player has the obligation to hold their arm out straight so that opposing players have the chance to take the ball from them.
  • The objective, of course, is to score by placing the pato in the hoops at each end of the pitch.

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