USA

Polocrosse in the USA 

The American Polocrosse Association has about 300 members from 18 states.  There are 23 clubs in the US, as far-reaching as from Oregon in the northwest to Florida in the southeast.  The country is organized into three regional zones: Eastern, Central and Mountain/Western.  

National Championships occur every two years, with regional championships in each region in the years when there is not a national championship.  There are about 15 sanctioned tournaments each year with many other smaller play day events. 


  (left to right) Coach James Hackland, Karl Balogh, Braxton Hamlin, Rob Shuttles, Rahul Desai, Stephanie Shuttles, Kat Liner, Megan Waggener, Sarah Desai, and Team Manager Mary Ladnier

(left to right) Coach James Hackland, Karl Balogh, Braxton Hamlin, Rob Shuttles, Rahul Desai, Stephanie Shuttles, Kat Liner, Megan Waggener, Sarah Desai, and Team Manager Mary Ladnier


History of Polocrosse in the USA 

In the early 1980s, there was a student at Lake Erie College in Ohio who studied abroad in Australia, discovered polocrosse and brought racquets and balls back to the U.S. Around the same time a few Australians came to the US to do some polocrosse clinics in Arizona and Texas.  

As a result, the Polocrosse Association of the U.S. was formed in Texas and the American Polocrosse Association was formed in Phoenix, Arizona.  Since the IPC only allowed one association in the U.S., the American Polocrosse Association was formalized in 1984.  

In the early 1990s, polocrosse was gaining traction in the US Pony Club.  The first polocrosse pony club rally was held in 1991 in Pennsylvania, but it was officially recognized as a US Pony Club sport in 1994.  

Since polocrosse started in the US, it has migrated east.  Currently, the Eastern and Central zone membership numbers are the same.  

The Australian Stock Horse breed has helped to increase the level of play in the US since they were first imported and played polocrosse in the mid 2000s.   

USA at the World Cup 

2003 – 5th  place 

2007 – 7th  place 

2011 – 4th  place (highest) 

2015 – 7th  place (current world ranking) 

US coaches have included Australians in the past (Joy Poole in 2003 and 2007, and Jane Cooper in 2011), but the US has a South African coach for 2019 (James Hackland). 

What is unique about polocrosse in the USA? 

In the US, polocrosse is very spread out across the country so many players have to travel long distances to tournaments.  

People come to the sport from many equestrian backgrounds (Western, English, Pony Club).   

What will give the USA an edge at the World Cup? 

The  combination of Aussie and African styles. 

Training  

The US team is committed to work hard over these months leading up to the World Cup and to be in their best shape.   

Team members are spread out across the US as far as 24 hours drive from Texas to Maryland so it will be difficult to train together often but the team is going to play together as much as possible.  

Who to watch 

Youngest player on our team is Kat Liner, aged 19. She has represented USA in several youth tours but will be her first time at World Cup.  She played in South Africa this summer while on school holidays to prepare.   

Youngest male player is Karl Balogh, aged 22, a recent graduate from West Virginia University.  2019 will also be Karl’s first World Cup.   

Returning USA World Cup players are Megan Waggener and Braxton Hamlin from the 2015 Cup.  Braxton is also getting some time in playing in South Africa this summer.   

This will be Rob Shuttle’s fourth  World Cup so hopefully his experience will rub off on our first timers!  He was the USA umpire and helped coach at the 2015 World Cup and he played at all the others.  Rob may be tied for the most cups participated in by any player. Debbie Harris from the UK will beat him with five if she is on a team in 2019. 

At the USA Nationals the best players were:
Best #1 Player: Rahul Desai
Best #2 Player: Braxton Hamlin
Best #3 Player: Kat Liner

The 2019 US World Cup team

Country USA

Club Sugarloaf Mountain

Occupation Student

Number of years played 7 Years

Past representation 2017 South African Quadrangular

Country USA

Club Tennessee Valley

Occupation Kennel Huntsman

Number of years played 9 years

Past representation 2015 World Cup 2017 South African Quadrangular

Country USA

Club Carolina

Occupation Student

Number of years played 10 years

Past representation 2013 U16 vs NSW, 2014 U16 vs NSW, 2015 Albury Jr Classic vs NSW, 2017 South African Quadrangular

Country USA

Club Carolina

Occupation Physician Assistant - Neurosurgery Pain Management

Number of years played 16 years

Past representation 2004 International Exchange, 2011 USPC International Exchange manager, 2017 South African Quadrangular

Country USA

Club Carolina

Occupation Physician Assistant - Critical Care Medicine

Number of years played 17 years

Past representation 2007 U21 vs Ireland, 2008 Adult Open vs UK, 2012 Zambia Tour Coach, 2016 Men's vs Africa social, 2017 South African Quadrangular

Country USA

Club Lone Star

Occupation Technician

Number of years played 30 years

Past representation 2003 World Cup, 2007 World Cup, 2011 World Cup, 2015 World Cup umpire/coach, 2017 South African Quadrangular

Country USA

Club Lone Star

Occupation Administrative Assistant/ Office Manager

Number of years played 22 years

Past representation 2005 U21 vs Ireland, 2006 USA vs Ireland Women's Series, 2007 WOrld Cup Squad Member, 2008 Adult Open vs UK, 2012 USA vs Zambia Mixed Test, 2017 South African Quadrangular

Country USA

Club Tennessee Valley

Occupation Student/Farrier

Number of years played 9 years

Past representation 2014 squad test match against U.K., 2015 World Cup hosted in South Africa, 2016 Men's vs South Africa social, 2017 South African Quadrangular, 2018 social test match against South Africa

Country USA

role Coach

Club Bishopstowe Polocrosse club South Africa

Occupation Farmer

Number of years played 35 years

Past Representation World Cup 2003

Country USA

role Manager

Club Grand Bay Polocrosse

Occupation Construction Manager

Number of years played 6 years