Wellington, Florida is already buzzing in anticipation for the first ever Florida Circuit 16-Goal Super-Series. But the United States Polo Association has more in store for polo fans! Along with participating clubs, they have announced the addition of the inaugural Florida Circuit 8-Goal Super-Series to the 2023 winter season docket.
Much like the 16-Goal version, the series will be played across multiple clubs, with the championship hosted by the National Polo Center – Wellington (NPC). The participating clubs include The Villages Polo Club, International Polo School, and Port Mayaca.
The USPA tournaments that comprise the series include a Regional President’s Cup at each respective club, as well as a fourth qualifying tournament that is still being determined. Each tournament will serve as a qualifier for the Florida Circuit 8-Goal Super-Series Championship, with each winning team moving on to the final event in April.
Encouraging even more collaboration across the Florida Circuit, the 8-Goal Super-Series will allow participants to experience the grandeur and prestige of competing at NPC. All this while also having the opportunity to enjoy playing in the comfort of their home club.
At the 8-Goal level, there is also a lot more room for players of all backgrounds to compete, expanding the number of players that will have the opportunity to step onto the field at NPC. Uniting the polo community across several clubs in the state, USPA Tournament Committee Chairman Stevie Orthwein comments, “This competition connects us all together as part of the season.”
He continues, “There was always the idea of trying to figure out how to get other levels of polo played at NPC and to work NPC into the surrounding club landscape. With the enthusiasm of the 16-goal and how well it was received, that got people a little more excited and sped the USPA up in trying to get something going for the 8-goal.”
The primary objective in creating the 8-Goal Super-Series was to make 8-goal polo a staple in the Florida Circuit. This move aims to persuade players from across the country to map their way to the sunshine state to compete. Stevie shares, “Around the country, 8-goal is a very popular level that a lot of different clubs play. This will add a very significant, prestigious 8-goal experience in Florida that will entice players who in the past may not have traveled to Florida to come and compete. That’s the real draw.”
Hoping to attract new players to Florida at this level, he adds, “The point of this is that the players who are not coming to Florida see something in the Florida Circuit worth competing in that hasn’t been there in the past. I think the beauty of the 8-Goal Super-Series is that it’s at a level that a lot of different people can play in and that helps draw people in who don’t come to Florida who play that level in the summer. Now they have something to come to Florida for.”
In the future, the hope is to expand the scope of the series to include more circuits, further developing the prestige of 8-goal polo. Stevie further elaborates, “The evolution of this competition at this level is that we start to host qualifiers outside of Florida. For example, there might be a qualifier in California, one in the Northeast Circuit, and so on. Each one would be an eligible qualifier. I see this growing where we include more circuits across the country. The idea is that this will be the most prestigious 8-goal in the U.S.”
For interested participants, here are more information on the Florida Circuit 8-Goal Super-Series Championship Qualifying Tournaments. Meanwhile, details on the fourth qualifying tournament will be available soon.
Regional President’s Cup (Hosted and managed by Port Mayaca Polo Club in Okeechobee, Florida)
Tournament Dates: February 2-25, 2023
Contact Club Manager Laura Townsend for entry
Phone: (772) 228-0115
Regional President’s Cup (Hosted and managed by International Polo School in Wellington, Florida)
Tournament Dates: March 1-31, 2023
Contact Club Manager Gates Gridley for entry
Phone: (203) 232-6935
Regional President’s Cup (Hosted and managed by The Villages Polo Club in The Villages, Florida)
Tournament Dates: April 7-16, 2023
Contact Club Manager Francisco Bilbao for entry
Phone: (561) 889-6603
The Florida Circuit 8-Goal Super-Series Championship (Hosted and managed by NPC)
Tournament Dates: Semifinals TBD, Final to be played at 10am on April 23, 2023
Entry limited to the four winners of the qualifying tournaments