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Pato| Pato National Sport Of Argentina| Argentina


National Sports Of Argentina:

Pato National Sport Of Argentina-Have you ever been to Argentina? Well, for those who extensively visited the country, it must have projected them altogether an unprecedented scene by its sheer calmness, much in contrast with the hustle and bustle that is found in USA and Europe. Argentina is the second largest country in the continent of South America and eighth largest in the world. The capital city of Argentina is Buenos Aires, meaning “Good air”, a cordial zephyr that greets incoming tourists gently. Argentina features a world class cuisine-blend of Spanish and Italian cultures.

What about sports ?  Argentina was twice the winner of FIFA World Cup in 1978 and 1986; it had been the runner-up in three times in 1930, 1990 and 2014. Argentina made its presence felt in international football matches invariably, with its highly ranked players. Argentina has a very lengthy record of participation in the history of world standard football games. But, is that all ?

A funnier game called PATO !!!

In addition to the world famous football game, there is a less known game called “Pato” which has been accorded the status of national game of Argentina. The Pato game has features similar to polo and basketball.

The pato game requires the horse-riding players to throw the handheld ball into a vertically fixed metal ring (as against the horizontal ring in the basketball) tied with a net basket to secure the ball. There are two rival teams each with four horse-riders vying for saddling the ball pre-emptively into the vertical ring mounted on a post.  The ball itself is laden with leather loops for carrying by the players and passing onto the teammates who would grab the earliest chance to throw it into the vertical ring-basket, that resembles a wind-sock.

The unrefined and rude version of the game was earlier played in ancient times (in 1600s) when a live duck was used instead of the present-day ball and many players were killed being trampled underfoot of wild broncos. Displeased by the ruthless killings of players during the game, a Catholic priest denied Christian ritualistic burial for the pato players who died due to stampede in the playground. Due to the ghastly consequential deaths entailed in it, the game was banned in the country till the 19th century.

A more sophisticated, decent and less harmful version of the game was officially permitted to be played in Argentina and was made the national game of the country in 1953. The ball ( about the half the size of the standard basketball)  replaced the erstwhile live duck and specific boundary lines for field dimensions were drawn and the maximum number of  members of both the rival teams was reduced to a comfortable four  to give the game an elegant look.

In spite of sprucing up, the pato was watched by a few thousands in the country and 90% of Argentines turned a blind eye to the game. A bill was introduced by the Argentine Legislature in 2010 to degrade the football game as a national game and the pato to a traditional game.

However, the pato game continues to win the attention of sport enthusiasts who ardently argue that the pato game, being the indigenous sport since ages, still retains the original culture and heritage of the nation.


General Information Of Pato:

Origin: Argentina

First played year: 1610 (Argentina)

Team members: 4 members per team

Game type: Equestrian, Ball game, Team sport, outdoor

Game equipment: Ball

Ground: Grass field

Similarity: horse ball (France, Portugal and other nations)

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