The 2023 National Arena Amateur Cup (NAAC) took place at Legends Polo Club, November 2-5 in Kaufman, Texas, to much anticipation. Players and spectators alike from across the United States have been awaiting the return of this freshly reformatted tournament that has been up-and-running since 1987. The NAAC brings in players via invitation each year, resulting in a roster as ever-changing as the gameplay itself. With some traveling multiple states to attend, eight teams arrived ready and raring to compete for a shot at Sunday’s finals.
In order to qualify for the NAAC, players must first accrue points from various USPA arena polo tournaments. Only USPA circuit, sanctioned and National tournaments qualify for player rankings which are adjusted throughout the year. The amount of points a player receives is based on the number of teams in each tournament and where a team places after play concludes. Individual player standings at the end of each tournament also have an impact on final rankings that are used to determine who receives an invitation to compete.
“This is my first time playing in Texas. I was very excited to play in the NAAC. In order to qualify, I had to play a bunch of arena tournaments and score well enough in them in order to be able to come play here in Texas. I will say the polo here is amazing. Everyone here has been so friendly and supportive along the way and I can’t wait to come back. This was just a blast.”-Megan West-Koll from Chicago.
Players must have a handicap from -1 to 3 in order to be eligible to play. The 2023 roster was packed with many talented amateur players, some of which had never played arena polo together previously.
Megan also added, ”So one of the neat things about this tournament is while some of the players know each other or maybe are related; on my team, we didn’t know each other. So it took us a few games to really get dialed-in and figure out how we play and who does what best. That was part of the fun as well as getting to meet so many people and getting to play with so many people. Shoutout to Nacho (Estrada) and Legends Polo Club for hosting and thank you to Robin Sanchez and the umpires of the USPA for making this a possibility.”