The first ladies’ snow polo tournament is being held in Bad Gastein in Austria next year (19-21 February 2016).

The inaugural tournament is being organised by the Polo Instructors and Players Association (PIPA) following demand from players.

Teams are expected from England, Spain, Austria, Slovakia and Argentina.

PIPA has been running men’s snow polo tournaments since 2011 and hopes to add another three tournaments to the women’s snow season in 2017 following the pilot in February.

PIPA president Dr Uwe Seebacher told H&H the ladies snow tournament will help broaden the appeal of polo.

“Snow polo is a fast, furious, action-packed intense game. It is totally different from grass. There is music, it’s very modern, young and stylish,” he said.

“We need to bring the sport to locations where there are people and get them hooked on polo. This hasn’t been done before.”

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A mens’ snow tournament will be held a week later in the same resort in Austria.

Negotiations are underway with televisions stations in Europe for the ladies’ tournament to be televised.

PIPA was set up in 2005 to set standards for the sport and provide training.

“We want to bring the sport to people by developing snow, arena, beach and grass tournaments all over the world,” said Dr Seebacher.

PIPA’s international snow polo tour in 2016 is the largest yet with events in many of the popular winter sports towns.

The season for men kicks off in Munich on 4-6 January, followed by tournaments in Seefeld on 22-24 January, Kulm on 5-7 February, Bad Gastein on 26-28 February and in Rogla on 11-13 March.

In snow polo the normal grass arena of 200×300 metres is scaled down to 30x70m, with the crowd right next to the action.