Pato: Argentina’s little-known national sport
comment Comment Written by on May 8, 2011 – 5:47 pm

If anyone is struggling to picture how a game described as a cross between polo and basketball might look, this video will give you an idea. The longer story on my first day out watching a tournament of ‘pato’, Argentina’s national sport, can be read in this Postcard from Argentina, published in yesterday’s Financial Times.

I’d very much recommend a day out at the pato if you get a chance (and, to be honest, you’re going to have to make that chance happen by checking dates online and getting yourself out there because invitations to pato matches are not regularly dealt out in Buenos Aires). My friend and I were the only ones there apart from friends and family of the players, and members of the federation. As I mentioned in the piece, it is a shame they don’t try and capture more tourists – and locals too, who are often just as curious. It seems unlikely the average Argentine has even seen this so-called national sport.

The Pato Open takes place in December in La Rural in Palermo. I intend to check it out later in the year, but in the meantime I’ll try and get back out in to the campo for another torneo. The Campo de Mayo field where I went was very easy to get to: just hop a train to Sargento Cabral from Federico Lacroze station in Chacarita.

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