The USPA’s National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS) is returning to Aiken Polo Club this spring. Games will be played from April 28-29.

The USPA created the NYTS program (pronounced “nites”) to encourage young players and bridge the gap between the Intercollegiate/Interscholastic and the Team USPA programs. The I/I program is based in the arena, while the Team USPA program is on the grass. The NYTS series is intended to give young players opportunities to play with and against other young people in outdoor competition. To be eligible, players must not have reached their 19th birthday on January 1, 20018.

The NYTS program got started in 2013. For the purpose of the championship, the country is divided into six zones, and each zone holds a number of qualifying tournaments. At each regional qualifying tournament, between four and nine players are selected as zone All Stars on the basis of their horsemanship, sportsmanship, team play and level of play at their handicap. At the end of the summer, each of the six zones will choose five players from the All Star group to represent their zone. The tournament final, the Cecil Smith Cup, is held at the end of the summer.

Aiken has had its own NYTS tournament since the program’s inception. With active junior and youth polo programs as well as many polo playing families, the area has some of the top young players in the nation. NYTS offers two levels of competition; Aiken’s NYTS tournament has traditionally included a third level for the youngest players, given them another stepping stone into competitive polo.

Last year, the series held 37 tournaments nationwide and attracted over 400 junior players. This year looks to be even more competitive.

Interested in playing? Download your registration here. Entries close on April 15.

Have questions? Call Susie Kneece: 803-646-3302

For those who’ve aged out of this bracket, the NYTS represents a fantastic opportunity to see tomorrow’s polo stars today. Check back on the Aiken Polo Club website closer to the event for rosters and game schedules. Don’t miss it!

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