Modern plastic polo balls do not produce a whistling sound but they very rarely split apart. Bernard Cohen invented the modern day plastic polo ball in the 1970s. After testing was completed at Palm Beach Polo Club in Wellington, Florida, Bill Ylvisaker was so pleased with Bernies new plastic ball that he switched the club from wooden polo balls to plastic and never looked back. The new ball had an historic impact on the level of play and changed the game dramatically. Bernie named his new company TEC an acronym for his lovely wife Trudy Elizabeth Cohen and began manufacturing and selling the new polo ball with Tony Coppola.
A polo ball becomes misshapen every time it is struck by a polo mallet. Umpires and flagmen replace polo balls as necessary during a game. Each polo match requires approximately two dozen polo balls. The mounted umpires carry a pick up stick to retrieve a polo ball from the field without having to dismount. This saves time during the game.