WEPA was originally established in 1982 by A.V. Jim Edwards and James Manclark with only two teams contesting the first game in a Test Match between Scotland and Nepal. (See James Manclark letter).
Within two years we had grown the WEPA World Cup to 8 teams, and that is how it has been ever since, although on rare occasions we have fielded up to 12 teams. However, 8 teams remains the official target for WEPA for the future.
Originally light footballs were used so as to make it easier to strike the ball with sticks of circa 100-120 inches in length (twice the length of horse polo) but that was quickly changed to normal polo balls as the elephants quite enjoyed popping the footballs! We now use a standard polo ball, which has made the sport more skilled and faster.
The rules have been amended on a yearly basis to make sure they are fair and to make sure the games flow smoothly.
WEPA has been registered with the Nepalese Olympic Committee.
Elephant polo is very much about the elephants, especially in terms of raising funds for elephant welfare and building global awareness of their plight in countries such as Thailand, where many have been left redundant (by anti-logging laws) and often used for ceremonial purposes in cities far away from their natural habitat.