Pelote Basque - The French Connection!

Pelote Basque as the name indicates is the French name for a sport which owes its resemblance to tennis. This is a type of sport played with a racket in one hand to hit the ball against the wall. Originated from Basque, this sport has found itself a significant place in Europe. Pelote Basque as the name indicates is the French name for a sport which owes its resemblance to tennis.
The court, referred to as ‘Cancha’ wherein pelote Basque is played has two walled courts. Although the ‘International Federation of Basque pelota’ has not approved courts with single wall, there are many courts with single wall on their courts that have not attached much importance to this. The play is measures about thirty to forty meters and the frontal wall stands tall for about ten meters.
It is interesting to note that more often these courts are built in villages and the walls of churches or a town hall often have been taken as the frontal side of the court. To this is attached another long wall with distance from the frontal wall marked. While the right side of the court is left open, there is a wall on the left side of the court. The play area is marked simply by a line on the floor. So popular is the sport that churches in Basque put up a board on their walls forbidding anyone from using the church area for this sport.
The courts are classified on the basis of the sport variant played:
•‘Very Short Court’ – This generally measures about 30 meters long
•‘Short Court’ – This generally measures about 36 meters long and perfect for hand ball and other short bat variants.
•‘Long Court’ – This generally measures 54 meters long and appropriate for sport with long bat.
•‘Trinquet’ – measuring about 28.5 meters this is different in shape from the other courts. It has a roof inclination on the left wall and more or less resembles a neck.
The Pelote Basque ball is powered by strength, skill and great intensity. Pelota as it is originally called, are of different sizes, weights and materials. This is made of wound rubber at the centre most and covered with cotton yarn. This is again given a skin of two leather layers all sewn properly .The ball is given utmost attention in its making with regard to shape because this needs to be perfectly spherical in shape. The ball, ‘Pelote’ whose diameter should be 65 mm should weigh about 115 grams to 125 grams and should be very hard so as that it is often compared with a stone. This is often called the fastest bat and ball sport in the world. As the ball travels at a great speed on an average of about 300 km an hour, the players are required to cover their heads against the force of the ball.
Pelote Basque has many variants and depending upon the sport the bat with which the ball is played with also varies. The’ Christera’ is a long curved basket and is made of reeds and wood. The ‘Rebot’ is another basket of similar composition but slightly shorter in curvature and popularly used in games such as ‘Rebot’ And ‘Joko Garbi’.
The ‘Pala’ is far a heavier bat and is used to play many games such as ‘Pala’, ‘Pala Corta’, ‘Paleta Gomme’, etc. This has to play a pelote weighing about 100 grams.
The players have their turns to play in Pelote Basque i.e. to hit the ball and the first bounce of the ball on the ground decides the same. Any team which happens to bring the ball directly on the pediment or which lets the ball cross over the play area the will lose the point. These are the basic rules and regulations and differ from one variant to another.
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