Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Basque Pelota

Basque pelota is a non-contact and a variation of a racket sport. Basque Pelota (pelota in Spanish, pilota in Basque and Catalan, or pelote in French) is known as the fastest sport in the world. It is mainly played in just a few countries: in Spain and France, especially in the Basque Country and its neighboring areas. It is also popular in Latin American countries such as Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Perú and Uruguay.

The game is also operated as a gaming enterprise called Jai Alai in this part of the world, and it is seen in southern parts of the USA.

The main objective of the sport is playing with one hand, a racket, a wooden bat or a basket against a wall, which is also called frontis or fronton.

This sport is usually played between two teams, with two players, and the court is separated by a line on the ground or a net.

Basque Pelota Demonstration at the 1924 Olympic Games Basque Pelota Demonstration at the 1924 Olympic Games.
from: The Official Report of the Olympic Games of Paris 1924

The governing body, The International Federation of Basque Pelota, has created standard rules for different varieties into four modalities and fourteen disciplines. This includes fix weights of balls, and also fixed court sizes.

There is a Basque Pelota World Championship which is organized every year, with France the most successful team.

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