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 often 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.
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.
Basque Pelota Variations
- Valencian Pilota — a traditional handball sport played in the Valencian Community of Spain, there is no wall, players hit the ball across a line or net.
- Valencian Frontó — modified Valencian Pilota version of the original Basque Pelota game. The players don't stand face-to-face as in the more popular Valencian Pilota but share a common playing area.
- Jai Alai — a sport derived from Basque Pelota, usually played indoors. Popular in many Latin American countries.
- Frontenis — players use a racket to hit a rubber ball against a wall.
- International Fronton — played by striking a ball onto a wall with bare hands, using rules adapted from many wall ball sports.
- Xare — a racket sport, a form of Basque pelota, where players face each other across a net which is strung across the middle of an indoor court.
- Pala Corta, Rubber-paleta
- Cesta Punta
- Fives — an English sport in which a ball is propelled against the walls in a specially designed court by using a bare or gloved hand.
- A Basque pelota tournament was contested at the Olympic Games in 1900 in Paris.
- Basque Pelota has also been a demonstration sport at he Olympics.
- See these videos of Basque Pelota which shows the exceptional skills and physical demands required for this sport.
- List of Racket Sports
- Complete list of sports
- The Encyclopedia of Sports