OFF TOPIC--AN AMAZING BASQUE PELOTA MATCH Posted on February 6, 2019 at 02:08:26 AM by jsolo
There's nothing like Jai Alai, of course, but every Monday, on Market day in the tiny village of Danibane Garazi (St. Jean Pied-de-Port) there is a traditional 50 point Main Nue (naked hand) match at the cathedral of North Basque (French) Main Nue, Le Garat. The one on Feb. 4 was pretty amazing. The doubles match took about 1 hour and 40 minutes, a titanic struggle by Main Nue standards. The 91 points consumed 1,117 balls in play. Think about that. 4 players with their hands protected with tape only, hitting a ball that's harder than a baseball an average of 250 times on a 95 by 35 foot 4 wall court (35 foot high front wall) that is laid out like a pinball machine, with targets all over the place for "direct points", with a built in dugout on the side and back end of the court and a dugout roof that is fair game. This match, which had no real meaning or context in terms of player standing or tournament records that I know of, was contested with, IMHO, savage intensity. 22 points consumed 10-19 balls in play. 14 consumed 20-29. 5 consumed 30-50. The longest point: 61 balls in play. At the end, just another Lundi au Garat! Basque Pelota in about the most pure form imaginable. Before there were cestas, there were hands. The link below is to a condensed full match video. Action only. No narration but you can see the scoreboard very well. It lasts about an hour.
Mattin Olcomendy-Thierry Harismendy (white) v Maxim Etcheverry-Ximun Lambert (red)