Tiger's Jai-Alai Chalk Talk
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Re(5): M.C. Week Off & Roster Additions

I’m happy to do it - communication “usually” helps and whenever possible transparency is a good thing. The play you describe was unusual, even for Magic City. The rules that Jai-Alai operates on, as you know, are based on tradition. Orally passed-on by teachers of Jai-Alai literally over hundreds of years. When training our players, most of who have a background in other sports we repeatedly explained that Jai-Alai rules are based on tradition and there is no one book of rules so we explained that ours are based on tradition with some “stretching” to accommodate their level of experience and training (e.g. Arra and I both know what holding looks like but we have allowed for some at M.C.) The interference rule generally admonishes a player from intentionally or accidentally blocking an opposing player’s access to the ball. As you know interference occurs rarely in traditional Jai-Alai but a player who believes he has been inter feared with must stop his motion, put his hands-up and request a holding call from the judge. Holding is usually not granted if the player has moved towards the ball. In any case it’s the judgment of the referee.

When we started playing last year we had multiple episodes of interference during practices. Often more prevalent among our former football players but in many cases players are just standing too close to an opponent, waiting to move until they throw which improves with experience. We had way too many requests for interference from players who in other sports have been able to appeal to a referee or coach which is not the case in Jai-Alai. To break them if this we reinforce that the judges call is final and stay out of each other’s way. In the episode you mention Carballo had already caught the ball and, as you describe, tapped Douglas on the back swing. While it’s true that Douglas should have better cleared away from Carballo, Carballo in fact had control of the ball and the contact was incidental. While Douglas did inter fear with Carballo’s motion Carballo should have been able to successfully get the ball to the wall even though he could not necessarily throw the ball how or where he wanted. As interference is a judgment call of the judge had the judge granted it without hesitation Arra and I would not have intervened. In that case however we’d be opening a can of worms with potential daily recurrence if we extended the interference rule to balls which have already been caught. The fact it’s such a rare occurrence (first time for M.C. and I’ve personally never seen it before quite like that at any of the other frontons I’ve managed) resulted in our making the best decision we could in the shortest time possible.


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