One of the things that we like about the Basque country is its authenticity and its local spirit. With a unique character. The Basque community – with its capital Bilbao at the forefront is an example both in nature as in gastronomy, in lifestyle and even in sports. Local sports such as Basque pelota (Basque ball) are infinitely more popular than other more conventional sports like basketball, football or cycling.
Also known as Euskal Pilota, the so called Basque pelota is an essential sports discipline to know the depth of culture, customs and of course the history of each city, region and district and these make up the Euskal Herria. As the sun goes down every school playground, every church and every central plaza become a meeting point for the lovers of this sport of technique and tactics.
A sport that has a similar court to that of fronton but it has its local peculiarities, those that can only be seen live and in full competition. Is it your first time in the Basque territory and are you curious about this sport that arouses so much passion? If you take as a starting point both the Petit Palace Tamarises (located in the centre of Bilbao) and the Petit Palace Arana Bilbao Hotel Getxo, you will be within walking distance of the main sports centres where many of the weekly matches are played. Of course, so you know the rules and how it’s played, today we tell you all the details about the popular sport of Euskadi.
One of the particularities of Basque pelota is the wide range of forms and the number of ways it is played. Unlike fronton, in Euskal Pilota you can choose between a “ratchet” (mixed – which is played with a ball and rubber) and a fronton of differing heights, choose between 30 metres, 36 or even 50, the professional and most demanding of all heights.
The equipment and the court
Identical to the court used in the traditional fronton, Basque pelota is played with a rubber ball and a leather shovel, which serves to throw the ball against the wall. Although the Basque shovel is the same, in Euskadi there is another additional form that is played on the same court but it is practiced with a small racket similar to that used to play paddle but in the form of a tennis racket .