This is a current awareness blog that links to the latest sources of information on Basque Pelota matches and Tournaments. It covers both North and South Basque modalities: Mano, Main Nue, Pala, Paleta, Remonte, Cesta Punta, Jai Alai, and minor modalites. We link to match articles, statistics and video highlights and/or full match videos.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Multiple Modalities--The 2016-17 season begins.

At the end of September/beginning of October the sometimes official, sometimes unofficial 2016-17 season began. In the South Basque professional Mano began its Pilota eskuz: Profesionalak 2016: Lau eta erdiko Txapelketa 2016/Campeonato del 4 1/2 de 1a categoría 2016 LEP. M, which opened competition on October 7-10, 2016. This is followed by the major doubles and singles tournaments, which run consecutively, from December to next May.

Professional Pala has a lull in its schedule at the moment, with independent matches scheduled for Toulouse on October 14 and Armintza on October 15, as it finishes its Summer Pala Tour 2016. Last year the major competition during Autumn was the liga BBK 2015 from late October - end of the year, a short court doubles tournament that involved the entire Innpala roster in a double round robin followed by a semi-final and final, all at Bizkaia. There has been no announcement of this year's tournament as yet.That should be followed a major short court singles tournament, which is in turn followed  by a major long court doubles tournament and then next year's short court Bizkaia open.

In Remonte, along with the usual Thursday-Saturday Galarreta schedule there is a major doubles and singles tournament, followed by next year's Sagardoaren (Cider) doubles tournament. Euskal Jai features an end of the year winter tournament. The Jai Alai scene is relatively quiet during the fall-winter season.

On the amateur front the place to follow the comings and goings of South Basque pelota is the EEPF  for various competitions in several modalities. It can be a bit complicated (especially for the newcomer) to understand the sequence of competitions. The best way to follow the site is by reading the noticias, which will give chronological context to the various competitions. Once you understand the noticias stories, you can use the competition pages to follow the competitions. Another way to follow the amateur scene in the South Basque is through EITB On Demand. Go to "Catagorias", "deportes", "Pilota afizionatuak". EITB covers major amateur finals that are sponsored by EEPF and also by GMGZ Events and other regional organizations. Use it as your guide to major competitions until you become comfortable with how EEPF works. The major South Basque amateur competition is the Gravni competition which covers many modalities and takes place in early Spring. For regional competitions, use the EEPF links page. An exciting new development is Xistera Kluba's sponsorship of amateur Jai Alai, with tournaments being provided live and on demand at both X K's youtube site and EITB (search under "deportes" "Zesta Punta.")

The North Basque has a vibrant Basque Pelota scene in the fall and winter months. Esku Pilota follows the Elite Pro Main Nue scene exhaustively. Follow that site and you won't miss any Pro tournament. They provide much on demand video coverage through their Youtube site.

For the amateur North Basque pelota scene the best place to follow everything is pelotelive.free.fr. Search for competitions by going here and searching on "saisons"2016-2017" to follow competitions in 15 modalities. Since September 8 Paleta gomme pleine competitions and 1 Xare competition have started. Click on "voir" next to any competition and you will be taken to a main competition page that lists the organizer. Cut and paste the organizer into a google search and you will find regional associations that have information about regional tournaments. The main national North Basque pelota organization is the FFPB. You can follow their tournaments from their site or from pelotelive.free.fr. In late winter-early spring their Championnat de France competitions begin.

As far as the Cesta Punta goes, there are CdF matches, as well selected matches at Biarritz Athletic Club and Donibane Lohizune (Saint-Jean-de-Luz). Internationaux Cesta Punta and its Youtube site  have information and videos. ICP sponsors an autumn and Christmas tournament. B.A.C. sponsors several fall and winter tournaments. Another good way to follow the cesta-punta scene all over is through the Jai Alai news Facebook page. The Jai Alive Facebook page also has excellent coverage.

All in all, there is a lot of great Basque Pelota in the North and South Basque Country to follow in the 2016-17 season. I will try to cover as much as possible, concentrating, as always, on sports for which there are match videos.