Recently, in an emphatic effort to disprove that statement, Euskadiko Pilota Federakundea | Federación Vasca de Pelota (EEPF) sponsored and organized the 1st Titulo de Euskal Herria Bote Luzea (Basque Country Bote Luzea Title) competition. It ran from August 26-September 25, 2016.
Bote Luzea is the most ancient of ancestor Basque Pelota sports. It is a "direct" court game, that is to say, two teams face each other, rather than hitting a ball off a wall. There is no net and there are no implements. It is handball on a 60 by 15 meter outdoor court, no walls, with teams of five each (substitution allowed). The ball is bounced off a stone at one end and then hit by the server. The idea is to hit the ball to a place where it cannot be returned. More on the modality can be found here (scroll to Bote Luzea). It began on open fields and then was moved to open plazas in towns and villages. This tournament was an attempt to revive the game as a cultural artifact and also as a legitimate Basque Pelota competition. In this tournament matches were played to 11 games or 70 minutes, whichever came first. Each game is won by the team scoring 4 points. In this tournament the 6 teams were split into "A" and "B" groups, with a round robin in each group. At the end of the round robin, the first place team played each second place team in the other group in semfinals. Those winners met in a final.
Source for all match articles: EEPF. Source for all video: Bote Luzea Facebook page.
Announcement of tournament
Rules of the tournament:
September 25, 2016
Plaza de Leitza (1) (2): Lapurdi 1 (Bessonart, Valencia, Urkia, Fagoaga, Etcheberry, Otegi and Tikoipe) defeated Gipuzkoa 2 (Jon Urbieta, Jauregi, Esnal, Ibai Urbieta and Andoni Urbieta) 6-3 (70 minutes). Note: Gipuzkoa 2's Inaki Esnal and Jon Urbieta played and won the Oriatsun V Txapelketa Pasaka final (covered in this blog) in August.
Selected match video 1
Selected match video 2
Photos Part 1
Photos Part 2
Advertisement of Final
MY ARTICLE: How they got there: the entire the tournament (scores, match articles, match videos and photos) from beginning to end