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.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Main Nue--Trinquet Garat Super Prestige singles tournament--Semi-finals

The 23rd Super Prestige is a singles tournament, an EP 2000 competition played at the cathedral of Main Nue, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port's (Donibane Garazi) "Le Garat"(1)(2).

It will be played on Mondays from November 28, 2016 to January 8, 2017 (Note. The tournament competition page shows that the final will be played on January 22, 2017. Originally it had been scheduled for January 8 (see original seeding chart below). The delay is due to a hand injury to Ducassou (source: Esku Pilota website).  This is a seeded singles tournament,  with 2 matches each Monday. The tournament will be played in knockout fashion with 4 "tours", followed by two semi-finals and a final (played on a Sunday). Seeding in one bracket (from low to high) is: Guichandut, X. Lambert, Bilbao, and Larralde. And in the other bracket: Ospital, de Ezcurra, Waltary, and Ducassou. The seeding can be seen graphically here.

2015 SP results

The tournament is organized by Garaziko Pilota (Societe Sportive Goizeko Izarra)

Tournament Competition page

The ongoing results of the tournament will be available on a "ladder" chart. Statistics and commentary for only the most recent Monday matches should be available, but it is unknown whether they will be available for every match. Esku Pilota sometimes puts these statistics into a spreadsheet. If they do, they will be linked to. If not, because of the importance of this tournament, I will copy them.

Tour 1 (November 28, 2016)

Tour 2  (December 5, 2016)

Tour 3 (December 12, 2016)

Tour 4 (December 19, 2016)

Source for match statistics for both matches: H. Ocafrain

December 26, 2016


Semi-finals preview article (Pilota Ttiki)

1. Larralde defeated Gonzalez 40-33.

Equalities: 29-29; 30-30; 33-33

Decade linescores: (winner always listed first)

1-9; 9-11; 11-19; 18-22; 23-27; 37-33

Complete linescore: (

Time of the match: 1 hour, 8 minutes, 46 seconds; actual playing time: 21:42


Larralde +29 (12 service aces, 6 egindatukoak, 2 xareat, 6 pumpa xare, 1 buruzgain, 1 motz, 1 izkin motz) -3
Gonzalez +30 (12 service aces, 3 egindatukoak, 3 xareat, 4 pumpa xare, 1 ziloat, 2 dejadas, 1 buruzgain, 2 motz, 2 izkin motz) -11

2. Ducassou  defeated Ospital  40-26.

Equalities: 3-3; 4-4; 5-5; 6-6; 10-10; 13-13; 18-18; 19-19

Decade linescores

5-5; 10-10; 16-14; 21-19; 28-22; 34-26

Time of the match: 1:08:56, actual playing time: 23:12


Ducassou +33 (6 service aces, 6 egindatukoak, 8 xareat, 6 pumpa xare, 4 dejadas; 2 motz, 1 izkin motz) -6
Ospital +20 (8 service aces, 3 egindatukoak, 3 pumpa xare, 1 ziloat, 1 burzgain, 1 motz, 3 izkin motz) -7

Match article for both matches (Pilota Ttiki)

Match article for both matches, an audio interview with Mikel Gonzalez, and full match videos for both matches (Esku Pilota).

Match article (Deia) (Castilian)

Video interview with Mikel Gonzalez (EITB) (Castilian)

Full match videos for both matches (Esku Pilota Youtube site--see below)

1. Mikel Gonzalez' fabulous unseeded 4 match  run through this tournament was finally ended by the top seeded defending champion. But not without a struggle. This match was book ended by two great runs. Gonzalez blazed out to a 9-0 and then 10-2 lead.  The first 9 points began with a shot banked off the right side wall into the xilo box. That was followed by 2 service aces, a beautiful shot into the dugout mesh, 4 more aces, and a Larralde error. The aces were a perfect mixture of low and high, right and left. But Larralde stayed patient and within himself, not trying to get 5 points with every shot. Within 10 points he was back in the game, but by the end of the third decade he was right back where he was at the end of the first. Another player may have cracked under that kind of pressure, but there is a reason Larralde is at or near the top of the Esku Pilota rankings. Although he held a 1 point lead late in the 5th decade, and achieved equality at 30, Gonzalez once more took a 3 point lead. But that was the last point Gonzalez scored. Larralde, after fighting that hard and long, found the resources to pass and then finish Gonzalez, scoring the last 10 points of the match. It was an amazing display of fitness, determination, and talent. His reward is a rematch in defense of his championship v last year's opponent, Baptiste Ducassou.

Full match video

Note: Youtube segments below may not resolve properly in certain browsers or smart phone apps. Exact times on the videos will be provided for those users. Simply move the slider bar to the times listed. Apologies for any inconvenience caused (Added January 7, 2017)

Gonzalez 0-0--10-2 (0:00--7:50)
Larralde 30-33--40-33(57:02--end of video)

2. This match was much closer and more difficult for Ducassou than the final score indicated. The first half of the match was highlighted by 8 equal scores. The last two decades show how a great player pries open a game from an up and coming young star. It wasn't that Ospital had a bad match. At 29-26, he was still very much "in the game." But from there on, Ducassou completely closed the door. And so there will be a rematch of last year's final, the two best players in the game at present, a front man v a back man, both with unlimited reserves of athleticism, talent, intelligence, and passion. Larralde has had much the better of the last two singles finals they played, the 2016 Championnat de France (40-22) and last year's Super Prestige final (40-26). I wouldn't be surprised if this match goes deep into the 8th decade before a winner is decided on January 22.

Full match video

Ducassou--29-26--40-26 (51:24--end of video)

Mutiple Modalities--The amateur scene regional and national scene in the North Basque at the end of 2016.

Several regional tournaments in various modalities were completed before the end of 2016. The easiest way to find them is a specialized lookup at

Click on "Voir" to look at any of the competitions. Cut and paste the Organization name or abbreviation along with "pelota" and do a google search in order to link to the regional organizations that sponsor these tournaments. The Federation Francais de Pelote Basque (FFPB) also has a listing (unfortunately not live linked at present) of the major regional organizations.

For regional competitions with match videos another specialized search of PFF will retrive most of them. Click on "voir" and search for matches with the film icon.

With the beginning of the new year the FPPB National Championnat de France competitions begin in earnest. The easiest way to follow them is the Calendar at FPPB.

Check results at FFPB or at PFF.  As these tournaments come on line, there are likely to be match videos. Watch the media box for a film icon.

Following any of the amateur competitions in the North Basque Country may seem daunting, but a little creative use of PPF or FFPB results pages will go a long way toward enjoying the feast of North Basque amateur competition that takes place through the winter and spring months.

Main Nue: Tournois Biper Saria

Tournois Biper Saria, an EP 500 competition, was held at Trinquet de Saint-Pee (1)(2) and Trinquet D'Espellete (1)(2) on December 23 and 28.

Score source: Esku Pilota match articles and Resultats page

December 28,2016


Trinquet d'Espelette: Etchegaray-Bilbao (substituting for Guichandut) defeated Bielle-Amulet 40-35

Source for score

Note: Guichandut played and won v Bielle in a Championnat de France Main Nue Individual tournament match on December 30, 2016..

December 23, 2016


Trinquet de Saint-Pee. The matches were moved from Trinquet Dospi to Trinquet de Saint-Pee due to a moisture problem at Dospi.

1. Etchegaray-Guichandut defeated X. Lambert-L.Lambert 40-35

Partial linescore (winners always listed 1st)

21-7; 27-30; 40-35

In a match dominated by huge runs (21-7, 6-23, 13-5), E-G produced the last one and rode it to victory.

2. Bielle-Amulet defeated Inchauspe-de Ezcurra 40-22

Partial linescore

10-7; 20-11; 30-15, 40-22

B-A broke the match wide open in second half to win easily.

Match article for both matches

Remonte: XII Torneo Individual de Remonte de Navidad 2016

The 12th Torneo Individual de Remonte de Navidad, sponsored by Fundacion Remonte Euskal Jai Berri was played at Olatz Txipia (Olaz) (1)(2) and Labrit (Iruna (Pamplona)) (1)(2) December 26 and 30, 2016.

Source for all articles; Euskal Jai Berri

December 30, 2016


Labrit, Iruna (Pamplona): Urriza defeated Uterga 30-22

Match preview

Match article

Match linescore (winner always listed 1st). Source: Navarra TV

1-0; 1-1; 2-1; 2-2; 2-3; 3-3; 4-3; 5-3; 5-4; 6-4; 7-4; 8-4; 8-5; 8-6; 8-7; 8-8; 9-8; 10-8; 11-8; 12-8; 12-9; 13-9; 14-9; 15-9; 15-10; 16-10; 16-11; 17-11; 17-12; 17-13; 17-14; 17-15; 17-16; 17-17; 18-17; 19-17; 20-17; 21-17; 22-17; 23-17; 24-17; 25-17; 27-18; 28-18; 28-19; 28-20; 29-20; 29-21; 29-22; 30-22

Urriza led virtually from start to finish, and won this final going away. Every time Uterga challenged--2-3 (the only time he led), 8-8, and 17-17 after a 6-0 run, Urriza answered with major runs (6-1, 7-1, 11-1). I was able to watch a Narvarra TV feed of the match and Urriza showed how devastating he can be in the short court format. He controlled the tempo and when he was able to set up in front he launched his typical rockets, either pinning Uterga against the left wall, passing him there, or forcing him into difficult rebotes. The victory evened the score over the last two years in this tournament after Uterga won last year's final 30-15.

Match article for 2015 final, played at Labrit, January 18, 2016

December 26, 2016:


Match article for both matches

Olatz Txipia (Olaz)

1. Urriza defeated Ion 30-21

Selected linescore (winner always listed 1st)

2-8; 3-10; 18-18; 30-21

15-8 and 12-3 runs by Urriza at the end of the match more than neutralized Ion's fast start.

2. Uterga defeated Etxeberria IV 30-20

Selected linescore (winner always listed 1st)

17-17; 20-18; 30-20

This was a very even match until Etxeberria IV suffered an ankle injury during the 20-18 point. Though he continued, he was limited by the injury and Uterga dominated the rest of the match.


In 2016 Uterga and Urriza faced each other in 7 Euskal Jai Berri tournament matches. Uterga won 4, Urriza 3. Uterga won 3 of the 5 championship finals they played.

Jan. 19, 2016--Navidad--Uterga 30, Urriza 15

Apr. 22, 2016--Casco Viejo--Uterga-Barrentxea IV 35, Urriza-Etxeberria III 32

Final point of the match (32 balls in play--the longest point I have seen in a Remonte match)

May 29, 2016--San Isidro--Urriza-Ion 35, Uterga-Etxeberria III 33

Jun. 11, 2016--Gipuzkoa Kopa--Uterga-Aizpuru III 35-Urriza-Zaldua 25

Full match video (match begins at 1 hour, 6 minutes, 30 seconds on the video) (EITB)

Dec. 30, 2016--Navidad--Urriza 30, Uterga 22