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.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Pasaka--LPPB (Ligue Pelote Pays Basque) Premier Series Quarter-final.

For more information on Pasaka and its importance in Basque culture and history, as well as an explanation of the game, see the blog post here.

LPPB, which is formally known as Comité Territorial Pays Basque de Pelote Basque/Euskal Herriko Eusko Pilota Batzorde, is one of the amateur club regional leagues of the Federation Francaise de Pelote Basque (FFPB).

One of 4 quarter-final matches in the LPPB Premier Pasaka Competition, which began on November 13, 2016 and will end with a final on February 5, 2017, was held on January 15.

Urrugne (1)(2) : Urrugne (Urrunarrak) (Ourquia-Ussaralde--white) defeated Saint Pierre d'Irube (Hiriburuko Ainhara 2) (Lapergue-Latxague--red) 13-9

Full match video (Urrunarak Youtube)

Score source: LPPB Resultats and

Competition Context

A. LPPB (pick "Championnat d'Hiver 2016-17" for Competition and "Trinquet / Pasaka" for Specialite. Then click on "voir..")


Normally, an amateur competition below the level of FFPB Championnat de France wouldn't be covered in this blog, but I couldn't resist because of the excellent quality of the video provided by the Urrunarrak Club (note that it is not a commercial quality video--you must listen closely to keep score--more explanation is available in the "MY ARTICLE" link below). This Pasaka is quite different from the Oiartsun V. Txapelketa Final covered in the blog in August (See the link above). That match was played with bare hands and a somewhat smaller ball in an Arkupe (alcove of a municipal building or church). This form is played with a small cesta strapped to the right hand. The pelota is the biggest and heaviest of any Basque pelota modality (up to 250 grams--about 1/2 pound), around twice as heavy as a Jai Alai or Remonte pelota. It is a bit smaller in circumference than an American 12 inch softball. It is not easy to propel it to all corners of a 28 meter trinquet court.  It takes a combination of strength and finesse to play Pasaka successfully.

The implement used is the direct ancestor of the larger and more modern cestas used in Jai Alai, Remonte, and Joko Garbi. And if you watch the match closely, you can see how the strategy, tactics, and mechanics of those modalities evolved from this form.

This was a very competitive and attritional match. Its 22 games, lasting a little over an hour (individual game scoring is identical to tennis), consumed nearly 750 balls in play. The mammoth 20th game, won by the eventual losers of the match, consumed 92 balls in play and took nearly 10 minutes. Watching Pasaka provides a look back in time to the beginnings of the modernization of Basque Pelota, what might be called its industrial revolution, as the artisan tool (the hand) evolved into various tools whose purpose was to propel the pelota further and faster, very much faster.

MY ARTICLE: Details of the match.