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Encyclopedia > Jai Alai

Jai-Alai (IPA: /ˈhaɪəlaɪ/ in English and IPA: [haɪɑlaɪ] in Basque) means "Merry Festival" in the Basque language. The term is used to denote a fronton (or open-walled arena) used to play a variety of Basque Pelota called Cesta Punta, and, more broadly, to the game itself. The ball is placed into play and volleyed by players wearing a wicker basket with a glove approximately 63 to 70 cm long. The game is characterized by the fast pace of play, the Basque Government promotes it as "the fastest game on Earth." A 125g-140g ball covered with goat-skin can travel up to 302 km/h (188 mph) (José Ramón Areitio at the Newport Jai Alai, Rhode Island, USA on 3 August 1979[1][2]) The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Basque (native name: euskara) is the language spoken by the Basque people who inhabit the Pyrenees in North-Central Spain and the adjoining region of South-Western France. ... A game of pelote as played in Ustaritz Pilota in Basque and Catalan, pelota in Spanish, or pelote in French (from Latin pila) is a name for a variety of court sports played with a ball using ones hand, a racket, a wooden bat (pala), or a basket propulsor... For other uses, see Game (disambiguation). ... Four styles of household basket. ... Capital Vitoria-Gasteiz Official languages Basque and Spanish Area  â€“ Total  â€“ % of Spain Ranked 14th  7 234 km²  1,4% Population  â€“ Total (2005)  â€“ % of Spain  â€“ Density Ranked 7th  2 124 846  4,9%  293,73/km² Demonym  â€“ English  â€“ Spanish  â€“ Basque  Basque  Vasco/a Euskal Herritar, Euskaldun GDP GDP/Cápita 30. ... Species See Species and subspecies The goat is a mammal in the genus Capra, which consists of nine species: the Ibex, the West Caucasian Tur, the East Caucasian Tur, the Markhor, and the Wild Goat. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ...

The xistera.
The xistera.

The basket-glove (xistera in Basque, cesta-punta in Spanish) was introduced by Gantchiqui Dithurbide from Saint-Pée, France in 1860,[1] and its long version by Melchior Curuchage, from Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1888.[1] Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 532 pixel Image in higher resolution (3008 × 2000 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 532 pixel Image in higher resolution (3008 × 2000 pixel, file size: 1. ... For other uses, see Buenos Aires (disambiguation). ...


Rules and play

The court (or cancha) for Jai-Alai consists of 3 walls (front, back, and left), and the floor between them in play. If the ball touches the floor outside these walls, it is considered out of bounds. Similarly, there is also a border on the lower 3 ft (about 1 m) of the front wall that is also out of bounds. The ceiling on the court is usually very high, so the ball has a more predictable path. The court is divided by 14 parallel lines going horizontally across the court, with line 1 closest to the front wall and line 14 the back wall. A trial at the Old Bailey in London as drawn by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin for Ackermanns Microcosm of London (1808-11). ... Look up walls, wall in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A hardwood floor (parquetry) is a popular feature in many houses. ...

A Jai-Alai game is played in round robin format, usually between eight teams of two players each or eight single players. The first team to score 7 or 9 points wins the game. Two of the eight teams are in the court for each point. The server on one team must bounce the ball behind the serving line, then with the cesta "basket" hurl it towards the front wall so it bounces from there to between lines 4 and 7 on the floor. The ball is then in play.

Teams alternate catching the ball in their cesta and throwing it "in one fluid motion" without holding or juggling it. The ball must be caught either on the fly or after bouncing once on the floor. A team scores a point if an opposing player:

  • fails to serve so the ball bounces between lines 4 and 7 on the floor
  • fails to catch the ball on the fly or after one bounce
  • holds or juggles the ball
  • hurls the ball out of bounds
  • interferes with a player attempting to catch and hurl the ball

The team scoring a point remains in the court and the opposing team rotates off the court to the end of the list of opponents. Points usually double after the first round of play, once each team has played at least one point.

The players frequently attempt a "chula" shot, where the ball is played off the front wall very high, then reaches the bottom of the back wall by the end of its arc. The bounce off the bottom of the back wall can be very low, and the ball is very difficult to return in this situation.

In the United States, jai-alai enjoyed some popularity as a gambling alternative to horse racing, greyhound racing, and harness racing, and remains popular in Florida, where the game is used as a basis for parimutuel gambling at six frontons throughout the State: Dania Beach, Miami, Ocala, Fort Pierce, Orlando, and Hamilton County. The first jai-alai fronton in the United States was located at the site of Hialeah Race Course near Miami (1924). The fronton was relocated to its present site in Miami near Miami International Airport. Year round jai-alai operations include Miami Jai-Alai (the biggest in the world with a record audience of 15,502 people in 27 December 1975[1]), Dania Jai-Alai and Hamilton Jai-Alai in North Florida. Seasonal facilities are: Fort Pierce Jai-Alai, Ocala Jai-Alai and Orlando-Seminole Jai-Alai. Inactive jai-alai permits are located: Tampa, Daytona Beach, West Palm Beach, and Quincy. One Florida fronton was converted from jai-alai to Greyhound Racing in Melbourne. Horse-racing is an equestrian sporting activity which has been practiced over the centuries; the chariot races of Roman times were an early example, as was the contest of the steeds of the god Odin and the giant Hrungnir in Norse mythology. ... Official language(s) English Capital Tallahassee Largest city Jacksonville Largest metro area Miami metropolitan area Area  Ranked 22nd  - Total 65,795[1] sq mi (170,304[1] km²)  - Width 361 miles (582 km)  - Length 447 miles (721 km)  - % water 17. ... Parimutuel betting (from the French language: pari mutuel, mutual betting) is a betting system in which all bets of a particular type are placed together in a pool; taxes and a house take are removed, and payoff odds are calculated by sharing the pool among all placed bets, rounded down... Dania Beach is a city in Broward County, Florida, United States. ... Miami redirects here. ... Nickname: Location of Ocala, Florida Coordinates: , Country United States State Florida County Marion County Area  - City  38. ... Fort Pierce is a city in St. ... Nickname: Location in Orange County and the state of Florida Coordinates: , Country State Counties Orange Government  - Mayor Buddy Dyer (D) Area  - City 101 sq mi (261. ... Hamilton County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. ... Destinations with direct service from Miami Miami International Airport (IATA: MIA, ICAO: KMIA, FAA LID: MIA) is a public airport located eight miles (13 km) northwest of the central business district of Miami, in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. ... Nickname: Location in Hillsborough County and the state of Florida. ... Daytona Beach in 2005 Daytona Beach is a city in Volusia County, Florida, USA. As of 2004, the population estimates recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 64,422. ... Nickname: Location in Palm Beach County and the state of Florida. ... Quincy is a city located in Gadsden County, Florida. ... This article needs additional references or sources to improve its verifiability. ... Melbourne is a city in Brevard County, Florida, United States. ...

By contrast, jai-alai's popularity in the north-eastern and western United States waned as other gambling options became available. Frontons in the Connecticut towns of Hartford and Milford permanently closed, while the fronton in Bridgeport was converted to a Greyhound race track. A fronton in Newport, Rhode Island has been converted to a general gaming facility. Official language(s) English Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport[3] Largest metro area Hartford Metro Area[2] Area  Ranked 48th  - Total 5,543[4] sq mi (14,356 km²)  - Width 70 miles (113 km)  - Length 110 miles (177 km)  - % water 12. ... Nickname: Location in Hartford County, Connecticut Coordinates: , Country State NECTA Hartford Region Capitol Region Named 1637 Incorporated (city) 1784 Consolidated 1896 Government  - Type Mayor-council  - Mayor Eddie Perez Area  - City  18. ... Nickname: A Small City with a Big Heart Coordinates: NECTA Bridgeport-Stamford Region South Central Region Named 1640 Incorporated (city) 1959 Government type Mayor-council  - Mayor James L. Richetelli, Jr. ... “Bridgeport” redirects here. ... Newport, Rhode Island Newport is a city in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Providence. ...

Jai-alai enjoyed a brief and popular stint in Las Vegas, Nevada with the opening of a fronton at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino; however, by the early 1980s the fronton was losing money and was closed by MGM Grand owner Kirk Kerkorian. The MGM Grand in Reno also showcased jai-alai for a very short period (1978-1980). Vegas redirects here. ... The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino was a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip at the intersection with Flamingo Road. ... The 1980s refers to the years from 1980 to 1989. ... Kerkor Kirk Kerkorian (born June 6, 1917) is an American billionaire, and president/CEO of Tracinda Corporation, his private holding company based in Beverly Hills, California. ... “Reno” redirects here. ...

In an effort to prevent the closure of frontons in Florida, the Florida State Legislature passed HB 1059, a bill that changed the rules regarding the operation and wagering of poker in a Pari-Mutuel facility such as a jai-alai fronton and a greyhound and horseracing track. The bill became law on August 6, 2003. The Florida Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida. ... For the domestic fireplace tool, see fireplace poker. ... is the 218th day of the year (219th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

The International Jai Alai Player Association-UAW Local 8868 is the recognized bargaining agent for jai-alai players in most Florida frontons. The union had also represented jai-alai players and fronton employees in Connecticut until its three frontons permanently closed, and in Rhode Island where at the behest of the gaming regulators, the Rhode Island Legislature abolished the playing of live jai-alai in favor of video lottery terminals. The United Auto Workers (UAW), headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, officially the United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America International Union, is one of the largest labor unions in North America, The UAW has approximately 640,000 active members and over 500,000 retired members in the United States, Canada... This article is about the U.S. State. ... A Video Lottery Terminal or VLT is a gambling machine that allows gamblers to bet on the outcome of a video game. ...

Jai alai in popular culture

  • As a typical element of Florida, scenes of the Miami Jai Alai appeared in the title sequence of the TV series Miami Vice. A death among players was part of the plot of one episode, "Killshot", which aired during the 3rd season.
  • In movies, jai-alai had a small role in The Substitute starring Tom Berenger (1996).
  • The game was also played by Bud Spencer in the movie Odds and Evens (aka Trinity: Gambling for High Stakes) (1978).
  • A game similar to jai-alai is featured in the Disney film, Tron (1982), where Kevin Flynn and Crom play in a wide arena on separate platforms made of concentric rings. The main differences between this version and the original game are that the ball is reflected from the ceiling before being caught by the opposing player; when the ball comes into contact with either platform it will destroy the ring it touches (exposing the steep drop below); and the game is played as a gladiatorial death match.
  • The game was played notably by Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O during an episode of the MTV show Jackass (season 2), replacing the goatskin balls with oranges. Both suffered severe bruising and cuts to their lower legs as the oranges were hurled at their stationary backsides.
  • The comic book hero, Blue Beetle once fought a man named Overthrow, who had collapsable cestas which hurled fast paced fireballs, a living reference to the game
  • The game was also mentioned in two episodes (Love Sick and Lazlo Loves a Parade) of Cartoon Network show Camp Lazlo.
  • Lenny Leonard of The Simpsons lives in a very fancy house which he is able to afford because one wall is the ending extreme of a Jai alai court.
  • Mr. Burns of The Simpsons plays Jai alai after he gets a blood transfusion from Bart.
  • A Chicago reggae/punk band called The Jai-Alai Savant makes many references to The Chicago Mastadons Professional Jai-Alai Team.
  • In the NBC TV show "The Black Donnellys" Kevin Donnelly loses $5,000 betting on Jai Alai, a sport he knows nothing about.
  • In the Futurama episode 'Parasites Lost', Hermes is seen eating popcorn from a Jai Alai cesta "basket"
  • In an episode of The Weird Al Show, Al plays Jai Alai with Teri Garr.
  • The game played during Neopets' "Altador Cup" plot is very similar to Jai Alai.
  • In an episode of Nickelodeon's Fairly Odd Parents, The Crimson Chin, a comic book hero side character, trips an opponent with his chin during a celebrity Jai-Alai tournament. His opponent's knee is shattered in the fall, prompting him to become the Crimson Chin's arch-rival, The Bronze Kneecap.
  • Jai alai is mentioned many times in the popular comic strip, FoxTrot, by Bill Amend.
  • Jai alai (or just one of the words) appears frequently in crossword puzzles due to the high recurrence of vowels in its name. In fact, in a roughly ten-year survey of the New York Times daily puzzle, "Jai ___" (for ALAI) was found to be the single most common clue-and-answer pair, appearing 39 times exactly the same way.
  • Jai alai is one of only two sports in the entire world that forbids left-handed play, on the grounds that changing hands would give players an unfair or dangerous advantage. (Polo is the other sport.)

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... For the 2006 movie, see Miami Vice (film). ... For the episode of the Disney animated series Recess, see The Substitute (Recess episode). ... Tom Berenger (born May 31, 1949) is an Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe winning American actor known mainly for his roles in action films. ... Bud Spencer (born October 31, 1929), born as Carlo Pedersoli, is a famous Italian actor, known for his height 6 4 (1. ... “Disney” redirects here. ... TRON may refer to: TRON (film), a 1982 Disney science fiction film starring Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, and Cindy Morgan TRON (arcade game), an arcade game based on the TRON film Tron (character), the titular character of the above two Tron 2. ... Johnny Knoxville (born Philip John Clapp on March 11, 1971 in Knoxville, Tennessee) is an American comic actor and daredevil. ... For other people with similar-sounding names, see Steve O.. Steve-O (born Stephen Gilchrist Glover on June 13, 1974 in Wimbledon, London, UK) is a daredevil performer and television personality. ... This article is about the original U.S. music television channel. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Binomial name (L.) Osbeck Orange—specifically, sweet orange—refers to the citrus tree Citrus sinensis (syn. ... For other uses, see Hero (disambiguation). ... Blue Beetle is the name of three fictional comic book superheroes. ... For Cartoon Network outside of the United States, see Cartoon Network around the world. ... Camp Lazlo is an Emmy-winning, American animated television series created by Joe Murray, produced by Cartoon Network Studios and currently airs on Cartoon Network. ... appearance=Life on the Fast Lane Lenford Lenny Leonard, MPhys is a fictional character in The Simpsons, voiced by Harry Shearer. ... Simpsons redirects here. ... Simpsons redirects here. ... This article is about the 2007 NBC Television Program. ... Parasites Lost is the 2nd episode in series 3 of Futurama. ... The Weird Al Show was a short-lived television show starring Weird Al Yankovic. ... Teri Garr (born December 11, 1947 in Lakewood, Ohio) is an American actress and comedienne. ... Neopets (originally NeoPets) is a virtual pet website launched by Adam Powell and Donna Williams on November 15, 1999. ... The Fairly OddParents is one of the most popular cartoons on Nickelodeon The Fairly OddParents is an animated series created by Butch Hartman and was first aired in March 30, 2001. ... This article is about the comic strip; for other uses, see Foxtrot (disambiguation). ... Bill Amend (born 1962 in Northampton, Massachusetts) is an American cartoonist, best known for his comic strip, FoxTrot. ...


  1. ^ a b c d Libro de los récords Guinness, page 320, 1986 Spanish edition, Ediciones Maeva, ISBN 84-86478-00-6
  2. ^ Libro de los récords Guinness, page 258. It lists it as the fastest speed recorded in any ball game, comparing to 273 km/h (170 mph) of golf.

Suresh Joachim, minutes away from breaking the ironing world record at 55 hours and 5 minutes, at Shoppers World, Brampton. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Jai Alai - Search Results - MSN Encarta (157 words)
It is played on a large court of from 150 to 195 feet in length, and the hard ball (pelota) is nearly as large as a baseball, struck with a long scoop-like basket (cesta)...
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badminton, jai alai, squash, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, racketball, handball, aikido, boxing, fencing, judo, karate, kendo, kickboxing, kung...
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