Jai Alai is a Crazy Sport

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Jai Alai

I was channel surfing the other day when I saw a telecast of a Jai Alai game. Am I the only one who thinks the sport was specifically created so nobody will ever know what the hell is happening at any point throughout the game?

The layout is already confusing. Opposing players are playing side by side, even though they're fighting each other, and they're enclosed by three walls, one of which serves as their target. The ceiling is ridiculously high and the audience are to watch in the missing fourth wall. If the athletes weren't playing with really fast moving balls while wearing grandpa trousers, you'd think you're watching a stage play based on Bucket List .

The crazy doesn't stop there.

The game is played with eight players or two paired players in eight teams. That's EIGHT competing entities in just one game. Imagine if boxing played out the same way, where the referee invites the top 8 seeds of the heavyweight title, gathers them in the ring and says "fuck it, last man standing gets the belt". Every game is a royal rumble. No, make that a battle royale. Each team/player faces off against each other per round, and whoever loses gets replaced by the next pair of queued opponents. So it's no more a tournament than it is a survival of the fittest, with a race to 7 rule implemented. I seriously think that rule is just to make sure anybody who gets too good walks away with the probability of dying from a hit from the fastest moving projectiles in any sport save for archery and trap shooting.

Oh did I mention that? The balls called pelotas are made of woven metal strands wrapped in goat skin (presumably so any injuries will look like a goat teabagged you at 300mph). These balls are hurled by one player at very very fast speeds to the opposing wall, which by laws of physics, bounce in the most unpredicable patterns towards the OTHER player, who is EXPECTED to catch the damn thing with a wooden hurler called a xistera and bounce it back without suffering from various penalties like clinical death. Oh and you're supposed to do this while avoiding hitting or interfering with your opponent who is STANDING right next to you. As far as sportsmanship goes, Nancy Kerrigan wouldn't be able to play this game without getting sanctioned two minutes in.


Semidoppel said...

I really don't get it on how they play that game. I don't even know the rules...you're right it's a crazy one


Even when you do know the rules, it's just crazier. We should have this as our new national sport, since I do not know anybody who plays sipa anyway.

Anonymous said...

Come check out more about the sport of Jai Alai at merryfestival.com


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