Basque sports

Basque pelota

The thrill of the frontón

Imagen de pelota vasca

The frontón court is an essential part of the Basque Country, the temple of pelota, an ancient sport that has evolved over the centuries to become more spectacular and professional, without ever losing its origins as a popular sport. Also traditional are the bets that change hands in this and the other Basque sports.

Basques who emigrated to the Americas and elsewhere in the world, such as the Philippines, took with them their love for Basque pelota, as it is known all over the planet (in the Basque Country we simply call it "pelota"). The success achieved by pelota abroad made it a sport that is known and played internationally.

There are many variants of the game, the main ones being pelota played with the hand, the supreme version and the one that stirs the most passion, that played with a racket, a spectacular form in which the ball flies very fast, and with a special pointed basket, an internationally known form of the game in which the pelotari (player) uses a wicker basket to catch, hold for a few seconds and return the ball extremely hard and fast.

¡A por la txapela!

Imagen de pelota vasca

While there are frontón courts with just one front wall, called Agirikoa or "open courts", the most common type have a front wall and a side wall, always on the left.

There are countless frontón courts in the Basque Country, but some of the most important are the Frontón Astelena in Eibar, the Jai-Alai in Gernika, the Atano III in San Sebastián, the Galarreta in Hernani, the Ogueta in Vitoria-Gasteiz and the smart, modern Frontón Bizkaia in Bilbao.

Find out about the calendar of events and don't miss the chance to see a competition where the pelotaris compete for the famous txapela, or beret. You can find full information here: Aspe and Baiko

Take a look at these ideas to find out about pelota for yourself: