Ninh explains, the Rules of Jai Alai The object of the game is to score more points than your opponent. Jai Alai, also known as Cesta Punta (Zesta Punta) is a sport that is contested on a court known as a cancha. There is no standard size for a cancha, but on average, it measures 176ft long, 40 ft wide & 40ft high There is a front wall, a back wall and a left wall, but no wall to the right. These are the lines, the 4 and 7 line, serving line at line #11, and out of bounds line. Players play with a curled basket known as a cesta attached to their wrist. The ball is known as a pelota, and is smaller than a baseball but harder than a golf ball.
This particular ball can be hurled at speeds of over 170mph. The game starts with a serve. The ball must bounce once behind line #11, the service line, and the player must catch and throw the ball to the front wall. The ball must land between the 4 and 7 lines for a serve to be legal. An opponent must catch the ball cleanly and throw it back in one fluid motion. He can do this on the fly, or after the ball has bounced on the floor once.
But if you let it bounce on the floor twice, you lose a point. If the ball isn’t caught cleanly, if a player holds onto the ball too long, or if the judge deems that the player didn’t catch and throw in one smooth motion, they also lose a point. You also lose a point if you serve illegally, if you play a ball off the front wall that bounces out of bounds and if you interfere with your opponent. The idea of this game is to outwit your opponent by making shots difficult to catch and throw back cleanly, or by placing the ball where a player cannot reach.
Once you win a point, you also win the next serve, and the whole process starts all over again. Jai Alai is played in varying formats around the world, but the most common three are: Round Robin Format. In Round Robin format, commonly played in North America – a game consists of 8 players for singles, or 8 pairs of players for doubles.
The first two play until a point is won. The winner stays on the court, whilst the loser goes to the back of the line, and is replaced by the next player in the line-up. The process repeats itself until one player has 7 or 9 points. The first player to reach that number of points … wins. Set Format. In set format, commonly played in Europe – a game consists of two players for singles, and 2 pairs of players for doubles.
The first team to score 15 points wins a set, and a game is played to the best of 3 sets. In some competitions, the last set is only played to 5 points. Whoever wins 2 sets the fastest, wins. That’s pretty much all you need to know about Jai Alai, but there’s a few other things that you need to know before playing or watching a game. For example: Foul Ball The front wall is made out of granite, as it’s one of the few materials that can withstand 170mph balls. But that’s only this section of the wall.
The rest of it is out of bounds, and if a ball hits this area – this is known as a foul ball, and the point goes to your opponent. Spectacular Seven Round Robin games that are played to 7 points may use the “Spectacular Seven” scoring. In short – points double after all 8 players have played at least one point. So after the first round, each point a player wins is now worth two points. This puts the pressure on players to get the leader out of the game and it also keeps games short for spectators to watch.
Gambling Jai Alai was created with gambling in mind. Just like betting on horse racing, spectators can bet on players to “win,” “place,” or “show” as well as other bets. This is why some players will have numbers on their jerseys – so you know which number player to bet on. If you have found this video at all helpful, please be sure to like share and subscribe. It takes me ages to make one of these things and good karma is very much appreciated. Follow me on Twitter also but in the meantime, enjoy Jai Alai … or Cesta Punta if you prefer.
Ninh Ly – www.ninh.co.uk – @NinhLyUK