Sports and games comprise a large part of Basque life. At most fiestas, there is some sporting event of some sort and Basque sport if often found on televisions in bars. Most traditionally Basque sports evolved out of activities on the baserri, or farm, though the Basques have been very competitive in more conventional sporting activities such as soccer and cycling. And, one cannot forget the most well-known of Basque sports, jai alai, sometimes called the fastest game in the world.
Pilota is a generic term for any game involving a ball. While jai alai, played with the basket over the hand, is the most well known version internationally, within the Basque Country today pilota mano or hand ball is the most popular.
- General Introduction
This very basic introduction to pilota, taken from Grolier Encyclopedia.
- Types of Pilota
An introduction to the different types of pilota.
- Types de Pelota
An article on the types of pilota, in French.
- Le Rebot
Le Rebot is a variation of racquetball, article in French.
- Le Chistera
A brief introduction to jai alai, in French.
- Other Resources
Mus is a Basque card game, played by two teams of pairs, in which teams try to win various hands. Two unique aspects of Mus are "sanctioned" cheating and the ability to wager the entire game on a given hand.
Rural sports, or herri kirolak, are inspired by life on the basseri, or farm. They often involve feats of strength or indurance, as well as skills central to rural life such as wood chopping.
Cycling is tremendously popular in the Basque Country and the Basques have produced a number of world-class cyclist, chief amongst them Miguel Indurain.
The Basques boast some very successful soccer clubs, the two most prominent being Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad of Donostia.
Other Sports and Links
This is a collection to other resources on Basque sports.