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Newsfeed: Costa de Valencia speaks of 'The Valencian pilota, the most Valencian sport'

Published Bernice on Friday, March 10, 2023 4:00 PM

If Valencia has a traditional and authentic sport, it is undoubtedly the Valencian ball or in Valencian, Valencian pilota.

If Valencia has a traditional and authentic sport, it is undoubtedly the Valencian ball or in Valencian, Valencian pilota. A practice that has its origin in the fusion of different popular games, in fact, there are records that already in ancient Greece they played the sport of ball. A curious fact before getting into the matter... did you know that Alexander the Great was a fervent and great player of the Valencian pilota ?

If you want to know more about this sport, keep reading this post... I'm sure that when you finish it you'll want to play a game of this mythical Valencian sport! 

History of the Valencian pilota

The sport of ball was a game widely practiced in Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire introduced it to the Iberian Peninsula. At that time, a ball game was practiced similar to the current sport of Llargues, practiced in the province of Alicante and played in the street. Valencian ball is the evolution of these ball games, since, as it is practiced more and more, the game has been regulated.

The Valencian pilota was recognized as a sport in 1994 and since 2022 it is an Asset of Cultural Interest of the Valencian Community, which makes it the first sport with this distinction. By the way, in each region of the Valencian Community a type of game is practiced.

How to play the Valencian pilota

The Valencian pilota has two modalities, a direct style, which is when two teams face each other sending the ball to the opposite end of the game, or an indirect style, which is when the two teams throw the ball against a wall.

Among the best-known modalities is the "escala i corda" played by established professional figures in a ratchet, the "galotxa" which is similar to the previous one, but is played in the street, or "llargues" which is the most popular variety. ancient - the legionnaires of the Roman Empire already practiced it - and it is the usual modality of international championships.

To play the Valencian pilota you only need a ball or pilota and gloves. Regarding the ball, there are different types depending on the type of game: Sheepskin ball, Cloth ball, Cowhide ball or Tec Ball. Gloves are essential as they protect the hands when hitting the ball. They are made of lambskin and do not cover the fingers.

Where is the Valencian pilota played?

Currently this traditional sport is played in different locations, depending on the modality or area where it is practiced.

Trinquet: it is the most characteristic court. It is a closed rectangular enclosure with an average length of 50 meters, 10 meters wide and about 9 meters high. One of the walls has a 4-step grandstand and although it is an active part of the game, the public takes the opportunity to sit on the first step to experience the exciting game from the front line.

In the center of Valencia is the site with the oldest use in Europe: El Trinquete de Pelayo, known as La Catedral de la Pilota. It was built in 1988 and is undoubtedly one of the most unknown jewels of the city, although it is located right in the center.

El Trinquete de Pelayo is on calle Pelayo 6, next to Estación del Norte and is hidden in the light well. If you visit the city of Valencia, you cannot miss it!

-Street: It is the most traditional location, formerly each town had a street especially suitable for its game.

-Frontón: An increasingly fashionable location. It has a length of between 20 to 30 meters.

-Galotxeta: This venue is used to play the "Galotxetes" modality, practiced in the town of Monóvar. It is 20 meters long by three and a half meters wide and has a relaxed central rope and four drawers in the corners of the enclosure.

Do not wait any longer to visit the city of Valencia and get to know one of the sports with the most history. You will love the experience!

At Costa de Valencia, Spanish school, we offer courses for all levels and ages, don't hesitate to ask us about them!

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