Pilota is one of the most important sports in the Valencian Community. A fast-paced team game which combines elements of tennis, racquetball, and handball, Pilota has been played in the region for centuries. And despite some close cousins (such as Basque pelota), it’s a sport unique to the Valencian Community.
Valencian pilota is played in a long, narrow hall. Athletes hit a hard, round ball with their bare hand (some use minimal protection) over a net to the opposing side. The walls and spectators are in play, and the only rule is that the ball can’t bounce twice on the ground.
That’s right — I said the spectators are in play. One of the unique twists of Valencian pilota is that the crowd sits on benches which are part of the playing field, and right on top of the action.
After the despertà on the 22nd, a set of championship games are played in the Pelayo Trinquet — the traditional epicenter of Valencian pilota. The entrance is completely nondescript, and we had walked by hundred times without ever knowing it existed.
We only had enough time to watch the kids play on Sunday, but it was really a fun sporting event to attend. We’ll definitely be going back some day soon to see the adults take the court.
This tournament was a part of the day’s official Fallas events, which meant that the Fallera Mayor and her court graced the trinquete with their presence. We managed to get some great pictures of the guapas: