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- Jai Alai Glossary of Terms.
Jai alai is a very distinctive sport and requires its own special equipment. The game is known for its fast pace and exciting tournaments.
The cesta, is the long, curved basket a player uses to catch and throw the pelota and is hand-woven specifically for each individual player.The pelota is the hardest ball of any sport. It is roughly 3/4 the size of a baseball and is harder than a rock. It has, on average, has a court life of about 20 minutes before the cover splits due to the high velocities at which it hits the wall during play. No two balls have exactly the same bounce, increasing the challenge of the game.
Jai alai is played on a special court called a cancha. The cancha has three walls that are made out of granite because it is the only material that can withstand the impact of the pelota. There is no standard size to a cancha, but most are 172 feet long 40 feet high and 40 feet wide. The cancha has three walls and a wire screen forms the fourth wall so spectators may safely view the games.
The rules of jai alai are similar to those followed in tennis and there are three judges present to enforce these rules.
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