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Part baseball, part handball, part royal tennis and described as the fastest sport in the world, Jai Alai is related to the traditional Basque sport of Pilota.

While Pilota (or Pelota Vascsa in Spanish) and its variations are played widely across the Spanish and French speaking world, Jai Alai is the version played in the USA and operated as a gaming enterprise more than a spectator sport (much like greyhound racing).

Once popular in a few states, it is now relegated mainly to Florida, where once full courts (frontons) now sit empty. Miami Jai-Alai Fronton, the biggest in the world once hosted a record audience of 15,502 people in it’s heyday of 1975, today frequented by only a few degenerate gamblers.

Read more about the fascinating decline of this once great sport in this article by Michael J. Mooney at SB Nation.

Images from Canary Hop and SB Nation.

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