Jai alai is a sport involving a ball bounced off a walled space by accelerating it to high speeds with a hand-held device (cesta).
It is a variation of Basque pelota.
The term, coined by Serafin Baroja in 1875, is also often loosely applied to the fronton (the open-walled playing area) where the sport is played. The game is called “zesta-punta” (basket tip) in Basque.
(Vintage basket tips)
The Basque Government promotes jai alai as “the fastest sport in the world” because of the ball speed.
The sport once held the world record for ball speed with a 125–140 g ball covered with goatskin that traveled at 302 km/h (188 mph), performed by José Ramón Areitio at the Newport Jai Alai, Rhode Island, until it was broken by Canadian 5-time long drive champion Jason Zuback on a 2007 episode of Sport Science with a golf ball speed of 328 km/h (204 mph).
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