Jai-Alai Chalk Talk Hall of Fame

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Why does jai alai publicity inflate the speed of the game?

Posted on August 26, 2010 at 11:16:33 AM by jsolo

I've been watching partidos every week since the summer season started in Spain and the fastest speed I have seen clocked (EBT sat clocks them) is one that Irastorza threw at 200kph. Which, if my conversion doesn't fail me, is slightly under 130mph. Lopez was pretty consistently between 175-195kph in last month's partido against Diego, shown yesterday. Yet everywhere you look on the web about jai alai, you'll find wild claims of 150mph (over 240kph) and over. This is preposterous.

What jai alai does have, and which should be promoted, because it is not only true, but more than amazing enough, is an AVERAGE speed (of the speeds I saw clocked) for shots that are not dejadas or desperate saves, of over 160kph. I haven't actually calculated, but from the speeds I've seen it looks to be about 165-175kph, average for most shots in a point that EBT sat shows speeds for. And they don't immediately decelerate, like badminton, or are only clocked serves, like tennis, or shots in a 'lab' off a tee by a pumped up 'power golfer.' They are shots that have movement and have to be caught and then returned, and the ball makes a baseball or cricket ball look like a kid's rubber ball.

That should be more than enough to advertise, IMO.


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