Frontenis is one of the many variations of the Basque pelota game, itself a derivation of real tennis. It is played in one of the largest courts on the sport with a tennis racquet that contains an optional custom double string called "doble encordado" and a tiny frontenis ball. It can be played Singles (1 vs 1) or Pairs (2 vs 2) and the players are called "pelotaris".

The history

It was created in the year of 1916 in Mexico, when the idea of merging tennis and the traditional Basque pilota emerged. The game and equipment have evolved considerably since their creation to faster, better constructed balls (of which two types exists, an extremely fast, smaller ball and a larger, slower one) and newly improved tennis-style reinforced raquets. It is present in Mexico, France, Peru, Colombia, Cuba, Spain, Argentina, parts of the United States and other countries. The sport has almost completely been dominated by Mexico, but competition with Spain and other nations is constant.

The court-field

It is played on a three-walled court called "frontón" ("frontón" + "tenis" = "frontenis"). The following are the respective sections of the court:
*"Frontis" is the front wall, 9.85 meters tall, 9.10 meters wide.
*"Pared de ayuda". Support wall, 30 meters long, 9.85 tall.
*"Rebote". The bounce wall. Same size as Frontis.
*"Cancha". The floor where the ball will need to bounce, it is 9.10 wide and 30 meters long.
*"Contra cancha". Counter-field, 5 meters wide, parallel to the court with an optional wall made of netting to let the audience see the game without getting hurt and to keep the ball near to the players.
*"Chapa" is the metal plate located at the bottom of the front wall, 60 cm. from the ground.

The frontenis ball

The ball is hard and slightly smaller than a racquetball with an extremely active bounce and actually it is only made by 2 brands in the whole world.

In the early days, all balls were specially fabricated and imported from England and U.S. Then Lugardo Torres from Mexico city and the Rizo brothers from Guadalajara city started to fabricate frontenis balls but the product was only in the market for a few years. By the days of World War II, the imported balls were difficult to get because of the war and they were too slow or defleated because it cannot be stored for months.

In 1945, Francisco Beltrán started to experiment with the balls using an hypodermic needle to inject gas, covering the hole with a patch and vulcanizing it but he had not much success. Then he researched for a rubber maker and, after setting up a "laboratory" at his kitchen, he started to make frontenis balls by his own and test it. After those fails and successes he associated with Dr. Jesús Ledezma, his capitalist partner and founded the first ball factory called 201. After a few years of business they dissolved the society and Dr. Jesus Ledezma keep working with the 201 factory. Then Francisco Beltran moved to Guadalajara city and there he founded Pelotas Beltrán with a product called "Superbote Beltrán".

As the founder ot the only two factories in the world of frontenis balls, Francisco Beltrán can be considered "the father of frontenis balls".

The official specifications of the ball to practice this game are: 47mm diameter, 47~50gr, 57 shore, bounce of 1.58 meters (2 meters fall with an ambient temperature ball). It could be made in white, yellow, orange and in dark colours where walls are painted white. Almost all are made in white colour because dark green painted walls are most common.

It can be played with a slower and bigger ball called in slang "Bola Gorda".It has almost the same bounce twice bigger but the game runs at slower speeds, it's ideal to learn this game before get in practice with a fast ball. It has the same dimension of a tennis ball but is all made of rubber.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • frontenis — sustantivo masculino 1. (no contable) Área: deporte Deporte parecido al frontón, que se practica con raquetas y pelota de tenis: jugar al frontenis, campeonato de frontenis …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • frontenis — (Acrón. de frontón y tenis). m. Deporte que se juega en un frontón y en el que se emplean pelotas y raquetas similares a las de tenis …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Frontenis — El frontenis es una modalidad de la Pelota vasca, de la que hereda la cancha de juego (frontón de 30x10x10 metros), pero cuya herramienta es una raqueta como las de tenis. A grandes rasgos, es un deporte que se puede jugar por parejas o en… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Frontenis — ► sustantivo masculino DEPORTES Juego de pelota que se juega en frontón con raquetas y pelotas de tenis. IRREG. plural frontenis * * * frontenis m. Juego de pelota que se practica en un frontón con raquetas y pelotas de tenis o parecidas a las de …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • frontenis — {{#}}{{LM F18353}}{{〓}} {{[}}frontenis{{]}} ‹fron·te·nis› {{◆}}(pl. frontenis){{◇}} {{《}}▍ s.m.{{》}} Deporte que se juega en un frontón y en el que se utilizan raquetas y pelotas semejantes a las del tenis: • La modalidad más habitual de… …   Diccionario de uso del español actual con sinónimos y antónimos

  • frontenis — /frun ten is, fron /, n. a Latin American game, resembling squash, played with rackets and a hard rubber ball on a three walled court similar to a jai alai court. [1940 45; < Amer Sp, b. Sp frontón FRONTON and tenis TENNIS] * * * …   Universalium

  • frontenis — s m sing Deporte que juegan dos jugadores o dos parejas con raqueta y pelota de tenis en una cancha de frontón y según las reglas de este último …   Español en México

  • frontenis — fron·te·nis …   English syllables

  • frontenis — ¦frən¦tenə̇s, (ˈ)frän noun Etymology: American Spanish, blend of Spanish frontón pelota court and tenis tennis, from English tennis more at fronton : a game of Mexican origin played with rackets and a rubber ball on a 3 walled court * * * /frun… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pelote basque — Fédération internationale Fédération internationale de pelote basque (fondée en 1929) Clubs 313 (en France en 2010) Joueurs licenciés 19 968 (en France en 2010) …   Wikipédia en Français

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