Games of gain-ground/Balle pelote

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Balle pelote
Chapter 6
Lesson : Games of gain-ground
Previous chapter:Ballon au poing
Next chapter :Balle à la main
Games of gain-ground

The Balle pelote is a team sport between two teams of five players on a called ground ballodrome. It is a game of gain-ground which takes place in the part West of Belgium, in the provinces of the Walloon Brabant, the Hainaut, Namur and in the western part of Flanders, but also in France, in the valley of Sambre and the Inhabitant of Valenciennes.

Playing area ( Ballodrome )[edit | edit source]

dimension du ballodrome

One of the characteristics of the ball game is that the ground consists of two uneven parts. The "big game" is a trapeze the big base of which is of 19 m and the girl of 7 m (the "rope"), for a "height" of 30 m. The "small game", which extends this trapeze, is more rectangular, of a length of 42 m. The ground is traditionally the Grand Place of the place.

The "rope", which separates both grounds, is not an impassable limit when the ball was delivered.

The ball was for a long time a ball of vegetable material sewn in a leather skin; its size and the weight varied. The ball is since the 1970s in plastic and weighs approximately 50 grams for about a diameter of 5 cm.

The players must be able to be distinguished by a shirt appropriate to their team. They are called pelotari players.

Rules[edit | edit source]

The principle of the Balle pelote is to accumulate points or to prepare for the gain of points (" to mark a chasse ") by relaunching a ball, often farthest possible in the opposite ground. The ball can be sent back by volley or after a jump inside the ground. A team cannot touch the ball two times in succession.

The Balle pelote division with the tennis the way of counting points: 15, 30, 40 and game. The notion of advantage does not exist there, however: in 40 in 2, team which takes away the point of the game. Another difference with the tennis, the bounce which affects a sideline is considered bad.

Championship matches take place in 13 games for the adults and 10 for the young people, the tournaments in 5 or 7 games. In the tournament, a team of lower division has an advantage of 15 points in every game.

Direct points[edit | edit source]

A team wins directly 15 if it succeeds in sending the ball beyond the ledger line (line "besides").

A team grants one 15 if it sends the ball except the sidelines without preliminary bounce on the ground.

A team also grants one 15 punitive (shouted " fifteen! ") if one of the players is touched by the ball, of volley or after a single bounce, on another part of the body than the hand or the naked forearm. It's the same if a team touches the ball twice in a row before its second bounce.

Indirect points ( the " chasses " )[edit | edit source]

If a ball is not sent back after its first bounce, we note the place where it goes out of the ground (where the ball "loosen") or where it is stopped, possibly with a foot or another part of the body. We put then one chasse.

The arbitrator indicates a line of chalk the place where the ball loosened or where it was stopped(died). The person appointed to the marking of the chasses puts at its height, in the border of the ground, a reminder of hunting carrying a number 1 or 2.

When two chasses are put, the teams change grounds; it's the turn of the other one equips to deliver to play the chasse, then to put it two others.

We play then the first chasse, and then second. The team which will take gain the point will be the one which will have succeeded in sending the ball back definitively in the ground beyond the chasse.

The place which determines if the chasse was gained is the place where it goes out after a jump or where it is actually stopped, as for the pose of the chasse.

When the chasse was played and the attributed point, the marker of chasse blocks to the chalk the mark left by the arbitrator and removes the reminder of chasse.

The same team stay then in the livery until this team put two chasses. However, since a team account 40 points, we play directly the first marked chasse.

The purpose is to put the chasse farthest possible so that it is easier, during the change of ground, to push away the ball beyond.

La livrée[edit | edit source]

It is the team that occupies the big ground which delivers until two chasses arise. The deliverer is replaced in every game; every player will have delivered after five games.

The service is made in a naked hand. During the livery, the ball has to either bounce for the first time in the small ground, or pass beyond the ledger line bounded by two perches. Otherwise, the team in the service grants one fifteen. If the ball touches the ground before the line of rope, we shall say that it is "short".

Given the possibility of the direct points, a team can win a game without a single chasse is put.

Balle pelote on the ballodrome of Hoves in Belgium
Internationale kaatswedstrijden Weeknummer
( in (nl) )
Notes and External links
  • {French} Julien Desees, Petite chronique illustrée des jeux de balle belges pendant les années de guerre - 1914-1918, Imprimerie du centenaire à Bruxelles, (1971)
  • {French} Benoît Goffin, La Balle pelote au cœur de notre région, éd. Aparté, Namur, ISBN 978-2-9303-2715-0 (2006)
External links