(While it is not necessary to know these Basque or Spanish words and expressions in order to enjoy jai-alai, it adds to the enjoyment of any spectator sport if you are familiar with the jargon used.)
Call by one player to his partner, telling him to catch the ball on the fly.
"A Los Dos!"
Call by one player to his partner, telling him to protect the right side of the court because one of their opponents is going to throw a dos paredes shot.
A shot which is parallel to the side wall and very close to it, limiting the ability of the defensive player(s) to return it.
A star player whose strength is perfect position play.
Call by one player to his partner, telling him to put more lift on his throw.
Call by one player to his partner, telling him to let the ball go by because he is in a better position to make the retrieval.
A bad or unnatural bounce.
An underhand catch made on a very short hop.
The playing court.
A shot that hits the front wall, then the side wall (almost in the crack) and then caroms to the extreme outside of the court at a very sharp angle and with extreme spin.
The gloved wicker basket used by the players to catch and throw the ball.
The man who makes and repairs the cestas.
A deep shot which hits the floor, rear wall and floor in rapid succession, making a return impossible.
A killer shot which hits the crack between the back wall and the floor, making a return impossible.
The cloth which binds the cesta to the player's hand.
The wooden part of the court (out of bounds).
A shot made with great spin, from the wooden part of the floor, hitting low on the front wait and skipping past the opposing players.
A sidearm/backhand shot where the player has the advantage of seeing his opponents' position(s) as he throws, due to the twisting body motion involved.
A soft lob shot.
The two-wall carom shot that hits the side wall, then the front wall, and bounces toward the screen.
The spin or "English" on a ball.
Call by one player to his partner, telling him to retrieve a shot because he can't reach it.
A "cream puff" return that gives the opposition an easy shot.
The colored sash worn as a belt by all players; the "mark" of a pelotari.
The front wall of the court.
The arena in which jai-alai is played. It consists of the cancha, the seating areas, and the betting areas.
Call by a backcourt player to his partner to indicate that he wants to make the play on a ball which is bouncing toward the screen.
A hard overhand smash, the shot being made with great wrist snap.
The glove part of the cesta.
The Players' Manager and Official Matchmaker. He decides who plays in which games, with whom, and in what post positions.
The popular name of the game in the U.S. It derives from the Basque words for "merry festival," a reference to the fact that the game was originally played at festivals.
The side wall of the court (Also called pared izquierda).
A hard shot, caught on the fly.
A ball that bounces or hits foul.
Call by the fans to indicate appreciation of a good play. It is jai-alai's equivalent of bullfighting's "Ole!"
The classical version of the game, played to a fixed number of points by just two players or teams.
The goatskin covered ball.
Literally "Basque Ball," the native name of the game.
The man who makes and repairs the balls.
A shot which is thrown with great wrist snap, causing it to take a very high bounce over the opposing player(s).
Pica y Vete
"Away and gone!" refers to a shot which hits the front wall, bounces once, and goes out of bounds. (Literally: "bounce and go.")
Call by a player to protest interference or some other rule violation.
The American version of the game, derived from the bet of the same name.
The rear wall. Also, any shot made after the ball has rebounded off the rear wall.
A putaway shot, specifically a sidearm/backhand dos paredes shot.
The player who catches and returns the serve.
A player who throws a game. Sometimes used as an epithet by angry fans who think that a player did not try hard enough or play as well as he should have.
An abbreviated but unfavorable reference to a player's parentage, indicating fan displeasure with the individual's quality of play. Americans tend to use the milder "Meatball!" or "Turkey!" instead.
Call by one player to his partner to indicate that he is going to catch the ball.