It was first played more than 500 years ago, now on the central border Ecuador Y. Colombia. The Indians took a heavy ball made of leather and started throwing it by hand across the court. Thus is born National ballA considered game ‘Made in Ecuador‘That refuses to go away.

You must have the national ball to play Extraordinary power Arms and legs. In this game, its fans say, even brain exercises are done.

This is similar in some cases Tennis, But it is played with a thick wood (like a racket) that has rubber pads and is known as a board. So heavy that it is difficult to lift from the ground.

To get an idea, this The game It is practiced with six types of boards, each weighing seven to 12 pounds. The ball reaches about two pounds and the gloves (made of tire rubber) exceed 10. That is, to hit the ball with the racket you have to push more than 14 pounds with one hand.

La Mena 2 is also played in the neighborhood.  There participants made significant money bets.  Photo: Carlos Noriga / El Comersio
La Mena 2 is also played in the neighborhood. There participants made significant money bets. Photo: Carlos Noriga / El Comersio

For generations

President of Nelson Base, 82 National Ball Club La Carolina, since 1994. 40 people in this group, 90% from Carchens; Meet on this weekend and weekend without fail at this recreational place behind the Quito Exhibition Center.

Don Nelson has this activity in his blood because he grew up watching his parents play. He has memories when he was 6 years old and he watched his great-grandfather Abel Bez play, then his grandfather Segundo and his father David. The love for the national ball has been passed down from generation to generation.

He proudly represents the fourth generation Ball players. As a child, he played on the street in front of Garcia Moreno parish, Juan Leon Mera School. Carchi. At the age of 13, he was already a professional player and a three-time National Games champion.

At 48, he settled Capital And began to associate with other carpenters who liked it Athletic discipline.

It was the person who managed to get it The court From National ball In Carolina. When Rodrigo Paz-o was mayor from Carchen, Mr. Nelson devised the approach and managed it to provide space and equipment for construction. Remember that he provided the material; At current exchange rates, it costs about $ 2,500.

This is a men’s game. There is not a single woman who practices it. The youngest of the players is 22 years old and the oldest is 92 years old. Adults are just going to have fun and remember the good times.

About 40 people gather at La Carolina Park, north of Quito, on weekends and holidays to practice this traditional sport.  They call on the new generation to save these activities.  Photo: Carlos Noriga / El Comersio
About 40 people gather at La Carolina Park, north of Quito, on weekends and holidays to practice this traditional sport. They call on the new generation to save these activities. Photo: Carlos Noriga / El Comersio

You must have two teams to play, each with five players and a judge. They are located on a 100 meter long court and with the boards they must hit one Tell me So that it bounces in the opposite case and the opponent cannot return it.

Patricio Quaspood, 51, has been playing for 35 years. As a child, he was a pedestrian of his father in Julio Andre, Tulcan, his birthplace. Her father taught her the rules (which is not easy). He and his two brothers became fans of the sport, although he acknowledged that the younger generation did not take much interest in it.

Fortunately, he has a 14-year-old nephew who follows tradition and even though he’s not playing yet, he goes to court, analyzes plays and has fun. Invitations are open to all, especially young people.

This is not a cheap game: the price of the board is USD 80 to USD 200 and the price of the ball is around USD 40.

Manuel Guerrero He is 73 years old and is considered a national ball maker. He is a carpenter and in his workshop he makes racquets and gloves. Rackets and balls are made from old truck tires. He has built in his house what he calls a museum National ball.



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