Basque Bowls

Basque bowls (Basque: bola jokoa), is one of the few Basque rural sports which do not originate in an activity related to rural or marine work. It has a number of other names too and is played in a bolatoki or bolaleku "bowls place" which often consists of a playing area in the open, an open sided structure with a low roof or a playing area located inside a colonnaded hallway.

The game has been more common in the southern parts of the Basque Country in the last few centuries, especially in Álava and Biscay and to a lesser degree in Gipuzkoa and Navarre but documents from the Bayonne archives from the 17th-century mention the games and there is also other evidence to show that the game was also played historically in the northern part of the Basque Country.

The main characteristic of the Basque variants of the game is the more prominent use of balls with finger-holes and hand-holes which distinguishes it from other regions in the area which prefer balls without.

Read more about Basque BowlsBasic Terms, The Game, Particular Variants, History

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Basque Bowls - History
... A law from Santander dating back to 1627 for example penalised the playing of bowls on the streets of the city, as did the council of Ulibarri-Jauregi 1632 ...

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