Meaning of JAI ALAI in English

(Basque; " merry festival ")

Court game resembling handball .

Of Basque origin, it developed from pelota and was given its present name when it was imported to Cuba in 1900. It is played between two or four players with a ball and a hurling device consisting of a long, curved wicker basket strapped to the wrist. The use of this hurling device, called a cesta, allows the ball to reach speeds up to 240 km/hr (150 mph). The court, 53.3 m (58.3 yards) long, is three-walled. The object of the game is to bounce the ball off the front wall with such speed and spin that the opponent is unable to return it. Pari-mutuel betting on jai alai is permitted in the U.S.

Britannica Concise Encyclopedia.      Краткая энциклопедия Британика.