This may be a little unusual, but I’m going to tell you a little bit about canarian sports. There are lots of different sports, but the ones I’m going to cover are:
Lucha Canaria (Canarian wrestling)
Salto del pastor (Shepherds leap)
Juego del palo/Palo Canario (Stick fighting)
Bola canaria (Canarian boules)
First of all, Lucha Canaria.
Lucha canaria is similar to sumo wrestling, but at the same time different. The aim of the sport is to floor your opponent with them touching the sand with any part of their body. You fight in a sand arena that has a white ring around it. If you step out of that ring, you have to start again. If you touch the floor with anything but your feet, you’re out. Unlike sumo wrestling, you wear clothes. You wear shorts that go down to your knee but you have to roll them up to mid-thigh. You also have to tuck in your top and be bare foot, the only exception for socks is primary schools (specifically y6) when they have tournaments. I’ve had experience with Lucha canaria as I learnt it out in the Canary Islands (Fuerteventura to be precise) and the only downside about it is it’s painful. It’s possible to break your arm or any bone so if you want to learn Lucha canaria and participate, be ready for a lot of pain and maybe a broken bone or two.
Next, salto del Pastor.
Salto del pastor (Shepherd’s leap) is a spectacular folk sport. It may date back to the time of the Guanches, the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary islands prior to the period of the early 15th century. Shepherds required a specialised means of transporting themselves safely across ravines and down steep embankments. They settled on the use of long wooden poles with a spike on the bottom that is called a Lanza or Garrote. The metal point on the bottom is called a regatón. Practitioners of Salto del Pastor have developed a wide range of techniques to facilitate quick and agile movements across extremely difficult and dangerous terrain. One technique is pole-vaulting across crevices or there’s the “dead-drop” in which the practitioner leaps down from about 8 metres, sticking their garrote into the ground before sliding down the pole. There are many different leaps depending on the obstacle that needs to be cleared.
Now, Juego del Palo.
Juego del palo (stick fighting) and Juego de garrote (pole fighting) are more or less the same thing. Juego del palo is practised as folk art, sport and self defence in the Canary Islands. It is believed to also date back to the Guanches. It involves the use of a slender stick 4 to 6 feet (1.2 or 1.8m) long, held in both hands. The aim is to “score” or simulate hits without there being any contact on unprotected parts of the body. Juego del Palo is a sport that requires skill and balance as well as agility, especially in the wrists, arms, hips and feet.The sticks, which may differ in size, are chosen in accordance with certain criteria, whereafter they are prepared in a specific way to obtain strength and lightness.
And, last but not least, Bola Canaria.
Similar to the game bocce (an Italian lawn bowling), the Canarian bouling has boomed in recent years thanks to increased federal records of this game, being along with football and Canarian wrestling, it is the sport with more federal records currently in the Canary Islands. The game involves throwing a ball from the beam, or brand starting with the aim of as close as possible to a ball with the largest number of balls available equipment itself. Players act in turn, deciding what part of the team must throw. Rules of the game: The game is 12 points, customary play more than one, usually two games. The number of balls is 12 for each team playing each team usually 4 players, but can also be played individually, 2 players, three or even 5 players, varying the number of balls per player depending on how many players per team, with usually 3 balls for players to teams of 4 players. The balls of a team differed from those of another by colour, since the balls are green and red. However, despite not substantively changing the game, the main difference with the game ball lies in the quality or material that is made the ball. In Lanzarote, wood defends against the ball of dough, which is also widespread. The old players defend the wooden ball because it requires a more difficult game, which is more expensive, being the lightest ball and with some lower volume. I’ve had practise with Bola Canaria, and its actually pretty easy, its just like boules, except its canarian and a little different.
That’s all for now on a couple Canarian sports, there maybe another one on different canarian sports, maybe ones I haven’t even heard of.