A Basque in Boise

Fronton etiquette

As I’ve mentioned before, we’re very lucky in Boise to have a fronton that’s used virtually every day of the week, whether it is for pala and baleen games, practice with friends, or Basque dancing.

There is nothing more frustrating than going down to the fronton just to find out there is already a game or practice in course. But that’s why we have a calendar open to all of the fronton members, which allows us to see scheduled games and gives us a chance to snag an hour or two when the fronton is not in use. In order to avoid conflict and disappointment, I usually make a point to look at the calendar before I go down to practice and grab a time that works for me and my friends. However, there are times where I don’t, where nobody does, and that’s when fronton etiquette comes in handy.

Take last night, for example. I looked at the calendar and it was wide open. I should have taken a moment to schedule our time, but I didn’t. When I got to the fronton, my friend was sitting on the bench watching a playoff game from the men’s pala league. Well, it wasn’t on the calendar, but neither was our practice, they got there first and besides, it’s an official game. So my friend and I sat for a half hour and enjoyed the game until they finished and the court was finally ours.

Next, 7 pm rolls around and the first player from the second playoff game arrived to the fronton. He took his time stretching, as he always does. I offered him to join us for his warm-up, but he declined because he was playing pala and we were practicing baleen, and he didn’t want his game to get all mixed up. Fair enough. I asked what time his game was and he told me 7:15. I’ve been playing pala for about 5 years and games are always scheduled at the hour or the half hour, plus the previous men team said it would start at 7:30, but maybe I was wrong and he was telling the truth.

And this is where fronton etiquette comes in handy, especially when the team practicing on the court tells you they’ll be out at 7:10 so you can start your game on time. This is where you sit down on the bench, like the rest of us would, and patiently wait until the people on the court are done practicing. You DO NOT get on the back of the court and start warming up while we’re still playing. You DO NOT continue to warm up when I tell you “Sam, we cannot play with you in the back of the court”.

We left last night (quite pissed, I might add), because we didn’t think it was worth it getting upset for 10 stolen minutes of practice, but I won’t do it again. Next time please, don’t be so rude. Have some etiquette.

Thanks for passing by: ↓

maria jesus Irune Sam Snodgrass Lontzo Sainz

8 thoughts on “Fronton etiquette

  1. Irune

    I’m not going to lie, I was pretty shocked with the behavior! I chose not to say anything, just put my paddle away, since I have some education… But as you are saying, next time I won’t leave like yesterday.

  2. Irune

    I’m not going to lie, I was pretty shocked with the behavior! I chose not to say anything, just put my paddle away, since I have some education… But as you are saying, next time I won’t leave like yesterday.

  3. Sam Snodgrass

    Fronton Etiquette

    1. Monday night is A-League night.

    2. The A-League has finished its regular season and has begun its play-offs.

    3. Our game was scheduled for 7:00 P.M. The following is an e-mail from A-League commissioner, Edu Sarria, dated Nov. 15, 2012:

    Pilotari’s,

    Here is the seedings for the upcoming tournament. Remember, it is double elimination so even if you have one loss, you can still make it to the finals. I will have a schedule down at the fronton next Monday, the 19th. Bear with me…….I originally had this as a 7 team final so with 6 teams there are going to be some byes. So here is Monday’s schedule:

    1. Boyd/Monasterio (6-0) + 41 bye
    4. Malone/Schaffner (1-4) – 22 vs. 5. Miller/Sangroniz (1-4) – 34 at 6pm
    6. Snodgrass/Snodgrass (1-4) – 54 vs 3. Donahue/Sangroniz (3-2) +12 at 7pm
    2. Bilbao/Sarria (4-1) +57 bye

    4. One player from the other team was not able to arrive until 7:20 P.M. The following is an e-mail from that player, Ben Donahue, dated Nov. 18, 2012:

    Hey Guys,

    I have class on Monday until 7:15. I know our game is at 7, so I’m sorry, but could we push it back to about 7:20? Does that work for you guys?

    Thanks,
    Ben

    5. I thought that I was being courteous and nice to you in allowing you to continue to practice while I warmed up in the back. (This is a common practice in frontons in The Basque Country.) Furthermore, even though our game was scheduled for 7:00 P.M. and I could have asked you to leave the court so that I could begin warming up for our play-off game, I did not do so.

    6. It was not my responsibility to put the games on the fronton calendar. That is the responsibility of the A-League commissioner. If you have a problem with anybody, you have it with him. Nevertheless, Monday night is A-League night and, before planning to practice baleen on Monday night, proper etiquette would have been to make absolutely certain that no A-League activities would be taking place.

    7. Lastly, and, perhaps, most importantly, it is improper etiquette to criticise someone by name on a public blog. The incident was a private matter and should have been handled in a private matter. If you had a beef with me, you should have sent me a text or an e-mail and not publish your gripe on your blog.

    8. You specifically asked me if I had a game and I affirmed that I did. Furthermore, I subsequently explained to you that the game was a play-off game. The courteous thing to have done, according to proper fronton etiquette, would have been for you to have ceded the court to me so that I could begin warming up for my play-off game. Instead, you and Irune continued to practice, which required me to go to the back to begin warming up for my play-off game. I took special care to not get in your way or to impede your play.

    Ondo ibili,

    Sam

  4. Sam Snodgrass

    Fronton Etiquette

    1. Monday night is A-League night.

    2. The A-League has finished its regular season and has begun its play-offs.

    3. Our game was scheduled for 7:00 P.M. The following is an e-mail from A-League commissioner, Edu Sarria, dated Nov. 15, 2012:

    Pilotari’s,

    Here is the seedings for the upcoming tournament. Remember, it is double elimination so even if you have one loss, you can still make it to the finals. I will have a schedule down at the fronton next Monday, the 19th. Bear with me…….I originally had this as a 7 team final so with 6 teams there are going to be some byes. So here is Monday’s schedule:

    1. Boyd/Monasterio (6-0) + 41 bye
    4. Malone/Schaffner (1-4) – 22 vs. 5. Miller/Sangroniz (1-4) – 34 at 6pm
    6. Snodgrass/Snodgrass (1-4) – 54 vs 3. Donahue/Sangroniz (3-2) +12 at 7pm
    2. Bilbao/Sarria (4-1) +57 bye

    4. One player from the other team was not able to arrive until 7:20 P.M. The following is an e-mail from that player, Ben Donahue, dated Nov. 18, 2012:

    Hey Guys,

    I have class on Monday until 7:15. I know our game is at 7, so I’m sorry, but could we push it back to about 7:20? Does that work for you guys?

    Thanks,
    Ben

    5. I thought that I was being courteous and nice to you in allowing you to continue to practice while I warmed up in the back. (This is a common practice in frontons in The Basque Country.) Furthermore, even though our game was scheduled for 7:00 P.M. and I could have asked you to leave the court so that I could begin warming up for our play-off game, I did not do so.

    6. It was not my responsibility to put the games on the fronton calendar. That is the responsibility of the A-League commissioner. If you have a problem with anybody, you have it with him. Nevertheless, Monday night is A-League night and, before planning to practice baleen on Monday night, proper etiquette would have been to make absolutely certain that no A-League activities would be taking place.

    7. Lastly, and, perhaps, most importantly, it is improper etiquette to criticise someone by name on a public blog. The incident was a private matter and should have been handled in a private matter. If you had a beef with me, you should have sent me a text or an e-mail and not publish your gripe on your blog.

    8. You specifically asked me if I had a game and I affirmed that I did. Furthermore, I subsequently explained to you that the game was a play-off game. The courteous thing to have done, according to proper fronton etiquette, would have been for you to have ceded the court to me so that I could begin warming up for my play-off game. Instead, you and Irune continued to practice, which required me to go to the back to begin warming up for my play-off game. I took special care to not get in your way or to impede your play.

    Ondo ibili,

    Sam

  5. Henar Chico

    Sam, at 6:58 pm you told me that your game was at 7:15 pm, not at 7:00 pm (and then it was at 7:20 in the end), at which time I said we would leave in 10 minutes. That would have given you 12 minutes to warm up. The proper thing would have been to let us finish and then start warming up. This is not the first time you have behaved this way at the fronton. It is not right to get in the middle of someone’s practice.

    Everything I wrote here I told you last night, face to face, but it didn’t make any difference.

  6. Henar Chico

    Sam, at 6:58 pm you told me that your game was at 7:15 pm, not at 7:00 pm (and then it was at 7:20 in the end), at which time I said we would leave in 10 minutes. That would have given you 12 minutes to warm up. The proper thing would have been to let us finish and then start warming up. This is not the first time you have behaved this way at the fronton. It is not right to get in the middle of someone’s practice.

    Everything I wrote here I told you last night, face to face, but it didn’t make any difference.

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