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.