Carrera de Bola (Mexico)
Name of sport (game)
Name in native language
Place of practice (continent, state, nation)
la Sierra Tarahumara Estado de Chihuahua, Mexico
This sport is a tradition of the Tarahumara ethnic group that is passed down through the generations, practiced by children, adolescents and adults. People with "light feet" who run like the wind through the beautiful valleys, gorges and waterfalls of la Sierra Tarahumara Estado de Chihuahua. What made them internationally recognizable was the Carrera de la Bola.
Carrera de Bola is a run for a wooden ball, which the athlets hit with their feet. First, however, the organizational measures of are necessary ("Chokeame") in order for the runners ("Júmame") to start their run.
Two teams compete, each with a ball made of "Comacali" wood, made of white oak (rosacame red), ash, root; strawberry tree (gurúbasi;) and tascate (camarí). Players must run the ball to the target by picking up the ball, throwing and kicking the ball. There are sometimes designated areas where the ball must not be touched with the hand, even if it has landed out of reach, in which case players use a stick or a branch.
Some Sierra races last up to two days. At night, the speed of runners is obviously slower than in races that last 5 to 20 hours.
Occasionally, there are bets with a code of honor - if a player bets on the peso, the opponent must do the same. Of course, money is used, but also a blanket, mirrors, threads and even animals.
The runners take part in the race individually or in teams, with up to 20 runners, although usually there are 3 to 6 runners.
The team that crosses the ball to the designated goal wins.
The races are organized all year round, mainly during the harvest season.
Sometimes a night variant of Carrera de Bola is organized and it is played according to the same rules. The only difference is the presence of people accompanying the runners who light the path for the runner with a torch, which also helps when they need to search for the ball.
Sources of information
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