Matt Tournament Photos and Scores
The Pelota Press was unable to attend the event, but here are several photos and snap shots of the scoresheets from this past weekends event up in Berlin, Connecticut. At least we were able to donate the jai-alai trophy figurines, which looked nice!
Photos and comments by Mr. and Mrs. Cachin 47.
Matt’s October Merry festival
A few times a year in the Great Northeast, Matt DiDomizio, the creator, and owner of Berlin Connecticut’s Only indoor Jai-alai Fronton. Holds an invitational weekend long Jai-alai Tournament. This past weekend October 13-15th 2023, had players from all over the country travel by car or plane to compete, in this Special event.
Players such as Kevin Smith, flew in, from as far away as Nevada, and my wife and I ( Cachin47 ) who live on the West Coast of Florida also made the trip.
Most of the Pelotari’s are fortunate enough to either live locally or within a respectable driving time. They are truly the Lucky ones. For they’re able to play on this Magical court as often as their bodies allow them to. Laugh hahaha
This past weekend Event, had roughly 20 players, which is a little less than what previous tournaments had. But it didn’t effect the competition level, or the camaraderie amongst all that came. See, these tournaments are more than just the competition, that takes place out on the court. It’s a gathering of people who have this one thing in common. The Love of Our Sport, Jai-alai. Some even say, ” It Runs Through Their Veins” !
The Event open on Friday night with the playing of the national anthem.
Everyone that was in attendance stop what they were doing, the men remove their hats, and put their right hand over their heart, some could be heard singing along. At the end everyone applauded.
Matt, gathered the players around, and made an announcement of how the nights scheduled would go. It was to be mostly made up of quinella style singles games. Singles is a tough way to start a Jai-alai performance. It’s one on one, and more court to cover, and in quinella style it’s hard to get a rhythm going, like one does in doubles Partido play. Nevertheless everyone was happy to be there. Adam, an Ex Connecticut pro player, unfortunately was injured, during warm-ups, when the ball struck him under the right eye. Sidelining him for the entire weekend. Reports indicate Adam received 6 stitches. We all wish him well.
The night finished with, I believe Kevin from Nevada having the most points in the few Singles games to receive one of the homemade trophies.
Saturday morning came early. I’m sure many of us were reaching for our bottle of ibuprofen or Aleve to start the long day ahead. Saturday’s schedule was the beginning of the traditional Partido matchups. We all thoroughly enjoy this style of playing much more. The day brought in such top players as Gino, Leo, Valente, Mickey Mo, Cachin, Jacque, Jesus, and Belota. With the returning Champions, Fred, DeCarlo, and of course Makina aka Ulysses. On a side note: I have to say getting play against Makina is an honor and a joy. He’s such a Great player and person.
In the opening games, on a personal note, I, Cachin47 played as a Delantero ( front courter) for a few of the matches. Which I enjoyed the different perspective.
The format had a change from the last event. Instead of straight up Partidos, there were 3 to 4 teams competing for total points, Instead of bracketing. The consensus amongst the players involved was this format would be better on this day.
As the competition heated up throughout the day, as you can see on the many Facebook videos, some of the same names and faces, moved ahead.
After the final game on Saturday, many of us enjoy the pizza, and other food and drink, that people brought in to share. Like I said, these are Magical Events, and bring out the Best in everyone who is involved.
The last day… Sunday Morning for us, my wife and I, started off with hot coffee from Dunkin’s again, and the drive over to Matt’s for the final day of the Tournament. Matt, paired me up with a very good front court player named Dino, Yes, just like Dean Martin’s nickname. We played together, in 3 different partido matches. One match was harder than the next. Going against players like Matt himself, Mickey Mo, Darren, Tony, Jacquc was both fun and challenging. For Dino, and I won all three matches , and what we’d call the under card. But the day still had more excitement to give with the Finals coming up. There would be four front Courters, Gorman, Valenti, Gino, and returning Champion Fred. The Backs were DeCarlo, Jesus, Belota, and The Champion Makina. Again instead of bracketing the play, the format was 4 games, changing partners each game. Totally points accrued Wins. Remember you can go to the Connecticut amateur Jai-alai Facebook page and watch all the action there. There was some Awesome points played by all. The ball was moving at a high velocity, the fans, and fellow players all were watching intensely. As the matches moved forward. In the end, it would be Freddy Winning the front court Championship and Makina taking the Backcourt Championship as expected. Congratulations to the both of them. They played hard and deserved it.
I’d like to say a Big Thank you, to all those who helped run this event. The score keepers, the announcers, Todd & Edward, Dave Gallo, and everyone else who was there. Just beginning there at this Special Event helped make it happen, Because, without all of you, and all of the players, the Sport will all share could be gone.
Special Thanks to Matt for fulfilling his dream and making ours come true.