The nineteenth edition of the Biharko Izarrak amateur ball tournament, held in Mallabia and sponsored by El CORREO, comes with several novelties. Its organizers, the Malle Euskal Pilota Kluba, have made a clear commitment to the young talents of the hand and the men’s draw will have up to eleven new faces out of 16 participants. It will be the year that fewer pelotaris repeat if the previous season is taken into account, but the quality will be maintained. About a third of those present are under the orbit of professional companies.
Regarding the girls’ championship within the Four and a Half with mixed ball, it will be expanded with respect to previous editions. Four of the best distance pelotaris, Olatz Arrizabalaga and Amaia Aldai from Biscay, Leire Garai from Álava and Miren Larrarte from Gipuzkoa will measure their forces all against all in a six-game league. The best two will play the txapela.
«We have opted for the new sap. Young players with projection who have high hopes because they are doing things well. The girls are also hitting harder and harder and will have their place because of the level they have. But all this would not be possible without the support of the sponsors, who are to be thanked for their efforts”, highlighted the president of the entity, Carlos García.
The men’s competition will begin on March 30, while the women’s will start on April 27. The finals will be on June 9. All the festivals will begin at 9:00 p.m. except for the one on May 1, which will be at 5:30 p.m. “It is also planned that one will be held on a Wednesday instead of Thursday so that it does not coincide with Easter,” he added.
What will not change will be the format that has given such good results, and that has even been adopted by other modalities due to the equal opportunities it provides and the demand it entails. All the participants will play each match with a different partner, so regularity seems key to reaching the semifinals.
of the groups
The pelotaris will be framed in two groups. The first will have Igoa, Rekalde, Zubizarreta and Senar from Dimoztar as forwards, while Ibarloza, from Markina, Lizeaga, Oliden and X. Lazkoz will be in the rear. In the second, De la Fuente, Hormaetxe, de Lezama, Apezetxea and Amiano will play in the happy teams. The bodyguards will be Apezetxea, Lazkoz, Loza and Azpiroz. Three of last year’s finalists –Exposito, Morgaetxebarria and Iztueta– have already made the leap to professionals.
The presentation of the tournament was attended by representatives of the two baseball companies, as well as the deputy for Euskera, Culture and Sport, Lorea Bilbao, who underlined “the work with the youth academy that this type of competition does. Biharko Izarrak is a benchmark tournament that values everyone for the work they do,” she added.