José Vicente Riera Calatayud

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José Vicente Riera Calatayud (Murla, Marina Alta 1867 - Elche, 1954), el Nel de Murla, is regarded to be the first Valencian pilota genius.

He was 23 and got announced as the main player at the Pelayo and Juan de Mena trinquets, in Valencia. He was also an idol at the Llargues and Galotxa street matches, where bettings were a relevant fee.

El Nel de Murla was one of the few who deserved some attention of the Spanish media, such as an article by the writer Azorín on the ABC. It was very unusual since those media were in Spanish and for the high class, while Valencian pilota was in Valencian and for the middle or low class.

But his great contribution was his invention of the Escala i corda variant, which turned to be the more appreciated by watchers. He proposed to stand a 1.80 m high rope on the middle of the trinquets courts, so that there were two clear midfields and there was no more confusion with the ratlles scoring system (as in the Llargues).