The Circuit Bancaixa (Catalan pronunciation: [siɾˈkujd baŋˈkajʃa], Bancaixa League), officially Lliga Professional d'Escala i Corda, is the Escala i corda league for this Valencian pilota modality professional players. They are arranged in teams of two or three members of the ValNet firm (since the season 05/06), promoted by other companies and the towns.
It is named after its main sponsor, the Valencian Savings bank Bancaixa and it came to replace the Campionat Nacional d'Escala i Corda (1952–1993) starting in the 1991/92 season. It is organized by the retired pilotari Alfred Hernando (aka Fredi). Since the very beginning the best players compited and nowadays it's the most prestigious trophy and an honor to be chosen to play, with names suchs as Sarasol I, Pigat II or Álvaro.
The season 2007/08 is played by 8 teams (for the first time, all of them trios), with 3 feridors and 6 replacing pilotaris. The competition is an all against all league trying to achieve as much points as possible (3 points for victory, and 1 point in case of lost but scoring 50 tants), the best 6 teams earn a place for the second phase with the same rules. When there are only 4 teams they play two matches, and the winners get to the final, which is played to the best of 3 matches.
|2006/07||Núñez, Melchor and Tino||Mezquita, Sarasol II and Oñate||60-50||Pelayo (València)||2nd match|
|2005/06||Mezquita, Tato and Canari||Álvaro and Pigat III||60-40||Pelayo (València)||2nd match|
|60-50||El Zurdo (Gandia)||1st match|
|2004/05||Mezquita, Tato and Canari||León and Sarasol II||60-55||Pelayo (València)|
|2003/04||Mezquita, Tato and Tino||Sarasol I and Sarasol II||60-45||Pelayo (València)|
|2002/03||Núñez, Fèlix and Jesús||Álvaro and Tino||60-35||Pelayo (València)|
|2001/02||Álvaro and Tino||Cervera and Solaz||60-30||Pelayo (València)|
|2000/01||Álvaro and Dani||León, Sarasol II and Fèlix||60-45||Pelayo (València)|
|1999/00||Ribera II, Tino and Oñate||Álvaro, Pasqual II and Tato||60-35||Pelayo (València)|
|1998/99||Sarasol I and Sarasol II||Pigat II, Pigat III and Sanchis||60-50||Pelayo (València)|
|1997/98||Sarasol I and Sarasol II||Núñez, Voro and Tino||60-20||Pelayo (València)|
|1996/97||Álvaro, Oñate and Muedra||Oltra and José María||60-30||Pelayo (València)|
|1995/96||Pigat II, Pigat III and Serrano||Álvaro, Solaz and Joaquín||60-55||Pelayo (València)|
|1994/95||Pigat II, Pigat III and Pepet||Oltra, Solaz and Tino||60-45||Pelayo (València)|
|1993/94||Perele I, Perele II and Oltra||Pigat II, Xatet II de Carlet and Pepet||60-50||Pelayo (València)|
|1992/93||Pigat II, Xatet II de Carlet and Pepet||Puchol, Sarasol II and Pasqual II||60-55||Pelayo (València)|
|1991/92||Sarasol I and Sarasol II||Fenollosa, Edi and Tino||60-45||Vila-real|
Circuit Bancaixa specific rules
The Circuit Bancaixa changes slightly the Escala i corda rules in order to promote the show and the TV broadcastings.
- First scoring: The match is won by the team who first scores 60 jocs. In order to make matches faster, in benefit of bets, and force pilotaris to effort since the very first ball, the matches begin scoring 15-15 jocs.
- Forbidden galleries: The team who throws the ball to the dau or rest galleries loses the quinze if it doesn't come back to the playing area. This way pilotaris are forced to try to achieve more difficult plays by searching bounces or corners instead of throwing the ball to the top. This rule means an additional effort for the players, specially when playing against a trio.
- The ferida: The first fault of the joc is not scored. In the ferida, if the ball doesn't enter into the dau, it's a fault, that is, a won quinze for the team at the dau. But if this situation happens for the first time in the current joc it's not scored. This way, feridors may risk much more.
- The feridors: Before every match begins the special players, the feridors, are raffled. That is, they don't know who will be they playing for until minutes before. In case the team is formed by 3 players the punter (forwarder) may choose to play also as a feridor (as Tino uses to do), if he doesn't want then he must begin every quinze under the mid-field net
Non-relevant facts about the Circuit Bancaixa
- Every season's poster features a picture of last year's winner team. So, on the 2006/07 Circuit Bancaixa poster there are Mezquita, Tato (hitting the ball) and Canari on their positions, escalater, mitger and punter.
Seasons of the Circuit Bancaixa
- Circuit Bancaixa 04/05
- Circuit Bancaixa 05/06
- Circuit Bancaixa 06/07
- Circuit Bancaixa 07/08, ongoing