Mission Dolores Park, San Francisco, 10.2009

Basquetball is a combination of basketball with a Basque styled throwing game. The Basques, like almost every Southern European culture, have their own ball tossing game called Bola Jokoa, which is quite similar to skittles (if that helps at all). In Basquetball, players compete to throw a men’s basketball into a circular ring on the ground. Each basketball successfully thrown into the ring garners one point. Players can try to bounce the other basketballs out of the ring with their balls. The main rule however: one must wear a beret when he or she plays. The main innovation of Basquetball is the use of large throwing objects. While most ball throwing games, i.e. Bocce, Petanque, use small balls that are easily transportable and convenient, Basquetball does not, making the game a logistical pain in the ass. Not surprisingly, Basquetball has only been played once, on Halloween, 2009, in Mission Dolores Park as part of a residency with The Lab, an experimental art space in San Francisco. The most challenging part of organizing a basquetball game is acquiring eight basketballs in pairs of matching colors. One thing the Institute does not recommend is spray painting the basketballs, as was done for this event. The basketballs become very sticky, smell of noxious odors, and leave paint stains in one’s car. As well, its even harder to convince players to play a new game wearing berets in public when the balls leave sticky residue on their hands. As well, in our empirical observation groups of people wearing berets in Mission Dolores Park are often approached to try to be sold marijuana.

Basquetball at Mission Dolores Park from Aesthletics on Vimeo.