The ballgame, in Maya Pok ta Pok, was
remarkable rite practiced in several parts of
Mesoamerica, and there were courts for it in
almost all Maya cities.
Their ground plan was I shaped, bounded by either
sloping or vertical walls, with targets on them
and an area for spectators on top.
Courts were built in ceremonial centers and walls
were carved with relieves alluding to mythological
and religious significance of the game, since it
was associated with myth and universe.
Ball reproduced the movement of stars in the sky
and two opposing teams often symbolized the
struggle between day and night or between gods and
the Underworld and those of Sky.
The game was often accomplished by ritual
beheading to ensure the earth's fertility. Some
experts say that captain of winning team was
executed, others that this was the fate of losers,
and yet others that prisoners of war were the ones
However, the game was also entertainment that
showed off player's skill: The solid rubber ball
was propelled with the hip from one side of court
to the other to score.
At the same time the object was to shoot it
through one of the stone hoops jutting from the
side walls of the court. Because this was
extremely difficult and only managed very
occasionally it brought the team immediate
The spectators would bet on their favorite team,
showing that the game also had its non-religious