A ritual-linked and myth-based ball game played by the Aztecs and other peoples of the ancient Americas, geographically established from modern Guatemala in the south to modern Arizona in the north. The game's object was to propel the ball through a stone ring, and the players moved the ball with the aid of padded elbows, knees, hips, and buttocks. As Allen Guttmann observes, the actual meaning of the game is not definitively established: cult; fertility rite; political symbol? (Sports: The First Five Millennia, 2004). The missionaries among the invading Spanish in the 16th century perceived the game as blasphemous, and banned the activity.
Subjects: Sport and Leisure.