Monday, January 27, 2020

Play ball!

The ancient ball court at Chichen Itza...
Not a game for the physically challenged...
At Mexico's Chichen Itza, you'll find the remains of the Pok-A-Tok court. Pok-A-Tok was a unique ball game in which the players manhandled a ball about the size of a basketball while trying to pass it through stone hoops set along the walls of the court. (You can see one such hoop on the upper right hand wall in this photo.)

These hoops were set quite high, and the game was made even more challenging by the fact that the players could not use their hands or feet. Not surprisingly, games could last for days before a single point was scored, leaving players exhausted.

You can watch a modern version of the game being played in this video.


The REAL downer about playing this game though is that the winners(!) were sacrificed to the gods. It was considered an honour.

The Mayans were effectively killing off their genetically superior males which perhaps goes some way to explaining why their civilization went extinct.

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