What games did the Mayas play?

One of the many things the ancient Mayas are remembered for is their ball game, which they called pitz.

Nowadays, many people consider themselves die-hard sports fans. Well, the ancient Mayas took this to a whole different level. So much so that at the end of a game, the captain of the losing team could be sacrificed to the gods! In fact, the ball game was not played for enjoyment. The main reason was to keep the gods happy. It’s also believed that the game was played instead of going to war.

The ball games we play today are much less deadly, but there are still some similarities. For example, the Maya players had to work together as a team. They built large ball courts and often played in front of crowds.

The rules of the Maya ball game

The ball courts of the ancient Maya world

Two Maya ball players having an argument on a ball court

Take a look at some of the different Maya ball courts from around the Maya world.

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Maya players playing the ball game.