Tlachtli is kind of like basketball. Games similar to basketball have been played all over Mesoamerica by peoples like the Aztec, the Maya, and the Olmec. The object of Tlachtli is to put a ball through a hoop made of stone at one end of a court. But unlike basketball, the players can’t use their hands.
What modern sport was the ancient Mayan ball game similar to?
In modern-day ulama, the game resembles a netless volleyball, with each team confined to one half of the court. In the most widespread version of ulama, the ball is hit back and forth using only the hips until one team fails to return it or the ball leaves the court.
Did ancient civilizations play basketball?
It is one of the oldest team sports in the world. Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Aztecs, the Mayans, and the Olmecs participated in a ball game similar to basketball. The Mayans referred to the game as Pok-a-tok and the Aztecs called the game Tlachtli.
Did American Indians invent basketball?
The first basketball: The Mesoamerican ballgame. Well before James Naismith invented the game of basketball in 1891, the peoples of Mesoamerica had a very similar game where the point was to get a ball though a hoop. The games origins date back as far as one-thousand years before the common era.
What happened to the losers of the Mayan ball game?
The losers were not sacrificed—at least not all the time. If that were the case, the Maya civilization would have decimated itself fairly quickly. The winners of the war also won the ball game, after which the losers were then sacrificed, either by decapitation or removal of the heart.
How big was a Pok A Tok ball?
It is 545 feet long and 225 feet wide. The Great Ballcourt of Chichén Itzá has its walls covered with carved depictions of sacrifices made to the gods at the game’s end.
Did Mayans play soccer with human heads?
Humans and the lords of the underworld battled it out by playing the game, according to the creation story the known as the Popol Vuh. In this way, the ball court was a portal to Xibalba — the Mayan underworld. … There are even some depictions of ball players playing with the heads of the losers in place of a ball.