This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Mesoamerican ballgame


Reviving a 3,000-year-old Ancient Ballgame

Long before basketball and soccer, ancient Mayans were hitting the park to play rounds of Mesoamerican ballgame. Dating back to 3000 B.C., the game was played with a solid rubber ball that could only be hit by a player’s hip. Today, in Hidalgo, Mexico, a group of athletes are determined to bring back the ancient ballgame and honor the traditions of their ancestors.


This story is a part of our Human Condition series. Come along and let us connect you to some of the most peculiar, stirring, extraordinary, and distinctive people in the world.

Got a story idea for us? Shoot us an email at hey [at] GreatBigStory [dot] com

Follow us behind the scenes on Instagram:
Make our acquaintance on Facebook:
Give us a shout on Twitter:
Come hang with us on Vimeo:
Visit our world directly:




Game of Life . Mayan Ball Game "Pok ta Pok"

Audiovisual of the first ¨Pok Ta Pok¨ World Cup Mayan ball game in Pisté, Yucatan, Mexico in September 2015. Five teams from Belize, Guatemala and Mexico gathered to play this sacred and ceremonial sport.

Mayan ball player José Manrique, who organised this first World Cup of its kind, says he wants to recuperate the spirit of his ancestors and motivate young Mayans to recognise the greatness of their culture.

The sport is more than just a game. Before the match, players evoke the Lords of the four cardinal points: Bacab of the East for protection and health; Bacab of the West for protection; Bacab of the North for enlightenment and strength; Bacab of the South for abundant harvest, female fertility and good health for children and the elderly. Then they invoke the God Hunahpu, the most important Mayan deity, and the 13 supreme Gods for protection and abundance. They ask the Lord of Death, who reins over Xibalba, the underworld, to respect their game and not to intervene on any player´s behalf.

Pok ta Pok is one of the most important rituals from Mesoamerican culture. The sacred ¨Popol Vuh,¨ or ¨Book of the Community¨ written around 1550 by the Mayan Quiche people in today´s Guatemala, describes the game as a representation of Divine Mayan Twins defeating the ¨Ajawab,¨ God of the underworld.

The Mayan ball game was popular across Mesoamerica and is played with one´s hips or arms. Different regions play by different rules. The goal is to shoot the ball through a ring on the wall, which ends the game.

The ball, made from a rubber tree, represents the movements of the sun and other stars, and can weigh
anywhere between half a kilogram and four kilograms.

Pok ta Pok is one of several varieties of the Mesoamerican ballgame, a ceremonial game played since 1,400 B.C. by the pre-Columbian natives from this ancient civilisation. At least 1,500 ball courts have been found in the Mesoamerica, which is today´s southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador y Belice, western Honduras, Nicaragua y Costa Rica.

“Ek Balam”, Yo Creek, Belize
San Juan Comalapa, Chimaltenango, Guatemala
Dirección General de Educación Física, Guatemala
“Pucxical Keej”, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, México
Chapab de las Flores, Yucatán, México

José de Jesús Manrique Esquivel

José Guadalupe Tecam

Mayan Songs and Prayers
Lorenzo Moisés Díaz Alcocer

Song: Ru q´ojom ya´(Water Music song)
Played by: Ajpop Tijax & Josué Cristal
From Chimaltenango, Guatemala

Prehispanic band, Chapab, Yucatán, México

Yaxchilán, Chiapas, México
Toniná, Chiapas, México
Cobá, Quintana Roo, México
Chapab, Yucatán, México
Ek Balam, Yucatán, México
Chichén Itzá, Pisté, Tinum, Yucatán, México
Grutas Balankanché, Tinum, Yucatán México
Tepetlixpa Seed Bank, México State, México
Museo Nacional de Antropología de México

For more Mayan stories visit this playlist:

Mi blog de viajes: (Sólo en español) Te invito a leer mi nuevo libro El Curso de la Vida: Escríbeme a y te envío una copia.
Support me at/Apoyame en Más información sobre Chico Sánchez en:

Mayan Ball Game pt. 1

Mayan Ball Game

The Mayan Ball Game at XCaret, Mexico

Mayan/Aztec ball game

This was filmed for our spanish project

Created using the One True Media YouTube App - Simply powerful video creation and editing. Create for free.

Mayan Ball Game pt. 2

Female Freestyle Football Skills SEXY GIRL Amazing Football Skills MUST WATCH

👍Amazing Football Skill

freestyle soccer
Freestyle pioneers
Freestyle competitions
Lowerbody/Air Moves
Sitting/Sit Down
Around the World
Interdependent team sports
Sport Governing bodies Sportspeople National sport
Basket sports
Basketball beach deaf 3x3 water wheelchair Cestoball Korfball Netball Fast5 indoor wheelchair Rezball Ringball Slamball
Football codes
Association football Amputee Beach Freestyle Futsal Indoor Jorkyball Paralympic Powerchair Roller Street Walking Australian rules football Lightning football Metro footy Mini footy Nine-a-side Rec footy Gaelic football Ladies' Circle rules football
Gridiron codes
American football eight-man flag nine-man six-man sprint touch wheelchair Canadian football Indoor American football Arena football
Hybrid codes
Austus Eton wall game International rules football Samoa rules Speedball Swedish football Universal football Volata
Medieval football codes
Ba game Caid Calcio fiorentino Camping Cnapan Cornish hurling Cuju Harpastum Kemari Ki-o-rahi Jegichagi La soule Lelo burti Marn grook
Pasuckuakohowog Royal Shrovetide Uppies and downies Yubi lakpi
Rugby codes
Beach Rugby league masters mini mod nines sevens tag touch wheelchair Rugby union American flag mini sevens snow tag touch tens Wheelchair
Bat-and-ball games
Baseball Brännboll British baseball Cricket One Day Test Twenty20 Danish longball Indoor cricket Kickball Lapta Matball Oină Over-the-line Pesäpallo Rounders Softball Fastpitch Stoolball Town ball Vigoro Wiffle ball Wireball
Stick and ball sports
Bando Cammag Hurling Camogie Super11s Shinty–Hurling Indigenous North American stickball Iomain Knattleikr Knotty Lacrosse box/indoor field intercrosse women's Ritinis Shinty Shinty–Hurling
Hockey sports
Ball hockey Bandy rink Broomball Moscow Field hockey indoor Floor hockey Floorball Ice hockey pond power sledge underwater Ringette Roller hockey in-line quad Rossall hockey Shinny Street hockey Underwater hockey Unicycle hockey
Polo sports
Auto polo Cowboy polo Cycle polo Elephant polo Horseball Pato Polo chovgan snow polo Polocrosse Segway polo Yak polo
Net sports
Ball badminton Beach tennis Biribol Bossaball Fistball Footbag net Football tennis Footvolley Jianzi Jokgu Newcomb ball Peteca Sepak takraw Throwball Volleyball beach paralympic
Other sports
Airsoft Angleball Basque pelota frontenis jai alai xare Bo-taoshi Boules Bocce Boccia Bowls Jeu provençal Pétanque Buzkashi Combat (juggling) Curling wheelchair Cycle ball Digor Dodgeball Flickerball Gateball Goalball Guts Handball beach Czech field Hornussen Ice stock sport Jereed Kabaddi indoor beach Kho kho Kin-Ball Lagori Mesoamerican ballgame Paintball Pelota mixteca Prisonball Quidditch Rollball Roller derby Slahal Snow snake Synchronized skating Synchronized swimming Tamburello Tchoukball beach Tejo Tug of war Ulama Ultimate Underwater football Underwater rugby Valencian pilota Water polo canoe inner tube beach Waboba Whirlyball Woodball Yukigassen
Cruyff Turn | Johan Cruyff
Double Scissor | Cristiano Ronaldo
: Inside of the Foot Curled Shot | Samuel Eto’o
Outside of the Foot Pass | Angel Di Maria

How far can this Aztec football team go?

The Aztecs are favored in all their remaining games this season.


Mexican burning ball game.Xcaret,Mexico


Can we hit 300 likes? :D

Thanks to chaossoccergear for making this video possible!

Hope you enjoyed! Leave a like for more football reviews, and make sure to subscribe :D

#HispanicHeritageMonth Saluting LatinoAthletes

#HispanicHeritageMonth Saluting LatinoAthletes

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. We would like to salute ALL #LatinoAthletes living their dreams of playing professionally.


The Mayan Ball Game

Multimedia presentation about the Pok ta Pok, the ancient Mayan Ball Game.

Mi blog de viajes: (Sólo en español) Te invito a leer mi nuevo libro El Curso de la Vida: Escríbeme a y te envío una copia.
Más información sobre Chico Sánchez en:

Traditional Mayan ball game played with balls of fire .

Mexico 2005

Basketball is life (Eldorado - Duboko)

Juego de Pelota Maya

Un grupo de jóvenes del Departamento de Huehuetenango se organizan y traen al presente el juego de pelota maya tan popular entre sus antepasados.

Parkour ball

A tough game with a tiny ball.
April 2007

Aztec ball game.wmv

this is a shortened version of the longer one

Filmpje maya juego de pelota

A wicked ballgame invented by the maya to decided which of the hostages has to be sacrificed to the gods.
This video was made for school for our maya project...



Check Also