Ball video games, an invention of the Olmecs? | EUROtoday

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HAS To inform the reality, now we have little data on the sporting apply of the inhabitants of Mesoamerica. We can think about that, like different cultures, they practiced wrestling and maybe working. The solely certainty on this matter is the ball recreation. The Olmecs (the oldest folks in Mesoamerica) are mentioned to have been the primary to play as a workforce. The Mayans after which the Aztecs would in flip have adopted this ball recreation. But at all times within the context of spiritual manifestations. Numerous testimonies written or engraved on the partitions have reached us.

The guidelines of this recreation performed by the Olmecs are little or no identified to us. On the opposite hand, now we have many extra particulars when the Mayans appropriated this ball recreation known as ulama. It additionally bore the names of pits and pok'ol pot.

Depending on the period, the “ulama” pitted two groups of 1 to 12 gamers in opposition to one another on a discipline usually positioned subsequent to temples or different spiritual buildings. Each workforce defended the colours of a special deity. They had been combating over a heavy rubber ball, kind of spherical. The precept of the sport was to ship the ball into the opposing camp. However, gamers had been forbidden to the touch the ball with their palms or toes. All different components of the physique had been allowed: the torso, knees, head, elbow… To defend themselves, the gamers wore leather-based protections. Any participant touching the ball with their palms or toes price their workforce some extent and earned one for the opposing workforce. Likewise, the workforce that allow the ball fall to the bottom misplaced some extent. The profitable workforce was the one which first reached a predetermined variety of factors. If one of many gamers managed to cross the ball by means of a hoop of stone mounted on the partitions framing the sphere on both facet, their workforce was declared the winner.

READ ALSO What if soccer was born in Greco-Roman Antiquity? The discipline was rectangular with each ends wider. You should think about an H with a really lengthy central bar. The dimension of the tons assorted; the biggest discovered by archaeologists measured 146 x 36 m. All had been framed by two excessive inclined partitions on which the ball may bounce. The recreation was very fashionable, as evidenced by the 355 lands found and the two,572 noticed. In Chichen Itza alone, the spiritual capital of Yucatan, 16,000 rubber balloons had been used every year.

The winners, typically decapitated?

Most usually, ulama was practiced in a spiritual context. The terrain was meant to signify a picture of the cosmos. The rubber ball, able to bouncing in direction of the sky, symbolized the contact between folks residing on earth and the deities of the sky. It additionally represented the course of Venus accompanying the Sun. The Mayans related it with life and agricultural fertility. The monks analyzed the trajectories of the bullet to derive prophecies. The similar was true for the Aztecs. At the top of the sport, the members of a workforce had been decapitated. Logically, it might be the vanquished who could be sacrificed. Well no ! There was a time when it was the winners who misplaced their heads. For the Mayans, sacrificing one's life to honor the gods was a supreme honor. It was essentially the most lovely demise. Was this actually the case? Archaeologists, quite the opposite, decide that the sacrifices belonged to the dropping workforce. And nonetheless others assume that the sacrifice is simply an unfounded legend.

READ ALSO Ancient Greece, birthplace of the Olympic GamesFor their half, the Incas, settled in South America, within the Andes mountain vary, additionally performed a ball recreation with spiritual connotations. Named gayado or chikos, it was similar to discipline hockey. Spanish chroniclers have left us tales evoking this recreation. The terrain had no limits, the sport was performed within the pampas. It pitted two groups in opposition to one another, typically made up of women and men. They had been combating over a ball made from animal pores and skin which weighed round 4 kg. Like in hockey, gamers pushed the ball with an extended carved picket stick. It was actually about pushing the ball into the opposing camp. Even as we speak, gayado is practiced in sure villages. The profitable workforce may depend on the goddess of the earth, Pachamama, to have good harvests.