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Ball Courts

Chichen Itza, Chichen Itza 97751, Mexico
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Ranked #8 of 14 attractions in Chichen Itza
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Ancient Ruins
Activities: Group tours/bus tour
Owner description: The ancient Mayans used these courts for sporting competitions with often grisly consequences: the captain of the winning team would sometimes be... more » Owner description: The ancient Mayans used these courts for sporting competitions with often grisly consequences: the captain of the winning team would sometimes be sacrificed after a game. « less
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English first
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

On the ball court you can see how the mayan played a game that was a bit like modern football and basketball combind. In this game the point was to get a ball through a ring, several meters above the ground and you had to use your hip! Very impressing

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Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
209 reviews 209 reviews
109 attraction reviews
138 helpful votes 138 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

The ball court at Chichen Itza is quite impressive. When you see the goals 21 feet up sticking out from a flat wall, you wonder how long these games were played (sometimes days!) even though it was won with the first score. Even more surprising is that the winning team's captain was beheaded in sacrifice which was looked at as... More

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Leeds, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
11 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

Visited this in June this year. It's a must go if you are into history or architecture. Very, very interesting place.

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Colchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
20 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2014

The fantastic show at Xcaret gives a clear impression of how this and other ball courts at othe Mayan ruins were used. Go early to avoid the crowds, our guide gave our small group a great insight into how the court was used. Have a good look at the amazing carvings round the sides of the court

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Grand Rapids, Michigan
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 attraction reviews
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2014

Largest ball court and it is impressive! You will not be disappointed if you are into the sports aspect of the Ancient Maya. I remember looking up and at the hoops of the grand ball court and asking the guide how many points they played to in order to win the game. He told me in a matter of fact... More

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NJ
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
16 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014

huge area. The game sounds impossible. The carvings really indicate that there was a lot more to it than just a "game". Probably more like a formalize warfare with deadly consequences. But who knows????

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Eugene, OR
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

Our guide explained to us that when two people, standing on opposite ends of the ball court could hold a conversation without having to yell. Each end has a raised "temple" area. A whisper from one end can be heard clearly at the other end 500 feet away and through the length and breath of the court. The sound waves... More

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Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
38 attraction reviews
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

What made this the best part of the visit to Chichen Itza was our tour guide. He was very knowledgeable and talked a lot about the architecture and geometry of the ball court, as well as the game and its cultural significance. Fascinating

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
42 attraction reviews
199 helpful votes 199 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

Best to stay close by the ruins and go early in the morning before the tour buses. This way you can see the ball court without people and try out the acoustics. Amazing.

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Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
24 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2014

Unbelievable devotion that the winner of the ballgame is sacrificed to the Gods. Such devotion. Putting the ball through the hoop that is high on the wall for a person of 5 foot stature must have been a real challenge.

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