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Ball Courts

Chichen Itza, Chichen Itza 97751, Mexico
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Ranked #9 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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Dunfermline, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2014 NEW

Carved into the side of the Ball court is the story and rules of the game your guide will likely tell you of the great pride the players felt and the great honour it was to win. They will then direct you to a carving of the winning captain being beheaded to be sacrificed to the gods. The courts are... More

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Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
652 reviews 652 reviews
467 attraction reviews
318 helpful votes 318 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2014 NEW

The atmosphere in the courts is fantastic. The main court is the most impressive and wonderful to walk through.

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Watton, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

The game they used to play was very brutel in some temples because if you lost the game you lost your life. It was played with a hard rubber ball of which they had to hit with hips and elbows and get through a hoop which was high up.

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Lisbon
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
24 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2014

Considered one of the best preserved ball court in the Mesoamerica, the Chichen Itza Ball Courts were the hosting place for an extincted ritual ballgame played with hips and in some versions, as well as with forearms, rackets, bats, or hand-stones called Ōllamaliztli (in Nahuatl or Aztec language) where the defeated captain of the team was sacrificed and sentenced to... More

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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17 reviews 17 reviews
11 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2014

This is within the Chichen Itza grounds - from what our Tour Guide informed us, the game only happened every 52 years, and lasted for 5 days. The First team to get the fiery ball into the ring, wins - and then the winning Captain is beheaded!!!

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Boca Raton, Florida
Top Contributor
257 reviews 257 reviews
118 attraction reviews
236 helpful votes 236 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014

These ballcourts were ubiquitous throughout Mesoamerica, and even up to the American Southwest. For the Mayans here at Chichén Itzá, the ballgames had religious significance. And they weren't played for fun. Someone got sacrificed as a result of a ballgame, as suggested by the decapitated figure at the great ballcourt here. Players were well padded, especially around the hips and... More

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Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

This is perhaps the biggest preserved ball court in Mesoamerica. In terms of the game itself, there were 2 teams. The goals were circle-shaped, and around 20 ft up the wall (pretty high!) As a history enthusiast, I found it amazing that Mayan civilization developed such a SOPHISTICATED game. If you go, be sure to look at the carvings at... More

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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
287 reviews 287 reviews
166 attraction reviews
200 helpful votes 200 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
36 reviews 36 reviews
11 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 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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