Aztec Sports, and Games Essay

The Aztecs played many games and sports. They played amazing games such as Patolli as well as dangerous sports like Tlachtli. I think it would be interesting to see these ancient games in person. In the Aztec ball game Tlachtli you used a ball. The ball was made of rubber or leather. The ball’s weight ranged anywhere from 8-10 pounds. The weight of the ball was important because the three players had to get the ball into a hoop high off the ground. This game was very physical so you needed some protection. The players only got leather belts to protect themselves.

These belts were for protecting against the opponents not the ball. For protection from the ball they had nothing. They played the game on a stone court. The court was shaped like a capital H . Each team had a side between the two walls. The court was six meters long, and ten meters wide. They had an elevated basket at midcourt. This is how they played the Tlachtli. Your first objective was to get the ball to the other side of the court. After that you tried to get the ball through a stone ring high in the air. You could only do this using your feet, knees, and head.

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Here are some fun facts about Tlachtli. It is formally called Ultamalizi. The Maya also played Tlachtli. And something of a surprise, they played it during religious sacrifices! The Aztecs also played a board game called patolli. They used beans for dice. These were red beans. Each of the beans had a white dot on them. Other equipment was used. They had jade pebbles for gambling with. There was six playing pieces you moved around the board. The board was made out of stone and it was shaped like a cross. At the edge of each extreme point was a cell. To play the game you had to roll the bean dice to move.

You moved the number of white dots that came up. If you rolled all five white then you moved forward ten spaces! Other rules of Patolli which are important as well are first you have to get a 1 to start, you have to move clock wise, and the last rule is your “X” is home. In this game you could win jade. To get jade you needed to make it around the board. When you did this your opponent or opponents owed you a piece of jade. Patolli was a gambling game. You had to first bet some amount of jade to start. The first person to run out of jade lost. Here are some religious things to do with the games.

They liked Patolli so much they worshiped a god of Patolli. They were played during religious festivals. And like in our own time the Aztecs prayed before every game! And as with many people even in our day religion was the most important thing in life. In conclusion the Aztecs played important games and sports. The two examples described above are Tlachtli and Patolli. These games were important in their religion and culture. I think it’s interesting that the ancient people played organized games. their game Patolli resembles our game sorry and their sport Tlachtli resembles our game of basketball.