Mayan book, Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City

ACTIVITY 3 Ballgame Readings
Before you being reasearch on the Mesoamerican Ballgame, take a few minutes to assess your background on Mesoamerica. Select a chart from Organizational Charts that helps you organize your thoughts or you can create an orginal chart. Your general introduction to Mesoamerica this year included completing several units of the Las Artes de Mexico curriculum and it would be helpful to review your journal notes from these units as well as class notes.

Next, read Jane Stevenson Day Mesoamerican Ballgame.pdf for an overview of the Mesoamerican Ballgame and to prepare for research and presentations on various aspects of the Mesoamerican Ballgame.(Activity 5)
After reading the Jane Stevenson Day's article you will be able to discuss the:
  • history of Mesoamerican Ballgames-1500 BC to present
  • reasons for playing
  • rules of the game
  • equipment and ballcourts
  • importance of the game-social, political, ceremonial, symbolic
  • stakes of the game:gambling, politics, sacrifice
  • legacy
Be prepared to discuss the reading in class. Use the 6 Idea Chart to help organize the information.( org-topic-6ideas.pdf)
To learn more about the Popol Vuh, sacrifice and the ballgame read Read Mark Van Stone’s discussion of the Mesoamerican Ballgame at Did the Loser of the Ballgame Get Sacrificed by Mark Van Stone or
Aguilar, Manuel. "Ballgame As Portal To The Underworld." The Pari Journal. Web. <>. Vol. III, No. 2-Vol. III, No.3, 2002-2003

En Español
La Pelota Mesoamericana Actividad 3 Lecturas.doc
Hoja de Organización Actividad 3 Lectura, El Juego de Pelota.doc (Kelly Laske version)

Chichen Itza Great Ballcourt East Panel, Schele Drawing Collection #5018