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Pronunciation : Coming soon ...

ULLAMALIZTLI

Aztec rubber ball game. Just like football... without the feet.

Ullamaliztli players would wear huge and heavy protective yokes, knee pads and helmets, not only to protect them from the four kilo solid rubber balls and the nasty looking sticks that were sometimes used, but also the stone walls surrounding the court. There were no poncy astro turf surfaces in those days, the sportsmen were real men... and so were the women.

Looked upon as a contest between the nightime Moon team led by Coyolxauhqui and the daytime Sun team led by Huitzilopochtli, the players would try to smack a ridiculously heavy ball through a hoop using their hips, forearms and knees. Between 'goals' players could be horribly injured with a little spilled blood a bonus, though i'm almost positive rumours of half-time hearts instead of oranges at Huitzilopochtli's request are a little wide of the mark.

Opinions are split as to whether the Aztec version of Pitz - the Mayan original based on a match between the Hero Twins and Underworld FC - actually involved human sacrifice, but an elder authority on the sport from Mazatlan where a version of the game is still played had this to say :

"Outside influences are ballsing the game up!"

Okay... In what way?

"Balls are getting lighter, not so bouncy or dangerous and the rules are becoming more lenient due to an influx of Cancun beach sissy rules. You shouldn't be able to bend it like Beckham!"

Aha... so it isn't as dangerous?

"Exactly! Ullamaliztli is a game for real men. You can't just play for a couple of hours then go and have dinner. Back in the day, teams would play for a week and the losers would BE dinner. Without human sacrifice it just isn't the same."

So, there you have it.
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'Ullamaliztli' - Aztec entry : 21st December 2007
Page last modified on 09 Sep 2010
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