In a bid to celebrate Mexican heritage, a group of Mexicans organized and participated on Saturday in the national championship for the Mesoamerican Ballgame in the middle of the grounds surrounding Teotihuacan, the pre-Hispanic city outside of Mexico City.
The pre-Colombian Mesoamerican Ballgame stretches back to roughly 1500 BCE. Gameplay varies among different versions of the game, and debate lingers over how the original participants actually played the game several thousands of years ago. Versions played at the championship center on trying to keep a rubber ball in play through knocking it from the hips towards the other team. Failure to keep the ball in play results in the opposing team garnering a point.
The motion of the ball symbolizes the rotation of the sun for the Aztez, Olmeca and Mayan people.
"What I want is for us Mexicans to realize that we have much richness (in our culture), as much as in arts, crafts, and sports, and we ought to be proud because we are the first country in the world to have a ballgame," said organizer Armando Osorio.
Set amid the Teotihuacan ruins, the male and female players were accompanied by spectators, some of whom dressed in ancient outfits. Teams came in from all over Mexico, as well as from abroad.