Ball court or field used for the ritual ball game ollama, played throughout pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Some myths mention the game as a symbolic contest between day and night deities. The object of the game, played in teams, was to use elbows, knees, and hips to drive the ball through the opponent's goal. The game was accompanied by heavy betting. It was extremely violent, and severe injuries were frequent, despite the players' protective clothing. Losing players were apparently sometimes sacrificed, and the ball may sometimes have consisted of a human head wrapped in latex.
Learn more about tlachtli with a free trial on Britannica.com.