There’s Now a Field in Mexico City Where You Can Play a Pre-Columbian Ball Game

Lead Photo: Photo by abstrand / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Photo by abstrand / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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If you have soccer fatigue, want a different sport to get into, and live in Mexico City, you’re in luck. At the Faro Poniente Xochikalli, you can now play a pre-Columbian ball game – called tlachitl in nahuatl or pok-ta-pok in Mayan – on a newly unveiled cancha. The ball game – played in Mexico and parts of Central America – dates back to about 1400 BC.

The objective of pok-ta-pok is to get a ball through an elevated ring using hands, feet, or hips, making it a sort of mix between basketball and fútbol. Juan Sosa Puerto, the president of del Instituto de Historia y Museos de Yucatán, describes the sport as “a game, a way of life, a ritual, and a ceremony.”

In Azcapotzalco, thanks to the efforts of Pablo Moctezuma, the first field was unveiled in Mexico City. The field is sitting on 7,500 meters of land that was previously used as a dump. Construction came in at around 40 million pesos.

Shortly after the cancha was officially open for business, about 20 people expressed interest in playing the sport, but Moctezuma hopes to see more excitement in the future.

The game requires at least five players. Learn more about how you can access the field below.