Mérida, Yucatán.- On October 16, the First Southeast Mexican Cup of the Ancestral Sport of Pelota Maya will be held in the municipality of Umán, where teams from Yucatán, Campeche, Chiapas, and Quintana Roo will participate.
The president of the Asociación de Juegos y Deportes Autóctonos y Tradicionales, José Manrique Esquivel, indicated that this meeting will also serve as a selection phase to determine which players will participate in the IV World Poktapok Cup, to be held from December 2 to 4 in the same municipality.
Some of the teams that will participate are Chapab, Pisté, Ek Balam, San Pedro Chimay, Tadzibichén and San Ignacio Tesip.
For professor Manrique Esquivel it is important to remember that it is not necessary to rescue traditional games because they still exist, therefore, a valuable tool is to promote them among all people and mainly among children.
“Traditional games have not been forgotten or lost; yes, we can’t talk about strengthening and revitalizing them,” he said.
In spite of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the professor was in charge of promoting activities in a virtual way.
Along with the ball game, he is in charge of promoting other traditional games such as Tinjoroch, which is made of corcholatas (bottle crown caps) that have a hole in the middle and a rope is inserted to make them spin; Tirahule, Kimbomba, which is compared to Mayan baseball, chácara, and other Yucatecan games that have a Maya background.
One of the pending requests of the traditional games clubs that exist in different municipalities across the Yucatan is that there are also sports spaces to practice the Maya ball game, just as there are already courts to practice soccer, basketball, and other modern sports.
So far, Yucatan has participated in the International Tournament of the Ancestral Sport of Pelota Maya, where there are people from different parts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and El Salvador.