Yucatecan wants to promote Maya Ball Game among local young people

As a promoter of the Mayan ball game Pok ta Pok in his native Tahdzibichén, Carlos Alberto Chi Bacab’s dream is that there is at least one team in each municipality and police station in Yucatán.

Carlos, who has always been concerned with spreading the Mayan culture and traditional games, until five years ago knew little about that sport, but one day he was invited to see a Pok ta Pok exhibition in the Merida Cathedral and he knew he had to give it a try, but not so much as a show, but as a sporting activity.

With great determination, Carlos dedicated himself to learning more about the game, studied the rules, and called children and young people to form a team. He signed up as a player himself, although later he left the court to become a coach.

Maya Ball Game “Pok ta Pok” Rules
According to the regulations, four players per team participate in the game, who must touch the ball only with their hips. Otherwise they can receive a penalty of one, two or three points.

The game is divided into two halves and each period can last between 13 and 20 minutes, in which the players will do their best to pass the ball through a hoop several meters high, which will give a maximum score of 10 points.

“Sport itself is not difficult. The hard part is the hits you receive with the ball and that’s why I think not everyone dares to play it”, mentions Carlos, after recalling that some players have gone to the hospital for hip injuries after being hit with a ball.

The ball is made of rubber resin and weighs between three and five kilos. The resin is obtained in Chiapas, but each team makes its own ball.

A “Pok ta Pok” ball can cost between $2,000 and $3,000, but in tourist areas, it reaches up to $15,000.

The team is currently preparing to qualify for the “Pok ta Pok” World Cup that will take place in Belize, for which they train between two and three hours every day.

The Yucatan Times
Newsroom



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