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Word Count: 935
The mesoamerican ballgame known as ullamaliztli or ollamalizitli in the native language Nahuatl was played for many different reasons and by many different people The game was played all over what is now Mexico It was played by two different groups the Aztecs and Mayans There is a very extensive history of the ballgame Ranging from how it was discovered to whom discovered it to different personal accounts The people who played the game were Mayan and Aztec Some of the courts they found were in ceremonial centers They know the game was very important because they were placed in the ceremonial centers They also found other smaller courts Since the game was played at different levels of skill intensity and religion there had to be a wide variety of people playing The ballgame was played by members of elite classes of society They are the ones to whom the game was very important It was also played on the informal earthen courts They also played for fun The game was played by nearly all the males in the community They started playing at adolescence and stopped when they got too old The mesoamerican ballgame was played all across what is now Mexico Archeological evidence suggests that it may have reached as far north as Arizona The earliest ball courts found are in south central Mexico This leads archeologists to believe that this is where the ballgame originated At first the ball courts in south central Mexico were scarce Slowly the ballgame started to spread farther north As this happened the ball courts began to become more abundant until they reached what is now southern Arizona When they reached this area the ball courts started to become scarce again After this point the ballgame didnt spread any further The reason for the decline of the ball courts in the northernmost areas is because of Cortes and his missionaries When Cortes came to Mexico in
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